Malabsorption Syndrome?


May 4, 2015
One of our chics began to favor her left leg at 1 week old. She can use the foot to help balance but keeps it pulled up (and shaking) as much as possible. She is eating and drinking. We separated her and even brought her to an avian. The avian determined that there was nothing to be concerned of. No break, fracture or tendon pulled etc. she is now 5 weeks old and about the same size but still eating and drinking and all as normal. She is gaining more feathers but at a much slower rate. she still will not willingly use the foot unless it's to help her hop around the cage. Please any suggestions. We are doing aspirin and vitamins.

I've been searching the internet. Could this be malabsorption syndrome and/or viral arthritis? if so, what should we be doing?
If your avian expert couldn't find the cause of her favoring her one leg, I doubt anyone will be able to. You're doing what you can, and are probably on the right track suspecting some sort of arthritis. I happen to have an older hen who slowly developed such a condition over the last few years. It became so bad last year, she couldn't walk at all.

The biggest danger will be if she becomes noticeable to the other chicks. They may attack her because this. It's what happened to my hen. She and I both have adjusted and I keep her safe from the others, and she sleeps inside at night where it's warmer. Very cold weather has a bad effect on her affliction.

You might experiment with baby aspirin and glucosamine. It's really helped my hen, and on most days, she can get around just fine. She just isn't able to run or jump up to anything higher than a couple inches off the ground.

You might swtch to Poultry Nutri-drench which is a much more intensive vitamin therapy for any chicken struggling to thrive. Start out with a half a baby aspirin and see if pain relief improves her use of the leg. I dose my adult hen at half an aspirin and a quarter tab of glucosamine twice a day. Increase the dosage if there isn't any noticeable effect at first.

A lot of times, we just have to follow our intuition when it comes to these little guys. And a lot of the time, our instincts are right on! Let us know how it goes.
Thank you so much for your response! We have her separate and actually still in the house. The aspirin seems to help. I will have to try switching her vitamins to the ones you suggested and check out the glucosamine. Thanks again!!
We were given a 12 week old pullet. She was severely emaciated and not walking. She is eating better, yet she really isn't getting a lot fatter. We have vitamins added to commercial feed, also giving B complex in her water, as well as aspirin and turmeric and cayenne pepper. She eats but her crop never seems full and her legs are listless, although I have seen them move. her wings and neck move fine. Is this malabsorption syndrome?

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