In the Brooder
Feb 9, 2017
Rio Verde, AZ
I have a Japanese bantam hen, around 6 months old. Koko suddenly started limping on one leg about a week ago. She was totally fine one day, then apparently paralyzed in her left leg the next.
She's not walking on the leg at all and the foot is curled under. I'm not totally sure it's paralyzed. I feel no resistance in the leg or foot, my husband says he does feel some.
We checked for injuries and have found nothing. Feeling both legs from the thighs down to her toes, we can feel no difference in her muscles, tendons or bones and she has no apparent wounds or abrasions. It is definitely not bumblefoot.
Other than the leg she seems completely fine. She is quite alert, eating and drinking, and is quite mobile, considering. There is no paralysis anywhere else on her body.
We immediately isolated her and have seen no strange symptoms from any of her coop mates. We have seen no improvement in her. We did give her a soak in some water with epsom salts. She actually seemed to enjoy it. We thought we saw a tiny improvement immediately following the soak, but nothing since.
We did give some baby aspirin to bring down possible inflammation, in case it were a sprain. But, we stopped that because it seemed to make her feel more poorly. She appeared sluggish and without appetite following the aspirin, but improved later that day.
She hasn't laid an egg since this started. Her comb is less red and shrunken like a hen going through a molt. She is not molting, though.
Yesterday we put her in a small cage in the house. We can see that she's eating and drinking actively. We just switched her from layer feed to starter, since she's not currently laying. We have added some rooster booster to her water. And she gets snacks of dried crickets, the same as all our other chickens.
We have no idea what could be wrong with her. I've looked for answers everywhere and it just doesn't match up with anything.
Koko thanks you in advance for your help.


Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Apr 3, 2011
southern Ohio
It is possible that she has Mareks disease which can cause paralysis of one or both legs or wings. Do you know if she was vaccinated for that? An injury or vitamin deficiency should be considered first, though. Hopefully, it is not Mareks.

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