Weak legs, weight loss, from molting or disease?


11 Years
Jan 13, 2010
Fairfield, Maine
My Coop
My Coop
I have a Columbian Wyandotte 2 and 1/2 years old who is mid-way through her molt. Yesterday afternoon, I noticed she was having difficulty standing. Her legs were trembly, and she put her wings down for balance, and quickly resumed a flat position.

There are no outward signs of injury to her feet or legs, but she is very lightweight. Maybe 2 weeks earlier, she started roosting in a small community nest box below the roost. I attributed this to molting, but now maybe I wonder if she was too weak to fly up.

I brought her in last night, and she ate and drank like she was ravenous. This morning, she still cannot stand, and was panting hard when she made an attempt. Her lungs don't seem to have a rattle, but she was breathing quite hard. She still has a good appetite, although I have not seen her drink this morning. I am giving her flock raiser mixed with buttermilk and water with Avia charge. Her poop looks normal.

Can a hen get this weak from molting, or is there likely some underlying disease? Everyone else is molting and showing no signs of illness, although a few became less active during their molt.

Right now, I am keeping her in to see if frequent feeding will bring back her strength, but I would appreciate any insight into what might be going on.

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