injured legs


6 Years
Sep 5, 2013
Hello BYC,

Thanks for being such a great resource! Last Friday, almost a week ago, I found one of my chickens lying on the floor of the coop instead of roosting with the others. She had one leg in front of her and one leg behind her. Thursday she was completely fine running around the yard with the other chickens so I assumed she had broken something. I brought her to the vet and got an x-ray but she has no dislocated joints or broken bones so he just gave me metacam (an oral anti-inflammatory for dogs) and told me to restrict her movement and watch her. I am keeping her in a box in the basement right now but she seems listless, her comb is starting to droop and the toes of one of her feet are curled up underneath her. She also cannot grip with either of her feet. However, she is still eating and drinking. She can stand but it is hard for her and she can barely move herself around. She seems almost worst than when I brought her into the vet on Saturday.

Could this be Mareks? Does it appear overnight like this? Or is it more likely an injury? She is 18 weeks old if that is useful information. Any advice would be helpful and much appreciated!
It sounds like something neurological but hard to say. I read somewhere that when their legs are like that, it's Marek's, but I know that chickens are subject to a lot of neuro illnesses and they are hard to cure. I have read that supplements help...liquid B complex or calcium (Tums). We never had any luck with supplements at all when dealing with neuro issues. Keep her isolated and in a small pen so she can't move around too much, and on the anti inflammatory med, keep her eating, whatever she likes, and drinking....and hope for the best. As far as I know, that is all you can do. We have a pullet who has a similar issue. I think hers is an injury but just not sure. We have had chickens with leg or foot injuries (that were not obvious) recover over time from just having a chance to rest it.
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There is a long thread on BYC about Hypericum (sp) treating Marek's and related diseases. I am going to try it for our pullet. I think hers IS a neuro issue now. What have we got to lose. Many people have said it works.

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