Chick cannot balance/roost/walk normal


In the Brooder
Apr 22, 2020
Hello all, I’ve got a juvenile Novagen who I noticed stopped roosting with the others in the last week or so. She also just does not move a lot and lays in the coop most of the time. When I pick her up, one of her legs stays straight and the other she tucks up. If I try to set her on a roost, she seems to have no idea how to grip and stay on. If I help get her talons set right, she’s very wobbly and will usually just fall off forward or backwards.

The attached video shows some of her odd leg and walking behavior.

Any ideas on what the problem could be?

Has her leg always been like this or did this start about a week ago too? How old is this bird?
I do not recall her being like this until the last week or so. It’s when I noticed her in a nesting box in the evening instead of the roosting bars.
Did you get this bird from a Hatchery? Has she been vaccinated for Mareks? What do you feed them, including treats?
Purchased on 9/9/20 from a local farm store, so 3 months old. Likely is vaccinated but don’t know for sure. They get purina medicated starter. No treats at all yet.
I would use some vitamin B complex—not B12 but B complex for humans. Give 1/4 to 1/2 tablet daily crushed onto food or dissoved in a little water. That can help if she has a leg injury or riboflavin injury.

She may have an injury, but at her age I would worry about Mareks disease. Her leg seems to be numb or giving out. Make sure that she can get to food and water, and is getting enough. Here is some reading about Mareks, though I hope she doesn’t have that:
Thanks everyone. I will get her isolated today and get the vitamins. And I’ll also call the farm store and ask about vaccinations.
The store says all their hatcheries vaccinate for Mareks. I checked there bottom of her feet, and nothing seems discolored. Pics attached. Also another vid of setting her down. That right leg just goes flat like she either doesn’t feel the ground or cannot put weight on it. She is isolated in a pet crate now.

Thank you again for your guidance on this topic.



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There's no bumblefoot, that's good news. However there might be an issue regarding the Marek's vaccine but I'm not sure. I've never dealt with Marek's disease.
One of the first questions I ask when getting 3 or 4 day old chicks at a feed store is that I ask the owner if the chicks have been vaccinated. Personally, I prefer my chicks not be vaccinated for anything. If chicks have been vaccinated, I usually order from a hatchery and request non vaccinated chicks.
For now, I'd go ahead and cage her and provide the vitamin B complex as mentioned along with feed and water. She needs rest and relaxation in order for the injury to heal, if that's what it is.

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