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Chicks ill and dying. Incoordination, sitting on hocks, tremors.

post #1 of 2
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Hey, I ordered the Heavy Barnyard Special from Cackle Hatchery. Shipped on Feb 6th. One died in transport. No biggie. 6 died within the next 48 hours. BUMMER, but still OK.. (Out of 50, BTW). Now they are two weeks old. Last week one was kind of wobbling around and getting run over. Having difficulty with coordination and standing up. I separated it, thinking that it was just smaller than the rest and needed some time to catch up. A few days later now and 4 more are acting similarly. Progressive decline of coordination. Sitting on hocks, unable to walk without toppling over, some tremors noted in a few. They are still eating and drinking occasionally, but it is difficult for them to get over to the food and water. We have them indoors in brooders. Lights, clean food and water -- cared for daily. These symptoms lead me to believe they have Avian Encephalomyelitis -- (diagnosis gleaned from http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044#) Which would mean that they contracted it from the Hen who layed the egg, right? So that would mean that Cackle could have an outbreak? Any help appreciated.

post #2 of 2

Okay this chick sounds like it has Marek's disease, it's a paralysis that will spread up a chickens legs most of the time, causing them to have trouble walking. (Even though on the link, I've never had tumors on the 13 different batches of chicks of mine that had it) It's fatal, and spreads quick so it's good you took the chick away. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the other chicks got this. This age they are at is when it happens usually. There's seizures if it gets bad, so you'll need to support them. (My cockerel didn't eat for 3 days, and he survived) 

When chickens are over a year it's likely they won't get it. It's a hard task to manage chicks and marek's disease unless you have space and time. Any survivors of this little outbreak (it's not because of the hatchery) are probably immune. Any that had the disease then survived, could die a few years later because of internal tumor, but my roo lived for 2 years and was perfect  (after he survived the virus he got)  (the he got sat on by another rooster) 

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