10 week old can't support own weight

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by GardenGirl, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. GardenGirl

    GardenGirl Songster

    Hello all,

    I have learned so much from all of you here and now I need your help. We are pretty new to chickens, having picked up our first 2 in Feb from the humane society.

    My 10 week old hen (at least we're pretty sure she's a hen) isn't able to stand for too long on her own legs. She always liked to sit a lot more than the other 2 roos in with her, but now she walks funny and will not stand if she is staying still. She will get up enough speed to get at an insect if one fancies her, but she walks funny. Kinda like she drags her legs behind when moving forward. I don't know how else to describe it. As far as I know she was not injured and the 2 roos are helping her groom and watching over her. They do not pick at her, so I don't think they did anything to her. They are also doing fine and were hatched at the same time. She is eating and drinking and I can't find any poops that look wrong in the pen. I inspected her legs last night and the joints and bones seem to be intact and she didn't try to peck or cry when I pressed at the muscles and joints, so I don't think she's in pain.
    Any ideas? Sorry this is long. Thanks for your help!

    BTW, the other 2 free range as they did on the property they came from. They never liked to be penned, but they do hang around our 3 little guys' pen. Just in case someone thinks it is an illness.
  2. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator

    Jan 11, 2007
    NE Washington State
    Does she walk like she is drunk? If so, that can be a sign of Marek's.
  3. GardenGirl

    GardenGirl Songster

    She doesn't necessarily walking like she's drunk, more like walking deliberately. One leg, then steadies herself to bring the other leg forward and wobbles while doing it.
    Can Marek's be treated? Are there other symptoms?
  4. beakkeeper

    beakkeeper Songster

    Jul 20, 2008
    Marek's, unfortunately, cannot, it is only vaccinated against. Did u raise this chick yourself? If so, it might have been that the flooring when the chick's bones were still forming was too slippery. They flop down on the ground too much, and so the leg gets permanently bent like that. It's called spraddle leg, and I don't know what it looks like, but that's sorta what it sounds like.
  5. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    what all do you feed?
    try and get some chick vitamins for drinking water.

    you can try some Poly-vi-sol liquid baby vitamins, Enfamil brand..no iron..give 2-3 drops on beak once a day for a week or so, then taper off for a week..in the meantime, try and get the chick vitamins.

    check the legs..do they seem to be wide apart, or bent?
    could be a slipped tendon..try treating with the vitamins..
  6. horsejody

    horsejody Squeaky Wheel

    Feb 11, 2008
    Waterloo, Nebraska
    Which leg appears to be the bad one? Not always, but most of the time, Marek's starts on the left side.
  7. I'm wondering if she's cowing to the presence of two roos??? Separation for a day or two should answer that, if it's possible. She may be wondering who the boss roo is, and one hen with two roos could be fiercely intimidating.
  8. GardenGirl

    GardenGirl Songster

    I don't know if it started on any particular side. She seemed to favor both at the same time I noticed it. Her legs fold straight forward under her. They don't seem bowed or crooked in any way. She just can't use them for very long. Sits down all day now. The other 2 roos watch over her, in particular my little brown Feather Butt (got the name because we weren't sure if it was a he or a she). He makes sure she gets to the food and back up into the coop at night. Gives her a little shove over the 2 inch lip. Splash, the other roo, doesn't have much interest either way, he's more interested in Henrietta, the free ranging rir when she's around. Splash is also seeming to be the top roo, but not too sure.
    Will vitamins work for a pulled tendon and is it possible for a chick to have both leg tendons go out at the same time? I have the poly vitamins in the house for my toddler, so I'll giver her those today until I can get to the feed store tomorrow.

    Thank you so much for everyone's help. I am so sad over this chick, she is a sweetie and fast becoming a favorite of mine. I'd hate to lose her.

    Sorry so long.

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