1 week ago noticed our young hen limping.. much worse now. 7 months old. Any suggestions, help?


May 9, 2015
(Right leg)
We have a hen that is about 7 months old. We have not verified that she is officially laying eggs. We have one chicken that does lay eggs and 4 girls about 6-7 months about ready to start. We have found 2 mystery eggs but cannot verify who has laid them. I mention this because we have searched for symptoms and cures for her as injury or problem with a stuck egg.

It seems her limp had gotten worse over the last 5-7 days. Now she does not use it at all and almost like she is struggling with it. This is what we have done so far.

She has been isolated for the last 4 days. She has a 5 ft square area, so maybe we need to limit her movement as well?
She has been eating and drinking
She has had diarrhea in the last few days. (3 days ago went to feed store and they recommend this antibiotic, oxytetracycline ((HCI)) have been putting in her isolated water.

Checked for any visible damage. None.
She doesn't close the claw around our finger.
She doesn't really have any strength in pulling the leg away.
She seems to put the leg down flat but any movement in weight, the leg gives out.

We checked to see if she had an egg stuck.
She has a tiny vent, but my wife with a lubricated finger(olive oil) was able to get a pinky in but did not feel an egg.

She is about 7 months old.
No other birds are showing any symptoms.
No visible injury or bleeding.
Did not witness anything.

Poop= Diarrhea
Treatment so far= Isolation, antibiotic in water, checked for an egg.

She currently is in a plywood box with straw as bedding.

Not sure what to do next?? Would like us to treat ourselves.

Any help is much appreciated.

Here is a pic of her, let me know any other info that you might need.



Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Apr 3, 2011
southern Ohio
I would probably put her in a large dog crate inside her coop or run with the other birds to remain part of the flock. Give her poultry vitamins in her water including riboflavin (vitamin B2,) and leave her there for a week. Test her ability to walk, then if not better, put her back in there for another week or two. As 1Muttsfan pointed out, it could be the first sign of Mareks, but injuries are very, very common.


5 Years
Apr 3, 2014
Washington State
Wow, she is a cutie! Sorry to hear she is sick.

Unfortunately I agree that it looks like Marek's disease. She is just at the right age to be showing signs of it. The way she is sitting back on her leg is exactly what my pullets with Marek's will do. They eat fine, but progressively lose control of their leg(s). I had one pullet that lived for 3 months like this. She would eat but couldn't walk, so she had to be isolated from the "mean" chickens since they picked on her. If it is Marek's, keep in mind that sick birds will shed the virus through feather dander and it will be all over the coop, barn, house etc. (where ever you keep them). Please read the Marek's thread and decide if you think that is what you are dealing with.

Best of luck to you!

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