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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited by Moderator)
Hey all, I'm brand new here. I have a silky hen who is about two. She is really little but has been very much in the middle of the pecking order. she gives a yokeless egg about every 3 weeks. a few nights ago she didn't put herself up in the hen house so I lifted her and put her in the next morning she didn't come out in the morning and when I got home from work later that afternoon was still there, I got her out and she was walking super unsteady both feet seemed fine toes somewhat curled but mostly just really unsteady and falling over. By the next day she is not able to walk at all can't even sit upright and just falls over. I've given her save a check and some canned cat food which I have to feed with a syringe. She is not taking it on her own. She is talking and has bright eyes.

The same day she was only unsteady, I noticed two other 1 yr old hens lying on their side in a kind of weird way but it lasted just a minute and now they are both fine. I'll attach a picture of the comet.

2 weeks ago I lost a comet due to what I thought was a spinal injury from being thrown over the fence and landing wrong. She exhibited very similar symptoms just flopping over not being able to stand, but she was still eating for a while. Sadly, we did end up culling her.

I do not know if any of my hens (10) have been vaccinated against Mareks. Misfit is 2 and the barred rock that also spent a few minutes laying weirdly on her side is also passed two. I got most of them as a first-time chicken owner in October and have only added three as completely baby chicks in December.

I have been feeding tractor supply Dumor layer and my birds free range our 1 acre backyard all day. Maybe they ate a bunch of scratch that was left out in the yard and got moldy with rain? I had also given them a lot of kale on the stalks that had also gone to seed from a neighbor's yard and they ate almost all of the leaves off of it. That was something new.

I have no vet option anywhere near me and won't be able to do a necropsy either. It's just weird I've had two birds now within two weeks suffer some sort of significant back leg weakness.

What questions do you have? Any ideas on what could be done for my poor silky?
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OK, the comet was doing a sort of sunning. See how her wind is pulled up a bit? It's probably the laziest I've seen one do that.

But Misfit, is concerning. It is possible a toxin is involved if there was grain moldering in the grass. Usually molasses is recommended to help purge the system. Can you get Kaytee Exact Hand Rearing formula for cage birds? I keep some around full time for birds that are off and don't want to eat.

You also raised the issue of Mareks, it's possible. The only way to know for certain is to have a necropsy done by the state.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for the reply. Silly that I don't know the difference between a bird sunning and laying weird, it just happened at the same time as Misfits unbalance issue, so I thought it was the same thing possibly and I was going to lose my whole flock!!
 

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Yep, we've all been there. Panic when there is already one not right. That girl just couldn't be bothered to do the full on sun absorption thing they normally do.

I would really like to know how Misfit does. It sounds like she might be rallying. Keep her hydrated, tempt her with goodies like Blueberries, cooked oatmeal with a little sugar, hard boiled mashed eggs.

Years ago a woman came to the forum, she was chicken sitting. Didn't know a thing about chickens. You know what they look like when it's dust bathing time, right?

She was panicked, she thought the birds were dying. The description was a flattened birds in a hole. It didn't even take a pic to know what she was seeing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Lol. My girls love a good dust bath. I'll try to get her to eat some hard boiled egg like you suggested. I just don't know how to know when the right time is to euthanize her if it should come to that. I don't want her to be in pain. She doesn't seem to be, but what quality of life is there paralyzed and hungry if she won't eat/drink on her own.
 

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It can be a very slow going process. We have a forum member now that has worked with a bird for weeks. She said goodbye more times than she can remember now but her girl is starting to rally.

Something I just told her too. B complex vitamins just might help her if you can mix it into something you can temp her into eating.

The Kaytee Exact is amazing stuff. It has everything she needs to maintain condition as she recovers from whatever this is. And it's mixed with water so she also gets some hydration from it.
 

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Oh I’m so sorry to hear this! I hope it isn’t Marecks or anything else that will cause problems in the future for anyone else.

Yes, Update on Poofy Girl is the (meandering) thread following her slow progress. But it IS progress. Water has been the toughest part for me- and she’s a chick I can keep in a box beside me. That helps. I’m not sure what I would do if she was a full size bird,..

