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Possible Marek's? Ideas/ suggestions?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
All of the chicks in this flock are 6 1/2 months old. I first noticed this one had an impaired gait in the beginning of July. I thought it was a sprain or mild injury at first, and figured it would heal with time. In the past 4 month, her condition has neither improved nor worsened. Marek's was suggested a while back, but I have been under the impression that it is a rapidly progressing disease. I cannot find anything online that gives any sort of life expectancy once symptoms begin. Is it possible that this is Marek's after all of this time? None of my other birds have any symptoms. This chick (Chicken Little) has not grown at all since July. She gets up and waddles to food & water when she wants it. She poops normal. She doesn't appear to be in any pain or distress. Other than her small size and impaired gait, I cannot identify anything else outside of the norm. She is generally segregated from the rest of the flock, which is the only thing that really bothers me about her condition. It makes me sad that she doesn't "socialize" with the other girls. Occasionally I will see one peck her when I give treats, but I haven't noticed them attacking or bullying her at any other time. She lays under the coop ramp, or under a small shelter in the run by herself all of the time. In the coop, she roosts alone while the others stay together. She is able to fly well and gets up onto the roost without difficulty. Her only problem seems to be balance. She seems to lean to her right anytime she is laying down. I have taken many pictures and videos over the months, and I'm hoping someone else has seen this and was able to treat it somehow. I do not want to put her down, but my fiancé thinks that is what should be done since she appears to be "shunned" from the flock. She doesn't seem to be suffering in any way, so I don't really know what to do. I love all of my chickens dearly and I can't stand the thought of losing one, but I don't want any of them to suffer either. Any thoughts, opinions, or suggestions would be greatly appreciated. I've looked up so many different things, and haven't found anything that seemed remarkably similar to her. Thanks!

post #2 of 11

Don't  put her down..    If she is going to go  ............. well them let nature take its course.      It appears that whatever she has is not contageous.   If it is, then it is too late anyways.  Eliminating her now would solve nothing..     If she is eating, then she is living...     Just like humans,  NOT ALL GROW   UP TO BE 100% HEALTHY.    We do our best to prolong all life.     Chickens likewise can be born with deficiencies..    I am suggesting to let her be and just take the most reasonable route.  

WISHING YOU BEST.  Keep us updated as she keeps  making  her efforts to live.. :thumbsup

post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thank you for your reply. I agree 100%. I think she is a survivor, and until I think that she is suffering, I do not intend to put her down. I was thinking of bringing her into the house for a couple of days and really monitoring her food & water intake to make sure she is getting adequate nutrition. She is very spoiled and gets many treats as well as special trips to the garage and around the yard. I pet her and scratch under her feathers and she loves it and falls asleep on my lap often. I am just really hoping someone has an idea for me that I haven't come across or tried yet! Thanks again, and if there's any changes I'll be sure to keep you posted!
post #4 of 11

I   suggest you don't separate her from the flock by taking her into home..( Except for a few hours to give her treats )    Separating for extended days may bring about a need to introduce back into flock..   That could cause  picking by the other chickens. :idunno   They may see her as a new chicken. 

post #5 of 11
Thread Starter 
Okay, I hadn't planned to bring her in for more than a day or two, but I hadn't considered having to reintroduce her. Thanks so much for bringing that to my attention. I have taken her away from them for an hour or so here & there, but I'm sure never for more than two hours. I certainly don't want to cause her any more problems than she already has. Thank you so much!
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

This is a picture of Chicken Little next to one of her flock mates. They are the same age. She is the only tiny one, so I'm not sure if her issue is genetic/ heriditary or what.
post #7 of 11


Is it possible that chicken little is a bantam and the rest are standards???    :idunno

post #8 of 11

She looks a whole lot like an OEG Bantam (or more likely a cross, full blooded have smoother bodies and long fan like tail).  If she is then she is likely an extremely smart and potentially friendly little bird. The OEG Bantams were bred for beauty and brains (show birds) so they are truly a joy, they also make phenomenal broody hens.


It doesn't sound like Mareks to me.


Where did the chicks come from? Is it possible they had a bantam rooster running around with some standard hens?


FYI here is a pic of one of my hens for comparison, she is about the size of a large pigeon:


Edited by Sonya9 - 11/9/15 at 3:57am
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
I honestly don't know. She was purchased at a Rural King ( I think) by a friend. She was given to me with 3 other chicks. All four of them looked exactly the same. The other three still look exactly like each other. Chicken Little is the only one that walks funny, and she is the only one that isn't the same size as all the rest. I was told they were all Black Stars, but I don't know for sure, and it's possible that Chicken Little is something else. Since I got them when they were so young (less than two weeks old) I put them with the chicks that I had ordered from Murray McMurray. They have all been fed the same and have never been separated, so that's why I think her gait issue is something genetic and not due to vitamin deficiency or illness. I don't know though, and that's why I wanted some other eyes. I really appreciate all of the insight. I don't know what an OEG bantam is, so it's possible that's what she is.

This picture is of one of the other black hens with one of the orpingtons like in the previous picture. The other three black hens are the same size as my other girls.

This is another of the black hens.

Let me know what you think!
post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 
I looked up the OEG bantam breed, and I don't think that's what she is. She has a fluffy little butt, not a long tail like the pictures I saw. It's like she just stopped growing four months ago.

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