! yr old hen "Squat walking"..please help! new to having my girls

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by laney59, Dec 18, 2011.

  1. laney59

    laney59 Hatching

    Dec 17, 2011
    We have 3 1 yr old laying hens. 2 stopped laying when fall came 1 started molting right away but is fine now. the other became broody and after about 1 month of getting her up and around everyday she seemed better. The last few wks she has been losing her feathers and 2 days ago started walking funny...low to the ground and seems lathargic. Again, she has not been laying for a couple of months.. she will eat when hand fed. I'm soooo worried about her. we brought her inside and set her up in the guest bedroom...i know i know
    Please if anyone has any experience with this we need help. Thank you so much

  2. Dora'smom

    Dora'smom Songster

    Dec 14, 2009
    Could be a combination of things. She may be going into a moult, but not seeing her, it is difficult to tell. A moult is very draining on a bird's system, and if it follows a month of broodiness, where she may not have been eating and drinking enough, it could be very difficult to handle. It's also possible that if she came off being broody, and her body wanted to start laying, but also wanted to moult, that could be very difficult to handle, as well. Does she sit in the nest box, or seem to strain? I would watch her for signs of egg-binding (an egg getting stuck), as well. Most birds will not lay if going through a moult, but her body could be generating mixed signals due to the broodiness and feather loss.
    Will she eat and drink? Are you giving her lots of extra protein? What are her stools like? Has she experienced weight loss?
    I would mash up some boiled egg for her, and see if she will eat that. Put ACV in her water, and see if that helps her. During a moult, I give lots of black oil sunflower seeds and mashed up scrambled eggs with plain lowfat yogurt on top.
    I have been assuming that the feather loss was due to moult, but sometimes birds will lose feathers as their health spirals downward, as well, so keep a close eye on her.
    You're doing a good thing, bringing her indoors, and keeping her warm. Sometimes darkness helps as well as it slows down the egg-laying cycle, supposedly. If it does seem to be a stuck egg, some people have had luck with a soak in a tub of warm water, too. It didn't work for my bird, but others have had it work.
    Good luck with your bird.
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    personally don't feel comfortable with feeling for an egg myself or recommending you to do it...but I am linking to this thread so you can see the signs that were there.

    If you do try to feel for an egg, make sure that you are aware that if it breaks it could kill her. I would just do the warm water soak as Dora'smom said. See below.
    see post #2

    You can also do a search for "eggbound" here on BYC and read lots of old threads if you think it might help. I don't know if that's the problem but it might help anyway.
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2011
  4. I had a girl do *almost* the same thing a few weeks ago. (Minus the squat walking) She was just "zoned out" hanging out in the corner of the coop by herself, didn't eat for a few days, just stood there. I (*gulp*) put on a pair of gloves, lubed 'em up, felt for an egg. Nothing. A few days later she was fine again. Unfortunately, the other girls started picking on her, but that seems to have passed too. Good luck.

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