Unsteady Limping Rooster - Articular Gout?


May 17, 2021
1) What type of bird: 5m old Black Copper Marans rooster. Weight seems ok but he is the only rooster I have so nothing to compare. Maybe 5-6lbs?
2) What is the behavior, exactly: currently he is very painful walking, mostly favoring his right leg but I think both are painful. Stumbly and uncoordinated. Prefers to lay down and will lay back on his hocks with feet thrown forward.
3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? 2 days ago was the first time I was certain he was in pain and not just awkward. Before that he didn’t have an obvious limp but had been acting droopy for awhile and laying down a lot. Historically I have noticed him acting strange from about 8 weeks. I noticed he would lay down more than the other chicks and he would run very strangely and disjointed and only in short spurts. I thought it was just “how he was” but now I wonder if he was developing this issue even as early as 8 weeks!
4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? No
5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. No bumblefoot. I have checked him over top to bottom and did not find anything conclusively wrong. However, I did feel a firm lump just above his joint on the inside of the right leg that is not on the left. Additionally, his feet maybe look a little puffy but I’m not sure if his are normal looking for a rooster. And his hock joints might be a little lumpy but I am not 100% sure what I felt was abnormal.
6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. I don’t know of any specific incident or reason.
7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. Up until about 3 months of age I was feeding Nutrena 18% organic chick starter/grower. After that I integrated him with the main flock and started cutting the feed half and half between the chick food and 16% Nutrena Organic Layer pellets. I thought this would be ok for both ages because my laying hens have been molting and could use extra protein. And the chicks wouldn’t get too much calcium from the layer because it would be diluted. I have separated the rooster into a crate and am now feeding him 20% all flock feed but I am not sure if this is too much protein.
8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. Normal
9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? I have separated him into a crate with new feed of 20% protein Nutrena all flock and probiotic water. I have just started administering Nutridrench 2ml once a day orally from dropper.
10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet? I would like to get him better myself as I live on an island and do not have access to an avian vet
11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help. I have videos and pics. It looks like it is only allowing me to post pics but I’ll try to post video as a comment.
12) Describe the housing/bedding in use: my hen house is wooden and secure from drafts and weather. I use pine shavings as bedding and try to change it frequently. The Rooster has never roosted on the roosting bars and has always laid himself down underneath the nesting boxes on the floor. I have thought laying on the floor near the poop was not great for him but I tried to put him on the roosts and he does not have the balance. So I’ve just tried to keep the shavings clean for him.
Currently in a crate with pine shavings.

After researching I am wondering if this could be Articular gout. I didn’t think my protein or calcium would have been too high for him but perhaps he is predisposed genetically to this condition? I should note that I hatched him from hatching eggs I got from a local lady with a flock of BCMs. 16 eggs and only 5 hatched. Two of those died at about 3 weeks from failure to thrive. I’m pretty sure the issue was genetic because I had given two of the chicks to my friend and one of hers died and one of mine died in the exact same way in different environments. I am highly suspicious that these eggs I hatched were genetically inferior unfortunately. By comparison, 4/5 eggs from my flock hatched in the same batch and all lived.

Any opinions or insights on what this could be would be appreciated. Treatment advice would also be appreciate. I would hate to have to mercy cull because he is a very sweet guy.

thank you!!!


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