Slipped Tendon in 4mo Old Rooster


Dec 11, 2020
Hi everyone,

First, thank you all for always providing such helpful information. The BYC community is my go-to resource for anything and everything I need to know about my beloved birds.

Second, I have a 4mo old australorp rooster, "Mr. Cluck Gable", who I believe has a slipped tendon in BOTH legs. What's very unfortunate, is that the vet I took him to said it was likely Mareks disease, and sent me off with a recommendation for a poultry drench. Granted, the drench did help him quite a bit, but his legs and toes continued to stay bent (because the vet said nothing about splinting or any aid for the legs). I've had him in the house for the last month or so so he wouldn't be picked on and so I could help him get around, monitor his diet, etc. Now, one of his legs is getting much worse and he is having a visibly more difficult time getting around. I'm so attached to this little guy and want to do anything and everything I can for him. Is this something that could be treated successfully with surgery? Help! :(
Welcome to BYC. Could you post some pictures of your rooster standing from the front and back? Pictures of him lying down would be good as well. A video of him walking uploaded to YouTube with a link posted here would be helpful. Do his toes curled under on either foot, and does he sit or walk on his hocks? Have you had him all along, and have his legs always appeared normal? It can be hard to diagnose leg issues. There are leg bone deformities that can affect either leg which give a bowlegged or knock kneed appearance. B complex vitamin tablets can be helpful if there is a riboflavin deficiency, and dosage is 1/2 tablet crushed into some food or water.
Wow thank you so much for the quick reply, info and welcome! He was born normal (we got him when he was about a week or two old). We were keeping him and three of his sisters in a very large, clear plastic storage bin in the garage until they were fully feathered and heading outside. However, one of the hens is a total b**ch/bully and I would find her standing on his back quite a few times, so it's safe to assume she did this way more frequently that I didn't see. Because a few of the hens were little escape artists, we put a sheet of chicken wire across the top of the bin eventually to prevent them from milling about in the garage. I feel that the lower-than-ideal ceiling coupled with the mean hen standing on his back made his tendons slip. He was very thin, I'm guessing because she bullied him, but now that I've had him inside he has a very good appetite and is much much healthier, nutritionally speaking.

He can't stand/walk at all. He hobbles, wobbles and flaps to get where he needs to go, but doesn't move much. Poor little guy!

Photos attached.


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I am not a vet, but it looks like he could have a twisted tibia, and his toes are crooked. I doubt if you can do anything for that, except keep him near his food. A dog crate with food and water, inside the coop or run where he could still be with the others would be good. Here are two articles with pictures of rotated or twisted tibia:
Thank you SO much!! I really appreciate the info. Is it fixable with surgery?
Thank you again for your help with this. I ended up making the very hard and painful decision to lay poor little Mr. Cluck Gable to rest. Ultimately, it wasn't fair to him, and he was getting worse. The vet was very thorough with him though and felt it was the best thing for him. :(

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