Mysterious sickness! Please help : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread

I have a young (3-4 month old) auracana chicken who has fallen mysteriously ill. Two weeks ago she had trouble walking and before the week was out could not stand. Since then she has not changed in condition. What is puzzling is that she is still mentally alert and cheerful - no drooping, no diarrhea or loss of appetite.

We have 3 other chickens. All are free-range. We also keep a pig, ducklings, and an aviary of birds.

We don't know what to do for her; so far we've given her a general antibiotic in her water, hand feed her, and bring her outside so that she still gets some fresh air and sun. Please help me if you can! Vets in my town are not particularly skilled in poultry care. I would really really appreciate advice!

-- Vivian (Southern CA) (, July 28, 2002


In the south western states are soft ticks, since you said they are free ranged, this is a possible cause. Soft ticks could produce those symtoms .I'm In tennessee, because we don't have soft ticks, I have never seen them. I'd try to check her skin if possible to see if she has any ticks.I believe they are smaller than the ticks we see here. Other causes from chicken dieases, that may cause inability to walk are calcium deficiency, this is uncommon and usually affects caged layers. But it's possible .Treatment for this is 1 gram of calcium carbonate a day ,in a gel capsule if possible , for a week. Marek's disease can have those symtoms but there's no cure for it. Usually one leg points foward, the other, backwood under the body . Riboflavin, (which is vitamin B2) deficiency can cause those symtoms also.Treatment is a B2 supplement, probably for a week ..If she's sick from a cold type illness , my poultry have responded well to zinc picolinate 50 mg ( powder in capsules). The ones in a health food store are the best quality .I empty half a capsule in a syringe without the needle tip, mixed with a few drops of water , I shake it so it mixes well. I hold the tip with my finger so it doesn't leak out while shaking.Than squirt into the chickens mouth, down it's throat. Actually , it works better than any of the antibiotics that I've used for animals.I use this every 4 hours,or 3 times a day, for sick chickens, for about 3 or 4 days. Some farm vets have given me advice over the phone.They probably aren't supposed to without seeing the animal,but some will suggest what could be causing these symtoms, knowing what diseases are in your region of the country.Most vets,if they don't treat farm animals, could recommend one who does.

-- SM Steve (, July 28, 2002.

This could be a Vitamin B deficiency. Vitamin B can be administered through the water or as an injection. Hope this helps.

-- (, October 16, 2002.

I had a similar situation with one of my RIR. She just fell over one day and then could not walk at all. I gave her antibiotics in the water, brought her inside and kept her warm and in 6 days there was no change. I took her to my local feed store and the owner looked her over (he has extensive knowlege of chickens) and he discovered she was eggbound and the egg had begun to rott away inside of her. At that point there was nothing we could do. He told me that some chickens will have defects as do humans and all living things and she began egg production far too soon and for what ever reason could not pass the eggs. We did have to have her put down.

-- barb neal (, April 29, 2003.

we are having the same problem with a baby goose, she/he was alert, clear eyed but can't stand up, still drinks her water and feed I took her to a lady at The Wild-life santuary Our local Vets seem to be just as dom as me whae it comes to birds any way its been suggested our Goose has Giardia? spelling may be wrong but give that as a possiblity,, let me know i care

-- Bev Cochrane (, May 28, 2003.

This is not an answer but a plea for more help! One of my hens has a similar condition: alert, eating and drinking, but not standing or walking. I want to try some of the vitamin/supplement suggestions offered. How do I administer a gel capsule of calcium carbonate to a chicken? Also, my gals have access to crushed oyster shell at all times--is it likely that she's suffering from calcium deficiency in this case?

-- Lisa McK (, September 25, 2003.

I have a rooster,, thta may have the same thing. He cant work the tendond aas fasdt as he wants,, so he falls over. I tried B vitiams,,,,, didnt wqork,, as of now,, he is learning to adapt to his condition,, though when he is excited,, he does fall over.

-- Stan (, September 25, 2003.

I have a chicken that is just standing dose not eat and is swollen under the stomach portion. I have seen it before in another chicken that i lost last year. could you tell me what this might be

-- Nancy Eddo (, March 28, 2004.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