Limping rooster 8 m/o

Mjarissa

In the Brooder
Jan 6, 2021
13
32
49
Hi everyone!

6 days ago I received 11 chickens that were rescued from slaughter and needed a home. The first day one of the 2 roosters was already limping a bit but was still going around and about. Then the 2nd they he completely stopped using his legs and slept all day. We had to have someone stay with him because otherwise the flock would attack. Now, 4 days later he is still not using the leg and lays down as much as possible.
The leg seems fine. I couldn't spot any signs of bumblefoot, any breaks or warm spots. He also doesn't seem in pain when I touch any part of the leg. He eats and drinks normally for as far as I know him and sleeps more than normal during the day. He doesn't preen anymore as he can not keep the balance well enough. He also got very cuddly in the last four days.

There is one other chicken in the flock that is limping but she doesn't seem troubled by it. Also, she is the victim of the other roosters sexual desires a lot so I think thats how she might have picked up an injury.

Does anyone have a clue about whats going on? Any help is welcome, Im getting a bit desperate...

(P.s. the neck is supposed to be bald. His breed is nacked-neck)
 

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theoldchick

The Chicken Whisperer
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Hopefully its a simple soft tissue injury and will heal with a bit more time. Isolate him in a smaller area. Feed him a good quality diet.
 

Hei 20

Free Ranging
Oct 8, 2020
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Hi everyone!

6 days ago I received 11 chickens that were rescued from slaughter and needed a home. The first day one of the 2 roosters was already limping a bit but was still going around and about. Then the 2nd they he completely stopped using his legs and slept all day. We had to have someone stay with him because otherwise the flock would attack. Now, 4 days later he is still not using the leg and lays down as much as possible.
The leg seems fine. I couldn't spot any signs of bumblefoot, any breaks or warm spots. He also doesn't seem in pain when I touch any part of the leg. He eats and drinks normally for as far as I know him and sleeps more than normal during the day. He doesn't preen anymore as he can not keep the balance well enough. He also got very cuddly in the last four days.

There is one other chicken in the flock that is limping but she doesn't seem troubled by it. Also, she is the victim of the other roosters sexual desires a lot so I think thats how she might have picked up an injury.

Does anyone have a clue about whats going on? Any help is welcome, Im getting a bit desperate...

(P.s. the neck is supposed to be bald. His breed is nacked-neck)
members.jpg
 

Wyorp Rock

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6 days ago I received 11 chickens that were rescued from slaughter and needed a home. The first day one of the 2 roosters was already limping a bit but was still going around and about. Then the 2nd they he completely stopped using his legs and slept all day. We had to have someone stay with him because otherwise the flock would attack. Now, 4 days later he is still not using the leg and lays down as much as possible.
The leg seems fine.
He eats and drinks normally for as far as I know him and sleeps more than normal during the day. He doesn't preen anymore as he can not keep the balance well enough.
There is one other chicken in the flock that is limping but she doesn't seem troubled by it. Also, she is the victim of the other roosters sexual desires a lot so I think thats how she might have picked up an injury.
Post some photos of the other one too.

Since they were raised to be slaughtered (for meat), diet or gaining weight quickly could be part of his issues and his legs won't support him.
If the others are picking on him, then separate him to his own cage with food/water.
Provide an all flock/flock raiser type feed free choice. Fresh plain water.
You can try giving him 1/2 tablet B-Complex once a day for a week to see if that helps too.

Disease like Marek's is a possibility in young birds. I hope he improves. If he doesn't then evaluating his quality of life would be necessary, it would be a miserable life for a chicken to be unable to walk and move around.

Where are you located in the world?
 

Mjarissa

In the Brooder
Jan 6, 2021
13
32
49
Thank you all for responding.

As soon as he got limp I separated him from the flock and kept him together with the younger, motherless rooster. They do well together.
He always has food and water nearby and I cover him with a blanket when he's shaking.

I suspect his leg is a bit paralyzed. He doesn't curl up the toes when I move his leg in a perch position. The other chicken that is limping seems to still have feeling in the leg, can climb into the brooding area and doesn't get picked on so I think they are experiencing something different.

I will get the B-complex as soon as possible to see if it will improve.

If it is indeed paralysis, does anyone know if this is curable?
 

Wyorp Rock

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Thank you all for responding.

As soon as he got limp I separated him from the flock and kept him together with the younger, motherless rooster. They do well together.
He always has food and water nearby and I cover him with a blanket when he's shaking.

I suspect his leg is a bit paralyzed. He doesn't curl up the toes when I move his leg in a perch position. The other chicken that is limping seems to still have feeling in the leg, can climb into the brooding area and doesn't get picked on so I think they are experiencing something different.

I will get the B-complex as soon as possible to see if it will improve.

If it is indeed paralysis, does anyone know if this is curable?
There's no way to know if it's curable or not. If it's a vitamin deficiency you may see improvement fairly quickly.
If it's due to disease like Marek's, there is no cure. Sometimes a bird can "recover" or appear to "get better" for a while, but often they are prone to have other problems and will need supportive care long term.
 

Mjarissa

In the Brooder
Jan 6, 2021
13
32
49
So... a little update.

His paralyzed leg isn't paralyzed a anymore. It varies per day how much strenght he has in it. He other leg seems weaker not as he is not standing at all. He can stand up but will then almost instantly fall forwards. If he moves he does it by keeping himself up a bit with his wings and then just quickly moving his legs making him almost slide over the floor.

New symptoms: there were 2-3 days that he didn't eat a lot and he has definitely lost weight but that seems to have gotten better now.
His comb is sometimes a bit dark but I think that might be due to cold/stress.
His poop is sometimes very green while he barely ever eats grass.

So far I've been giving him a complete vitamin/mineral/everything supplement daily. It seems to give him more life as him more energy, he sleeps less than before.
I have just finished a worm treatment a few days ago. Since then his poop is more green (coincidence?)

I have been past different vets in different cities. None of them treats chickens and Im desperate! It's been 3 weeks and I don't want him to live like this forever :(

After a lot of googling I figured it might be encephalomyelitis.
After all, he is a rescue from slaughter where they probably didn't have great conditions.

Does anyone have experience with this?
 

Wyorp Rock

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I'm very sorry that he's not improving.

It would be hard to know what's going on with him unless you lose him and have some testing done.
At 8 months I would suspect Marek's disease may be an issue, but since he's a rescue that was intended to be processed the leg weakness may simply be due to size (weight) or genetics. Birds raised for the purpose of meat are not bred to live very long without having issues.

You could just throw everything you can think of at him - De-worm, treat for Coccidiosis and administer and antibiotic and see if those make a difference. That would be up to you of course, we aren't vets.

Sometimes a bird just isn't healthy and there's not a lot you can but make them comfortable for a while, see if there is improvement and evaluate their condition and quality of their life each day. Once quality of life is not there, then consider putting them out of their misery.
 

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