Bantam having trouble walking


8 Years
Sep 6, 2011
Hello, this is my first post! I've read a lot of threads on here and everyone always seems really knowledgeable and helpful, so I wanted to ask you about my Pekin Bantam, Little Peep (she peeps and she's little).

1) What type of bird , age and weight.
She is a 4 month old Pekin bantam. I don't know her weight but she is small - this isn't a recent thing though, she's always been small (even for a bantam).

2) What is the behavior, exactly.
About two weeks ago she started limping on her left leg. She would stand on her right leg and hold the left out in front of her. We took her to the vet where she was x-rayed; the vet confirmed nothing was broken and said the most likely thing was a sprain or strain (she could feel swelling in the left knee) and prescribed Metacam. After a week of Metacam I thought she'd improved slightly - I'd been letting her out in the garden with the other two as they all seemed happier together (and once I'd put her in their favourite part of the garden, the other two would usually not go very far away from her) - on Friday night she even managed to get herself up to bed (I'd been taking her myself until then).
Once I'd run out of Metacam I took her to another vet as I couldn't get to the first. She agreed the left knee still felt a little swollen but couldn't see any other problem; she prescribed more Metacam and said it would be better to isolate her from the others to allow her to rest it completely. Since Sunday I've been keeping Little Peep in a sort of rabbit hutch over where the other two like to hang out in the garden, so she can still see her friends.
Yesterday, though, I noticed that she can now stand on the left leg reasonably steadily, but it's her right leg that seems to be bothering her. She can stand okay, but if she tries to move around she wobbles and falls over. (I think she probably seems worse in the hutch because while she was out I could see her getting about, but now she's stuck in a small space, if she tries to walk about she just crashes into the walls.) I can't think why this would happen, unless she's been putting so much weight on her right leg that she's now damaged that.
I've seen her sitting with her right leg stretched out in front of her, which makes me worry about Mareks, but if it was Mareks then
a) surely she wouldn't be able to move her legs? They definitely work - she had a good kick when I took her to bed last night, and she can stand quite steadily on them. If you go over to her with food she stands up to take it from you.
b) wouldn't one of the vets have picked it up? Neither was a specialist poultry vet, but the first knew exactly what she was doing and the second knew enough about chickens to check for bumblefoot.

Other than that she seems bright and happy - she's not hunched or lethargic or depressed or anything like that.

3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
See above

4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?
No, the other two are fine, just missing her!

5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
None at all.

6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
Not that I know of.

7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
She's always been quite a picky eater, but she eats her favourite things (yogurt, treats, grass) enthusiastically.

8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
Normal; she's isolated so I can tell it's hers.

9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
0.35mg Metacam a day. She also has vitamins in her water.

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'd just like to know if she's likely to get better, really! And if there's anything else I can do for her.

11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.

12) Describe the housing/bedding in use
Normally they live in a combined run/coop, but they have the run of the garden during the day. Little Peep is in a rabbit hutch during the day then is in with the other two at night.

Any ideas would be really helpful - thanks so much!
Last edited:
Thanks Jerseygirl. They have a poultry tonic in their water that has vitamins in but is it possible that wouldn't be enough?

Any other thoughts on this...?

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