What's going on with my chicken?

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Maybe y'll can help me.

Found one of our free range chickens today who was laying down a lot. Seemed unusual to me and noticed when she tried to walk it was like she was drunk. Would hobble a step or two and then fall. Very odd. Never seen anything like this. She has 6 bitties and they are getting away from her because she just sits there. Is this a nutritional deficiency?

We have lost 1 chicken and 1 bitty in the last two weeks and can't figure out if it is all related or what. The hen we just found dead in the morning on the ground and the bitty was found when the dog kept barking at her. She seemed perky but wouldn't move or drink. I brought her in and within a hour and a half the chick was dead. Never saw an animal go downhill so fast. We do give them scratch feed and they do free range, as I mentioned. Any ideas?

-- Mrs G (gunnar@yifan.net), June 25, 2001


Could they be getting into some toxic substance? Fertizer or weed killers? Sounds like some type of poisoning.

-- Kate henderson (Kate@sheepyvalley.com), June 26, 2001.

I had this same problem about a month or so ago. I pulled one older hen (RIR) through it but lost a Polish pullet. The only disease/disorder that remotely corresponded with the symptoms was Coccidiosis. I separated the sick chicken and put food and water close enough to her so she could eat/drink without moving. The RIR was an older bird- around 3, the Polish pullet was 9 months.

During that time, it was a 2-3 week period, egg production dropped dramatically. Egg production remained lower for about 2 weeks after the death of the pullet but has since come back to normal.

I hope this helps.

Stacy Rohan in NY

-- Stacy Rohan (KincoraFarm@aol.com), June 26, 2001.

This sounds similar to the symptoms that chickens show when they get botulism. They can get it by eating maggots off of a dead carcass. You said they were free range, so they could have gotten hold of an old dead bird or dead mouse or something.

-- Cathy <>< (trinityhealth@nativestar.net), June 26, 2001.

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