Rooster with crooked legs?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by stoph, Dec 30, 2010.

  1. stoph

    stoph New Egg

    Dec 30, 2010
    I have a Rhode Island Red rooster named Biscuit who is about 8 months old, and has had leg problems ever since I can remember. I'm not sure if this issue is anything major, since he never really seems to be in pain. His legs seem to be crooked, almost as if he has a problem with his hock joints. He doesn't use some toes, but walks on his heels instead. He can't run properly, and instead will either hop sideways or seem to gallop more like a horse! He can jump a very small height if absolutely necessary, maybe a little over 1ft. Since we were first time chicken owners, I didn't notice anything unusual until he began having growth spurts and wasn't walking quite right. It never seems to really bother him unless he can't run after his ladies quite as quick (he does free range with them), but he does seem a little stiff in the cold. Several times a day, I'll see him pick one foot off the ground and shake it out like it may be stiff.

    Other than this physical problem, he's very happy and healthy. - Biscuit as a chick. Not sure if there are any obvious problems that jump out at more experienced chicken owners. - This got a little messed up at the bottom, but shows his legs clearly. - Video that shows his little "shuffle" and sideways running.

    Also, does this look like it may be a genetic problem? He is our only rooster and we'd like to have a few chicks in the spring. I'm just concerned that the problem may be a) directly genetic and cause us to have chicks with similar problems, or b) he has some kind of gene that causes rapid weight gain or growth. I'm almost inclined to think that he has weak legs due to growing to his size so quickly, although that may not be the case. Either way, I'd rather not have any affected chicks, and if anyone is suspicious it may be genetic, I'd rather go buy new chicks instead.

    Thanks for any help you can offer, even if it's small! I haven't been able to find anything like his condition on the internet, so I'm completely stumped.
  2. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    This is very interesting. I don't think i would have noticed anything was wrong either. I am interested to see what others will say.
  3. Silkie Sue

    Silkie Sue Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 23, 2007
    Sarnia, Ontario
    that is quite the bowlegged roo you got there~
    he seems well adjusted to his condition and does not seem to be holding back because of it
    as for the cause of it ......
    my opinion is that is it probably more genetic than caused by growing too fast..
    my sister in law raises meat chickens and they gain 5 pounds in 2 weeks and none of their legs have done that.
    if he was mine i would let him be his stylin self and enjoy his freedom, i would not use him for breeding [​IMG]
  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Other than his bow legs, he looks to be in excellent condition. As long as he is enjoying life, I'd leave him alone. I also would be concerned that it is genetic, and would not hatch any eggs fertilized by him. Hopefully it is not a progressive condition that will eventually incapacitate him.

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