Chicken With Leg Partial Paralysis, Both Legs Point Forward


14 Years
Dec 20, 2008
Here's a strange case: A 2-year-old bantam rooster with partial leg paralysis but no other overt symptoms. He can use the legs to walk-run, but if he stops he falls on his butt with his feet both pointing forward. His gait got stiffer, then he couldn't roost, he started falling over more. Now when cooped he sits with his feet in front. If he wants to drink or eat, he flops over on this side to reach the dishes. When put outdoors he will get up to move when he wants to sit in a patch of sunshine, but otherwise is not active. He has sensation in his feet and can move his toes. It's more like a weakness in his muscles, that he can't stand up or walk normally - he has to run forward and let the momentum keep him going. This has been observable for 2, almost 3 months.

Ordinarily I'd say it was Marek's but the absence of the classic Marek's leg position (one pointed forward, the other pointing to the rear) has me stumped.

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I thought of that, but it has been about three months. His condition hasn't changed for worse or better for the past several weeks. Appetite is normal, no other symptoms except the weakness-partial paralysis. I'm baffled.
Try to give him some B vitamins and E vitamin. This sounds like what I am traeting a hen for. She could not walk, but otherwise seemed normal. In one week with extra B/E vitamins she is back with the flock. You could get an electrolyte booster from the feed store, that could help also. It seems they can get low in these vitamins with a molt. Hope this helps
Thanks Tammye. I did put him on Durvet's vitamin-electrolyte supplement in his water starting last week, but before that I was giving him a well balanced diet.

He is still sitting with his feet out in front or lying on his side with both feet lying together. When I tried to find photos that match this, in my poultry handbook, the only disease that came up is Spirochetosis -- one that is considered rare, not seen much in adult chickens, and confined to the tropics or Southwestern U.S. I'm in New England and this rooster has lived here for all but the first few months of his life (he's 2 years old).

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