Rooster with lameness in legs.


6 Years
Mar 22, 2013
Hinton alberta
Hi there, my rooster has been walking on his hocks for the last 3 weeks. I have looked at every possible scenario including Marek's disease. He is the only one in the whole flock to show ANY symptoms at all. I am new to chicken keeping. I did not get them vaccinated because I did not get them from a hatchery. I wanted to vaccinate them but it is VERY hard to get some in Canada. Unless you are a hatchery. Now no one else show ANY signs.. and I have to say he looks amazing aside from this legs. He still eats and drinks great. His feathers looks amazing( he is 6 months by the way) he still humps the girls. lol

First week he was loosing weight tho, I would feel his ribs. I started looking into vitamin deficiency. I gave him a bit of Aspirin for a week but it didnt seem to make a difference. My chicken get apple cider vinegar in their water. I started him on B complex twice a day crushed with plain yogurt. after 10 days not a big difference. I kept doing this but added Vitamin D..Now I am starting to see him walk a little on his town instead of all the weight on his hocks. He is definitely stronger and fights more when I pick him up. He looks fuller. I am just having a hard time finding information on dose of vitamin I have to give him and will I have to do this forever? none of my hens show any signs and they are making very tick egg shells. they also lay every day or two days.

any kind of info would help..he does have bit of blood spots on his comb. but they are nice bight red..

If it is Marek..not much I can do apparently :(

thank you!!

Cassandra from Alberta, Canada
It hopefully is riboflavin (vitamin B2) deficiency. Treatment started early can sometimes reverse it. Good luck and I hope he regains full use of his legs. Here is a good link to read about it:

RIBOFLAVIN DEFICIENCY from The Merck Veterinary Manual

Many tissues may be affected by riboflavin deficiency, although the epithelium and the myelin sheaths of some of the main nerves are major targets. Changes in the sciatic nerves produce “curled-toe” paralysis in growing chickens. Egg production is affected, and riboflavin-deficient eggs do not hatch. When the diet is inadvertently devoid of the entire spectrum of vitamins, it is signs of riboflavin deficiency that first appear. When chicks are fed a diet deficient in riboflavin, their appetite is fairly good but they grow slowly, become weak and emaciated, and develop diarrhea between the first and second weeks. Deficient chicks are reluctant to move unless forced and then frequently walk on their hocks with the aid of their wings. The leg muscles are atrophied and flabby, and the skin is dry and harsh. In advanced stages of deficiency, the chicks lie prostrate with their legs extended, sometimes in opposite directions. The characteristic sign of riboflavin deficiency is a marked enlargement of the sciatic and brachial nerve sheaths; sciatic nerves usually show the most pronounced effects. Histologic examination of the affected nerves shows degenerative changes in the myelin sheaths that, when severe, pinch the nerve. This produces a permanent stimulus, which causes the curled-toe paralysis.

Chicks receiving diets only partially deficient in riboflavin may recover spontaneously, indicating that the requirement rapidly decreases with age. A 100-mcg dose should be sufficient for treatment of riboflavin-deficient chicks, followed by incorporation of an adequate level in the diet. However, when the curled-toe deformity is longstanding, irreparable damage occurs in the sciatic nerve, and the administration of riboflavin is no longer curative.
Most diets contain up to 10 mg of riboflavin/kg. Treatment can be given as two sequential daily 100-mcg doses for chicks or poults, followed by an adequate amount of riboflavin in feed.
Thank you, very frustrating that you rely on a good feed company but really I had no idea that it could possibly not be good anyway from storage etc...makes it hard to control their health. :(

thank you for the info! He seems to be reacting more since that possible?
I usually like to use a multivitamins to cover all bases, but always check the label to make sure riboflavin is included. Trace minerals, only available in a few supplements, may also help in these cases.

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