Chicken Weak And Unable To Stand

One of the most aggravating signs that you cannot and should not ignore is when your chicken expresses lameness and difficulty in keeping balance.

Chickens that experience these symptoms might be facing real trouble. 

Lameness is actually a pretty common symptom, but it is also one of the signs of serious illnesses that you would not want to imagine.

Deficiencies and injuries are one of the possible causes, but it can also be because of a sickness called Marek’s disease.

This condition also shows signs of difficulty in standing and walking.

It also leads to paralysis which also signals that something is extremely wrong.

Marek’s disease is deadly and often one of the causes of death among chickens as it is both fatal and contagious. 

That is why if you notice any of these symptoms, you should take your chicken to the vet asap!

Why Is My Chicken Weak And Falling Over? (Possible Reasons)

A chicken that is struggling to stand and walk is something that should not be taken lightly.

This particular symptom can be a warning of a real health problem that can even lead to your chicken’s death. 

1. Nutritional Deficiency 

Nutritional deficiency leads to a failing health which might also cause weak bones and muscles.

Getting the right amount of nutrients is extremely important, and it is common for chickens to suffer from such deficiency.

Pay close attention in giving your chicken vitamin B2 as it is the nutrient that has a direct impact on their balance and coordination.

2. Injury And Infection 

Your chicken might be having some trouble walking because something is wrong with their feet.

Injuries and infection, such as bumblefoot, can be the reason why your chicken is unable to walk and stand properly. 

3. Marek’s disease 

One of the most common diseases that a chicken can get is Marek’s disease.

This illness is highly contagious and fatal.

It is caused by herpes virus that directly attacks the nerves and the internal organs of the chicken.

This disease can eventually lead to chicken paralysis, rendering your chicken to lose their functional abilities. 

What Does It Mean When a Chicken Can’t Walk? 

Lameness and difficulty in walking might either be because of Vitamin B2 deficiency, or in a worse case scenario, it is an impending sign of paralysis.

It is likely that your chicken has fallen ill to Marek’s disease, which is a fatal and contagious sickness among chickens. 

Marek’s disease attacks the nervous system of the chicken which causes paralysis, lameness, and balance problems.

If your chicken can’t walk, it is better to ask for help from a veterinarian to determine what could really be the problem of your fowl. 

What Are The Symptoms Of Marek’s Disease In Chickens? 

Your chicken would display symptoms that are quite life-threatening and life-changing.

For instance, they might suffer from paralysis whereas they can’t stand or walk on their own or even lift their wings.

Lameness and serious difficulty in balance and coordination may also show along with this symptom.

Marek’s disease also causes blindness to chickens which is quite noticeable as their iris will start turning gray.

If you look under their feathers, you can see some follicles or bumps as this disease also causes tumors in the major internal organs of your fowl. 

How Quickly Does Marek’s Disease Progress? 

Unfortunately, Marek’s disease is not only fatal and contagious, but it progresses quickly too.

Chickens that are around 3 to 35 weeks are the typical victims of this disease and it will only take them around 3 to 4 weeks to develop such a serious condition.

Marek’s disease progresses rapidly after the onset of its symptoms, such as blindness and paralysis.

Unfortunately, there is no cure or treatment for Marek’s disease and it also has a 50% mortality rate. 

Why Is My Chicken Having Trouble Standing Up? 

A chicken that is having trouble standing up might already be suffering from a serious condition called Marek’s disease.

Lameness is one of the first symptoms that may appear.

It is imperative that you immediately isolate this chicken as this disease is highly contagious and may spread rapidly among the flock.

It would be a good idea to consult a veterinarian immediately to determine the real cause behind the problem.

It can be as serious as a Marek’s disease if you are unlucky, or it may be because of vitamin deficiency or injuries. 

Why Is My Chicken Lethargic And Not Moving? 

Chicken may also feel lethargic sometimes, especially under bad weather.

They may also refuse to move, but these do not really indicate serious problems.

However, this can also mean that your chicken is experiencing a health problem that may need your attention as well. 

Just make sure you observe them closely and check for any other symptoms that may hint what could be the underlying problem behind their lethargy.

If serious symptoms appear, it is best to consult a veterinarian immediately. 

Wrapping Up 

Marek’s disease is a fatal, highly contagious, and very common chicken disease.

This is mainly caused by a herpevirus that directly attacks the nervous system and major organs of a chicken.

Paralysis, blindness, lameness, and weight loss are just some of the major symptoms of this deadly disease.

Unfortunately, this illness has no cure and treatment.

It also spreads and progresses quickly, typically attacking young to adult chickens.

It is better to immediately consult and seek guidance from a veterinarian to help your chicken suffering from Marek’s disease. 


We at write about bird health and diet however it should not be taken as medical advice. For advice on your bird you need to seek out an avian vet. The information you find on is for educational purposes only. At we are not liable for any information that you may find on here. Birdcageshere is NOT a substitute for professional medical advice about your bird.