Quail with paralyzed leg

Discussion in 'Quail' started by cookiesdaddy, Nov 12, 2014.

  1. cookiesdaddy

    cookiesdaddy Songster

    Apr 13, 2007
    California Bay Area
    I just noticed one of my hens has a paralyzed leg. The right leg spreads side way as seen the in this picture and seems completely paralyzed. Left leg still OK. She can hop around with one leg and look somewhat healthy, just not very mobile. She's from my breeding cage and has been a faithful layer. Probably too old to cull for meat. Plus, not too sure if she's sick. Any suggestion?

    Is this one of those diseases with birds? I notice that one of the younger bird (3 weeks old) in the lower brooder cage is showing weak legs too. I've seen weak legs before and read that it's a lack of vitamin B so I have been adding some vitamin B to their water the first couple weeks after hatch. Have not seen weak legs the last 2-3 months.

  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Have you tried posting on the emergencies thread? I don't know if quail get Mareks disease like chickens. If you plan to put her down I'd suggest having a necropsy done to see what you are dealing with.
  3. dc3085

    dc3085 Crowing

    She's definitely sick so first thing is take her away from the other birds so that they can no longer contact her or her feces. This isn't necessarily a disease related problem so don't panic just yet. Those ruffled feathers are a sure sign that something isn't right with a bird, when you see a bird doing that segregate it immediately.

    Has she boinked the ceiling? Are you sure the leg paralyzed or could it be broken from being caught in the wire? Inspect it closely if you haven't and feel for anything abnormal. If she has an infected break that could cause this.

    If it's not broken it starts getting hard to diagnose. Prick her leg lightly with a needle to check for paralysis.

    When you separate her make sure you put her in something that you can inspect her feces. Pay attention also to how much she is eating and drinking if possible. I'd guess she is off feed since they usually go off when they get sick. I'd also bet that if you pick her up she's skin and bones. They can degrade a lot farther than you'd think and still look healthy if you aren't handling them. Feed her whatever she will eat, seeds, crackers, meal worms etc. Add vitamin supplements to her water either savachik or vitasol. Vitasol is available at all our local pet and feed stores.

    Is there any nasal or ocular discharge about her face? If so does the discharge smell foul?

    Do you notice any circling or tremors (shaking) when she stands or walks?

    Vitamin B or E Deficiency can cause paralysis and leg promblems so I'll include links to symptoms for those issues as well.

    Here is as complete of a list as I can come up with of diseases or infections that cause paralysis. Some are quite uncommon but this should give you a little more diagnostic information.


    You can always call me or text me too if you've got a problem. Doesn't bother me in the least.

    Edit to add: http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/62/avian-influenzahighly-pathogenic-hpai-fowl-plague
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014
  4. cookiesdaddy

    cookiesdaddy Songster

    Apr 13, 2007
    California Bay Area
    Thank you Doc! So informative. I discovered this 2-3 days ago and she seems more active than before so hopefully it's a good sign. She's not skin and bones, but right leg definitely paralyzed (seems unable to move). Haven't tried prickling her. Could be jumping and boink her head. The ceiling is only 9-10 inches high and I still lose birds occasionally because of boinking. Have padded the ceiling but it keeps falling off.

    Thanks for the advice - I will separate her when I get home and observe her. Will also buy vitasol. Will keep you updated. Frankly she looks so paralyzed I don't feel it can get better. If so I have to decide what to do with her.
  5. cookiesdaddy

    cookiesdaddy Songster

    Apr 13, 2007
    California Bay Area
    By the way one more thing I just thought of. I keep the cage and environment generally clean and away from my chickens. Feeder is protected and clean. But the water source maybe questionable. I use the nipple waterers with PVC pipe which is fine. But the 1/4 inch tube supplying the water is made of transparent / translucent plastic and I can see the green algae developed in the tube. I think it allows the day light in and algae growth. I have replaced most transparent tubes with those black tubes from the garden section. Black tube blocks out sun light and prevent algae growth. But I have not replaced this particular cage section. Maybe that is the culprit.

    Does anybody know what algae water will do to poultry?
  6. dc3085

    dc3085 Crowing

    I know that some forms of algae can cause encephalitis like symptoms but can't find any definitive science on the subject. I wouldn't rule it out at this point.
  7. Sill

    Sill Songster

    Dec 30, 2013
    Tempe, AZ
    It may but you probably would have others with similar symptoms by now if that were the case.

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