WHY DOES MY HEN TAKE HIGH STEPS?

by Murrel Roosa
(Trenton, Fl USA)

I have one chicken who pulls her legs all the way to her body when she walks, sometimes in the house which has hay on the floor & sometimes she also does this outside in the yard on the dirt. She doesn't do this all the time. We clean the house regularly and put down fresh hay. she doesn't have any open sores on her feet that are visible to the eye. We feed them laying mash and put electrolytes in their water. they get oatmeal treats, as well as cracked corn daily.

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HIGH STEPPING HEN
by: Sharon

Sounds like you've eliminated any problem with her legs and feet.

She may have vision problems, which could make her extra cautious when walking or balance issues that also cause her to use unusual care when walking, or she could have some kind of neurological problem.

Since she doesn't do this all the time, sounds like the cause of this issue comes and goes. You didn't mention how long this has been going on.

Not knowing her age, or if she has ever been seriously injured, I could only guess at why this is happening. Unfortunately even a veterinary exam might not be able to clearly diagnose her.

You might try to check her eyesight when she is in a phase of this high stepping. Check for dilated pupils and response to motion near her head.

Cracked corn is a poor food for chickens unless you want to fatten them up. It is high in carbs and low on good nutrients. Corn is also a highly sprayed crop that will add toxins to their diet.

If you can feed an organic layer product, temporarily or permanently you will eliminate the possibility of toxins that could affect your chickens & your eggs.

If this hen is otherwise healthy and the rest of the flock, too, this one hen may just be declining health due to age or possibly genetic issues which can't be cured.

Others may have experienced this kind of thing and know why, but I've never dealt with this kind of chicken problem.

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