Chicken legs swollen

by Garett Raney


Chicken legs swollen: We just bought Three 5 month old Rhode island reds and 1 of their legs have swollen up and is yellow.

She has become a little unstable while walking. She lays around quite a bit but she is eating good and drinking good and everything else looks fine. Any ideas?

Leg swelling can make walking uncomfortable as joints can be stiff.

The swelling is so hard to diagnose without costly and sometimes unavailable medical care for chickens.

The most important thing is good balanced nutrition, plenty of fresh water, whole seeds and grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and appropriate feed for her age.

Under normal conditions it would be fine to forgo fresh fruits and veggies this time of year, but with a medical condition like this it could help.

The next thing to look at is vitamins and minerals. Often enough of these will prevent the need for medications like anti-biotics.

Feed stores carry good products to give orally or mix in feed or water. Pro-biotics can help restore balance; sometimes just one or two doses will restore a good digestive system.

Since you haven’t had these chickens long, there is no telling what they might have been exposed to or what conditions they grew up in.

This could be a sign of a contagious disease or a genetic condition or something you will only see in this one chicken; there are so many possibilities.

I wish this were easy to diagnose for you, with a simple solution to the problem.

Short of knowing how to treat this mysterious condition, the best suggestion is to focus on good nutrition, and a clean and healthy environment for your chickens.

You might also want to get a stool sample to your local vet and have it checked for internal parasites.

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Extremely Swollen Chicken Legs

by Kevin

One of my hens has extremely swollen chicken legs.

The swelling in her legs is likely a sign of poor circulation, which can be caused by heart trouble and/or liver and/ or kidney dysfunction.

These things are impossible to know for sure without in depth testing, which is costly. It can be difficult to find a veterinarian that has a lot of experience treating chickens.

There may be no simple and affordable way to find out why this is happening.

If you can’t find a good vet, the best thing you can do is support her with good balanced nutrition: proteins, fats and starches, which a good breeder or grower or start feeder will have.

You can give vitamins, as directed and made for chickens directly in the mouth or in water.

A balanced diet including: fresh fruits and vegetables and whole seeds like: black oil sunflower seeds, wheats, and oats can help with over all health and plenty of fresh water and exercise.

She may need antibiotics if there is some infection causing this.

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My Chicken Keeps Having Fits

by Donna
(West Sussex UK)

My Chicken Keeps Having Fits. I have two Rhode Island Red hens approximately 3 years old. One of them has had two fits.

She rolls onto her side, flaps her wings and goes around in circles for about 1 minute.

Then if I pick her up she is fine again like nothing has happened. What is wrong with her?

This definitely sounds like a “fit” or seizure of some sort.

Seizures can be caused by in internal disorder which causes electrical circuits in the brain to over load and the bird just can’t function for the period of the over load.

Seizures can be brought on by toxins in the environment, particularly pesticides. These can be on or around vegetation, or even in the water supply.

It could be contact with too much of a dusting powder made to kill ticks, lice and fleas.

It’s possible she has gotten in to something. I would check everywhere these chickens can go.

If there is the possibility of something toxic in the environment I would give both a good bath to remove any traces and prevent them from wandering around until it is cleaned up.

As chickens groom they ingest some of what is on their skin and feathers.

It could be something as simple as salt, too much can kill a chicken. It could be something dumped on your property on a neighboring property that they have access to.

If it is a brain dysfunction there may be nothing you can do other than obtaining an anti-seizure medication from a veterinarian.

This would require testing and most likely the vet would want to witness the seizure, if possible.

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Chickens neck is not stable

by Sabur

Chickens neck is not stable: My chicken is a Plymouth. It is not moving its neck properly, it is moving backwards.

It is also having difficulty standing. It's dropping are greenish and liquid. What has happened to her?

It’s hard to tell if this is from an injury, something toxic the chicken ate, intestinal parasites or bacteria causing the diarrhea and weakness.

Green droppings are normal in chickens eating certain feeds and regularly eating vegetation. Liquid droppings can be a result of any of the above problems mentioned.

I would recommend isolating this chicken and treating the diarrhea with probiotics – good bacteria, that may rebalance her digestive system.

Her unusual neck motions may mean she feels dizzy, possibly due to weakness caused by diarrhea and dehydration that results.

You could purchase a vitamin/electrolyte product at the feed store or give her some Gatorade.

These will restore vital nutrients lost with diarrhea. Keeping her warm, with food and water near, can help her recover more quickly.

Keeping her away from other poultry may prevent the spread of disease and keep her from being picked on by the flock.

