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Rooster with leg trouble

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi my rooster is having a problem walking and standing.  He gets all wobbly and does not seem to want to put weight on his right leg.  When he lays he lays with his legs out to the side.  When he walks he slowly hobbles around.  The first time I checked him his hock looked bruised and a little puffy.  I flexed his legs that made walk a little better.  He is the only one that is like this and was fine a day ago. Today he was sore but no bruising  I separated him and gave him food and electrolyte water but he did not want to eat or drink.  So I brought him in.  While he was in I bathed him and checked him for parasites but found none.  So I soaked him in epsom salt water for 10minuts to see if that would make his leg feel better.  So far he is standing better, is more alert, eating and drinking.  What does this sound like to you and what eltse could I do to help him?

post #2 of 9

How old is your rooster? Is there any swelling in the other hock or either foot? Could he have sprained his leg? Sometimes a leg bone deformity from birth can worsen with growth, and it can eventually cause the hock tendon to rupture. There is also a condition called slipped tendon, usually seen in young chicks, but apparently can happen with an injury. A sprain could cause pain and swelling of the joint, but a mycoplasma infection (MS) can also cause the joints to be swollen and painful. If you see any signs of paralysis in either leg, then there could also be a possibility of Mareks disease. I would keep him in a pen with food and water, to limit his movement, and to give his leg a couple of weeks to heal if it is a sprain.

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 

I think he my have slipped a tendon or sprained his hock or is vitamin deficient.  I'm giving him B complex and put him in a sling.  The reason I'm including vitamin deficiency is that he is starting to act like a pullet that had a vitamin B deficiency.

Edited by citychicks13 - 2/6/16 at 9:56am
post #4 of 9

Some people try to put a slipped tendon back into place, and splint the leg with vet wrap. Slings are good to get chickens upright and keep them clean, during a leg injury. We love pictures of slings to help others. Here are some links to read about fixing a slipped tendon and another about leg bone deformities:

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Awesome!  Thank you for the help.  I will try to get pictures of his set up tomorrow.

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Well the rooster died to day so I'm sending his body off for a necropsy.

post #7 of 9

Sorry for your loss. Refrigerate, but don't freeze the body. Here is a link for your state vet who may perform a necropsy, and there may be other places in your state:


Here is another link with multiple sites in NC:

Edited by Eggcessive - 2/11/16 at 8:26am
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

The necropsy cam back with likely Marek's diagnosis.

post #9 of 9

So sorry about your diagnosis. Do you have other chickens, and were any vaccinated for Mareks? You may want to read some articles on the disease to know what to look for. Since any chickens you have would be considered carriers, even if they were vaccinated, be sure and get only vaccinated chicks in the future, and make sure they are kept far away from any dust or dander until they are 2-3 weeks old when they develop immunity. Here is some reading:'s_Disease

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