Lameness/weakness in flock


5 Years
Oct 2, 2014
Ottawa, On
My mom texted me on Wednesday (October 1st) while I was away at collage and she told me that one of my chickens was limping/lame. I couldn't tell much because I was away, I told her to keep an eye on him until I got home. She figured he might have pulled a muscle.

When I got home and went to see my chicks, it wasn't just one that was lame. Several of them where sitting in a corner. They got up to come to me because I had alfalfa. They were limping, some where bracing themselves from falling over with their wings.

1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.)

The only birds affected are my 3 month old French Black Copper Marans (My flock consists of 2 cuckoo marans - 4.5 months, 6 Ameraucana/EE 4.5 months, and 11 three month old FBCM). I got them as day old chicks directly from a breeder. I'm not sure exactly of their weight, but non have lost any weight.

2) What is the behavior, exactly.

As I mentioned, they limp while walking and some support themselves with their wings as they seem to have balancing issues.

3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?

About 3-4 days now.

4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?

Other several other Copper Marans are showing the same symptoms.

5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.

I found no injuries whilst looking over them.

6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.

I have no clue what is even going on. This is the first time I've had chickens in 10 years.

7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.

Yes, they still have an apatite and are eating/drinking.

8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.

Poop is normal.

9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?

I've dimmed the lights in the barn so that it's a bit more calm.

10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?

I don't intend to bring them to a vet, all treatment will be by myself.

11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.

12) Describe the housing/bedding in use

They are housed in a room/coop with saw-dust for bedding and straw in nesting boxes (though they don't use them, too young). The room has good ventilation, and I have a heating lamp in the corner if they feel they want a bit of warmth.

Any help appreciated, I don't know what to do :(

Welcome to BYC! Sorry your flock is having issues. I will send casportpony a PM. She is the wiz at issues like this
. She is one of my favorites on BYC. It sounds like Marek's disease but I am not a vet. I really hope not for your and your flocks sake.
I think I would start with giving them B vitamins. You can use human ones if you have to. That deficiency can be a cause of lameness.

If you want to read about Marek's, Nambroth wrote an article called the Big Marek's FAQ, and the link is at the bottom of my posts. That should get you started with correct information.

Do they have any symptoms aside from lameness like wasting, "pretending" to eat? gasping? cloudy eye?. Feel their crop at night and see if they are full.

The FBCM's -when did you add them?
I just read over that article, I really hope it's not that but it seems like that's what it might be. Where would I get vitamin B, how can I feed it?

I added the FBCM when I got them, they hatched 1st of July and I picked them up the 3rd or so. I had a big dog kennel / crate that I made secure for the chicks and I kept them in there until they where old/big enough to join the flock.

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Mareks disease could be a possible cause, but as others have said, certain vitamin deficiencies can cause problems in siting on hocks, and having curled toe paralysis. A good poultry vitamin put in the water would be easy to give. Here are some good links to read about Mareks:'s_Disease

Any human vitamin B Complex tablet ground up into the food daily would be good.
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Okay thanks. I'll look into the poultry vitamin - I'll have to search around though, not many 'farm' stores around here except for TSC which barely has half the stuff anyway (they have waterer's bottoms but not the top that screws on??).
Look for Rooster Booster brands of poultry vitamins with lactobacillus, Poultry Cell, and there may be packets of livestock vitamins by different companies--Durvet products have good dosing info online. Poultry Nutri-Drench is a good brand, but avoid it because it does not contain riboflavin, which yours may need. An adult B Complex tablet will work for now.
Okay I'll try and look for those, but in the mean time is it okay to use 'centrum'? It's the only thing I have around right now.




Hey guys, small update - but not such a good one :(

I was looking over all my chickens and I found this on one of my Ameraucana Roos. He has it in both eyes (except on his left eye it goes out towards his beak instead of down) but I only took the pic of one side.



I read that chickens with Mareks can get this key-hole eye shape. Does this mean that my Ameraucanas had it before I got them? Non of them ever showed signs except this guy :(

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