I have a 4-5 month old pullet, who a couple of weeks ago couldn't walk. She was walking on her hocks, her wing on the left side droops, and her left leg is not working well. Every time I try to catch her, she gets up and runs away drunkenly. She's not very agile but she is still fast and will run on the leg. I was assuming Marek's, as she was a yard chicken that was not vaccinated. I have 4 other pullets and a cockerel the same age that show zero symptoms.
Now, I have a silkie hen who cannot walk. She was over 1 year old when I got her last summer, so she's about 2 years old now. 3 days ago she was limping a little. I caught her up to check her feet and saw nothing. Today, she can't even stand. She's still fully alert and moving her head, using her wings to balance herself. She just went downhill... FAST. It wasn't like the pullet, who just couldn't use her one leg one day and then never got worse, the silkie started with a small limp and in 3 days she can't even sit up.
Neither hen has had any change in appetite, no changes in their poop, they have no respiratory symptoms or any other signs of being ill. Neither shows any change in eye color or blindness, no outside lesions. Roosters were still attempting to mate with them before they were separated. We were just about to put the pullet down when the silkie got sick. Today, the pullet is standing more and walking a little bit better, her condition has definitely improved since last week.
Does Marek's affect young, adult chickens? Should we put these two down and just watch the rest of the flock? The silkie is my husband's chicken, he loves her. Short of a vet visit, is there any way I would know if it's Marek's? Will chickens affected by Marek's ever recover? I'm going to keep watching the pullet to see if she continues to get stronger or if she just goes back downhill. If it is... it appears I will be stuck forever with some of the chickens I was planning to trade or sell, since these two are ill all of that is on hold and nothing new is coming in and nothing is going out. I can get a very inexpensive necropsy done here... but I would have to put them down to do it.