Hock walking Silkie


Aug 2, 2018
Hello everyone,

I have 3 silkies, 6 months old. They were all bright and healthy, eating well, foraging and exploring the yard. However, 5 days ago, one of them couldn't move... She was suddenly unable to walk and she was hock walking, using her wings to balance. The poor chick ended up not being able to stand up for long or walk in any way. We took her inside and kept her there for a few hours.

Oddly enough, she suddenly managed to stand up and walk. She went back to her mates and managed to roost on a high bar with them. Unfortunately, the next day the bird was again lying down, struggling to walk on her hocks. She's still doing that and I'm not sure what to do next.
Otherwise, the silkie is bright, eats well and tries to follow her mates.

We started to give her B vitamin complex (all chickens receive it now). They always had Ca and vitamins in their diet.

Checked the silkie's legs, but there's nothing obvious causing it. And the onset was so sudden, that I don't think it's traumatic.

Did anyone encounter this problem before? Any ideas on how to manage it?

On a different note, I've been rising chickens for a long time now and it's not the first time when I see hock walking chickens. However, all of those were heavy breeds and had an accident that caused it. I don't think it's the case now as silkies are light and they are separated from the other chickens.



12 Years
Dec 11, 2009
Colorado Rockies
Avian viruses can cause this. If this is what is causing the paralysis, it will continue to get worse. There is no cure for it.

However, if this is caused by a B-vitamin deficiency, treating it with vitamin B-2 and B-6 can help. Since it's a Silkie, I suggest also treating with vitamin E 400iu, in case there's a chance this is from a slight head trauma, which Silkies are vulnerable to. You will need to give the E with egg to assure she is absorbing it. Or add a sliver of selenium to the vitamin cocktail.

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