Carl is limping.


In the Brooder
Jul 13, 2016
Pinconning Michigan
So my rooster Carl developed a bad limp. He walks like he's got the goute. Seems healthy and happy otherwise. I don't see any physical evidence of an injury. Is there anything else that might cause this.
I got a sick hen also...bad days in my chicken coop.
Any input would be appreciated.
If a chicken gets caught in something they may tend to thrash around and hurt themselves. He may not show an external sign of injury, but he could have pulled a musle or something internaly. I'd say to keep an eye on him and if he doesn't get better, take him to a vet.
Yeah I'm wondering if he maybe fell off his roost, or twisted his ankle doing the wing dance.... hes been limping for about a week now and not really improving. Seems to be in good spirits tho. It was a rough week last week. Had a hen die, Carl is limping and I hit a deer on my motorcycle, so I'm limping too. I'm just glad to not be dead I guess.

Sorry to hear you are going through a rough patch, but as you say, lucky the motor cycle accident wasn't worse.
How old is Carl? If he is an adolescent, it may well be Marek's disease which is a very common and widespread Herpes types virus that often causes paralysis of a leg or wing although there are many other possible symptoms and your hen that died may also have been victim to it, especially if she was also adolescent. Sometimes it causes organ failure and they die suddenly, others appear to completely recover in a matter of a few days but often have a second and usually more serious attack months later. Some don't get any better or worse and some slowly waste away even though they eat well. The virus usually causes tumours and it probably would have been helpful to have had a necropsy done on your hen to establish a cause of death. It is worth considering that option for Carl if he takes a turn for the worse, especially if you have a large flock or are considering adding to it. I would definitely recommend you purchase chicks that have been vaccinated for Marek's if you decide to add to your flock in the future.

Unfortunately, there is no recognised treatment for it if it is Marek's, other than good nutrition and keeping the bird happy and stress free.

There are several very informative threads on Marek's Disease here on BYC, which I found very helpful is dealing with the outbreak I had.

Good luck to you and Carl and hopefully it is just strain and bruising injury to both of you.


Carl is right about 20 weeks old now. Seems healthy and happy other than the limp. My hen was alittle over a year old, but was only in my flock for about a month.
Carl is a Wyandotte/black giant mix that I hatched. And the hen was an Isa brown that I got (4 of them) from a different farmer. The hen only laid one egg when I got her and then stopped laying. I figured it was cuz of the stress of the new home. They all seemed to join my flock real good. 2 of them have continued to lay eggs the whole time, one is sporadic and then this one died.
All my birds seem happy and healthy aside from Carl's limp. I have 4 barnyard variety hens ready to start laying any day, 3 Isa browns that are laying and 4 Rouen's and of coarse Carl the rooster.
Thank-you for the information, I will research some more and keep a watch on my flock.
The timing of bringing new birds into the flock and the incidence of possible Marek's symptoms is worryingly tell tale. Stress is a key factor in triggering an outbreak and Carl is at the vulnerable age for it.
My birds also looked healthy.... bright red combs, good appetite even whilst suffering symptoms. One morning out of the blue I had one lame.... I assumed it was a strain.... it was walking down on it's hock on one side. Two days later I had 2 more lame and then alarm bells started ringing as it was too much of a coincidence that all 3 had sprains when I had had no problems for over a year. All were adolescent birds at 12-25 weeks. Two recovered almost as quickly as they went lame. The other deteriorated and eventually had to be culled. Then I had another couple a few weeks later and one of the original ones had a second attack and took months to recover. I did a DIY post mortem (necropsy) on the one I had culled and found tumours and that was the deciding factor after I had done a lot of research.

Many people like to stick their head in the sand but in my opinion it is best to know the facts and be prepared to deal with the reality.

Still hoping it is not Marek's, but the extra info about the new members being introduced to your flock recently, make it more likely. Even quarantining them would not have helped as there is no way to tell a Marek's bird unless they are having an attack.... much like you can't tell someone who carries the herpes virus unless they have a cold sore.
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Can that effect egg laying- the one hen of the 3 Isa browns doesn't lay as often as the rest. She seems healthy but I have gotten a real funny looking egg once and only lays about 2-3 a week. I think she is also the hen that has sort of a messy/poopy butt.
I hope I don't have big problems.
When I first got the 4 new year old Isa browns- I got 4 eggs the first day, then 3 eggs, then 2 and then only one egg a day for about a week.
Then it jumped back to 2 and periodically 3 a day after that. The hen that got ill, only layed one egg the first day I got her, I'm pretty sure. I thought the stress of the new flock and we had some hot weather was effecting them. And then I thought the hen that died maybe had an egg caught or something. They seem happy otherwise- very sociable chickens.
I'm sort of concerned about the intermittent laying hen and her poopy butt.
Thank-you for the insight on my chicken issues. I appreciate it.

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