Chicken leg problems
I have chicken leg problems with two chickens. They first seemed to have injured their legs, but now they have progressively gotten worse to where the legs cannot be used and appear almost broken up in the thigh area.
They also seem to lose most of their muscle in that area really fast. One died and then the other.
I isolated them and after a week the other leg is doing the same thing which leads me to believe that it is some type of disease and not an injury.
I have 14 chickens mostly egg layers, Barred rocks, Rhode Island Reds and Aracauna and some Bantams.
They are housed in the same coop but are let out to run in the yard in the daytime. They are fed Layena crumbles and given bread and a small amount of scraps such as rice or veggies.
The ones so far affected are not quite 1 year old, but were born last spring. I have a few older ones but I have found two of them dead within the last week, one hen and one rooster with no signs of what happened.
Anything you might be able to tell me would be greatly appreciated.Answer:
I agree with you that this is probably a disease. Which one should really be diagnosed by a vet that can draw a blood sample and test a stool sample.
Whatever it is has found a foot-hold in your flock and has probably effected the weakest ones.
Checking their feed for any signs of contamination, either from pests or possible spoiling, would be advised.
Rodents can dirty feed, if they have access, causing problems
for the chickens eating their droppings or urine in their feed.
A thorough cleaning of the coop is important and disinfecting waterers. You would want to consider giving vitamins to all, sick and well. Most feed stores carry poultry vitamins, which can help them fight disease. If the vet finds a specific disease there will possibly be antibiotics that can help.
Your best defense against disease is good balanced nutrition for their current needs. Winter months can be hard and may call for feeding higher protein levels and good fats for helping them through increased calorie demands to keep warm enough.
There are chicken diseases that can lay dormant until stressful conditions lower the immune system’s ability to keep them at bay.
Flock animals like chickens have to keep up the appearance of being healthy, as long as they can.
Signs of weakness attract predators, so when chickens seem to suddenly become ill, there may have been a problem hiding due to their survival instincts.
It can take many years of experience to notice changes in behavior and little signs that something isn’t quite right.
Due to differences in climate and conditions, what might work for one flock, may not work for another. A nutritional schedule that worked for years may not work as a flock gets older.
It’s generally not necessary to supplement heat for chickens in cold months, but it can help.
If your area experiences cold stormy conditions and many dark days, a way of adding vitamins and other nutrients may be even more helpful than providing heat. Hope this helps you with some ideas for helping your flock.Return to Raising Chickens Home Page