In acting quickly to support her you may be able to save her life. Getting a stool sample checked by your vet can often tell if this is parasites, or a bacterial infection and tell you what medication is right.

If this was caused by an injury, some restful comfortable time away from the flock may give her the time she needs to heal, in a stress free environment, with easy access to good nutrition and fluids.

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My chicken can't walk

by Wendy

My chicken can't walk. Three days ago my chicken started having problems walking. I thought she had a foot injury but couldn't find anything.

She can't keep her balance when she is up. I saw today she has watery diarrhea. She is about 1 year old. My other chickens seem fine. What could it be?

This sounds like some kind of infection that is trying to take her down. She may have a fever. The very best thing to do would be to get her to a vet.

If that’s not possible, I would suggest a trip to the feed store for some vitamin/electrolyte powder, antibiotics and probiotics.

You need to act quickly and treat the symptoms you are seeing. If she isn’t eating and drinking well, you will need to help her, if her life is to be saved.

She may not need antibiotics if she responds to the vitamins/electrolytes and probiotics.

Provide a poultry heat lamp or similar and every hour or so try to get her to eat and drink. Keep her out of any drafts. You could combine her feed with some of the vitamin electrolyte mix.

Unfortunately, when a chicken becomes this unwell, you have to act quickly to bring them back from the brink of death.

A bad case of diarrhea can cause the symptoms you are seeing. Dehydration and malnutrition can happen quickly when food and drink are running right through her.

Probiotics provide digestive aids to better break down food for absorption. The good bacteria can actually help fight some of the bad bacteria.

Diarrhea can happen when bad bacteria take over and either kill off or out number good bacteria.

Some good bacteria will be killed off with the use of antibiotics, so it’s important to replace them during and after antibiotic treatments.

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Walking like frog marching

by Linda

My 2 year old Legbar has just finished a bad molt, she is now walking like frog marching.

I have had the vet look at her, and he can not find anything wrong with her legs, feet, or any thing else for that matter.

You didn’t mention if your vet is experienced diagnosing and treating chickens. Many are not, but some are chicken owners or specialize in agricultural animals or avian science, and can better help chickens.

We would only be guessing at a reason for this, which probably wouldn’t help you or this hen.

If a medically trained person examined this hen and could find nothing out of order, it would be impossible here to give you a definitive answer.

A “bad molt” could be an inaccurate assessment of her situation. Reasons for extreme feather loss, and failure to refeather well, could be more serious.

Internal parasites or intestinal disease could lead to malnutrition and insufficient resources for her to maintain good health, strength, and the ability to grow healthy feathers quickly to protect her from cold temperatures.

Loss of adequate body heat can depress her immune system leaving her unable to cope with normal conditions; turning her into a breeding ground and victim of disease.

Supplemental heat and a good balanced diet may help, combined with vitamins and minerals.

She may just be the weakest in your flock and exhibiting the most visible signs of deficiencies that may be present in your feeding routine.

Winter months and temperatures, combined with less available natural light, can negatively affect chickens.

Sometimes changes in environmental conditions call for changes in nutritional provisions.

Hope this helps.

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Ex bats is walking sideways and backwards


Ex bats is walking sideways and backwards: One of my ex bats (battery) is walking backward and sideways and dipping down, she is still eating and drinking ok.

We have had her about 6 months from rescue so she must be about 2 years old. She doesn’t seem to have any other symptoms altho her vent is not very clean. Have given her a couple doses of Baytril. ANY HELP

I know that some of the mass produced battery breeds have not been developed for long healthy life, but for speedy maturity and production.

Sometimes, with the start they have had in life, the best you can do is give them a nice life for as long as possible.

I don’t have a lot of experience with these breeds, preferring Heritage breeds for their heartiness, more natural tendencies, and longer healthier lives.

I think in the breeding programs for these battery bound chickens, there is no concern that they live beyond the approximate 2 year life of production they were designed for.

Breeding for a rapidly maturing animal may not have a stopping point programmed and they reach old age problems and organ failures much earlier.

I’ve noticed a common thread in this forum with many problems developing with these breeds near the age of 2 years.

The only thing I can recommend is to give her good food, supplements, possibly a heat lamp when it’s cold, and some exercise, sunshine and fresh forage when it’s nice out.

If her body is able to get better it will. If she has some kind of internal infection, the Baytril may help.

You might give her a nice warm bath and clean up her dirty vent feathers. You may need to trim those feathers back a little to help keep her clean.

There may be some herbal remedies that can help her, but not knowing what is causing this, couldn’t recommend anything specific.

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