Asked September 27, 2018, 12:17 AM EDT

Have a 1 yr old white Leghorn hen. Began losing weight, though eating & drinking. High steps when walking progressed to seemingly painful to walk. No bumble foot symptoms. Progressed to weakness and unsteadyness. Loss of feathers similar to molt. No external parasites seen. No egg bound symptoms. No breathing difficulties seen. Ideas of what it could be? Treatment if any?

West Feliciana Parish Louisiana

1 Response

Unfortunately, I'm not a veterinarian, and I don't know that we have any on this site. If possible, you might contact an avian vet or your state veterinary diagnostic lab.

Botulism can cause paralysis and loss of feathers. This is usually contracted by eating decaying tissues, or maggots that were consuming decaying tissues. If this is a possibility, it is best to remove any dead things, so the chickens don't have access.

Some viruses can affect the nervous system, which might cause the high-stepping behavior. If it's a virus, there's not a treatment option, other than keeping the chickens warm and well-fed and watered.

Sorry I'm not more help.