Normal, Healthy Chick Suddenly Can't Walk or Even Sit Right?! Help!

May 3, 2019
So after the tragedy of losing all but one of our first batch of chicks, I went and bought our one Jersey Giant chick 8 friends from tractor supply. We got a mix of breeds and they were all looking great and growing fine until I checked on them yesterday morning. They're a month old now. When I went out to feed the chickens yesterday, one of our Cuckoo Marans was acting a little funny. Wasn't interested in food or water and she had her wings hanging by her sides and was walking kind of funny with her legs wide apart and stumbling a lot. We separated her from the other chicks and tried to get her to eat and drink. The best she could do was a sip here or a nibble there. Then she started trembling. Now, today, she's barely peeping and she can't even stand! She just sits there with her legs out in front of her and splayed out to the sides and her wings limp! She doesn't have a fever and I can't find any injuries. Does anyone know what's causing this?


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She could be suffering from a leg bone deformity or a slipped tendon from an injury. Has she looked normal up until now? Were legs splayed out earlier? She might be dehydrated, so I would give her some water with electrolytes and vitamins. Once she will well hydrated, she may feel and act better. A leg problem might have prevented her from getting enough.

I would start some B Complex tablets in her food, or give her a couple of drops of Poultry Cell daily. Riboflavin or B2 is what is needed, if you use another vitamin. Make sure that she is getting enough to eat and drink several times a day.

Sometimes seeing a picture of how she is standing may be helpful if it is a leg bone deformity.
I'm fairly certain it isn't a deformity because she was perfectly normal before Saturday morning. Walking, running, eating, drinking... even trying to fly. She never showed even a hint of lameness. I did post pictures of how she was, well, not standing, really. All she was able to do was sit with her legs stretched out in front of her and spread wide apart.

However, I think you're right about her having some sort of deficiency. After reading your post, I started supplementing her with a vitamin, probiotic and calcium fortified chick mash and I've been adding electrolytes to her water.

At first, I had to force feed her cause she was too weak to eat, but within 3 hours, she was eating on her own. All I had to do was hold her and hold the food in front of her beak. Just one day later, after 4 feedings of the fortified food, she was trying to stand! Today, she has been standing in her carrier and eating her food all on her own! She's even been taking wobbly steps! She still falls over when she tries to walk more than a step or five, but she has been making steady progress!

Thank you so much for the advice! It seems you have saved my little Samhain! ^_^

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