My husband and I are new to raising chickens. We moved into a home and inherited 2 full grown hens. Our son asked us if we could get more. We bought 5 baby chicks from a highly recommended breeder. Our chicks have grown up amazingly until recently. One of our chicks, the smallest one, died last week. We didn't see any symptoms except just getting lethargic. We just lost one today and looks like maybe two others as well. We believe its Mareks from the feedback we have received. They are losing the ability to walk and then die a couple days later. Does anyone know why this happens? Has anyone gone through this? Anything we can do to prevent or help it?
All my 3 month old chicks are dying days after another
Featured Stories on BackYard Chickens
Welcome to BYC. Mareks disease may be a possibility, but coccidiosis should also be considered. Several people on this forum have sent chickens into their state vets for necropsy to confirm Mareks disease, only to get results stating coccidiosis as a cause. Coccidiosis is treated with Corid in the water for 5 days, at 1 1/2 tsp of powder per gallon of water. If you lose another pullet, then I would advise you to get a necropsy done. Coccidiosis signs can include lethargy, weakness, dehydration, refusal to eat, standing hunched or puffed up, and runny poops with mucus or blood. Please read "The Great BigGiant Mareks Faq" by doing a search at the top of the page, or by Googling it.
Thank you! They are drinking and eating as long as I put it by them. We just lost another one this morning. So all in all we had 5 healthy chicks, 2 hens and now we have 1 healthy chick, 1 sick chick who can barely walk and two healthy hens. This is very heartbreaking and hard for my family and I.
I would go get some Corid today and start it ASAP. Even if their problem is not coccidiosis, it won't harm them, but it is strange to lose that many within a week to Mareks. Coccidiosis could do that. Please refrigerate the latest body, and ship it to your state vet for a necropsy. It would be worth ruling out Mareks disease for any of your future chickens. In some states it is no cost, while in most it is a nominal fee. Some may be pricey.You can also open the abdomen yourself to look for swollen or blood-filled intestines, which are pictured in my last link below. He is some reading to help you:
Edited by Eggcessive - 6/3/16 at 1:27pm