Day 1 - I brought four chickens from a breeder. A friend that came with me, brought three. I brought 2x Chinese silkies and 2x mixed breed silkies. After putting them in the cage and in the car, I noticed one of or both of the Chinese silkies, were making coughing/sneezing sounds once in awhile, but not often. This was my first time getting Chinese silkies, so I wasn't sure of the sounds they make. My friend who came with me, had some already, and they make quite different sounds to my chickens. I brushed it off thinking it was nothing to worry about. I didn't notice the sounds much after that.
Day 17 (Wednesday) - Coming home from work one afternoon, I noticed one of the Chinese silkies (named "Fanta") was walking with a limp. She kept falling over. My partner and I put it down to that she might of fallen off the perch in the hen house or the Rooster might of been a bit rough with her. So assumed it was likely a sprain (as we had seen this happen before with a couple of our other chickens and they got over it pretty quickly).
Day 18 (Thursday) - After coming home from work - my friend came over to visit, and noticed the limp straight away. It didn't look like it had improved at all. So that night, we took her from the hen house and put her in a hutch, which we set it up inside to keep an eye on her (and which we could put outside during the day so she got fresh air). This also kept the Rooster and other chickens at bay. This was the last day she laid an egg.
Day 19 (Friday) - Now that we were able to keep an eye on her, we noticed that she was sneezing quite a bit. Sometimes she sounded phlegmy and her breathing was rather strong. At this point, she could hardly stand. This didn't stop her from trying. She would sometimes try to use her wings to balance, but it doesn't really work. The only time she will scuttle is when she gets spooked by something. Otherwise she sits in one place. We were keeping her food and water in front of her so she was still able to reach it. She had lost her appetite a little but was still fond of bread. Unfortunately because we got home late, we were unable to take her to the Vet till Monday (Vet is closed on the weekend).
Day 22 (Monday) - Nothing had changed. She was still the same. She was suffering from bad diarrhea too now. We haven't taken a chicken to the Vet before but because we were so stumped on what it was, we had no choice, plus I wanted to know that she wasn't in pain. The Vet wasn't too sure what it was - but was able to rule out she hadn't broken her leg/s or sprained anything. She was also weak and thin. She brought up Newcastle Disease but with us being in New Zealand, that's highly unlikely. She thinks it could be an infection. She gave us some antibiotics to give the chicken (which we've been doing everyday). The Vet asked for us to contact the Breeder and ask if she might know anything. We did - and the Breeder said she had never heard or seen anything like it. She also pointed out "chickens don't sneeze". So in saying that if that's true, she was definitely making sneezing sounds (you could call it coughing too I guess).
Day 27 (Friday - Today) - Nothing has changed except she doesn't have diarrhea now - though she doesn't poop much because she doesn't eat/drink much. Shes still interested in some food/water if we help her. We are going to have to take her back to the Vet as her antibiotics are almost finished.
Just a few notes:
* None of these symptoms are showing in any of our other chickens, new ones and old. We have nine all together including one rooster. My friends chickens are all fine too.
* She would be about 5-months-old. Give or take. She was laying until Day 18.
* Some people are throwing out opinions about what it could be:
> Stroke - Looking on the net, and what people have described about this - doesn't sound like what she has.
> Shes eaten something poison - I can't think of anything that would be here - we've had chickens for years and they haven't found anything before.
> Marek's disease - I'm still looking into this.
What do you guys think?