Foot paralysis in roosters


Why are my 2 yr old roosters getting paralyzed in one foot?

This is possibly a sign of disease, though we couldn’t accurately diagnose or say for sure what has caused this.

You might want to consider getting one of these roosters to a vet, for possible blood test or stool exam, so you know for sure.

Some diseases can be present, but lay dormant until some form of “stress” suppresses a chicken’s immune system and the disease becomes active.

Some reasons for stress might be extreme temperatures, hot or cold, vitamin and other nutrient deficiencies, predators lurking, changes in water, possible feed contamination, a dominant rooster keeping others from food and water, shipping or travel, or something toxic in the environment.

Often during the winter months, depending where you live, lack of sunshine and access to fresh vegetation can cause certain vitamins to be depleted and open a door for health problems.

You didn’t mention how many roosters and if they have been living with hens and if all your roosters have been effected.

I would be concerned for the rest of the flock and check that feed has not soured, if so, replace it. I would also recommend putting these roosters in isolation from the others.

I would purchase a vitamin supplement and treat the whole flock, as the instructions call for. Check the rest of the flock for signs of low weight.

The best way is to check the bone at the center of their breast muscles. An underweight chicken will have this “keel” bone protruding beyond the muscle and the bone will feel kind of sharp.

If you find other chickens aren’t in as good a health as you thought, you would want to look into a better quality feed, possibly higher protein.

Some chicken feeds have animal fat as an ingredient. If the feed is older, this fat may become rancid and unhealthy. Chickens can be very deceptive about their health.

A good set of pre- winter feathers can hide signs of thinness and lead to “sudden” issues. I think signs of illness in the flock are an indicator that changes have to be made to improve nutrients, across the boards.

I think the weakest chickens in a flock will show the first signs of illness, which can be a warning that the whole flock needs a healthier diet or environment in some way.

Be cautious not to just give antibiotics to all and hope that will prevent disease. Antibiotics can cause digestive problems.

If you do give an antibiotic it’s good to follow up with a probiotic, since antibiotics can kill helpful bacteria.

Disease prevention’s first line of defense is a well balanced diet, which includes a constant fresh water source, good feed and access to vegetation. Hope this helps.

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