It’s concerning to find one day that your chicken keeps losing its balance and falling forward.
So you may be wondering – Why does my chicken keep falling forward?
In some cases, it could simply be that the chicken has lost its balance.
This could be due to tripping over something on the floor or its own clumsiness, but in some cases, this loss of balance could point to something a bit more serious like a neurological condition or food poisoning.
Here’s what you’re going to discover in this article
- Why your chicken keeps falling forward? (In detail)
- Symptoms of a sick chicken
- How you can help a sick chicken
- How you can tell if a chicken is dying
Lots of important topics to discuss
Let’s get started!
Why Does My Chicken Keep Falling Forward? (In Detail)
Most obviously, chickens will lose their balance if they have some kind of injury on their feet or legs.
Bumblefoot is a good example of this.
As it becomes difficult to walk on its legs and feet, your chicken will lose its balance.
A chicken losing its balance sometimes points to something wrong with its feed.
Moldy feed can lead to a fungal infection.
Aflatoxicosis and mycotoxicosis are fungal diseases that can come about from eating moldy food.
Your chicken might lose its balance due to botulism as well.
Botulism is a type of food poisoning that comes from eating overripe or rotten fruits, vegetables, and more.
It can also be caused by eating poisonous plants. (Can chickens eat poison ivy?)
A vitamin deficiency can also cause your chicken to keep falling forward.
This won’t always cause a loss of balance, but it is certainly a symptom often seen in these deficiencies.
It causes some kind of neurological problem that will manifest as staggering.
Neurological diseases like Marek’s disease also have this symptom.
These neurological diseases make it more and more difficult for chickens to balance.
What Are The Symptoms Of a Sick Chicken?
You can easily spot a sick chicken when you know what a healthy chicken looks like.
At a glance, a healthy chicken will:
- Be active
- Have groomed and kept feathers
- Will lay good eggs
- Have a good appetite
- Have healthy droppings
It stands to reason that a sick chicken, on the other hand, exhibits completely opposite behavior to a healthy chicken.
A sick chicken will:
- Act sickly and weak
- Have unruly feathers
- Will not lay eggs or will lay weak eggs
- Will not eat much
- Will have changes in their fecal matter
In addition to the above, you may notice other symptoms not noted depending on what sickness your chicken has.
Colds are incredibly common in chickens, and if your chicken has one, you’ll notice symptoms similar to humans, such as sneezing, difficulty breathing, nasal discharge, and even swollen eyes.
Other illnesses exhibit different symptoms such as loss of balance, drooping tail, and sitting hunched up.
If you notice any of these symptoms, you should take your chicken to the vets asap
In the meantime, it is possible you can help your chicken too
Let’s find out how..
How Do You Help a Sick Chicken?
Once you’ve identified that your chicken is sick, the first priority is to isolate the sick chicken from the rest.
Many diseases can be contagious and you don’t want to risk your entire flock getting sick too.
Make sure to isolate any other chickens that look and act sick.
You should also make sure to keep hydrating your chicken.
As with any sick animal or human, it’s important to keep the fluids going during the sickness.
Water is needed to regulate the body temperature, digest food, and dispel waste.
A pro tip: add a vitamin or electrolyte supplement to the water to strengthen your weakened chicken.
Most importantly, take your sick chicken to the vet.
A vet is your best bet in getting your chicken better as they will be able to properly diagnose and give you the tools to help your bird.
How Do You Know a Chicken Is Dying?
All animals will eventually pass away, so how do you know if your chicken is about to die?
If your chicken dies suddenly, it is normally a sign of a heart attack or stroke.
You’ll see this if your chicken suddenly lays on its side and starts flapping about.
Other chickens may die suddenly in the middle of the night.
There are many different reasons chickens may die overnight.
Other chickens die due to an illness and they’ll gradually get sicker and eventually die.
Chickens seem to know when they’re about to pass as they’ll usually separate themselves from their flock and find a nice hiding place in the bushes to pass peacefully.
Other ways to know if a chicken is dying include:
- Soiled feathers
- Refusal to eat and drink
- Standing still even when touched or moved
- Eyes closed or head tucked in under wings
- Purple comb
- Pale face
Noticing your chicken tripping or falling forward is not necessarily a cause for concern and may just mean you have a clumsy bird.
However, you should determine the cause because it could potentially be a more serious issue that needs to be addressed.
Look out for the warning signs of a sick bird, and you may be able to save its life.