Just as Robin said. And the time is right when you know it’s right. You will just know. Fortunately, and unfortunately, these birds will usually tend to go pretty quickly when they decide they’re done, it seems. My girl has been peeping and mostly happy so I have kept at it. Nutri-Drench is essential in my opinion for a sick one like this. I kept picking her clover and stuff to eat on, but again she’s inside w me...
eggs, oatmeal, crackers (unsalted preferred), blueberries, and anything else you can get in them to get over a hump short term is good. I had to stop worrying as much about a balanced diet as just having a diet period.

I hope you can find the root cause of this and help her do better!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
Thank you! is the nutri-drench different than the save-a-chick? I am having to pry her beak open to feed her or get her some droplets of water and mushed food with a mini syringe. at least she's cross beak so it helps. But she's been cross-beek her whole life so I know that's not the eating issue.
Which KT Exact? I see a few and not sure which is correct? Can someone include a link at PetSmart?
 

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I usually get the high fat one but they've been out of it. I'll go look to see what they have available now. It seems like so much is on backorder.

If you can get her feet back under her this is a good one to have around for her to snarf on if her crossbeak is extreme.
 

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Ouch, yeah she doesn’t sound like a very happy chicken.
I’m not sure how much is different nutritionally there, perhaps another can chime in. Either is good, no doubt.

I didn’t have to press anything on mine, she was always a willing, well, if not eater then at least nibbler. She pulled thru this on her own for the most part, I just made sure she had access to whatever she needed at all times etc. I hope your girl can rally and pull through for you. I’m so sorry you’re experiencing this.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
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I usually get the high fat one but they've been out of it. I'll go look to see what they have available now. It seems like so much is on backorder.

If you can get her feet back under her this is a good one to have around for her to snarf on if her crossbeak is extreme.
Thank you- I went by PetSmart and got a $16 can of Katie exact. Mixed up about a tablespoon with two tablespoons of water and forced it all down her with a dropper. She still just can't stand put weight on her legs at all and just flops over. 😔
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ouch, yeah she doesn’t sound like a very happy chicken.
I’m not sure how much is different nutritionally there, perhaps another can chime in. Either is good, no doubt.

I didn’t have to press anything on mine, she was always a willing, well, if not eater then at least nibbler. She pulled thru this on her own for the most part, I just made sure she had access to whatever she needed at all times etc. I hope your girl can rally and pull through for you. I’m so sorry you’re experiencing this.
Yeah, this is really sad.
 

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You can fix her up a nest using towels. Create a circle that she can sit in. She might be molting too.

Try putting some of the Kaytee in a metal spoon. Sometimes the shiny metal attracts them to what is in there.

How old is she? Has she been laying or started laying?
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
You can fix her up a nest using towels. Create a circle that she can sit in. She might be molting too.

Try putting some of the Kaytee in a metal spoon. Sometimes the shiny metal attracts them to what is in there.

How old is she? Has she been laying or started laying?
Hi there, thanks for the ideas. She is about 2. She lays a small yolkless egg rarely. I've had her since October and maybe gotten three. I wish she would just try to eat.
 

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I have concerns that she might be internally laying. There is a paralysis they can experience when they're having egg laying problems.

Have you checked her to see if anything about her abdomen back to her between her legs feels abnormal?
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I have concerns that she might be internally laying. There is a paralysis they can experience when they're having egg laying problems.

Have you checked her to see if anything about her abdomen back to her between her legs feels abnormal?
Can you walk me through that? she does have some poopy butt which is rather unusual for her. I tried to feel around but didn't know what to look for.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Can you walk me through that? she does have some poopy butt which is rather unusual for her. I tried to feel around but didn't know what to look for.
it's possible there could be an egg under that breast bone rear tail area I can't really tell though it's possible I just don't know chicken anatomy how do I get her to lay that, I've been soaking her in a warm bath now for about 15 or 20 minutes.
 

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Can you do a pic of the area you're feeling something solid?

Does her tummy feel swollen or really watery? That's a sign of egg peritonitis.

You might have to pick up some Desitin to protect her skin from the feces that contacts her skin.
 
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