Hi we have a Marans cross cockerel who is 8 months old. About 10 weeks ago, I found that he had turned up very lame, and had his toes curled in a ball on his left foot. His leg, and foot, were very sore to touch, but there was nothing to see, no injury, no bumblefoot. I put him in a small pen for about a month on forced rest, treated with baby aspirin twice a day. He made a slow recovery and after a month I put him in a bigger pen where he could move around and had a low roost. He continued to improve, his toes uncurled, and his limp was getting less. At six weeks, I decided to treat him with treatment strength Denagard on the chance that maybe he had MS, although I didn't notice any swelling or heat in his leg joints, AND we do treat with scheduled preventative Denagard. He did continue to steadily improve while on the treatment strength Denagard, maybe a little faster than before. At 8 weeks I did not see any limp at all, he appeared to be totally sound. At 8 1/2 weeks I let him out to rejoin the flock. He had no problem at all regaining his pecking order status (he's pretty big)..he had brief battles with two other roosters that I saw, and they were standoffs, at which point, peace resumed. He spent the entire day with the flock, with no sign of lameness. The following morning he had a bad limp. Two days later I was forced to re-confine him, as he was dead lame. His toes were curled in a ball again, and he had pain, heat, and some swelling in the shank of his leg, and SOME in the joint. I was confused for a while because of the curled toes, I originally though he was protecting his foot pad by curling his toes, but now I think that this is some kind of reflex action as a result of an injury to a muscle or tendon. But I'm just not sure. Again, there's nothing to see, the foot looks normal. He acts perfectly fine otherwise; healthy, crowing, good weight, always hungry, normal droppings. I just wanted to see if anyone else has experienced this and what the outcome was. I hate to cull him if it will not heal, but I don't want to keep him in a pen by himself for the rest of his life, and currently I don't have any pullets that I want to put with him, and don't want to get any more just now. So, should I try a longer rest period? Try Denagard again? I'm not sure that soaking in Epsom salts will make much difference, but it might. Anyone have any thoughts? (surgery or vet is not an option, really). Oh, also...when I caught him a week ago it felt like he had a fever..his wattles and entire body were very warm, in addition to his leg...and I thought this was the case the first time he turned up lame, too.