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Why does my chicken waddle like a duck?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by djkCR14, Jan 11, 2014.

  1. djkCR14

    djkCR14 Out Of The Brooder

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    My hen waddles like a duck - she doesn't seem to be in pain, but she wasn't always like this. I think she's still laying, but I haven't caught her in the nest yet. I need help to catch her to check her - cause I've recently hurt my back - - (hmmmm maybe she did too. I waddle like a duck cuz of back pain .... lol) Here's a picture of her, the yellowish hen in the center.[​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    She could indeed have hurt her back or pelvis, or legs. She could be internally laying as well, and a bloated abdomen could be causing the waddling. You'd need to check her. I would also check her breast meat, see whether she's a good or acceptable weight or not, because her legs look pretty thin to me and when a bird is starving due to disease, their legs often show it long before the rest of the bird's body has lost significant weight. If it is due to disease chances are it would be cancer of some sort.

    Best wishes, hope it's just a temporary injury. How does she react to your rooster trying to mate with her?
     
  3. CasadasHens

    CasadasHens Out Of The Brooder

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    I am very interested in this thread as I have one waddling like this too. [​IMG]
     
  4. abserbean

    abserbean Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a waddler too, interested to hear what people have to say! Mine is a rescue that we have had for about four months, in all of that time she has only laid one egg. She otherwise seems healthy, just walks like a duck and doesn't lay much! Since I didn't have her since a chick, I don't know if she was always this way, maybe something wrong with her legs/pelvis since birth? My daughter has taken to calling her ducky due to her funny walk! She also does't jump up on things, except for her roost when she's going to bed. I hope your girl isn't sick! I know that if they are hurt they can hide the pain very well.
     
  5. djkCR14

    djkCR14 Out Of The Brooder

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    Chooks4Life - that's interesting that you noticed her legs being thin - I hadn't thought anything about that before as being any sign of anything. But I did get a hold of her yesterday - her abdomen does look bloated and even looks like some bruising there. I don't know what happened ... (we just returned from a 3 week trip to the states for Christmas with our kids) - so now I'm concerned. I haven't seen her being mated - nor have I seen her laying, but I will still watch for that. What do you suggest if she's injured or is laying internally - what can be done about that?
     
  6. djkCR14

    djkCR14 Out Of The Brooder

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    Abserbean - how nice that you would rescue a chicken ... :) anyway, yes I hope this situation can be turned around if she is injured - I can't stand for any of my animals to suffer in any way - when I find something out like this - I feel horrible that I didn't catch it, or know. I will check her again and see what I can do ... I hope it's within my power to help her ....
     
  7. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote: Sorry for slow reply, been hectic lately.

    As for internal laying... Well, there are many often completely contradictory schools of thought on that. You should search this site for that, as many people have tried many things, but culling is generally the end result.

    I have only had one true internal layer, and one hen who became partially an internal layer due to massive injury after getting stomped on by a horse. My experiences there are pretty limited but I will offer what I know on it.

    First hen started fine, got bloated around her second birthday, and stayed bloated for all the rest of her life. She died of unrelated causes. This one was the internal layer, a hen I bought as a six week old from a breeder who also bred leucosis etc on with their birds. (Got a lot of bad genes from her, pays to remember there's often a genetic component to this, and 'bad' breeders' animals rarely have just one bad trait).

    I'd read in an old book* that internal laying can be managed with fresh raw garlic in the diet, and since I already used that as a staple to manage most diseases including coccidiosis --- (I also read to do that in the same old book and never lost a single bird to cocci, nor have I ever seen symptoms of it) --- I didn't have to add any more garlic to the diet, and she never worsened with the bloating beyond a certain point, but I do think she was sometimes uncomfortable. Not too often though.

    She lay normally for years more, freeranged far and wide, mated normally, etc. Could run and fight and get up and down off the perches normally. She did not try to fly much though and did keep more to herself than the others, but she was always a bit of a loner anyway.

    So, you could try a natural antibiotic like fresh raw garlic in her diet, as this will internally manage infections without knocking her good bacteria etc on the head like manmade antibiotics. It is a little more effort per day or every second day though so if you find another way and prefer it, I understand, and wish you all the best with that. I also soaked their grains overnight and fed them kelp which is a multivitamin and multimineral natural supplement that regulates their endocrine system. But, it will promote laying so best watch that if she's an internal layer. It may help or hinder. Raw garlic is best fed at a minimum of one clove per adult bird per day, or two if you think they need extra. Raspberry leaf will tone the entire abdominal area but especially the female reproductive tract, but internal laying may not respond to this like for example a weak prolapse-prone uterus would.

    Freshly cut or crushed raw garlic has 34+ natural dynamic antibiotics, and when freshly cut/crushed, the enzymes interact to create Allicin, which dissipates generally within a day, but which is very powerful, and which is proven in hospitals etc to kill bacteria from the Staph family, superbugs, and food poisoning etc that even the strongest man-made antibiotics cannot. The reason is that the antibiotics in natural sources are always slightly different, unique to each plant, never identical or stable/static like man-made antibiotics, so it's very hard and even impossible for most bacteria, viruses etc to become resistant to them. It's got a LOT of benefits, I've found kelp and raw garlic as staples to be a great protector against disease and parasites among my flock and other species of animals.

    Second hen, the one stomped on by the horse, was actually trapped under her hoof until we forced the horse off her; the horse used to try to stomp chickens to steal their grain as she had pika, and despite being mostly blind she could manage to creep into their cages through the small doors to try to steal the grain, and she hated the birds for stealing 'her" food. (She was an ancient mare we caretook until her death. She was nice enough a girl but half mad with her inability to digest food properly. Even once properly fed, an animal (or even human) with pika can remain crazed about food for the rest of their lives, eating inedible things, having lost all sense of what is safe).

    The hen ended up with a leg broken in many places a wing also broken in many places, and a shattered abdomen. She voluntarily stayed still for days as we tended her in a makeshift nest, and when she emerged, her abdomen was swollen and her leg as bent as a banana, but her wing seemed normal. She too went back to a normal life, more or less, mating, perching, etc.

    But for a year afterwards she laid membrane-shelled eggs, and the yolk and white came out at random times, before or after the membrane, which was sometimes (but not often) so hard to pass, being sandpapery, that I pulled it slowly out to help her. After that year, she laid shelled eggs again, but with a totally rippled and ridged surface, never smoothly rounded and curved. Her abdomen became less bloated after that year but she never totally went back to a trim and toned abdomen. She also died of unrelated (genetic) causes and was also on the same diet as the other hen.

    I don't think it's necessarily internal laying with your hen, as her legs look a little wasted and I have not heard of that as a result of internal laying, but I may be wrong, and sorry for the little info I have to offer, but that's the extent of my experience with internal laying. Long story short, fresh raw garlic can help so many things it's amazing.

    *the book was "The Herbal Handbook For Farm And Stable" by Juliette de Bairacli Levy and I highly recommend it as a great starting place for using herbs to tend your animals. I've used it successfully despite my many initial skepticisms, and have saved many lives with the info from that book, including a little feral pup almost dead from severe parvo-virus, and of course having never lost a single bird to cocci means that unlike some who have suffered terrible losses despite using anticocci medication, throughout the generations I've had a great success rate regarding hatching-to-adulthood survival ratios.

    Best wishes.
     

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