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Silver Laced Wyandotte Acting Peculiar

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I have a silver laced wyandotte acting strangely for the last few weeks. She often walks in circles. Seems lost from the rest of the flock sometimes. I've seen her lay down and instantly fall asleep in the middle of the day, which is unusual. Since yesterday she has one droopy wing that she doesn't move. She seems to be just acting strangely in general. I am not positive, but I think she has also stopped laying. About a month ago I got some strange eggs - a few soft shells then a few small and white rather than the regular brown then a few under the roost rather than in the nest box. I suspect these were from her. She still eats fine and roosts at night. She is just over a year old. Any ideas on diagnosis? I was thinking it may be neurological - maybe a stroke? She is currently part of a small flock of only 4 birds. No one else shows any symptoms.
post #2 of 9

Could be a vitamin deficiency and/or neurological disorder or some other type of illness such as Marek'sor . I would start with vitamin therapy with something like Poultry Nutri-Drench or Poultry Cell vitamins. To see if that helps.

 

 

SEE POST#3

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/944470/hen-walking-in-circles

 

 

MAREKS
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq

post #3 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you for the suggestions. She was vaccinated for Marek's as a chick, so I do not believe it is that. This has been going on for months now, slowly deteriorating. But, no other chickens show any symptoms so I tend to think it is not any type of contagious virus. She now also sees to have gone blind. This has really diminished her quality f life as she often gets separated from the flock while they free range, has trouble getting her self up and down the ramp to the coop, and does not forage well. She has been on vitamin supplements (Rooster Booster) for 2 weeks with no improvements. I am looking for any suggestions for last ditch efforts I can try. Thoughts? Otherwise I feel I may need to put her down in the near future.
post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 

I am starting to wonder if it might be Newcastle disease. In which case I worry about the other chickens catching it.

post #5 of 9

 

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sarak View Post

I have a silver laced wyandotte acting strangely for the last few weeks. She often walks in circles. Seems lost from the rest of the flock sometimes. I've seen her lay down and instantly fall asleep in the middle of the day, which is unusual. Since yesterday she has one droopy wing that she doesn't move. She seems to be just acting strangely in general. I am not positive, but I think she has also stopped laying. About a month ago I got some strange eggs - a few soft shells then a few small and white rather than the regular brown then a few under the roost rather than in the nest box. I suspect these were from her. She still eats fine and roosts at night. She is just over a year old. Any ideas on diagnosis? I was thinking it may be neurological - maybe a stroke? She is currently part of a small flock of only 4 birds. No one else shows any symptoms.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarak View Post

Thank you for the suggestions. She was vaccinated for Marek's as a chick, so I do not believe it is that. This has been going on for months now, slowly deteriorating. But, no other chickens show any symptoms so I tend to think it is not any type of contagious virus. She now also sees to have gone blind. This has really diminished her quality f life as she often gets separated from the flock while they free range, has trouble getting her self up and down the ramp to the coop, and does not forage well. She has been on vitamin supplements (Rooster Booster) for 2 weeks with no improvements. I am looking for any suggestions for last ditch efforts I can try. Thoughts? Otherwise I feel I may need to put her down in the near future.
 

If it were Newcastle you should be seeing respiratory symptoms, discharge, facial swelling, etc. as referenced below.

Marek's does seem to be a better "fit" with the symptoms that you are seeing. Marek's vaccination can prevent tumor formation, but does not prevent infection by the virus.

Here's some comparative information I pulled from this reference site http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044

Newcastle Disease

Synonyms: pneumoencephalitis

The highly contagious and lethal form of Newcastle disease is known as viscerotropic (attacks the internal organs) velogenic Newcastle disease, VVND, exotic Newcastle disease, or Asiatic Newcastle disease. VVND is not present in the United States poultry industry at this time.

Species affected: Newcastle disease affects all birds of all ages. Humans and other mammals are also susceptible to Newcastle. In such species, it causes a mild conjunctivitis.

Clinical signs: There are three forms of Newcastle disease—mildly pathogenic (lentogenic), moderately pathogenic (mesogenic) and highly pathogenic (velogenic). Newcastle disease is characterized by a sudden onset of clinical signs which include hoarse chirps (in chicks), watery discharge from nostrils, labored breathing (gasping), facial swelling, paralysis, trembling, and twisting of the neck (sign of central nervous system involvement). Mortality ranges from 10 to 80 percent depending on the pathogenicity. In adult laying birds, symptoms can include decreased feed and water consumption and a dramatic drop in egg production (see Table 1).

