Young roo is walking stiff legged and is in pain


9 Years
Aug 22, 2010
1) What type of bird , age and weight. Naked Neck Cockerel, 6 months, about 7 lbs
2) What is the behavior, exactly. Oakley is having trouble walking, he walks like I do, stiff legged, from the hip and sits on the ground when he can. (I have a bad back and arthritis in the hips). He lays next to the nipple waterer, and takes frequent sips. I have seen him eat.He is 6 months old, a big, sweet boy, still learning the job of head roo. I gathered him in my lap and I massaged his legs and thighs, which he enjoyed, and the muscles were really tight, not just firm and his knees were stiff. I tried to stretch and flex the legs, they were stiff. I checked his feet and found no signs of bumble foot or sores. He sat in my lap while I did that and just dozed while I rubbed the smooth skin on the crop and under the wings, he just relaxed. He is eating and drinking, and his weight feels ok. His legs are smooth, the scales are not sticking out. He was vaccinated for Mareks as a chick. One note DH who normally puts them to bed at night said he has problems jumping up and into the coop (elevated 18" or so) and is needing to walk up the ramp. He is always the last one in, waiting until it is almost full dark to go in the coop. I had assumed it was too dark for him to see into the coop and aim his jump.
3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? Slight stiffness walking on and off for a few days, didn't affect his mating or other activities until today. He doesn't seem depressed, he literally is in the middle of the run by the hanging waterer with all the other birds moving around him
4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? No
5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. No
6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. Nothing
7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. Normal eating, but drinking more than I think the warm weather merits (temps only in the 70s)
8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. I don't see any abnormal poop
9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? Massage, Reiki, Bag Balm on Legs in case there are mites I can't see, besides it soothes him to rub his legs. Started vit B supplementation, will get poultry vitamins later. I will isolate him if he doesn't improve or if the other birds start the same problems
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? Self treat
11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
12) Describe the housing/bedding in use pine shavings in an 4x6 elevated coop, 16 linear feet of perches.
Any ideas what's going on w/ his legs? I really don't know even what to look up
It's possible he might have sprained a ligament or muscle, something of that nature. He needs plenty of rest and relaxation in order to heal, limit his ability to walk/run. I see you're giving him vitamin B, try giving him vitamin B complex. You can crush a couple of tablets into powder and add it in his feed. Continue that for about a week, then stop. Then provide poultry nutri drench in his water for 3 days, then stop, it can cause diarrhea after awhile. The following week, start up again with the vitamin B complex again, just as before. Add some scrambled egg to his feed as well. The healing time for an injury such as this can be short or (if this is what it is)it could be a long time, depends on the severity. If you're going to cage him, put him near his hens if you can.
dawg53 is usually right on the money. Supplements and rest are best and no more jumping up and down from the roost.
could be scaly leg mites. they are usually around this time of year. look at his scales to see if they are raised. if they are, it is most likely scaly leg mites. when you fix the problem the scales wont go co mpletely down so dont worry.
I checked him for lice and mites and didn't find any, in fact just a couple three weeks ago I gave all the chickens a comb, wattles and leg massage w/ Bag Balm after the really cold weather. I do that kind of thing so they come to associate being handled with nice things.

I will avoid putting him in the kennel unless he gets worse. He seems a tad better today, so I will follow the suggested treatment
Thanks everyone.
I have tried the suggestions, and it has been nearly 2 weeks and the only change is Oakley is losing weight. His keel bone is so prominate, he doesn't have much meatiness to him anymore. He also is so stiff in his movement that he is slipping in the pecking order, the Delaware roo runs the show now. I am just heart sick, he is such a sweet heart I just hate to cull him. I wanted to do some breeding work with Naked Necks but he is my only roo and with a health issue this young I'm not sure I want his genes passed on.
Anyway, if no one has any suggestions that might improve his health, what should I look for when I butcher him this weekend. The weight loss makes me think that when I eviscerate him, I will find something inside. Dem dem dem! Another one of those failure moments.
I'm sorry that Oakley is not responding to treatment. My only other suggestion would be to bring him to a vet. If that is not possible I would cull him if he gets sicker or seems like he is in pain.

Please don't be so hard on yourself. I'm sure you have more positive stories than failures. No matter how well we take care of them chickens can get all sorts of ailments and diseases and we have to do our best to diagnose the problem using what I call a check list. Is he doing this and not doing that. Eating too much or not eating enough. Lost weight recently or eyes are half closed. You can only do your best because the chickens can't talk to us.

I've scanned through 2 books on chicken health but I didn't see anything that mentioned stiff legs.

Are there any new symptoms? Have you treated for mites and lice? Tried vitamins? Has he been wormed?

So sorry this is can rely on us to be here good or bad.

If you look inside I would look for any abnormal growths or colors. Check the kidneys, liver, heart, lungs, crop, gizzard and the rest of the digestive tract to make sure things look normal. Checking the brain wouldn't be a bad idea either.
I spent some time out in the yard with Oakley and he still has leg problems, but the weight loss seems to have slowed, he's eating the food, treats and scratching for bugs and goodies in the hay. He still walks with a goose step, and when he finds something to devote his attention to, he sits on his hocks. He is treading his girls (5 NN) and also the Delaware pullets w/o intervention from the Delaware roo, so I assume he is still head roo. I decided to put off culling him, he has more strength and is not nearly as passive as he was 2 weeks ago. Leg muscles are a little less tight. I'll keep watching and hoping. I really don't want to cull him, I let myself get too attached, unlike the beastly little Freddies (EE roos). Tomorrow will be my first effort at harvesting the roos rather than just killing them. Any way thanks, will update when there is a change.

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