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Slipped Tendon

Slipped tendon is a type of traumatic injury that may also occur concurrently or secondary as a result of dislocating their intertarsal (hock) joint. The tendon bursts out of position and lies to the lateral aspect of the tibial cartilage as a consequence of trauma. The bird is unable to use the affected leg, there is an obvious thickening of the joint, and if recently displaced, the tendon can be easily palpated.

Clinical Signs

Joint swelling
Inability to put any weight on the leg
Displaced, twisted leg
Hock-sitting posture
Reluctance to move


  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam
  • Radiography


AntibioticsTo help prevent secondary joint infection.



  • Do not overcrowd birds
  • Ensure all birds get along in an enclosure to minimize risk of chasing and fights, especially if this involves larger, slower birds who might have more difficulty getting away from the others.
  • Ensure chickens receive a diet with appropriate calcium to phosphorus ratio


Varies mostly from guarded to poor, unless diagnosed early, and treated promptly.

Scientific References

Risk Factors

  • Overcrowding birds
  • History of fighting among birds
  • Keeping multiple roosters together, such as with a 'bachelor flock'.
  • Larger, 'meat' type chicken breeds are more at risk.
  • Vitamin/mineral deficiencies
  • Extreme temperature fluctuations or poor ventilation during incubation