Originally Posted by Eggcessive
I would really suspect Mareks disease or another neurological diseases such as botulism from eating dead animal remains, or aflatoxin poisoning from eating moldy feed. Is he confined to a coop or does he go out to free range? Mareks can show up at this age, and paralysis can result from tumors on the nerves. I hope it is not that. Sometimes with chicks and not being able to move around well, it might help to use a chick sling or chair to keep them close to food and water, while helping them remain upright and out of their own droppings. Here is some reading about Mareks:
Thank you again. I'm looking into making one of those chick slings for him right now.
His condition did not seem to have gotten any worse when I got home yesterday. He had moved himself away from the food and water, as I thought he might, and couldn't get back to it. He was very hungry and ate a lot when I moved them over to him. This morning, though, it does not appear he can stand anymore. He tries, but pretty much immediately falls over. I am off of work for the next week, so will be able to monitor him better. He is getting vitamins in his water right now as well.
Timeline: He is one of 12 chicks that hatched out March 25. They all lived inside in the brooder until May 18, just before they were 8 weeks old. I moved them outside on May 18, into my old A frame coop. I've been using the A frame coop as a grow out pen for the last 3 years. It has not had any residents since last fall. The chick started displaying symptoms this past Wednesday, so one week after moving into the A frame. At this time, none of his clutchmates are showing any symptoms. Also, none of my older birds are displaying any sort of off behavior. These chicks do not yet free-range, am hoping to get them started on that this week.
If it is Meraks, and I am reading the articles you supplied correctly, then he would have had to be exposed to it while he was still in the brooder, since it has a 3 week incubation period? If that is the case, then I must have carried it in to them. What makes me hopeful that it is not Meraks right now, is that no other birds seem to be uneffected. Though I guess this is a waiting game, since symptoms can take a while to appear.
The A frame was cleaned out last fall, after it's last residents moved out. I checked it before moving the chicks in, and did not see anything that worried me. I will say it is a very difficult pen to clean. I've been building a new grow out pen so I could retire the A frame, but it isn't quite ready yet. So, I'm wondering if I missed something that should have come out.