We have 8 hens.  On Saturday, our 8 month old Polish seemed fine.  On Sunday, we found her laying by the watering can, not moving.  We brought her inside and put her in a dog crate with a heat lamp, and gave her food and water.  She is eating and drinking fine.  She is totally alert right now and seemed to sleep well last night, but she won't move.  She "scoots" a little with her upper body, but her legs are just out to one side and not moving.  They look normal, though, as far as I can tell.  I don't see any discoloration or injuries.  She has no obvious respiratory issues.   If anyone has any ideas on what to try next, please let me know! 

Thank you!!!!

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oh, I forgot to mention that she stopped laying 4 weeks ago, but we have 3 polish hens and all of them stopped laying at the same time, and the other 2 seem fine...thanks! ;)

Hi Michele, Sorry to hear about your hen.  I don't know what's wrong, but if you haven't already, try posting and searching on the www.backyardchickens.com website -they have a 911 type forum. There's usually someone on that forum who has posted something similar or who can advise.

Good luck and let us know what happens.


I'm wondering.... is the NMSU agg extension office in ABQ any good for this type of question?

I'm no longer a chicken keeper, but years ago we had them in Cedar Crest. One of them developed a sad condition that a feed store owner told us was "crooked leg syndrome" -- seriously. And I believe it is for reals. They said it happened because of bad feed or the wrong kind at the wrong age, something irreversible that seemed random enough. She never walked again, but lived a longish time, relative to the shortish life of chickens living in the east mountains. We had two big sweet dogs living in the yard with the chickens and they'd keep predators out. This chicken also loved our dog Willy and we'd take her out of the coop each morning to sit under a tree or bush near Willy. At night, we'd carry her back into the coop. Good luck.

she looked better this morning, started moving both legs a little but still couldn't stand up.  But she looks AWFUL right now, not moving, hardly breathing.  I doubt she will make it through the night. :(  Thanks for all the advice, though. Still don't know what it was....

We had a similar problem with a turkey. I read something about botulism leading to a paralysis type of condition. It ate, just couldn't move. I ended up putting the turkey down after about a week---it was just too painful to watch.

Hi Michele:

I don't have any input..I have no idea, but my heart broke for you and your little lady.  Sending you best wishes.


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