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Young hen can't fly to roost, walks like she is in pain

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Jubilee1111, Mar 27, 2012.

  1. Jubilee1111

    Jubilee1111 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 8, 2010
    Austin, TX
    I have a 5 month old BO hen that has me worried. For the last couple of weeks, I have found her walking around the series of steps leading up to the roost well after everyone else has gone to bed. She is clearly looking for an easier way up there, and the first ledge is only like 30 inches from the ground. I've had to pick her up and set her up there and she settles right in. I added a lower step, at 12 inches high and have found her sleeping on that.

    I did notice she walked with the tiniest bit of a limp when she tried to walk quickly.

    Today I went out to refill the feeder and when she came running, she was really limping and her back was hunched and she was carrying her wings low, she is pain.

    I picked her up and checked her out. No external injuries to be seen, no bruising on her legs or inflammation discernible in her leg joints.

    Could the Rooster have injured her back? He is noticeably rougher with these younger girls than the older hens. Sometimes he just grabs and mounts them without actually mating them and he's being a real jerk about it. I feel so bad for her, I really want to fix what's causing her this pain.

    Any advice on what I should do?
     
  2. terryg

    terryg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 5, 2007
    New England
    In my experience, a hen that doesn't roost with the other is seriously ill. I would isolate her (a dog crate works well) and keep her comfortable with food and water available. Is she eating and drinking? Pooping? Does she want to be active, or is she relieved to be in a quiet place? You need to know more to know if there's anything that you can do to help her, but meanwhile, separating her gives her a break, keeps her secure, and enables you to get more info.

    BTW, roosters vary greatly in how nice they are to the hens and people. There's no excuse for a rough or aggressive rooster (in days past they would have immediately been put in the stew pot.) So, use your judgement if your roo is right for your flock.
     
  3. Jubilee1111

    Jubilee1111 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 8, 2010
    Austin, TX
    Thanks Terry.

    She isn't thin, her poop looks great, her appetite is great and she isn't seeking solace away from the flock. She tries really hard to get up there with the rest to roost but I am sure it hurts her back or wings or something to hop/fly up there.

    Dog crates I do have plenty of. I will isolate her and give her a bit of a break - it has got to be stressing her to not get up high at night.

    I just got two 2-month old Lemon Cuckoo Orp Roos to replace the existing Rooster eventually. I've had them less than a week and they are still separated in baby accommodations.

    He stomped after me just two days ago (a first) and I turned around and kicked him so hard he didn't shut up for 20 minutes. I will not tolerate a mean Roo. He will be raw meal for the dogs within the week. I hesitated to cull him because my hens free range on three acres and he warns them of raptors.

    But what else can I do to remedy my little hens pain?
     
  4. klmclain1

    klmclain1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 14, 2011
    Just guessing - but it does sound like he's put her spine out of whack! Poor girl. I know you can dissolve an aspirin in water to relieve pain. Maybe if you segregated her, gave her the aspirin in her water and maybe some vitamins..she'll be able to relax enough that her spine will realign itself. Do a search here for aspirin for the dosage/water ratio! If she doesn't get significantly better, I'd build her a ramp up to the coop. I suppose you could look up chicken chiropractor here - maybe someone has done it! [​IMG]
     
  5. Jubilee1111

    Jubilee1111 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 8, 2010
    Austin, TX
    Thanks Kimcalin1. I was out there looking her over and thinking she needed a Chiropractic adjustment!

    Good advice on the aspirin. I will see to it that she has that and some of the chick vitamins in her water. Here's hoping that will reduce the inflammation enough to bring her some relief. Poor little girl is breaking my heart.

     

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