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chicken can't walk

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

Hi! Does anyone know what might cause my 8 month old Barred Rock hen to not be able to use her feet to walk?? The feet seem curled up and not usable. She has been like this for several weeks now. She hobbles around using her wings. She is eating and drinking and looks very healthy otherwise. I would really like to help her!!! Thanks!

post #2 of 17

you can look up Marke's disease in the search , it is a viral infection that can lead to lameness, now that being said she can recover from it if that is what she has, but will remain a carrier to other birds or it could be from a vitamin deficiency that can lead to sudden lameness too. you can give her some electrolyte solution in her water for several weeks and see if that helps, will actually help her with either condition. you may want to separate her from the others until you know what's up with her also they may begin to pick on her if she seems different from them, ie walking weird

post #3 of 17

Hi there I could do with some advice also!
I have an 8 month old Ixworth who seems to be paralysed on her left side. It started about 7 days ago with a slight limp. We thought she had hurt herself jumping out of her roost as the plank had fallen down and she is a rather large bird. The limp has steadily worsened and today her left wing seems to be paralysed too and she is not walking at all and has stayed in the same place all day. Twice we have found her on her side struggling to get up.
We recently (about 4 weeks ago) lost a cockerel (a legbar) to similar symptoms. He had a limp which worsened and eventually he couldn't move at all. He ate and drank fine up until he died which was about a month after he first started limping. The hens are fed on a half and half layers pellets and corn although Dina (the  Ixworth) tends to pick out the corn and largely ignores the pellets. I am worried that it might be Mareks as both of the affected hens were homegrown and not vaccinated. Equally could it be a diet issue?

I am totally at a loss as to what to do and really need some advice as a don't want Dina to suffer if there is something I can do to help and really don't want the other 2 to be affected.

Please help!!

post #4 of 17

corn only is not good enough form them, they need protein to produce the eggs, corn is just sugar so all she is eating is dessert really. try in give them a boost with some chicken vitamins and a high protein feed may help, but not sure, it did work for my hen but she was older. I have read here that Marke's occurs in young hens, less than a year old

post #5 of 17

I have a hen, Clover, who has similar symptoms. Her feet are curled up underneath her and she can't stand or walk. She does manage to flap her wings and flop around some. I got her from a neighbor who said that her flock was attacking her as chickens do when one looks hurt or limping. I took her in and eventually took her to a couple of vets. Both vets agreed that it was a genetic problem with the ligaments not properly attaching muscle to bone. I've since learned that this change happens in adolescence and can be caused by over breeding in the same flock.

My little Clover chicken can't live with the others, so I've set her up in a cat bed in the master bedroom. She doesn't bother to try to get out of the bed and I place a clean towel in her bed everyday. Because she is nearby all the time, she's because the favorite chicken. Even though she can't walk, she's very sweet and very loved. She sits on my lap and eats fruit and watches tv almost daily. Unfortunately, the ligament problem isn't treatable.

Family: Amazing/Enabler husband, awesome boy,  ridiculous pug/chihuahua, goofy hound, many chickens & goldfish. I also adopted the sweetest "special needs" polish chicken, Clover, who lives happily in my bedroom and eats treats from my lap while watching NICS.
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Family: Amazing/Enabler husband, awesome boy,  ridiculous pug/chihuahua, goofy hound, many chickens & goldfish. I also adopted the sweetest "special needs" polish chicken, Clover, who lives happily in my bedroom and eats treats from my lap while watching NICS.
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post #6 of 17
Thread Starter 

Thank you. I really think this is what my chicken has. It is very sad!

post #7 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben99 

Hi there I could do with some advice also!
I have an 8 month old Ixworth who seems to be paralysed on her left side. It started about 7 days ago with a slight limp. We thought she had hurt herself jumping out of her roost as the plank had fallen down and she is a rather large bird. The limp has steadily worsened and today her left wing seems to be paralysed too and she is not walking at all and has stayed in the same place all day. Twice we have found her on her side struggling to get up.
We recently (about 4 weeks ago) lost a cockerel (a legbar) to similar symptoms. He had a limp which worsened and eventually he couldn't move at all. He ate and drank fine up until he died which was about a month after he first started limping. The hens are fed on a half and half layers pellets and corn although Dina (the  Ixworth) tends to pick out the corn and largely ignores the pellets. I am worried that it might be Mareks as both of the affected hens were homegrown and not vaccinated. Equally could it be a diet issue?

