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Chicken lacks balance, sits on heels with both legs forward

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Revisiting a thread from 2011. I have a 2 YEAR OLD rooster (not a chick) with this issue. up until mid December he was fine. Now he sits on the ground, with his legs pushed forward, and moves around by scooting backwards. I posted the following to a chicken veterinary site and they said probably no hope. Anyone else have any other thoughts before I euthanize him?

 

Points to consider:

1. He is 2 YEAR OLD (not a chick)

2. He was vaccinated for Mareks as a chick

3. This just over a month ago, has not been a lifetime issue. And it worsened over a period of about 7 days, initially he was just stumbling

4. He is in a closed coop and I have seen not evidence of issues between birds.

5. He has been treated with antibiotics and anti inflammatories. This made it better but the problem came back.

6. I have never fed moldy food

 

I have a very special chocolate silkie rooster (his name is CB) with a bad problem. He sits on the ground with his legs pushed forward, and moved around by scooting backwards. This started around Xmas time. I took him to a vet on 12/30. Most telling, she flipped his feet upside down and he fell over instead of righting himself. I figured it was probably hopeless, but I treated him for 10 days with Metacam and Trimethoprim/Sulfamethoxazole just in case and a super shock to me, he got better - I would estimate 9...0% better! He was crowing again, maybe mating with his girls. Well a few days ago, the symptoms came back fast. I will post short video clips of the weirdness in the comments. He is about 22 months old, I have had him a year, none of my other chickens exhibit these symptoms, his weight is fine, so eating and drinking ok. He is alert and can see and hear, I've brought no new chickens into the environment in the last year other than ones I've hatched, he was vaccinated for Mareks as a chick. I am grateful to have his son so that my chocolate silkie project can continue, but am very sad personally. He is beautiful. Any help or just simply honest advice would be appreciated. I nearly put him down yesterday, but decided to give the meds one more chance.

 

Anything at all, I'm willing to listen. Very sad.

post #2 of 7

Welcome to BYC. Does he have any swelling in any of his leg joints or feet? Could he have injured his head or neck? If he got better with meds it might be inflammatory or infectious. Mycoplasma synovitis and viral arthritis can cause lameness and infection in the joints. MS can be treated with Tylan, oxytetracycline, Aureomycin, and other antibiotics.  If you decide to cull him, I would send in his refrigerated (not frozen) body to your state vet for a necropsy, to find out a cause for his illness. Here are some links to read:

http://www.usaha.org/Portals/6/StateAnimalHealthOfficials.pdf

http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/poultry/mycoplasmosis/mycoplasma_synoviae_infection_in_poultry_infectious_synovitis.html

http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/99/mycoplasma-synoviae-infection-ms-infectious-synovitis/

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the info and ideas. How is MS spread? and would the antibiotic he is already on treat? My chickens are in coops in an enclosed area and I have brought in no outside birds for close to a year. Wild birds do get into the enclosure, but not into the coops.

 

The same is true for sustaining some kind of injury. He doesn't get up on anything and I haven't seen any bird to bird issues in that coop ever. There was no obvious injury for sure.

 

He doesn't have any swelling in his feet of knee or leg joints. I checked all that out, then the vet checked and confirmed that all looked ok. He is not paralyzed at least not in the legs or feet.

 

I also read up on viral arthritis and I don't know either. This came up in a matter of days, not weeks or months.

 

I will have to see if the state vet will do a necropsy and what the cost is. I did do one on another bird about a year ago and it cost me nearly $400 to send to University of Arizona.

 

Thanks again,

Mary Kay

post #4 of 7

Just saw this thread. My pullet has a similar problem. A few days ago what I believe was an owl got into the chicken coop, took the head and neck off a rooster, and carried a little EE pullet clean away. All the chickens were crammed under the nests when I went outside to see what all the commotion was. After that, this pullet cannot stand up past her "knees" and can barely move. She does not show any sign of injury, no blood, swelling, etc. She's healthy otherwise though...... @Eggcessive do you have any ideas? :) 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1088873/styrofoam-incubators-club ---Come join us! 

~Below Paradise Poultry~

 

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http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1088873/styrofoam-incubators-club ---Come join us! 

~Below Paradise Poultry~

 

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post #5 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by beetandsteet View Post
 

Just saw this thread. My pullet has a similar problem. A few days ago what I believe was an owl got into the chicken coop, took the head and neck off a rooster, and carried a little EE pullet clean away. All the chickens were crammed under the nests when I went outside to see what all the commotion was. After that, this pullet cannot stand up past her "knees" and can barely move. She does not show any sign of injury, no blood, swelling, etc. She's healthy otherwise though...... @Eggcessive do you have any ideas? :) 

I would place her in a crate or box, and bring her inside for a day or two to watch her closely. If she sprained or injured herself during the attack, it can take a couple of weeks for the legs to get batter. Vitamins in her water or food, and forcing her to rest may help. Look her legs over for any swelling of joints or bruising. A chicken sling might help to keep her upright if needed.

post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggcessive View Post
 

I would place her in a crate or box, and bring her inside for a day or two to watch her closely. If she sprained or injured herself during the attack, it can take a couple of weeks for the legs to get batter. Vitamins in her water or food, and forcing her to rest may help. Look her legs over for any swelling of joints or bruising. A chicken sling might help to keep her upright if needed.

I have her confined in the barn, the other chickens were nearly killing her. I will look for a multivitamin when I'm at the feed store tomorrow. I'll wait a week or so--I don't want to put her down of course, but also I don't want her to have unnecessary pain. She doesn't really want to eat or drink all that much, so I think she's in real discomfort. Thanks for your reply. 

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1088873/styrofoam-incubators-club ---Come join us! 

~Below Paradise Poultry~

 

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http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1088873/styrofoam-incubators-club ---Come join us! 

~Below Paradise Poultry~

 

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post #7 of 7

If you have some way of penning her inside the coop in a day or two, she probably would enjoy being near the others, but staying safe. Here is how I separate chickens unless they need to be warm:

 

I put bird netting over the top to keep others from "visiting." This can be flipped and have poultry netting around for chicks. Then it all comes apart for storage.

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