Turkey Girl

Feb 18, 2019
So, some of our Ayam Cemani chicks hatched under a broody hen yesterday and appeared to be doing well. This morning the hen was walking around in the run with her chicks for a few hours, and they still appeared to be O.K. I went to check on them this afternoon, one of the chicks was laying in the food dish and it was laying out to one side. Its legs appeared to be limp. The hen wanted nothing to do with it. I stuck it in the brooder with a few other chicks and it seems to be O.K. It doesn't appear to be in any pain. I'm just wondering how to cure this and what caused it. I should also mention that we have NOT had any history of Mareks disease.

Thanks for your help!


Dec 11, 2009
Colorado Rockies
It would be much too soon for Marek's to appear.

One possible cause of the chick's leg paralysis is a punishing peck to the head. I've seen broody hens manage their chicks with their beak, and sometimes it can appear quite vicious. It's possible, either unintentionally or intentionally, the hen pecked this chick hard enough on the head to cause brain damage.

Another possibility is a genetic condition and this is why the hen is rejecting the chick.

There's a remote possibility that the chick is low on glucose and is merely weak. Try giving it some warm sugar water every hour over the next day and see if it improves.

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