White Giant Hen-Sick


In the Brooder
10 Years
Sep 2, 2009
Chatham County, NC
I have a 2 year old white giant hen that started keeping it's head down two weeks ago. Checked it's crop and it was hard. We massaged it for two/three days and now it is soft. We thought this was the reason for her weight loss. We gave our flock antibiotics for 5 days and she seemed to be better. She now is unstable on her legs and sits a lot. I noticed today that she has multiple knots in her upper joints of both legs and a little swelling between her toes. She continues to eat and drink but as I mentioned sits majority of the day. She will move quickly away from you if you try to pick her up.... so she has energy but not like the othe hens. Has anyone heard of deficiency that may cause her joint problems? The hens is fed layena pellets, crushed oyster shells and get grit. (We are located in North Carolina and the weather her has been mild 50's, 60's and low in the 30's. Except today COLD low 19 and high 40. Any ideas anyone? Her poop is normal and has no other signs.
Picked up the hen today to check out her legs. The knots are actually full of fluid. Three on one leg and two on the other close to the upper leg joint. Her feet are now swelling a lot. We've spoke to a couple of chicken specialist today and they don't have any idea what's going on. I thought at first it may be rickets since she was vaccinated with Mareks as a chick. With it now obviously fluid anyone have any ideas except to put her down. She still eats but lays down all day. Her legs definitely hurt to stand and walk.
Staph will cause swelling and you said she got better when you gave her antibiotics. I would maybe try around of Tylan 50 injections. Maybe the antibiotic wasnt strong enough to kill the bacteria but knocked it back some. I wouldnt treat the whole flock with antibiotics unless necessary you lose eggs and can cause another problem by creating resistant strains by over medicating.

We've isolated the hen in our large brooder box. Checked her feet for possible bumble foot or other wounds on legs. Did not see any but her feet are definitely swollen and running a fever. Started her back on antibiotics again and will soak her feet in epson salt in the morning to see if we can get the fever out. Her upper leg near the joint has marble size growth that seem to have fluid in them also. The good thing is that she is still eating and drinking. It's just her feet and legs obviously hurt too bad to stand. Wish us luck and pray for a quick recovery. Thanks for the advise and recommendation.
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