BackYard Chickens › BYC Forum › Raising BackYard Chickens › Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures › 5 week pullet limping, sleeping, wing drooping, please help
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5 week pullet limping, sleeping, wing drooping, please help

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

Something is wrong with one of our new Wheaten Ameraucana chicks!


Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated.  She is a favorite – always very gentle.

Here are the answers to the questions.  These are the first chickens that we have kept.  We purchased 10 SR from a breeder.  One died in the mail.  They have not been vaccinated.  Of the nine, only three were pullets, so we purchased 4 one day old pullets from a farm supply store Thursday.  The birds have been separate with the only exception being that the ameraucanas stayed in a brooder one night that was partitioned for the new chicks.


1)      What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.

5 week Wheaten Ameraucana pullet.  Of the nine chicks, she seems average sized.  There are two that are much smaller with no symptoms.


2)      What is the behavior, exactly.

She is limping and putting very little weight on one leg, her wing on the opposite side seems to droop.  She sometimes tips over.  Today, she seems to lay down almost all the time – not even getting up when she is stepped on.  When she lays down, she seems to tilt to one side.  I have seen her walk to water and food.  Today, I have seen her on the roost (2 by 4 up about 24 inches off the ground) and when I brought her in, she jumped to stand on the edge of her cardboard box – again maybe 18 inches high.  Still, when I hold her, she settles in and doesn’t want to move.

3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?

They are pronounced today.  In hind sight, maybe she was “tilting” up to seven days ago.

4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?


5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.


6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.

Don’t know.  She is one of nine ameraucanas that I purchased from a breeder.  They were moved outside to a new coop two days ago – and spent the first night outside last night.

7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.

Medicated chick crumbles.  Water.  A few bits of lettuce, cucumber, tomato, grass –(outside during the days in pen) I have seen her eat and drink today, but not as much as the others.

8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.


9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?

I brought her in when I noticed that she was getting stepped on.

10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?

I’m open to taking her to a vet, but would like to avoid it if possible.

11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
12) Describe the housing/bedding in use

New coop.  Pine flake bedding.  Plenty of ventilation.

post #2 of 10

Welcome to BYC.  Sometimes chicks can get injuries or suffer from vitamin deficiency or birth defects such as slipped tendon or rotated femur.  Neurological problems and diseases (avian encephalomyelitis, Mareks disease, and vitamin deficiencies)  can cause leg problems.  It is common to use a wing to balance if a leg is weak.  A picture of her standing may help. Does she sit on her elbows? I'm sorry that you are dealing with this, and hope it is not something serious.

post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

Thank you.  Here are some pictures.  You can see here that she is putting very little weight on her left leg.  I'm noticing that she sometimes looks like she is tripping on her own feet.  When I pick her up and turn her over, she seems to have full range of motion in both legs - and no noticeable dislocation...  but I am a complete novice at this.



She stands like this- especially when she first stands up.



Here is an example of the "tilted" position when she sits.  In this picture, she is sitting on her elbows.  Sometimes, she lays more on her side with one leg off of the ground.





She is showing a strong appetite. 

post #4 of 10

Riboflavin vitamin B2 deficiency can cause sitting on hocks as well as curled toe paraylsis.  Put on poultry vitamins in the water.  A slipped tendon looks like this:

post #5 of 10

Did you ever find out what was going on with this chicken?  I have a black Araucana who is showing very similar problems at 2.5 weeks old....

post #6 of 10
Originally Posted by uberkio View Post

Did you ever find out what was going on with this chicken?  I have a black Araucana who is showing very similar problems at 2.5 weeks old....

Can you describe what symptoms you are seeing?  Have you given it vitamins and electrolytes in the water? Dip the beak into the water as often as possible. Bring the chick inside if possible (perhaps with a friend for company,) and spend as much time making sure that it eats and drinks. Probiotics which are available in Purina and Nutrina feeds, in some poultry vitamins, Probios powder, and also in plain yogurt or buttermilk can also help with immunity. 

post #7 of 10
Sorry to here your chicken going through this situation. If you can tell or post pics of your chicken poop it can help to find out what's going on with your chicken.
post #8 of 10

Hi there!  Well, he is basically just having trouble walking and keeping his balance.  He's a 2.5 week old Araucana.  He's eating, drinking, and pooping completely normally, but doesn't run around like the others.  He's very bright an alert and does stand and walk normally here and there, but then he'll seem to have issues with balance (tripping over his feet, and dropping one wing for balance). And spends most of his time laying down (but upright, or leaning a bit to one side). This all started happening yesterday.  I'm isolated without transportation up in the mountains and have ordered vitamins and electrolytes, but I have to wait for them to arrive (I did Amazon Prime, though, so they will be here quickly).  All of our chicks are inside still, living in my art studio actually  LOL.  So he's in here to, but isolated from the others. 

post #9 of 10

Do you have any vitamin B Complex or nutritional yeast? That can give him lots of the B vitamins if you dissolve a tablet in his water or sprinkle some yeast into the feed until the vitamins arrive. Egg and plain yogurt are also good sources for riboflavin (B2)  and wheat germ is good for thiamine (B1.) Do you have any pictures of him standing? There are certain leg problems such as bone deformities and tendon issues in chicks.

post #10 of 10

Okay, I just took these a few minutes ago, and he is currently happily chowing down on scrambled eggs (it's the only thing I had on your list in my house I have yogurt, but it isn't plain, I doubled checked and it doesn't look like there are any b vitamins in it).  I had to put him in with his friends, though, he wouldn't try the eggs until someone else did. His stance (and I'm just guessing on sex here, btw) doesn't really seem that off... just like maybe his feet tends to point a little inward.  I've checked him for injury several times, and he seems to have complete range of motion in his feet and legs, and no visible injuries.  I apologize for hijacking this thread, btw. 





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