Chick cannot right himself, has poor control of legs


5 Years
Apr 13, 2014
I have a five day old chick here who seems to have a neurological condition that does not allow him to control his legs. Even when I hold him upright, his legs kick out backwards or to the left and he flops to his right side. He has control of his wings and neck like a normal chicken would, and in fact he "swims" on his side to move around a lot. It is just his legs it seem to be an issue.

I have wondered if there was a vestibular problem because he always leans to the right, but it does seem to be more neurological. He eats and drinks quite well but obviously needs assistance. He has on occasion been able to get into a sternal position, but that is rare. He will even feed himself while lying down, but I assist him several times a day with eating and drinking to be sure he is getting adequate amounts of food, and I'm weighing him daily to be sure it's enough.

And now for the information that will set me apart as a crazy person. I have had this chicken since Saturday evening and Sunday I built him a cart. With his cart, he actually gets around quite well. He cannot turn it as of yet, so the cart is mostly used to hold them in place so he can eat and drink on assisted by me. I'm also encouraging him to run around on the floor so he can build strength in his legs and learn how to use them in a more correct fashion, as a cart does not allow them to kick off to the left hand side like they otherwise do. I have searched the forum, and all accounts I found of similar problems in chicks resulted in the checks being culled (not passing judgment, as this is no good life for a chick), without a vet trip, usually, so I have no understanding of what the diagnosis and prognosis might be for this little guy. I plan on taking him to the vet this week, but my experience with the farm animal vets in this area has been that most of them will encourage me to have the chick euthanized without much of a fight.

I bought PolyViSol (no iron) yesterday, and am open to suggestions as to what else I may be able to do to help him. I need to see improvement before too long or find a sustainable way to help him long term, as I'm not going to just "keep him alive" without quality of life.

Anyone have any ideas, suggestions? I'll upload some videos later.
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So sorry about your chick

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