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sgt pepper

Chicken losing balance

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Hi. One of our girls has lost her balance. She was walking round in circles but this has now almost stopped. She is unable to negotiate a couple of steps out of the coop, and will not use the ramp that we built. This morning she fell off the platform rather than attempting the steps. We have taken her to the vets who thought it might be a middle ear infection and prescribed antibiotics but they don't seem  to be working. Has anyone else come across this problem??? Or does anyone have any suggestions as to what we can do????

thank you


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Antibiotics take some time to take effect. 
But more worryingly walking in circles and losing balance is a tell tale sign of the current avian flu epidemic. I would definitely isolate her from your other hens and keep a VERY good eye on the others.

Other than giving the antibiotics some time to take effect, I would keep her in something like a cat carrier or dog crate and make sure she eats and drinks.

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Thank you for asking

The vet confirmed it wasn’t avian flu when we took her. She has finished her antibiotics with little change. She’s eating and drinking well and has no temperature. We have come to the conclusion it is something neurological, maybe the chicken equivalent of a stroke ??!!

she can go up steps but not down so we have built a ramp. 

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A 'stroke' is a good guess I think. You mentioning steps to the coop reminded me that most of our chickens can't negotiate steps downwards and usually leap down. None of our cockerels have ever been able to walk down, even when we made new steps at 30 degrees with larger foot areas. But in that coop now both hens can and do walk down. So the design of the steps is an important issue, because leaping down does risk injury.

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