Cockerel having trouble walking; looks as if feet are hurting him

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cheraboo, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. cheraboo

    cheraboo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2008
    We've got a Blue Dutch cockerel (Jack) that's about 9 months old. He's usually very vocal and active. A few days ago he and Pecksley (5 month old Salmon Favorelle cockerel) had a little chest butting incident over a pullet ... boys will be boys [​IMG]. The funny thing is that Pecksley seemed to wind up winning. See, normally he stays far away from Jack. I noticed a couple of days ago that Jack stopped crowing. I just figured he was sulking because Pecksley bested him. Yesterday one of my sons said something was wrong with Jack's foot. He was laying down with one foot stuck out in front of him and his toes were kind of curled. I picked him up and saw that his other leg was the same. And my spirited little guy was very calm and quiet. He shakes a little bit once in a while. He tried jumping up/flying. It looked like he had his toes straight when he landed but the flying was more of a hope with his wings spread. He doesn't move around much but when he does he acts like his legs are hurting. I feel so bad for him but I don't know what to do. Here's some particulars -

    Jack is a house bird - at least he has been since we got him from a friend back in October. I suspect he was most likely in an outdoor pen before that. He shares his cage with his mate Lily (who has become quite mean to the other two birds in the cage - a 4 month old banty Buff Brahma pullet that is half blind and a Jungle Fowl that is about the same age.

    For bedding we're using wood shavings from TSC.

    Jack is eating a layer feed as Lily and some of our other girls are laying - Layena.

    His eyes are clear and he seems awake and alert. He kind of just sits in the cage and when I hold him and pet him he normally falls asleep.

    I'm hoping someone can give me some direction here. He's one of our prettiest boys - he won best of show at fair this year.
  2. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2009
    Sounds like a vitamin deficiency. Go to the pharmacy or Walmart and et liquid baby vitamins called Poly Vi Sol. Make sure you get the formula WITHOUT the added iron. Give him 3 drops in the morning and at night. Keep this up for at least 2 weeks. If it is a vitamin problem his legs will get better.

    Does he eat a lot of treats? If the answer is yes a nutritionally balanced feed is best for chickens. Only 10% of their diet should be treats.

    Hope he is on the mend soon.
  3. cheraboo

    cheraboo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 24, 2008
    Well. here we are a month later. No improvement for Jack. It's been over a month since he crowed [​IMG] He can't walk really. He pretty much just lays where you put him. If he tries to get up he kind of falls forward, like he can't balance. He shakes a lot - especially his legs. We've been giving him the vitamins but they really don't seem to be helping. Ana gives him baths to help him stay clean since he lays in bedding most of the time. Then we wrap him in a towel so he doesn't get chilled. His feathers seem to take forever to dry. He seems to be eating and drinking ok He just pooped and that looks normal. His comb is kind of floppy and more of a pinkish color than red. He sleeps a lot, too.

    There have been several times I figured he was a goner but he just keeps hanging on. Jack is our only Blue Dutch cockerel and we love him to death. I'm happy he's still alive, but I'm concerned he is in pain. I don't want him to suffer. How can you tell if a chicken is in pain? I just don't know what to do. Sure would appreciate any other suggestions that might help.

    I'm working on getting some pics - hopefully will be able to post tonight.
  4. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Has he ever been wormed or such? Parasites can bring them down. I don't know what else could be a problem, although I had a little roo that got beat up and lost the use of his legs for a few months. I never thought he'd make it, but one day he started moving and then got up little by little. It's a hard call. Here is a sample of a "chair" I use for some of my critters................

  5. dschwalm

    dschwalm New Egg

    Dec 10, 2009
    Have you contacted Peter Brown at First State Vet Supply? I have been battling a rash of respiratory ailments and he has been a boon in diagnosis and treatment; he's not a vet, but he is very, very knowledgeable about chicken diseases....

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