Lame bantam cockerel - tendon rupture?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by OffGridFish, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. OffGridFish

    OffGridFish Just Hatched

    Hello, I'm after some advice please, as struggling to find useful info specific enough to my chicken. I have a non-chicken veterinary background so not just trying to avoid seeing a professional here and I'm learning to be able to help others in the future too. He is a 14 week old bantam cross who is partially free ranged with others about his age. Lame for about a week with no swelling or instability in the leg (although mildly now with some mild valgus) and so has been separated and rested in a comfy dog kennel. He is now completely lame and standing on his hock or one-legged with no visible flexion of his toes when his hock is flexed so I'm thinking its tendon/s rupture... he does fly/jump around a lot.... was concerned about Marek's and he seems to be the right age that kind of lameness occurs, but looks more like trauma to me. He still has good sensation in his toes. Otherwise is fine! Is this a hopeless situation? I'd consider surgery although he's a young bantam so not much to work with there and not sure anyone around here has the expertise... Otherwise rest and nursing care... any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated! He's my favourite chicken too and lets me handle him.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

    29,380
    3,444
    501
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Varus valgus bone deformities are fairly common in chickens, though more so in broiler/meat chickens. Many deformities can lead to hock tendon rupture.I would also treat it as an injury for a few weeks with rest and poultry vitamins (or at least human B complex) to see if he improves. Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) deficiency, and other vitamin and mineral deficiencies can be found in poultry. Mareks is found worldwide, but there are many other things it could be. Many people use chicken slings or chairs to get the chickens off the ground to rest the legs and keep them clean, and making it easier to eat and drink when food is in front of them.If he does jump/fly, he might need to be secured in his sling so as not to hurt himself. Here is some info for you:
    http://www.merckvetmanual.com/poult...ement-poultry/vitamin-deficiencies-in-poultry
    http://www.merckvetmanual.com/poult...ement-poultry/mineral-deficiencies-in-poultry
    https://www.merckvetmanual.com/poul.../noninfectious-skeletal-disorders-in-broilers

    Examples of chicken slings:

    [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2017
  3. OffGridFish

    OffGridFish Just Hatched

    Thanks so much Eggcessive, those pics are great- very encouraging to see others doing so much for their little lame chickens! I hadn't thought of nutritional deficiencies since they have been on a good quality grower diet and free-ranging but I realise now many more factors may be at play here such as storage conditions, access etc. I'll try to sort out a multivit for him. He was flying and jumping a lot before the injury only, he's rested in the dog kennel quite well, sits most of the time and lets me give him a bath when he needs it. One more question if you dont mind - do you think I need to look at a sling/chair if he is resting it well himself in the kennel? He still limps around a bit but mostly just sits down in the wood shavings.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

    29,380
    3,444
    501
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    The slings are more for getting a chicken upright in order to reach food and water if unable to, to keep them from lying in soiled bedding, and to control them from overusing the hurt leg. If he seems to be limiting his activity, and can get enough nutrition and water, then just leave him. Foods such as plain yogurt in small amounts, egg, and tuna, contain a lot of good vitamins and minerals. Although chicken feed should make up 90% of the diet, those are good foods for extra treats or to coax him to eat if his appetite is poor.
     
  5. OffGridFish

    OffGridFish Just Hatched

    Just wanted to post an update - after 2 weeks of strict cage rest, then gradually increasing time in the run, our little chook is doing really well! Only a very mild limp now. We gave him a vitamin and mineral supplement initially and made sure he couldn't selectively graze from his food (i.e. soaked in water to ensure he wasn't just eating the seeds and leaving the pellets). From a complete lameness 4 weeks ago I am amazed at his recovery. Anyone reading this with a similar issue - please make sure a vet rules out something more serious and painful like a fracture, and consider supportive care and strict rest of a few weeks.
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

    29,380
    3,444
    501
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Thank you for the update, and that is wonderful that he is much improved with the vitamins and rest. Hopefully, he will continue to do well.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by