My family and I have ten 3 week old bantam blue Cochin's--truly the sweetest, most precious little birds on the planet. We have fallen in love
Sadly though, my perfect flock now has fallen victim to Mareks, or so I believe.
Yesterday morning I went to check on the babies (as I do at least 20 times a day--LOVE watching them) and to change their water. I noticed one little chick laying all alone and breathing funny. I reached in, picked her up and as I put her down, I noticed that one leg was curled in. She flopped around trying to steady herself on her wings then fell sideways. I can only describe her breathing as if she is choking or gasping for breath. When given food and water she will eat and drink. I started her on antibiotics and electrolytes (in the even that she was dehydrated). As of this morning, she is not walking but will scoot around to drink. She is not gasping for breath as bad as she was last night. She had watery diarrhea last night. As of this morning I have not seen any droppings from her.
I read in a post where this disease does not happen over night, but if this is what my little chicken has, then it actually did, but then again I have never dealt with this before so had no idea of symptoms to watch for. The ONLY other odd behavior I can say she had was the night before she was laying on her side with one leg stretched out--but we thought she just had a full belly and was relaxing. She seemed fine and normal after that. Fluttering around, chirping, eating, and drinking--normal baby chick behaviour.
By the way, these chickens are from a hatchery and were not immunized.
I have several questions--I pray that ya'll can help me or at least put my mind at ease.
By any chance did I happen to catch this in time to save my little chick?
Is there anything else I can do or give her to make her better?
Will her other brothers and sisters develop this? (oh how I hope they do not, such a cruel disease!)
I have 10 more babies being shipped next week, what are the odds that they will "catch" this from these chickens? I didn't opt in to have them immunized either. What do I need to do to ensure that they do not get Mareks?
I don't know if it makes a difference but I have them on medicated feed, so how did this happen?
Being so new to raising chickens and so traumatized by seeing this cruel disease affect this sweet little girl, I am paranoid that my whole flock and next flock will be wiped out by Mareks--I'm stressing a little here! Any help would be so greatly appreciated and welcomed