Lost use of legs

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by tanchick, Dec 28, 2016.

  1. tanchick

    tanchick Hatching

    Dec 7, 2015
    Hoping someone can help me or provide some insight! Sunday morning, when I went to feed our girls, as I went to open their coop door and they all came rushing to the front, one of our chickens made an almost screaming noise and just fell to the ground. She can't walk and has lost the use of her legs. I don't understand how or what's happened when 1 minute she was fine and the next she's on the floor unable to move. Her wings seem fine as she tries to move and flap. She's been sat in the coop mostly and I take her out for fresh air and feed her. She's eating and drinking but not as enthusiastically as she normally would. Her breathing seems heavier since she fell and I don't know what to do. Hoping someone has an idea on what could've randomly caused this? Any advice is appreciated. Thanks

    Edit - just to add, she's a 2 year old Silkie, goes broody often, hasn't laid in a few weeks after a broody stint.
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2016

  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    It may be hard to tell what has caused this sudden lameness. Some type of back injury, a vitamin or mineral deficiency from her broody period, an internal problem, or diseases such as Mareks, botulism, or heavy metal or mold poisoning could be possible. I would keep her in a crate or basket, feed her a good chick feed for 90% of her diet, and supplement with some chopped egg, tuna, and a small amount of plain probiotic yogurt . Add poultry vitamins to the water. Adding water to a small bowl of feed can make it more appealing. Sometimes with good TLC they can make a recovery. Let us know how she gets along.
  3. It sounds like she possibly sprained her legs jumping down from the roost.....If she is eating and drinking fine? No other symptoms?

    She needs a few days to bounce back and healing will take a few weeks....

  4. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    When legs go out from under a chicken suddenly as you are describing, I would suspect a neuro-toxin. It could also be Marek's.

    Ant poison, paint thinner, spoiled food with botulism toxin colonizing it, molds from feed getting damp.

    Sadly, if any of these are responsible, your girl doesn't have long to live.

    If it's an injury, look for bruising to the legs. You should see greenish coloring on the scales. If she can't walk at all, it may be a broken bone or slipped tendon. If she survives the next 24 hours, I would make a sling for her so her legs dangle, and maybe that can help the injury heal.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by