Chick with limp legs

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by tree_78, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. tree_78

    tree_78 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 25, 2007
    Livermore
    Thank you for any help you can give. This happened to me last year with a 2 month old, though all others are healthy... now again, a year later. Could it be a spider bite? I always notice that the chick becomes a little less feisty, active, or responsive two days before this strange "paralysis". Then last night I went out at 10 p.m. with a bad feeling in my gut to find the other girls on the roosting bar while GB was lying on the ground, legs sprawled out. Needless to say my heart broke and I cradled her for a lot of the night, keeping her warm, giving her some water. I am so confused....

    Per the moderator:

    1) What type of bird , age and weight.
    --- almost 4 months, not under weight, large, long legs, large red comb, unsure of breed, white and black spreckled with big red comb, long yellow bright legs

    2) What is the behavior, exactly.
    --- legs can be moved when dangling, but very weak and no strength - will not stand up

    3) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
    --- no

    4) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
    --- gradual lack of energy / excitement over 2-3 days and finally collapsed on legs, not flying or climbing to roosting bar at night

    5) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
    --- ate and seemed interested in food just 24 hours ago - I give organic pride and a homemade grain cereal (oats, millet, quinoa, rice cooked)

    6) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
    --- I haven't seen any all night

    7) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
    --- slivers of garlic Wednesday afternoon, water, warmth, this morning

    8 ) 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?
    --- vet really isn't an option - no one around where I live really knows anything about chickens - want to save her if I can

    9) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
    -- no wound - could photograph chicken in box, head propped up?

    10) Describe the housing/bedding in use
    --- organic soil, leaves, sand
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2008
  2. DuckLady

    DuckLady Administrator Staff Member

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    Jan 11, 2007
    Washington State
    How does the crop feel? Can you feel the breast bone?
    It sounds liek from what you describe that the chicken is not getting nutrition.

    How do the others treat this one? Can (s)he get tot he feeders withough being pecked away?

    Is the crop full and squishy?
     
  3. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Do you know what Marek's is? Do you vaccinate, or was this bird vaccinated as a day old chick? Leg paralysis can be a symptom of one type of Marek's, usually one leg first, then wing droop, then death eventually. They usually eat well (and poop well- though they can't get out of it), even though they cannot walk.

    There are many possible causes for difficulty walking/standing. Trauma, sepsis (bacterial toxins or bacteria in the blood), heavy parasite load, some toxins (fungal, botulism, lots of different ones), any chronic problem that ends up causing whole body weakness, chronic nutritional deficiencies (usually in young birds), calcium deficiency- sometimes shows up when they first start laying and mobilizing lots of calcium for the shells, viral infections- one form of Marek's causes tumors in the nerves- and often affects the sciatic nerve dramatically- which controls many muscles in the leg.

    So- could be lots of different things. Keep the bird fed, warn, safe from other chickens and/or predators- consider vet help if you can find/afford it. Many recommend throwing antibiotics into sick chickens, but I would not recommend this unless you have real reason to believe she has a bacterial infection. Consider sending the bird to the state lab if it dies despite all of your efforts- then you will know exactly the problem(s) with the bird. Sad as it is, a necropsy does provide alot of information.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. mypicklebird

    mypicklebird Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 8, 2008
    Sonoma Co, CA
    Forgot to say- inspect your bird from head to toe. Check the vent for mites/lice, check that she is not prolapsed or egg bound, check for wounds all over including under the wings, feel for broken bones in the legs, look carefully at the eyes/nostrils/mouth, smell for bad smells, feel the keel for how skinny or fat she is, feel the crop- compare to your healthy looking birds. Look for clues as to why this bird is different beyond the obvious not standing part.
    Can the bird pull it's feet away from you if you pinch it's toes? Is it truly just leg weakness or are the head and wings, tail involved?
     
  5. tree_78

    tree_78 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 25, 2007
    Livermore
    Thank you for the replies.... I've been checking like crazy all day.

