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chicken question: D'Uccle hens having leg troubles

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  • chicken question: D'Uccle hens having leg troubles

    I have two D'Uccle hens and a rooster that are about 4 years old. Never had any issues with them, they potter around and do their thing. They eat Flock Raiser pellets, I deworm with Wazine here and there (just being honest). They get to free range most afternoons and we enjoy giving them an oatmeal snack here and there. Jenny is the boss hen and pushes my three Barred Rocks around like the tiny bully that she is. The big birds are housed separately from the little D'Uccles, so she's only bossy in the their free ranging times.

    In the last several days, I've observed that while the little hen's appetites are good, they are drinking well, etc, both are having trouble standing normally. One leg will slide out to the front while the other slides back, like they are slipping on ice. They will get themselves back up and it starts again. Their eyes are bright, they are hungry, and when I offered them a treat cake I picked up at TSC, they went bananas for it.

    I read that this might be a vitamin issue (which, ok, but the other 4 birds seem 100% fine) so I added this to their water:

    and they drank it happily.

    Ideas? Could it be Marek's, given that they haven't been vaccinated (I'm not proud of that) and it's not paralysis- since they absolutely can and do potter about, they just seem to get slippy when they stop walking?

  • #2
    Have you looked at the bottoms of their feet?

    There are a number of things that could be causing this from fungus or bacteria related issue (often in food) to injury and disease related causes. I would start with easy things to rule out, by looking at the bottom of the feet and making sure there isn't gout or bumble foot or something like that. If not, then look for slippage of the Achilles tendons. If everything mechanical checks out, then you could try giving antibiotics or take one to the vet if you are worried about something serious like Marek's.

    Another weird thing, are they maybe just falling asleep and slipping? I have had chickens do this in the spring, one because of the change in daylight hours but also because the rooster may be running them a bit more than normal.
    Rhode Islands are red;
    North Hollands are blue.
    Sorry my thoroughbreds
    Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :


    • #3
      Do they seem bothered by it?

      I've seen chickens do that sort thing when they hit a really good spot of sun and can't possibly keep walking for another minute. Sort of a blissed out dirt dive 😂


      • Original Poster

        They don't seem bothered or stressed. I'll inspect their feet for issues and report back. They are definitely awake , not snoozing


        • #5
          Originally posted by TMares View Post
          They don't seem bothered or stressed. I'll inspect their feet for issues and report back. They are definitely awake , not snoozing
          Also, since this is a feather footed breed, check for feather curving or growing underneath the feet, they can be slippery and cause the feet to go out. I used to have D'Uccles, both Mille Fleur and Porcelain, and they were some of my favorites.
          Rhode Islands are red;
          North Hollands are blue.
          Sorry my thoroughbreds
          Stomped on your roo. Originally Posted by pAin't_Misbehavin' :


          • Original Poster

            Thank you so much. They are sweet little loves.


            • #7
              Maybe check toenail length, too, in your foot exam? If long, perhaps it's uncomfortable to stand normally.


              • #8
                I would check for scaly leg mites or bumble foot and treat with some nutridrench just to be over cautious.

                Everyone always goes to Mereks first thing but people rarely verify that is what their chicken has or died of.

                I always make sure I have antibiotics on hand for treating chickens.