Transmission: The Newcastle virus can be transmitted short distances by the airborne route or introduced on contaminated shoes, caretakers, feed deliverers, visitors, tires, dirty equipment, feed sacks, crates, and wild birds. Newcastle virus can be passed in the egg, but Newcastle-infected embryos die before hatching. In live birds, the virus is shed in body fluids, secretions, excreta, and breath.

Treatment: There is no specific treatment for Newcastle disease. Antibiotics can be given for 3–5 days to prevent secondary bacterial infections (particularly E. coli ). For chicks, increasing the brooding temperature 5°F may help reduce losses.

Prevention: Prevention programs should include vaccination (see publication PS-36, Vaccination of Small Poultry Flocks), good sanitation, and implementation of a comprehensive biosecurity program.

 

Marek's Disease

Synonyms: acute leukosis, neural leukosis, range paralysis, gray eye (when eye affected)

Species affected: Chickens between 12 to 25 weeks of age are most commonly clinically affected. Occasionally pheasants, quail, game fowl and turkeys can be infected.

Clinical signs: Marek's disease is a type of avian cancer. Tumors in nerves cause lameness and paralysis. Tumors can occur in the eyes and cause irregularly shaped pupils and blindness. Tumors of the liver, kidney, spleen, gonads, pancreas, proventriculus, lungs, muscles, and skin can cause incoordination, unthriftiness, paleness, weak labored breathing, and enlarged feather follicles. In terminal stages, the birds are emaciated with pale, scaly combs and greenish diarrhea (see Table 2).

Marek's disease is very similar to Lymphoid Leukosis, but Marek's usually occurs in chickens 12 to 25 weeks of age and Lymphoid Leukosis usually starts at 16 weeks of age.

Transmission: The Marek's virus is transmitted by air within the poultry house. It is in the feather dander, chicken house dust, feces and saliva. Infected birds carry the virus in their blood for life and are a source of infection for susceptible birds.

Treatment: none

Prevention: Chicks can be vaccinated at the hatchery. While the vaccination prevents tumor formation, it does not prevent infection by the virus.

 

 

 

post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you so much for the reply. I did not realize that about the Marek's vaccination. I know there is no cure. I assume she needs to be euthanized to protect the rest of the flock?

post #7 of 9

More than likely your flock has already been exposed. If it truly is Marek's some do survive, they would just be considered carriers for life.

If you feel like her quality of life is gone and she is suffering then letting her go may be kinder, that is something that only you can judge. I do recommend you send her for necropsy if you put her down, just to verify what exactly you are dealing with.

 

Your long term goals will help you determine what to do as well. If you plan on selling chicks, breeding stock, etc., then consideration of the impact Marek's can have will help you make those decisions. If they are just a backyard flock, then it may be something that you can live with and manage in a closed flock situation.

 

@Nambroth has kindly collected information and gives a great point of view on what Marek's is, how to make tough decisions when you have Marek's in your flock. It's quite lengthy, but packed full of valuable information, insights, and resources.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq

 

Necropsy Info:

http://www.metzerfarms.com/PoultryLabs.cfm
http://www.usaha.org/Portals/6/StateAnimalHealthOfficials.pdf

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thank you again for the great information. I guess my biggest concern now are the 9 4-week old chicks I have in a brooder in my basement. They were not vaccinated. I fear I may lose several of them when they are introduced outside if this is indeed Marek's. It sounds like the effectiveness of the vaccine is questionable after they reach 36-hours out of the egg.

post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarak View Post
 

Thank you again for the great information. I guess my biggest concern now are the 9 4-week old chicks I have in a brooder in my basement. They were not vaccinated. I fear I may lose several of them when they are introduced outside if this is indeed Marek's. It sounds like the effectiveness of the vaccine is questionable after they reach 36-hours out of the egg.


I can understand your concerns.

 

There is always a possibility it could be something else, you just never know. Some birds can be just carriers and pass it on showing no symptoms and live a perfectly healthy long life. Some can be resistant. To me it is a puzzling illness even though there is quite a bit of information out there, it seems like there are no concrete answers as what to do, how to completely avoid it and what measures to take if you do have it in your flock. 

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