Veterinary advice should be sought from your local veterinarian before applying any treatment or vaccine. Not sure who to use? Look up veterinarians who specialize in poultry using our directory listing. Find me a Vet


Rickets is a disease of growing bones that is usually seen in young, growing chicks which have a deficiency, imbalance or an inability to utilize calcium, phosphorus, or vitamin D3. The basic abnormality is a failure of mineralization of osteoid and cartilaginous matrix, especially in growth plates. This is most obvious as a thickening and irregularity of growth plates in long bones. If chickens are confined indoors without exposure to sunlight or supplemented, the cause is most likely related to inadequate amounts of vitamin D3. It results in softening of the bones and increased likelihood of bone fracture and leg deformities.

Clinical Signs

Beaks are soft and rubbery
Bowed legs
Stiff-legged gait
Stunted growth
Resting in squatting position
Decreased egg production
Thin egg shells
Eggs stop laying
Sitting on hocks


  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam
  • Diet analysis


Adjust feed ration to proper levels.
Provide calcium carbonate supplementation
Homeopathic medicineFor leg weekness, soft bones and beak administer Calc phos and Alfa alfa
For thorax ribs that curve inwards administer Calc phos + Calc flour + Aboratum + Rhus tox
For soft shelled eggs administer Calc phos



  • Feed a balanced diet.
  • Provide oyster shell bits or limestone as a supplement.

Scientific References

Good Overviews