How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 28967
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience.
55012488
Type Your Vet Question Here...
Dr. Michael Salkin is online now

My chicken was found lying on her side - almost like she is

Customer Question

My chicken was found lying on her side - almost like she is paralysed. Can you advise what this might be. She is in the middle of a moult.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Vet
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 2 years ago.
Aloha! You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin
I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Your hen's presentation isn't pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one disorder. Unfortunately, the symptom of a "downer" chicken as you've mentioned can indicate any number of illnesses or health issues. In veterinary medicine, there's rarely one cause of a condition, so we usually begin with a list of differential diagnoses and use lab tests and physical exams to differentiate. With this in mind, your best course of action is to reach out to your county-extension poultry personnel or veterinarian for help in differentiating the various causes of what you're seeing. Veterinarians can perform a physical exam and run diagnostic tests, including X-rays, to distinguish between the various etiologies.

It's best to approach the diagnostic process with a clear sense of the bird's financial value to your operation. Although some services might be available free of charge through a county agency or land-grant extension office, the expense of some diagnostic tests and treatments can add up quickly. While it’s always worth your time and money to identify a bacterial or viral infection that could potentially impact more than one member of the flock, this might not be the case with a condition that only affects one hen.

I'm sorry that I can't be more specific for you from here. You did deserve the courtesy of a response, however. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.