I am totally at a loss as to what to do and really need some advice as a don't want Dina to suffer if there is something I can do to help and really don't want the other 2 to be affected.

Please help!!


I could be a diet issue in your case. You are feeding too much corn. hmm Try some polyvisol without iron to give a boost of nutrients.

I will tell you that I had a rooster that tripped over a weed and had a slight limp. I didn't think it was a serious injury until I noticed the limp worsen and I found him unable to walk. His foot also curled. He was fluttering around on his side. I put him in a cage for a solid week in the house, covered with a towel. I only went in to feed/water him because he would try to move around when he saw me. At the end of the week he was a very unhappy camper but was completely healed. I let him outside and he turned around and bit me HARD hit , he then resumed normal outdoor rooster life.

I am not familiar enough with Merek's or other disease to say whether or not that could be the issue. Good luck. fl

Roosters!...   RUN!!!!
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chicken podiatry (foot and leg problems) and more at
www.PoultryPedia.com created by BYC member SpeckledHills!

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Roosters!...   RUN!!!!
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Chicken podiatry (foot and leg problems) and more at
www.PoultryPedia.com created by BYC member SpeckledHills!

Reply
post #8 of 17

all of you with this problem try the vitamin therapy it worked for my hen and many others. I had an 16 month old who one day could not walk, hopped around on the ground with her wings I thought she was going to die. I looked it up here and learned about the vitamin problem, it took two weeks but she is fine now and has been for over a year now. I put vit. B complex powder in her food daily, small amount and added vit. E oil in her food like twice a week, vit. E stays in the body longer so don't give it every day. I also gave her electrolyte solution in her water and warm baths which she loved and kept her separated from the others, I would put her in a dog crate in the coop with the others to reduce her stress and placed her on the lawn in the sun to get some vit. D, supervised of course since she could not move on her own. this may not help all of these hens but it may help some and it was easy and cheap to do just took a little of my time, but she was worth it

post #9 of 17

You might take her to a vet. Where I live, in Massachusetts, the wild animal sanctuary has a vet that will see chickens. The wild life sanctuaries see a lot of birds because a large part of their patients are migratory birds that have had problems. The vet at the one in Mass, called the Odd Pet Vet, charges very reasonable rates. I would definitely try vitamins, though. Unfortunately, vitamins didn't help Clover, my chicken, but she has a good life. She eats salads and watches tv with me daily. smile

Family: Amazing/Enabler husband, awesome boy,  ridiculous pug/chihuahua, goofy hound, many chickens & goldfish. I also adopted the sweetest "special needs" polish chicken, Clover, who lives happily in my bedroom and eats treats from my lap while watching NICS.
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Family: Amazing/Enabler husband, awesome boy,  ridiculous pug/chihuahua, goofy hound, many chickens & goldfish. I also adopted the sweetest "special needs" polish chicken, Clover, who lives happily in my bedroom and eats treats from my lap while watching NICS.
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post #10 of 17

Hi - I am having a problem with my 8 month old bantam cochin hen...  She stopped running around like her usual self a day or two ago.  As of this morning she cannot even walk!  She can only scoot backwards....it has gotten worse because yesterday she couldn't use her right foot and today she cannot use either.  I am at a loss on what to do!  She has her full appetite but just cannot move around....except scooting backwards.....
Any ideas?
What vitamins can I give her?  Do I need special "poultry" vitamins or ?

~family full of fun - hardworking hubby, beautifully talented 3 yr old daughter, 7 pups, 1 rabbit, 1 donkey, 2 horses & 21 chickens (4 silkies, 1 old english game, 1 cornish game, 1 frizzle, 1 seabright, 1 polish, 2 americaunas, 10 cochins) ~
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~family full of fun - hardworking hubby, beautifully talented 3 yr old daughter, 7 pups, 1 rabbit, 1 donkey, 2 horses & 21 chickens (4 silkies, 1 old english game, 1 cornish game, 1 frizzle, 1 seabright, 1 polish, 2 americaunas, 10 cochins) ~
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