Weird waxy feathers, lameness in pullet

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chicknmania, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 26, 2007
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    We had some mixed breed chicks hatch in June, now they are about 3.5 months old. Five of the chicks were black. We noticed earlier that they all had waxy tips on the ends of their feathers, like candlewax. This has gone away on all but one pullet. Last week I noticed she was missing most of the feathers from her neck and chest, and assumed another chicken had beaten her up. But she seems to get along well with all of them. Today I noticed she was lame, favors her left leg, and walks in a crouched position, she spent all day in one spot, standing on one leg, and has had two or three older hens stay with her all day, which is weird, because they are not normally pally.When we caught her (she is very wild) we noticed she is covered with these waxy tips, more so than ever before. What the heck is it???? I can't pinpoint any injury in the left leg but actually seems to be more in the foot because she screams louder when I try to touch the foot. She screams like mad whenever we try to touch her. As far as I can tell (evaluation is pretty limited) there is no swelling. I have no idea whether the two conditions are related and I hate to keep her penned up (where she is now) because she is so terrified, although she can see and hear her friends and they can socialize with her through the cage wire. Any ideas? She eats and drinks fine, in fact she iwas starving when I fed her just now, but she has not put on weight like the others have, maybe just because she is so afraid of everything she doesn't get as much to eat. btw we think the wildness is just a characteristic of her breeding as her father and mother can't stand to be touched or handled, either.
     
  2. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Well, this is going to sound a little dumb but I think the waxy tips are the way the new feathers come in, because she has them mostly in those areas where she lost feathers and they are starting to grow in or have newly grown in again. Not sure, but that's what I think. She also has a little diarhea but it is not an unusual color and I think it may be just from the stress of being caught.
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I think what you think is probably right. She's probably a bit low on the pecking order and perhaphs injured her leg some how. If it's her foot, perhaps see if you can't check for cuts and scabs?
     
  4. chicknmania

    chicknmania Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 26, 2007
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    We will try to look at her again tomorrow, she is resting in the cage and calming a bit. She will hate it but we will try to rest her foot/leg for a few days in the confined space of the cage, and try to look for cuts...I hope it is a cut, it would be easier to treat and at least we would know....thanks for the input!! [​IMG] I'm guessing it's the pain that makes her walk in the crouched position?
     

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