3 year old chicken legs can't support her. Sudden onset.


Nov 26, 2018
We found our Columbian Wyandotte hen (3 years old) laying on her back in the cold rain outside the back door today. Her legs were sticking straight out and occasionally she would almost bicycle them and it looked like she was pruning her chest feathers. We flipped her over and she immediately sat down, it was like her legs couldn't support her. She is breathing, but not interested in treats or food. We put her in a safe area away from the other girls. She was immunized for Marek's as a chick. Any thoughts on what this could be and how we can help her?


Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
southern Ohio
Mareks disease is not always prevented with the vaccine. There are other reasons for lameness, such as egg binding, mold poisoning, toxins in chemicals and plants, botulism, and heavy metals. The cause may not be apparent until a necropsy could be performed after death. But for now, I would try to get her upright in a chicken sling or chair, and make food and water available within reach. Poultry vitamins can be useful as well. Most state vets and poultry labs can do testing with a necropsy. Here are links for state poultry vets and some pics of chicken slings:


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