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Tibial Dyschondroplasia

Other Names: Tibial Chondrodysplasia, Toxic Tibial Chondrodysplasia

Tibial dyschondroplasia (TD) is a skeletal bone disorder that commonly affects rapidly growing Cornish chicken breeds (often referred to as broilers by the commercial poultry industry). The disorder specifically affects the proximal growth plate of the tibia bone, leading to pain, lameness, and poor quality of life. Male chickens are more prone to developing TD than females. Most cases occur when birds are between 3 and 8 weeks of age.

The most common clinical sign is an abnormal gait, leading to crippling lameness and chronic pain.
Tibial dyschondroplasia
TD involves the development of an abnormal mass of cartilage at the growth plate of the long bones (the tibia) of the leg. Instead of calcifying, the cartilage remains soft and will often bend backwards under pressure or heavy body weight. As a result, chickens with TD often suffer from spontaneous leg fractures, necrosis, and severe pain and lameness. Birds with severe lameness are often unable to stand due to the pain. These birds will require special supportive care and will need to be relocated, otherwise they will be unable to access food or water---leading to starvation and death. If left with other birds they might also be subject to bullying from other flock members.

How Tibial Dyschondroplasia is Diagnosed

Radiographs taken of the tibiotarsus bone in birds with TD will show an abnormally large area of cartilage at the affected physis.

Clinical Signs

Abnormal gait
Reluctance to stand
Decreased movement


  • History
  • Clinical signs
  • Physical exam
  • Radiography

Reported Cases

  • Case 1: Tibial dyschondroplasia, femoral head degeneration and osteo in a Broiler chickens Lameness in 19- to 22-day-old chickens from two broiler flocks was due to a combination of tibial dyschondroplasia, femoral head degeneration and osteomyelitis due to Enterococcus cecorum. The chickens also had severe degeneration and lymphoid depletion in the bursa of Fabricius suggesting immunosuppression predisposing the birds for secondary E. cecorum infection. Infectious bursal disease status of the birds was unknown. Ref


Supportive careIsolate the bird from the flock and place in a safe, comfortable, warm location (your own chicken "intensive care unit") with easy access to water and food. Limit stress. Call your veterinarian.
Vitamin D3Induces maturation of chondrocytes and improves bone quality.Swiatkiewicz et al. 2006; Fritts and Waldroup 2003; Driver et al. (2006)
Icariin10 mg/kg/day in drinking water; icariin has a significant role in promoting the recovery of chicken growth plates affected by TD via regulating the P2RX7.H Zhang et al., 2018
Rhizoma (Rhizoma drynariae) dried root20 mg/kg can improve the growth performance of the TD chickens and recover normal activity. Gene expressions of BMP-2 and Runx2 were down-regulated during the development of the disease and were up-regulated obviously after treatment.W Yao et al., 2018
Naringin30 mg/kg; showed significant results by alleviating lameness, increased growth performance, recuperated growth plate (GP) width, and improved functions and antioxidant enzyme level of liver in broilers affected by TD. Moreover, naringin treatment restored the development of damaged tibia bone via downregulating Ihh and upregulating PTHrP mRNA and protein expressions.X Jiang et al., 2020
MeloxicamIn drinking water (0.5 mg/kg BW)S Sooksong et al., 2017
Feed management changesThe deleterious effects of the disease can be minimized if the bird's diet is restricted to two small meals a day, instead of being given constant access to feed.
Weight managementThe bird's weight should be continuously monitored to ensure their weight is controlled.
Mobility SupportProvide a therapeutic support device, such as a sling, chicken wheelchair, etc. to help take some of the pressure off of their legs.



  • Proper weight control management.
  • Don't provide Cornish breeds or broilers, continuous access to feed.
  • Provide a high quality poultry feed.



Scientific References

Age Range

is most common in young, rapidly growing male broiler chicks between 3 and 8 weeks of age.

Risk Factors

  • Genetics - Commercial broilers and Cornish breeds are highly susceptible.
  • Continuous access to feed.
  • Mycotoxin-contaminated feed (especially containing Fusarium spp)
  • Unbalanced diet consisting of too little calcium and too much phosphorus
  • Ingestion of tetramethyl thiuram disulfide (thiram), which is widely used in agricultural production as an insecticide and fungicide for crop seeds.