crippled pullet holds leg straight in front

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Catus, Aug 20, 2016.

  1. Catus

    Catus Just Hatched

    18
    1
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    Aug 20, 2016
    Europe
    I have a silver laced Wyandotte pullet that has one leg injured from the knee (sprained right after hatching?). I got her from a lady whom I bought some other pullets. She offered this SLW to me, as she didn't want to cull her and I had less birds and more room...
    It is clearly too late to do something with the leg that is injured from the knee: the lower leg is bent to the side, the pullet lean to the knee. She has never walked normally and she has never used also the other leg normally. She simply leaned to the knees. The toes seem to be weak in both legs, but I think it can be due to little use? She can curl toes around my finger and hold and she moves them often. Sometimes it seems that the lower part of the outward bent leg disturbs her, but she manages to move around and she even flew each evening up to the chicken tractor roosting area (about 60-70 cm from the ground). She did not roost, but just sat under her friends. Then one night I heard some tapping from the tractor. I went to check, but everything seemed to be OK, except that the pullets were a bit disturbed by my checking. Next morning the SLW looked exhausted, the comb area (she has no comb yet, though she should be 3-4 months old) looked blueish and there were some bruises on one side hip area. I took her inside, gave her water (she was extremely thirsty) and food and kept her in a box overnight. Now she is in a small cage inside the main coop (I was just introducing the new pullets to the rest of flock) with a lot of woodshavings. She eats and drinks well and looks nice again, but the other leg (that is not injured from knee) causes me still concern. The other leg is often just completely straight, something like splayed leg, but she holds it in front of her.
    Why she holds it strait (from the hip and knee) in front of her?
    I have examined her carefully and all the joints in this leg seem to function normally, there is no swelling and this side was not even bruised. It seems really bother her, it seems that she doesn't manage to move where she wants. It seems she doesn't manage to lean on the knees anymore. When I kept the leg in normal position, she seemed to feel better (but where do I know?) and ate without trying to correct her position as before.
    Should I try to fix the leg to the right position for a while (not standing, but as she used to lean on her knees)?
    And would she still start to lay eggs one day? She has gained weight a bit slower than the other pullets, but the other may be older and are from different breed. She also still make baby noise, whereas others don't, but she must be at least 3 months (I have had her for 2 months and she had already full wing feathers when I got her).
    Also, I have a young SLW rooster (a small one, 1.6 kg) and as this is my kids favourite breed I would like to get some chicks next year. Would the rooster fertilize her if she is crippled? Rooster can see her in the coop and he hasn't shown any aggression toward the pullet, actually he pays no attention to her.
    Sorry if the text is unclear, I have had hens just over a year and it is difficult to describe the situation, plus English is not my native language.
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Can you post some photos or a video of her?

    Leg deformities can be genetic, developmental or due to disease.
    Without testing there is really no way to know what the cause may be.

    Most likely at her age 3-4months, the legs can't be fixed.

    You would not want to use her for breeding since there is a good possibility that her condition/genetics or disease can be passed on to her offspring.


    http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/p...synovitis.html?qt=Mycoplasma synoviae &alt=sh

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2016
  3. Catus

    Catus Just Hatched

    18
    1
    16
    Aug 20, 2016
    Europe
    Ok, now I can make an update. The reason for holding leg straight in front is, that she tries to keep balance. She actually injured again her bad leg and thus can not lean on it. Also, it comes out that I made mistake in chicken anatomy, she has strained her hock joint (shame on me). Prior to the last injury, her leg was turned outwards about 40-50 degrees from this joint. Now it is turned much more outwards, so that it almost points towards tail. She keeps trying to move around, but it is difficult for her to find balance and to move to wished direction, but somehow she manages to move around. When she is outside (only if it is nice sunny and warm), she chats with her friends and eats grass, digs with beak and whenever I show her a bug or earthworm, she snaps it so fast that no other pullet can come over and compete with her (they all love earthworms and insects, especially flies).
    Otherwise, she acts normally and eats well. She had somewhat blueish comb area only that morning after she had injured herself, but it was a cold and rainy morning... Now she has put on weight and even faster as before.
    I wrote to a vet that deals with chickens, but he is currently aboard and other vets usually don't deal with birds.

    My SLW came from a small farm (kind a hobby farm), so I'm not sure if they vaccinate or test their birds for diseases, but the lady told me, that the mother and father of her SLW's came from breeder in Germany (I'm in Europe, we don't have yet such nice forum, backyard/pet chickens are rather new thing here). Also the lady told me that if she starts to lay eggs, I could use them for getting some chicks. That is why I considered that, I personally didn't believe that a crippled hen can lay eggs.

    Here is picture of my pullet. The leg in font is her "good" leg, although she has never learned to use it properly and I think she may have had injured that too, when she was little and in a maybe slippery box (I didn't see the first box she was raised in, but the lady got suddenly too many chicks and some of the boxes hadn't good flooring).
    [​IMG]

    Here is her bad leg. The shank (metatarsus) seems completely off the joint. There is no swelling, but she beats her leg against walls/floor, so it gets easily a bit bruised.
    [​IMG]

    Should I still consider a genetic problem or a disease?
    And is there something that can be done to make her move around more easily?
    I try to persuade my vet (the vet of my dog and cat) to examine her.
     
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I would not breed her or hatch eggs from her. It could still be genetic, possibly vitamin B2 deficiency, but two illnesses also come to mind. One is Mycoplasma Synoviae (MS) and the other is Marek's.
    You can try adding B2 to her diet to see if there is any improvement.

    If your vet can do any testing that would be your best solution in finding out what it is.

    Mycoplasma Synoviae
    http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/p...synovitis.html?qt=Mycoplasma synoviae &alt=sh
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/99/mycoplasma-synoviae-infection-ms-infectious-synovitis/

    MAREKS
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq
    http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/avian-atlas/search/disease/502#/disease/Marek's_Disease
     
  5. Catus

    Catus Just Hatched

    18
    1
    16
    Aug 20, 2016
    Europe
    I will also try to contact the vet that deals with chicken (he will return in September), but until then:
    in my opinion, my pullet doesn't have any symptoms of these diseases. Today, when I put her on grass, she moved around almost as before. So, it seems that she is improving, at least for now.
    According to the material you linked, she may still have these diseases, even if there aren't any symptoms. But that means actually, that I shouldn't hatch any eggs from my flock, as these are infectious diseases! If my SLW pullet really has Mareks or Mycoplasma, then all the others may have caught it too (and have no symptoms), right?
    When I get to the vet I will certainly ask about this, but I'm not sure if I'm willing to pay for the tests. It is cheaper (and safer, in case of some genetic problem/disease) to buy chicks from breeder and I have to pay for the visit and maybe for some treatment anyway and it won't be cheap.
     

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