Did This Hen Suffer A Stroke

Mario : I have two girls who at time of writing (3rd week in June) are 8 years and 4 months old, not a bad age and still very healthy looking. They’ve both had a few problems over the years, thankfully mainly minor injuries, and Anastasia (black one) has every year become stubbornly broody so needed a lot of attention to keep her fit as none of the tricks to keep her off a nest ever work.

However, back in February, Jethro (the brown one and so named because of her habit to stand on one leg like Ian Anderson from Jethro Tull) suffered what seemed to be a stroke. One morning she almost fell out of the hen house when trying to walk down the ramp, her head was quite literally sitting at 90 degrees, resting on her left ‘shoulder’, and when eating she missed the food by a country mile. I asked the vet if it could be a stroke and he said ‘yes’ and that she could get better … could stay the same … or could get worse and die.

For the next week I fed her by hand up to 15 times a day, and moved the two old girls from the hen house to a storeroom in the main house. After a week she was managing to feed herself, her head was now only at 45 degrees, and she chose to go back to the hen house (except for a couple of very cold days). After three weeks she seemed to have completely recovered and now looks as healthy as she ever has. The only things that have changed are that she seems to have stopped laying (even up to last year she was a prolific layer, and had just started to lay agai this year when she had her incident), and since getting better every morning she has started to crow (almost like a cockerel) either from the hen house doorway or she comes to the house and stands by the kitchen door.

We’ll never know whether it was a stroke or something else, but her recovery was something to marvel at.
Many thanks for your fantastic Newsletter!
Mario (Derbyshire)


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