Sudden Loss of power in Leg

by Richard
(Worcestershire, UK)


6 month old Barnevelde hen, one of our 3 free-range, penned in 300 square meters with electric netting, with free access to water and layers' pellets.

Recently cured of being broody and laying again most days. Suddenly this morning she became unable to walk because one leg was very weak.

Palpation of each limb revealed no tenderness or deformity, joint mobility seemed normal. Other leg and wings have normal power. No obvious back injury, no skin wounds, both eyes seem equal and normal.

She has been able to move short distances but with great difficulty, the weak leg sticking out in front of her. She is not obviously in pain, even when moving.

On the chance that she was injured somehow, possibly by the electric fence, you might try 25 mg Aspirin per pound of body weight, per day. This could be the beginnings of a form of Marek's disease that causes paralysis.

There is no cure and it's highly contagious. She should be isolated from the flock until you can determine if she is getting better or worse.

An injury will probably improve quickly and Marek's will soon affect her other leg, if that is the problem. Other than that, I'm unsure what the actual problem is, but these two would seem most likely.

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by: Anonymous

Thanks for this advice. Her other leg weakened within 24 hours and she was obviously ill. Although the vendors claimed she had been immunized against Marek's disease, your diagnosis seemed probable and she is now dead.

Sudden loss of power in leg
by: Sharon

So sorry Richard. It's always possible for a few chicks to slip past the vaccination process due to human error.

Depending on the hatchery, they may have 10s of thousands of chicks being handled in a single day. I'm glad that you have a vaccinated flock.

Some live vaccines can thrive in an immune compromised chick that may have been less healthy than most from day one. Could have been faulty vaccine...who knows...

Sounds like botulism, can cause quick death
by: Anonymous

It sounds like botulism which is caused by mold. First the legs become paralyzed, then the wings, then the neck then death.

Did this occur?

Mold is toxic to chickens so any straw that got wet or any grain that got on the ground would cause it.

Grain should be kept cover such as in the coop. Grain today is very different than what was spread on the ground years they ate those chickens quickly so one dying was not of such concern.

Check your bag of feed to see if any got wet if neither of the above are a possibility

by: Anonymous

what is a treatment

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