what causes bowlegs in chicken

Many farmers rash to give their chicken DCP supplement when the chicken experience bowlegs. DiCalcium phosphorus is only effective if the chicken has Calcium or phosphorus deficiency. There are other reasons why a chicken would have bowlegs or lameness.

Phosphorus and Calcium Deficiency – Lack of calcium and phosphorus does not manifest itself suddenly. It comes
gradually. The chickens’ legs start bending and bowlegged. If not treated eventually the chicken is unable to stand or the legs may actually break(fracture). This is because the bones
lacking in calcium become week.

Overweight – Another cause of bent legs is the weight. Birds that grow too fast for their age will have legs that cannot support their weight. The legs start bending and the bird eventually get gets lame or crippled.

Rickets –  When a bird lacks in vitamin D3 it will develop rickets. Bowlegs will be observed. When walking it will trip on its own toes.

Nerves – When a chicken has developed a nervous condition, the chicken will be okay one day and not able to stand the next. The wings too are sometimes affected. Causes of lameness due to the nervous condition are many.

Some diseases affect the central nervous system leaving the chicken unable walk. Others that form swelling or growth near the nerves can press on the nerve, especially at night when they are roosting and leave the chicken unable to stand in the morning. Lack of vitamin B2 and Vitamin E can also cause damage to the nerves leaving the chicken behaving like a drunkard.


When lameness or paresis or paralysis is observed, it is important to lift the chicken in your hands and inspect it properly for other conditions. To make a better judgement of what could be ailing your chicken, go back analytically
into recent history to identify the root cause thinking around.

1. Injury
2. Recent medication
3. Bites
4. Viral or attack
5. Access to sunshine
6. Compare with other chicks of same-age.
7. Feed changes
8. lack of sunshine
9. change of feed