What is wrong with my chicken? Loss of balance, leaning against things to stand up

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by fruitveggirl, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. fruitveggirl

    fruitveggirl Just Hatched

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    Jan 23, 2017
    All day today, my hen has been flexing a wing. We thought she might have had an injury, but when we checked, we didn't see anything wrong with her wing.

    This afternoon, I remarked to my husband that her comb and wattles seemed exceptionally red. Don't know if that is pertinent, but wanted to mention it.

    About half an hour ago, she started losing her balance and is now leaning on things to stand up.

    She is not overheated as the weather has been in the 70s all day. She did eat and drink today, though she is not doing much of that now.

    What could be wrong? What should I do about it? Thank you
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Loss of balance could be a head injury, Mareks, or something like botulism. Any wet feed around? How old is she? Do you see any marks on her head?
     
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  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    How old is she, and has she been laying eggs recently? Has she passed any droppings yet, and what are they like? I have seen one of mine have extremely red skin which was the result of fever shortly before she died. I would get some chicken electrolytes with vitamins at your local feed store. In a pinch, Pedialyte or Gatorade will do, and start dipping her beak into the water or hold a small cup up to her beak to drink. Many times neurological symptoms can be a result of dehydration or an injury. More rarely, Mareks disease can cause imbalance, weakness or paralysis in one or both legs or wings. Separate her in a basket or crate. Get fluids into her, and offer some chopped egg and feed mixed with water. Look her over for lice and mites. Sometimes it takes some time to diagnose what is wrong when they become ill, but meantime, help support her with food, water, adn keep her safe.
     
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  4. caicos26

    caicos26 Just Hatched

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    Mine ended up being coccidosis. I separated the sick one and treated the whole flock with corid. Sadly we had to cull the sick one but the rest seem to be doing ok.
     
  5. fruitveggirl

    fruitveggirl Just Hatched

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    No marks on head or wet food. she is approx 5 months old
     
  6. fruitveggirl

    fruitveggirl Just Hatched

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    Jan 23, 2017
    about 5 months old, she laid an egg either late yesterday or early today (didn't check yesterday). thanks for advice. will try
     
  7. fruitveggirl

    fruitveggirl Just Hatched

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    Oh, I'm so sorry about your girl, but glad the rest of flock was ok.
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Mareks disease can show up around this age, but hopefully, it is not that. Do you know if she was vaccinated for it? It would be good to look at and smell your feed/or scratch for treats in case of an off odor or blue green color of mold. Mold or aflatoxin poisoning can cause severe illness similar to Mareks. Botulism is more rare, causing paralysis of the legs, then later, the wings and neck. It comes from eating animal, fish remains or buried vegetation.
     
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  9. fruitveggirl

    fruitveggirl Just Hatched

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    Thanks for the answers. I do not believe that she was vaccinated for Mareks. I just got a brand new bag of feed, and it is not wet.
     
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    It doesn't have to be wet to get mold in it. I have used a bag of feed kept in a metal garbage can in my shaded coop before for days, and suddenly one day noticed it smelling odd or chemical, then saw a blue green color. Scratch grains are even more likely to get moldy, as I have discovered in hot summer weather. It is just something to be aware of. Here is some good, but long reading about Mareks, and the things that can look like Mareks: https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq.66077/
     
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