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Chicken can't walk?

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I need help

I currently have 19 hens and 1 rooster.  I have 1 currently that can not walk.  It started with 1 leg, 2 days ago, I pulled from the flock and isolated her.  Now she seems to not be able to use either leg. My first thought was Mareks just from what I read.  But here is where I am confused.  I lost 3 last year from the same thing, only 3, I sprayed the coop down with some natural disinfectant safe with live birds and prepared myself to slowly lose my flock, since from what I read Marek's will wipe a flock, winter ended and I lost no more.

Now winter has started and the temps have just started getting cold and now the first one is down. Mind you it has yet to drop below freezing but does get to the 30-40's most nights with rain every 3-4 days so the yard is usually wet.  My birds free range 90% of the time. 

If Marek's why did I not lose and more till now and what can I do do prevent more chickens from dying? and If not Mareks what else could this be? 

any help would be very helpful.

Oh and I have inspected her legs and feet for sores and they look good as well as her in general, till she started not using the leg she was very active and looked great!

post #2 of 7

I got only one who got Mareks..My 17  others were fine, and I never even really did anything special except isolate the one that could not walk ( At first he was just lame)....Mareks can be spread by wild birds as well according to my vet. Then, it really depends on the immune system of each individual bird and their age ( youngster are more susceptible). Some birds can be healthy carrier as they developed an immunity for it.

I would try to improve their immune system via food...I use a high quality organic food + I add some vitamins electrolytes once in a while in their water, and other time, I add apple cider vinegar...I do clean the coop everyday, and despite they're confined, they have a very large " paddock".

Sometimes, I also give them some " booster" supplement for harrison bird food.


Have you sent one for necropsy? At least you would know for sure what you're dealing with...


Good luck...

post #3 of 7

Also, if your yard is wet, it leads to more worms and more infections...Could be a good idea to get a fecal sample done at a vet if you can...

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

No I have not yet but I may with this one, Just to see what I am dealing with. I do supplement feed with a herb mixture for immunity and for parasites, as well as apple cider vinegar.  I spray regularly the disinfectant when wet but I may up the frequency. Thank you for the info that does help me.  She is a younger chicken so maybe she was just weaker. Thank you again

post #5 of 7
Other diseases can sometimes look like Mareks disease, such as coccidiosis, botulism from eating dead animal remains, moldy feed, or from lead poisoning. I would send any dead chicken in to your state vet for a necropsy to look for a cause of death.
post #6 of 7

If she's around 4 month old, she's really susceptible to Mareks. Regarding metal poisoning, she would improve with some Calcium EDTA shots, which would give you an answer..There is no risk to try it...

I believe you already deworm them..

post #7 of 7

Look at the symptoms of coccidiosis below, which can sometimes look like Mareks. There have been several people who got their chickens necropsied looking for Mareks, only to find out they had cocci. Be careful with strong disinfectants, since it is probably better to just keep things dry and clean. Here is the link for coccidiosis and to find your state vet to call about a necropsy:

Edited by Eggcessive - 1/10/16 at 7:04am
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