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Q: Chicken illnesses with neurological symptoms (overview)

A:

When your chicken is showing neurological symptoms, there are a number of chicken illnesses that could be causing the problem. We know how worrisome it can be when a pet chicken is sick!

young girl with beloved pet chicken

Here's a quick overview of the most common chicken illnesses that cause neurological symptoms, including symptoms that may be mistaken for neurological. Please click on the links for more details about each illness.

Chicken illnesses with neurological symptoms


  • Avian Encephalomyelitis - Symptoms of this chicken illness loss of coordination, inability to stand, head shaking and other neurological issues
  • Botulism - Symptoms of this chicken illness can include paralysis of limbs and neck, tremors, torticollis
  • Egg Yolk Peritonitis - Symptoms of this chicken illness can include paralysis/partial paralysis
  • Encephalomalacia - Neurological symptoms of this chicken illness can include loss of balance, circling, head shaking or tremors, eventually convulsions, and paralysis
  • Lymphoid Leukosis - Neurological symptoms of this chicken illness can include leg paralysis and blindness
  • Marek's Disease - Neurological symptoms of this chicken illness can include paralysis/partial paralysis (particularly of the legs), ataxis, blindness
  • Mycotoxicosis - Neurological symptoms of this chicken illness can include paralysis/partial paralysis, ataxis
  • Newcastle disease (either the domestic or the exotic variety) - Neurological symptoms of this chicken illness can include paralysis/partial paralysis of limbs, head twisting, walking in circles, walking backwards, clumsiness, tremors
  • Nutritional Myopathy - Symptoms of this chicken illness can include clumsiness/weakness due to muscle deterioration
  • Polyneuritis - Neurological symptoms of this chicken illness can include head shaking, tremors, convulsions, "star gazing" (paralysis of neck muscles)
  • Perosis - Symptoms of this chicken illness can include physical leg problems can be confused with neurological leg problems
  • Spraddle leg - Symptoms of this chicken illness can include physical leg weakness may be mistaken for neurological leg problems
  • VVD - Symptoms of this chicken illness can include physical leg deformity can be confused with neurological leg problems