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Sick silkie pullet and roo - help

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone, I am writing about my sick silkie pullet and roo. They are both about 6 to 7 months old. Hopefully this isn't too long, thanks for reading.

I originally bought 4 chicks from someone in our area who had an ad on Craigslist, one of which started crowing so he stayed at my surrogate brooder's house - my tiny house didn't have room and with other pets, it seemed safer and they agreed to help me out due to my lack of space. I live in a suburb of Seattle where we're not allowed to have roosters so that's why they kept the bird. Ironically the other one who turned out to be a rooster never crows so I've been able to keep him. The bird I left at my friends house died a couple weeks later.

One of my 3 remaining birds I noticed had a poopy butt and then died the day after, before I even had time to go to the local grange store to try and get help to treat her.

More recently both my remaining birds have developed Marek-like symptoms, limping, unable to get around well, poor coordination. The pullet has been like this for several weeks. I took her to the vet twice, and the vet thought she might have a respiratory infection so antibiotics were given. After the second visit the vet she was of the opinion that the bird has a neurological issue and wouldn't preclude Mareks.

In spite of this she continues to eat and drink with relish. Actually she seems to have stabilized and has sort of figured out how to do stuff.

In the last week I found her covered in lice and mites so I treated both birds with poultry duster (permethrin) as well as the coop.

Now within the last few days the little roo is starting to limp, have difficulties getting around and is much less active.

Not only do I not know what is wrong, I have no idea what to do at this point to try and help the birds. This is my first attempt at keeping chickens and it's really making me wonder what I'm doing wrong. They're sweet birds and I want them to be healthy and happy.

The local feed store told me to keep using the grower feed until it's all gone. They get a supplement in their water once a week. I replace the litter with new pine shavings every 2/3 weeks. They get fresh food and water every day.

Thanks for any help you all can offer.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
Edited by MoreCowdog - 4/2/16 at 10:38pm
post #2 of 6

What are the supplements? Are they vitamins, which ones?

There can be vitamin/nutritional deficiencies that can "mimic" Marek's so I have provided a link for you, it is a long thread, but packed full of information.

Since the vet thinks is of neurological/developmental related, you may want to press for more information that might be helpful.

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your reply Wyorp Rock! I am posting the label from the supplement. It has a B-12 supplement but not B-2 as mentioned in the Mareks article you linked to. Getting a B-2 supplement may offer some benefits.

The vet's assessment of neurological issues was related to her observations of frequent head turning in conjunction with her lameness. I don't know how much additional info she can provide on that.

Truthfully I don't really think she knows what's going on with her. She also missed the lice eggs on her and when I found them myself and treated for them literally dozens and dozens of bugs came out and died.

She looked into the cost for an actual Mareks test which was about $700. I also think she's of the opinion that I'm at the limit of what's reasonable to spend on a $7 chicken. She is my favorite (a real sweetheart) so I was OK with investing a few dollars in her care.

post #4 of 6

B2 is Riboflavin which is listed in the ingredients of your supplement.

It sounds like you are doing well in taking care of them. I do not think you are doing anything wrong.

The only thing you may want to do is give them the supplement/vitamin water every day to see if there is any improvement at all.

post #5 of 6
Thread Starter 

Thanks again for your help! They are still hanging in there - I will up the supplement frequency. Didn't realize that Riboflavin was B2.

post #6 of 6

Hope they get better soon.

Please keep us posted.

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