My chicken is lame – what should I do?
There can be many reasons why your chicken may be lame. These can include Scaly Leg Mite infestation, worms, untrimmed nails, injury which can lead to Bumblefoot, or Mycoplasma Synoviae. Before consulting your vet, give your chicken a quick check to try and look for signs of any of the above causes.
Firstly look for any long nails which could be causing your chicken to look uncomfortable when walking, usually nails will naturally wear down, however this is not always the case and you should trim any that appear to be too long.
If you find your chicken has a Scaly Leg infestation you can easily tackle this issue with products from your local retailer such as Nettex Scaly Leg Spray. This easy to use 3in1 spray soothes, softens and cleanses legs affected by Scaly Leg Mites. Nettex Scaly Leg spray also helps to provide your chickens with relief by suffocating mites and eliminating the source of discomfort, whilst leaving a protective barrier which helps to deter further mites.
If your chicken is showing signs of a worm burden such as loss of weight, poor digestion, diarrhoea or physical worms sighted in their faeces, then send off a faecal egg count and, if it is confirmed that your chicken has worms, treat quickly and appropriately with a licenced wormer such as Flubenvet.
Bumblefoot is a bacterial infection which affects the pad of your chicken’s foot. This can be a nasty and painful infection and it will most definitely cause them to walk a little funny. If you suspect that your chicken has Bumblefoot and if the wounds are small and do not appear deep or infected, clean and dry the foot then spray with Nettex Wound Care Spray. Any affected chickens should be kept in a clean and dry environment until the feet have fully healed. Always speak to your vet as a course of antibiotics may be needed.
Lastly if your chicken’s legs feel hot or inflamed and there are no signs of Bumblefoot or mites then it could be that your chicken is suffering from Mycoplasma Synoviae, a chronic respiratory infection which can cause lameness. This should be taken very seriously and veterinary advice should be sought immediately.