My peafowl is having trouble walking

Keerat Singh

Aug 22, 2019
Hi, I have 5 peafowls and just yesterday I noticed that one of them kept falling as it tried to get up and walk, I took it out of the cage and checked for any injuries but there were none, so I’m worried and freaking out because I don’t know what’s wrong and it seems to be limping and losing balance. They are all 2 and half months old, idk if it might be worms? HELP.
Greetings Keerat Singh,

I don't have any peafowl, however, they are subject to most of the same problems as other poultry.

It's great that you checked for obvious injuries/wounds, but since this is a juvenile, you will need to be more comprehensive in your exam.

Here are some things to check for:
  • Is the bird eating normally?
  • Is the bird drinking normally?
  • What does the poop look like? Watery, loose, mucousy, normal?
  • What do the urates (the white part of the poop) in the poop look like? White (normal) or Yellow?
  • Any signs of respiratory distress, chest rattle, open mouth breathing, sneezing, nasal discharge, weepy eyes?
  • Any sores under the feet?
You mentioned the baby peafowl are in a cage, is there a solid floor, or wire cage floor? Do they free range/forage outside?

Nutritional deficiencies can cause neurological symptoms like discoordination, weakness, etc. Hopefully, you are feeding a balanced feed for peafowl. They are game birds and require higher protein amount than other poultry.

At this young age, coccidiosis is always a major concern, it kills young birds quickly. Only a fecal float test will confirm coccidiosis. But, if you have no vet to perform the fecal float test on a poop sample, then, you may want to treat for coccidiosis as a precaution. Corid (Amprolium) can be purchased at any feed/farm store. It is put in the birds drinking water. If it is determined that one bird has coccidiosis, then all the birds should be treated.

These are my thoughts on your bird's health issue. I hope I have been helpful.

God Bless :)
At the moment I have them in a large cage and yes one of them is having problem breathing, do u think it might be because they haven’t been dewormed yet ? & what sort of dewormer should I use???
Greetings Keerat Singh,

At only 10 weeks old the peafowl are very young. So, medicating of any kind must be warranted. Worming medication can be hard on an adult, let alone a juvenile bird. A sick bird that doesn't need worming, can become worse or even die, from the added stress of worming.

When a bird is open mouth breathing, it isn't normally a worm infestation. However, Gape Worm infestation does cause respiratory symptoms, gaping, struggling to breath. These worms occupy the airway of the bird, and will result in death. Intestinal worm infestations can cause weakness, paleness, but, is most often seen in the quality of the birds poop. Diarrhea, and or foamy poop, can be signs of a worm problem. But, diarrhea, watery or foamy poop, can also be symptoms of other illnesses. If they are free ranging birds, and there is a history of high worm infestation, in other animals and birds on the property, it could be worms. But, this is only a guess. If there is any way you can have a vet help you, that should be done immediately. Again, a fecal float will confirm and identify the type of parasite: coccidiosis, or worm infestation. If it is a worm infestation, you also need to know what kind of worms you need to treat for. Some worming medications work on one type of worm, and not on another.

The bird is having respiratory distress? Is there any discharge from the nostrils or eyes? Hold the bird's chest to your ear. Do you hear any crackling or rattling?

If the bird is sick with a respiratory illness, and you treat for worms, that could cause the sick bird to become weaker. And you will have wasted time treating for something unnecessary.

If it is not possible to have a vet help you, then you will need to provide more information, so that the members of BYC can offer advice.

Upload a photo of the sick bird and the bird's recent poops. A video would be even better. Video the bird, then, put the video on YouTube or Vimeo. Put a link here in this thread, so that members can view the bird's behavior. This will help to diagnosis what may be going on.

Is the bird eating and drinking? It is super important for a sick bird to eat and drink water. They need nourishment to fight off illness.

Many times a bird has multiple things affecting it's health, so this needs to be addressed quickly.

The sick bird should have already been separated in a hospital crate.
If this is infectious, the others have already been exposed. But, separating the bird will make it easier to monitor, medicate, and feed. The sick bird also, does not have the strength to compete for food among the healthier pen mates. They tend to get pushed aside, trampled and pecked, when in a weakened condition.

  • If the peafowl is having trouble breathing, you can set up a humidifier near the cage to help it breath easier.
  • Provide electrolytes in the water.
  • Administer a multi-vitamin supplement for poultry.
  • If it is cold where you are, provide warmth, keep the bird out of drafts.

An antibiotic may be needed if this is a respiratory infection. Some respiratory infections are viral, some are bacterial. An antibiotic will help prevent secondary infection, if the infection is viral.

These are my thoughts on your birds health issue, I hope I have been helpful.

Other members will have advice, please consider these too.

God Bless :)

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