Ok, about a month ago I thought a chicken got hurt and was limping...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by missnu01, Jan 5, 2013.

  1. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We separated the chicken that was limping, but it got no better. After 3 weeks cooped up in an xlarge dog crate I gave up and figured whatever was going to happen needed to happen...so for a week we have had a limpy chicken in with the other chickens...Then today I go up and the chicken that was limping no longer is...but a different chicken is doing the exact same thing as the first...They won't straighten out their toes on one foot...they hold it drawn up...so they roost on the floor, but eat and get around like normal. No swelling. No bends...everything looks fine, and the chickens act alright other than the limping on the one leg. At first I thought the chicken got hurt because it was the only one limping and I found it with it's leg stuck in a box it had run into to hide....
    But now I am not so sure. Perhaps after a month this newly limping chicken will stop. Also the first limping chicken has become unnaturally friendly now that the limp is gone. It literally follows me all around and sits on my shoes. Perhaps because I have been rescuing it from all the places it limped to and couldn't get out of. It just seems so odd that when one stops limping another one starts.

    So what chicken viruses can cause a chicken to limp and then stop...or is it possible that 2 chickens have just sprained their little feet? I mean I guess it is possible...but on the exact day one stops limping another starts. Odd indeed. I am open to any thoughts. I am not afraid of death really just because the first chicken limped for just over a month...no diarrhea, no wheezing, no anything...just the limping.
     
  2. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You're not crazy, as there's rarely such coincidental occurances w/in any flock. You could be dealing w/ Tenosynovitis, which is, indeed, a virus ...

    PubMed: "An adenovirus was isolated from the tendon fluid of broilers and meat breeders with clinical tenosynovitis. The viral infection was in many cases accompanied by a staphylococcal infection. The significance of the adenovirus is not yet known, although initial transmission studies indicate that it may play a role in the tendon thickening process."

    A deficiency of riboflavin or choline could also possibly explain these symptoms, but you'd need to observe their behavior very closely, and run down their diet in detail.
     
  3. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well the hens get laying pellets, but these are young birds that are having the limping, and they are getting chick starter crumbles. None of them seem to be wheezing, or ailing, no runny noses and all that. All the older birds are fine, and all the younger birds are fine as well, except for the one that is now limping...as I said the one that was limping is no longer limping...It's like the chicken decides to not stretch out their toes on one foot. They still use the foot, but it is curled up into a ball...I checked the bottoms of their feet, no scratches or anything...So I am stumped, but not super worried unless they stop limping right before they die...but everyday for a couple of weeks the original limper has been seeming to get stronger and what not...

    I also let the chickens free range in the woods for most of the day everyday. So Laying pellets, chick starter, some scratch, I sometimes sprinkle some egg shells in with the scratch or laying pellets...It might be their diet, but I feel like it is varied enough to be healthy. All the chickens look good and act healthy, I was thinking we would just let the first limpy chicken get a little larger and then eat him because he is a rooster after all, and we already have 2 adult roosters, and 2 more in chick form. He was one of the cockerels, so no big loss...But now he isn't limping and one of the young pullets is....I guess I'll just wait and see if she pulls it back around the same way the first did. It might be that they are getting hurt coming off the roosts...because instead of using the roosts I set up they use my roosts to get to the rafters of the barn and they sleep up there...they sometimes hit the ground pretty hard in the mornings though...
    I think they'll be alright though.

    I am not sure we will ever eat one of our chickens. I feel like I know most of them personally. I wasn't really very attached to any of the chicks we got, but as one gets limpy I have to spend time with it. And I get to know it, and they start being friendly with me, and there goes another chicken off of the list...You know the list of chickens you wouldn't mind eating...Lol.
     
  4. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I looked at the virus you mentioned and it might be it, but there is no swelling, no lesions, all birds are growing well and eating like crazy. So if that is it, then we got a very very light case of it.

    If once this chicken stops limping another starts then I will just know it is part of the process.

    On another odd note, we bought these chicks with their mom, and the mom has one wing that is longer than the other, I notice that 4 of the chicks have the same asymmetry...it is strange looking, so perhaps weak ankles are a family thing like the one long wing.
     
  5. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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    Could also be Merek's.
     
  6. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Doesn't marek's also have many other symptoms? I mean I guess it is possible...I don't know the history of these chicks or their mom. We started out and got 3 hens and a rooster. Then we got a Mama hen and her 7 babies. Then we got one silkie rooster. There wasn't really any period where they were separated...except for the first few days so they would get used to each other. I know you are supposed to quarantine new chickens, but since they were all new I figured it wouldn't matter all that much...and it hasn't as far as I can tell. If it is some sort of virus it seems to be confined to the young chicks, which most chicken viruses do seem to affect younger birds first...but they have all been together for 2 months and no issues beyond one limping, and then getting better and now another is limping...no lesions, bends, breaks or tears. And the chickens affected don't mind if you straighten their foot back out...no swelling anywhere, eating and drinking normally. I am just going to leave whatever it is alone and kind of take notes on what goes on...
     
  7. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

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  8. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Now you've gone 'n done it ... you said the big "M" word.

    From that very same page about Tenosynovitis, it indeed suggests to, "Differentiate from mycoplasmosis, salmonellosis, Marek’s, Pasteurella, erysipelas," as possibilities.
     
  9. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hmm...the chickens aren't holding their leg weird..they are holding the leg like normal but on one side they aren't putting their toes out straight...they are keeping the toes curled in like when they roost or something like that...the toes are curled in...Who knows. No strange movements other than the foot being curled. No putting one out front and one behind...just keeping the foot balled up instead of walking with the toes straight and splayed. So they end up sort of hobbled. the recovered chicken did start walking with the whole leg layed flat...like using what I guess is it's elbow...which made for a strange shuffle...but the next day after trying that walk out, it is now walking normally today with all toes straight as they should be.
     
  10. missnu01

    missnu01 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    But all the chickens eyes are fine..no gasping, no lesions, nothing...I think they are spraining or straining themselves when dismounting from the roosts, but the only way to find out is to see if this next chick heals or what not.
     

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