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9 week old sudden trouble walking

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I noticed this chick wasn't standing while eating today.  When he got up, he stumbled a lot, then fell over.  If one of his legs goes out from under him, he has a lot of trouble getting it back into the proper position.  As best as I can tell he's having trouble with both his legs.  I check them over on Sundays, do a weigh in, look each one over for problems; he was fine at last check.  He also has lost some weight.  This group moved outside a week ago.  They all seemed to be thriving, but the weather did turn hot a couple days ago.  As of this time, none of the other 11 chicks are showing any signs of trouble.

 

Any ideas what might be going on with him?  I've separated him from the other chicks for now.

 

 

My Current Flock: 2 Mixed Breed Roos, 5 EE hens, 5 mixie hens, 1 SLW hen, 1 Amberlink hen, 3 Delaware hens, 2 Buckeye hens, 1 RIR hen and Jazzy, the crazy leghorn.
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My Current Flock: 2 Mixed Breed Roos, 5 EE hens, 5 mixie hens, 1 SLW hen, 1 Amberlink hen, 3 Delaware hens, 2 Buckeye hens, 1 RIR hen and Jazzy, the crazy leghorn.
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post #2 of 8
There could be a couple of different things that might be the problem. Mareks disease could be a possibility. It can cause paralysis of one or both legs or wings, or neck, and can cause a lack of immunity, and weight loss. Was she vaccinated for Mareks? Another possible problem could be a vitamin deficiency. I would start some poultry vitamins in the water tomorrow. The last thing I ould think of, is that she might have a leg bone deformity that has become worse as she has grown. The hock tendon can become ruptured making walking difficult. A slipped tendon could make it hard to walk. Please let us know if the vitamins help. Make sure they contain riboflavin.
post #3 of 8
Use enfamil poly.vi.sol without iron!
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thank you both for your advise.  I added vitamins to his water last night, and gave him some nutridrench.  Unfortunately, his condition has worsened overnight.  He is having more difficulty walking, once when he fell over, he was unable to right himself.  he seems to be having more trouble with his right side than his left, and it may be affecting his wing now as well; on that side his wing seems to be drooping.  He also started panting, even though the temperature in the room he is in is cool.  So I believe it is affecting his breathing now as well.

 

I am unable to monitor him now, as I am at work, and will not be home for another 9 hours.  I left him sitting upright with food and water in easy reach.  I am afraid though that he will probably try to move, and get himself caught away from both.  I am hoping for the best right now, but expecting the worse.

 

Checked all the other birds over, and they seem fine so far.

My Current Flock: 2 Mixed Breed Roos, 5 EE hens, 5 mixie hens, 1 SLW hen, 1 Amberlink hen, 3 Delaware hens, 2 Buckeye hens, 1 RIR hen and Jazzy, the crazy leghorn.
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My Current Flock: 2 Mixed Breed Roos, 5 EE hens, 5 mixie hens, 1 SLW hen, 1 Amberlink hen, 3 Delaware hens, 2 Buckeye hens, 1 RIR hen and Jazzy, the crazy leghorn.
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post #5 of 8

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:

https://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf

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

 

LL  1000http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/6612_chick_chair.jpghttp://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/59765_pp.jpghttp://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/uploads/47386_dixie_slung_09-19-2010_2.jpg

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eggcessive View Post
 

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:

https://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf

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

 

 

 

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.

My Current Flock: 2 Mixed Breed Roos, 5 EE hens, 5 mixie hens, 1 SLW hen, 1 Amberlink hen, 3 Delaware hens, 2 Buckeye hens, 1 RIR hen and Jazzy, the crazy leghorn.
Reply
My Current Flock: 2 Mixed Breed Roos, 5 EE hens, 5 mixie hens, 1 SLW hen, 1 Amberlink hen, 3 Delaware hens, 2 Buckeye hens, 1 RIR hen and Jazzy, the crazy leghorn.
Reply
post #7 of 8
If you haven't had Mareks in your environment, it may not be that. Right now, I would just keep trying to help him with vitamins, diet, and the sling. Some people on BYC have had chickens necropsied that they thought had Mareks, which turned out to be the intestinal infection coccidiosis. So watch fo any of those symptoms, such as lethargy, hunched posture, refusing to eat, ruffled feathers, and runny droppings with mucus or blood. Corid is the treatment for cocci.
post #8 of 8
PaisyQ, did you ever figure out what was wrong with your chick? I have a 5-6 month old pullet doing the same thing for the past 3 weeks, not quite as bad as yours. She hasn't gotten any worse but not better after electrolytes and a round of antibiotics. Her two brothers died after showing more severe but similar symptoms, appearing to be neurological.
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