Wobbly chicken - walking problems

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by lcountry, Jun 14, 2007.

  1. lcountry

    lcountry In the Brooder

    May 11, 2007
    I have a sweet little pullet that is about seven weeks old. She seems fine - eats, drinks, bright eyes , interested in everything - but she seems wobbly on her feet. The first time I noticed it I was putting her down (a couple weeks ago) and she seemed to not have her legs under her when I sat her down. She kind of tipped forward and "landed" on her chin. There was "no reason" for this to happen, she wasn't panicked and I was setting her on her feet.

    Similar things have happened on occassion since then, she starts to run and then looks off balance. Last night she got up to run and looked like a little kid when they "get ahead of themselves". She looked like her head and body was going too fast and she skidded to a landing on her chest with her head bumping the fence. Today, when she walks I can see that there is definitely something off - she seems unbalanced or like a leg doesn't work quite right. Though I can't see a thing in the world wrong with her - no injury, no visible deformation, etc.

    The others don't pick on her, but do you think they will start? Any ideas what may be going on with her?
  2. CarriBrown

    CarriBrown Crowing

    What are you feeding your hens? And what are all their ages?
  3. lcountry

    lcountry In the Brooder

    May 11, 2007
    They are all seven weeks old, give or take a day or two.

    She's on Three-way that the feed store recommended. Sorry I don't have the brand handy. It isn't a medicated feed though. According to the bag [​IMG] it is for babies up through laying. They've been on it since they were tiny babies and there hasn't been anything apparently abnormal about the feed (not wet, etc.).

    They are in a 10x10 pen so they do have some grass to munch on and whatever kinds of bugs wander through. But, she was having this symptom before being out of the brooder pen. The other six are doing fine. I'm not sure what breed she is - attaching a picture from a couple weeks ago. Any breed ideas?

    I hope it's nothing major or incurable. As it seems to always happen, she's probably my favorite "chickie-boo"

  4. Chickenlover88

    Chickenlover88 Songster

    May 10, 2007
    Dallas, Georgia
    I had a little chick like this. I think she either had a neurological problem or was just slow or maybe even retarted. I loved her so much sadly she fell in my pool probably due to her wobblyness and drowned. Your little chick looks like either an australorp or a jersey giant. Good luck with her.
  5. lcountry

    lcountry In the Brooder

    May 11, 2007
    Do I need to be concerned about the other stronger chickens starting to pick on her? So far, they are a friendly little group.

    Chickenlover88 - thank you for the inadvertant warning. I have a fenced area around my pool where I thought she could stay if the others start picking on her. I hadn't even thought yet of her falling in the pool. How horrible.

    She's so sweet. Always the first to be underfoot when I come into their run... Thanks for the breed ideas. An austrolorp would be built like my orpingtons, more or less, right? I'm thinking then maybe Jersey Giant.
  6. Queen of the Lilliputians

    Queen of the Lilliputians Songster

    Apr 5, 2007
    Ok, I'm fairly new, so shooting in the dark here..

    I'm confused how a manufacturer could have a food that works from tiny babies through laying. The requirements are so different. Honestly, if she were my chick I think I'd go to the feedstore and buy a small bag of "chick starter". Give that to her for a week or two, and see if it makes a difference.

    Sorry for you and your little one. I hope you figure this out soon, and she can go on to live a happy and 'normal' chicken life.

  7. 9red2blk

    9red2blk In the Brooder

    Apr 26, 2007
    I have one doing the same thing as yours. It may have Rigkets that is what I was told.
  8. lcountry

    lcountry In the Brooder

    May 11, 2007
    What in the world is Rigkets? I'm new to chickens so can someone fill me in?

    When I was watching her today, I noticed that her legs are go out to the sides now. But, I double checked pictures I took a few weeks ago and her legs are normal. Now they seem to "v" out to the sides like an upside down "V". Is this something she is doing to compensate for a balance problem or is it the cause of the problem?

    And, worse case, I've read about Marek's. She came from a feed store that handles a lot of chicks. I'm hoping she was vaccinated. Am I needlessly worrying about this? There is no other symptom other than the balance/leg issue and it's been going on for a bit now. If it was Mareks, how long does it take to develop or show other symptoms?

  9. MTchick

    MTchick Songster

    Feb 2, 2007
    Western Montana
    I think it is a misspelling of Rickets, which is a calcium and Vitamin D deficiency that will make bones turn soft or curvy and then of course can cause walking /leg problems from there. There is a thread on rickets that was started recently.

    If only one chick has this issue, I doubt it would be rickets, however. Nutrient deficiencies would probably affect every chick in a flock.

    Can't help you more than that. I hope she gets better soon.

  10. Jsto

    Jsto Songster

    Apr 30, 2007
    North Carolina
    Well, her legs spreadig out to the side sounds like spraddle leg. Unfortunately, I'm not experienced enough to know if older birds are at risk for it. I'm sure someone will be along with some ideas. Until then, you can check out this link, scroll down to spraddle-leg:


    Again, I'm not even sure if older chicks are susceptible, just throwing out ideas to try and help!

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