Wobbly chicken - weird behavior

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by lizzieharvey, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. lizzieharvey

    lizzieharvey New Egg

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    Jan 15, 2017
    Cornwall, UK
    Hi everyone.
    I'm new here - never used a forum before in my life so I have no idea what I'm doing really but I have a question regarding my 2 year old bantam hen.
    So my little hen started going all wobbly about 4 weeks ago. Before that she seemed to loose the sight in one eye and she had a little scratch under her eye so I thought she was wobbly as she was a bit off balance but the sight seems to have come back but the wobbling stayed. Then I thought she had just hurt her leg and kept a close eye on her but over the last few days she's begun to wobble even more. She's alert, eating, drinking, dust bathing, hanging out with the rest of the flock and generally doing what chickens do - apart from the wobble. No sour crop, no egg laying issues, shes poo-ing normally, no lice, she's been wormed.

    I haven't isolated her as I'm pretty sure this is not a disease thing, it's been 4 weeks now and all my other chickens are well and healthy, also I figured that as I haven't isolated her so far, doing so now would be like shutting the door after the horse has bolted.
    I know lots of you are going to be thinking "Mareks" but my gut tells me this isn't it. She's not showing any signs of being unwell, or in pain or otherwise.

    Hopefully I have attached a short video of her here for you to see.

    I feed all my hens on Verm-X layers pellets with a handful of mixes seeds and corn in the afternoons and the odd treat once a week of oats with natural yogurt or tuna.
    I use wood chippings for their bedding which I change out once a week and I put DE in their bedding and in their dust bath. I put apple cider vinegar and oregano drops in their water.

    I rescued this little hen and her mother when she was a pullet as they just turned up in my garden one morning looking lost. (I know they're mother and daughter because one of my neighbours said that the mother had made a nest in her shed and hatched some chicks but this is the only one that survived but she didn't know where they came from so I took them in) I have no idea of their history or how old the mother is. I'm thinking this maybe a neurological thing but would like some opinions please.
    [​IMG]
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm thinking it is a neurological problem, too. Since she was a rescue, it is likely that she wasn't vaccinated for Marek's disease, which can cause a variety of problems (disfigured eyes, tumors, leg/wing paralysis, wasting away, etc.), including the most common symptom of leg problems. Unfortunately, Marek's is generally fatal.

    If not Marek's, maybe she received some head trauma or something? I know that is more of a long shot, especially since the effects have continued to get worse. Do you see any injuries around her ears that could be affecting her balance?

    A last possibility is some sort of vitamin deficiency. It sounds like you take care of and feed your chickens very well, but each chicken responds differently to feed and it is possible that she is lacking something. I would get some poultry vitamins or infant polyvisol vitamins and give some to her for a week or so and see what happens.

    Even if what she has isn't contagious, it wouldn't be a bad idea to isolate her so you can monitor her more closely. Isolation would also help make sure no one is picking on her or otherwise stressing her and aggravating whatever her problem is.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2017
  3. lizzieharvey

    lizzieharvey New Egg

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    Jan 15, 2017
    Cornwall, UK
    Thanks for the reply. I'll isolate her tomorrow as you suggested and let you know what happens.
     
  4. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    As you say, no sense closing the barn door after the horse is out. Try some Poultry Nutri-Drench. It is formulated specifically for chickens. It looks like a neuro problem. I highly doubt it is Mareks. It doesn't fit the profile IMO. Does she do this all the time, or just randomly? If not all the time, can you tease out when it is most likely to happen? Do you have just the 2 birds?
     
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  5. lizzieharvey

    lizzieharvey New Egg

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    Jan 15, 2017
    Cornwall, UK
    Hi, thanks for the reply. I also have 2 hybrids, 2 pekin bantam hens and one pekin bantam cockerel. I've had all of them since they were all young pullets and so I know where they came from and have been vaccinated etc.
    The wobbly hen does this all the time. I'll get some Nutri-Drench.
     
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  6. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    I was just going to suggest Drench. Great stuff. If it is nutritional, that should fix it.
    http://www.nutridrench.com
    I agree it looks neurological. But if otherwise she is fine, ok. The daughter doesn't do it? Maybe she was injured in her journeys before she came to you. Great save by the way. Lovely little Black-Tailed Buff hen, even with the wobble.
    Best,
    Karen
     
  7. lizzieharvey

    lizzieharvey New Egg

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    Jan 15, 2017
    Cornwall, UK
    Hi, it's the daughter that's the wobbly one - the mother is fine. [​IMG]
     
  8. lizzieharvey

    lizzieharvey New Egg

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    Jan 15, 2017
    Cornwall, UK
    Just for a bit of extra 'awwwww' factor - this is a picture of wobbly chicken (on the left) with her mum who I've named "Mother' cos I couldn't think of a name for her. By the way - the wobbly chicken's name is 'little eyes'.
    [​IMG]
     
  9. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Very pretty birds.
     

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