    She is eating when I put food in front of her (on a flap of the cardboard box), she eats it all. And using a dropper I can get water in too.

    When I hold her she kicks her legs, up and down, up and down but she can't stand on then. She wasn't flapping her wings until this afternoon when I picked her up, she flapped (not too quickly but a little bit)...

    Her comb is standing straight up, pretty thick but squishy - feels comparable to the other girls' combs. I have to admit this is only my second year having chickens so I'm unsure.

    I have noticed that she holds back during initial feeding time. She's not interested in the worms, lets the other chick eat them. I often feed her and the other 3-month-old one without the big girls around so that they're safer but she's not as interested in eating... or hasn't been.

    Today: cooked cereal mixture, some cottage cheese, garlic, sunflower seeds and water.

    No, no vaccinations. I see no damage anywhere but I will check again.

    Yes, I feel the breast bone and yet she's big girl and seemed really developed up until today when I felt such weakness in her body.

    If it is under-nourishment because of the other chickens, what should I do? Am I giving her enough?

    I am frustrated because this is so similar to last year's death of a sweet 2 month old chick that I loved. Gradually less and less vitality until finally she was lying on the ground and couldn't stand up. I thought maybe ate a poisonous spider? I wonder how it can be a disease (contagious) if none of the other chickens are effected?

    Thank you and I really appreciate any help you can provide - it means the world to us....

    Tree
     
  6. tree_78

    tree_78 Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 25, 2007
    Livermore
    This morning - flapping her wings, eating a ton, trying to push herself out of the box which she does successfully...

    Any suggestions on what I can do for her besides warmth, food, and water??? Any specific food suggestions??

    Thank you!
     
  7. islandchick

    islandchick Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 2, 2007
    Oak Island, NC
    Hi, I am having the same problem as your chicken...what was the outcome? I have a 2 year old chicken that all of a sudden can't walk, no sign of trauma or mites or anything. I have seperated her from the other 5 and we have her in the warm garage. She eats and drinks fine if we put it in front of her. Her wings seem functional and she just sits there. Please help if you can. How do I check the crop and how do I know if she is "egg bound". Thanks.
     
  8. MattJCash

    MattJCash New Egg

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    May 3, 2012
    Hi, we are having the same type of issues with our 6 week old golden phoenix. She is eating, drinking, and pooing like normal. Her sysmptoms are limping, less energetic, and droopy wings. We seperated her from the other four, 6 week olds (1 silkie and 3 amerucanas) because they have surpassed her in size and we thought she may have been trampled. Could this be Marek's disease- or can she eventually overcome her symptoms? Is it possible the others are too heavy and trampled her in the brooding box? Any responses are appreciated in advance!
     
  9. MattJCash

    MattJCash New Egg

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    May 3, 2012
    It has been 4 days since out Golden Phoenix started looking ill, but the past 4 days of love and care she is now back to her normal self again! We diagnosed that she was just not getting enough nutrition since the other 4 chicks had been eating all the food before little Peanut could get to any. Peanut is now back in a larger brooding box, with plenty of room to move, with the other 4 chicks. She is slowly getting back her energy and eating much more and sleeping less. She is even up flapping her wings and running around again :)

    I think the trick was feeding her the live mealworms last night; she loved them and gobbled them up! I have been giving her water with electrolytes (from Durvet, 1 scoop per gallon of water) along with oatmeal, raw sunflower seeds, and plenty of her chick starter feed I made into a mash with water. Some have suggested cooked egg yolk but she was not too fond of that)

    Peanut is doing great and it just takes a little extra time and love to get her back to normal.
     
  10. Mabs

    Mabs Out Of The Brooder

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    May 9, 2012
    I also have a six week old chick who has exactly the same sypmtoms lavk of energy and lymp legs. Have kept it in its own brooder with heat light and feeding it so it gets as much as it can take will it survive and how long will it take abouts. Really dont want o lose it. Is there any vitamins i should be giving. Would appreciate your advice.
     

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