10 week old lethargic and HOT


In the Brooder
7 Years
Apr 22, 2012
Northwest Indiana
I noticed yesterday that one of my chicks was more docile than usual. This morning she just laid under the gangplank to her run when I let the girls out of their coop. She did roost last night and is pecking at food if near her but is otherwise disinterested. Because it is a very warm day and she seems kinda feverish, I gave her a cool dousing in the wash tub. She revived a little but is stll just laying amongst the ferns...not playing with the other birds like usual. She has no other signs of illness that a new chicken owner like me can distinguish. She is breathing fine. What can I do to help her? What should I be looking for?
Tonight she took a little water through a syringe and also ate bread like it was caviar. She is still unable or unwilling to move about very much but I did see her on the roost as the other birds came home for the night. So far, I think it must be gastrointestinal...? We'll see how tomorrow goes. I know I should isolate her. Also, she kinda stinks. Not sure if that's a clue to what's going on with her or not, or just a by product of being doused in the wash tub to help cool her off. Keep a good thought for us.
I'm beginning to see improvement I think. She ate yoghurt mixed with medicated crumbles and some grape tomatoes but still needs to be hand fed. She took water from a syringe three times today, about 2 oz. each time. She did not attempt to roost though and is not moving around. Any ideas how I can help her get through this faster? I have to work tomrrow and will not be able to monitor her. i hope that doesn't set her back.
This sounds like it could be one of two things.

First, I would start giving her poly vi sol, without iron, .5mls per day plus 200 ius of vitamin E twice per day.

If this doesn't help, I would start looking at threads that deal with Marek's disease. Your bird is showing symptoms of either a vitamin deficiency or Marek's. I hope that it is a vitamin deficiency. What concerns me the most is the fact that she stinks. Marek's chicken poop is really nasty.
My girl is still iffy. I've read up on Mareks...some things fit, most do not...or maybe it's too soon to see all the symptoms. Flo (my chick) is isolated, eats with coaxing, drinks very little, moves her wings, and head and neck. I put her in a warm water bath last night to clean her up a bit. She stood on her own which was the first time since this all started. Her brooder mates are all fine, happy little birdies. These are my first chicks. I will try to get off early tonight to run by TSC for cocidia (?) medicine, electrolytes,...any other suggestion?. I know Mareks is not treatable. But I'm not ready to give up on her yet.
Marek's manifests itself in many ways. You do not need to see all the symptoms for the bird to be infected. I just lost a silkie roo that was exhibiting no symptoms but I know that Marek's is in my flock. So, I had him necropsied just to be sure. And, the results showed it was indeed Marek's.

Keep up the vitamin treatment...it could take up to 2 weeks to make a difference. Good luck and keep us posted!
Again today, minor improvement. She is holding herself more upright rather than listing to one side. She is showing some interest in food and is eating on her own when favorites are within reach. She does not tolerate the vitamen dropper or even the syringe very well anymore. Perhaps she is drinking from her waterer when I'm not around. I put her vitamens in her youghurt and soaked some bread in the medicated water. Seems to be working. Hopefully there will be more good news to report tonight when I get home.
It has been nearly 2 weeks since my last update and soon to be 3 weeks since my chick (Flo) got sick. We are as certain as we can be without necropsy that she was accidentally poisoned. Thankfully, she is still with us. She has been a house chicken, living in a washtub in our kitchen, since we separated her from the flock. She is gaining strength daily but still has seizures and cannot stand. She is otherwise mobile but clumbsy. She is now able to eat and drink on her own if food and water is placed within reach. My research shows it can take up to 3 weeks to clear poison when ingested by poultry so I am still prayerfully hopeful of full recovery. Although I paint a bleak picture, the improvement in the last week is marked and I am so thankful for the opportunity to help her. In case anyone may benefit, these are the symptoms that led us to her diagnosis and what we've been doing since: Early symptoms of malaise, loss of appetite, apparent paralysis of the legs and feet. Symptoms progressed to include bright green poop (organ failure), limber neck, and seizures. Remaining symptoms include seizure/convulsion (less frequent and less severe) and paralysis or weakness of the legs (although I'm leaning toward weakness as she's been trying to stand). This is what we did for her: hand feed and force water by syringe - drop by drop into the tip of her beak. Put vitamins (poly-visol and vitamin E oil in youghurt or in bread or on grapes or grape tomatoes...whatever she would eat. Started her and the flock on antibiotics and treated water with vitamins and electrolytes (from TSC...great people). Once she displayed the limber neck coupled with bright green pooh, confirming our diagnosis, we discontinued the antibiotics...her liver did not need to work any harder and the other chicks remained unaffected. I started adding grit to all the feed both for Flo and her sisters - I didn't know to do this before and it probably was not a problem since my girls free range BUT it's a very good idea to use grit or increase grit if suspecting poisoning in your bird. Every night, (almost) Flo gets a warm bath in a bucket. I lay her neck in the spout and she basically floats while I clean her up a bit. It seems to sooth her and gives me an opportunity to move her legs...physical therapy. Afterward, I wrap her in a towel and make sure she eats and drinks before putting her back in her washtub. For the last several days, I've let her have outside time, while I supervise. She eats grass and seems to enjoy the sunshine. I let the other chicks come visit and make sure noone picks on her, hoping it will help the reintroduction process when the timing is right. She is not out of the woods but God has brought her this far...so, I wait.
Again, seval weeks have passed. It has been 7 weeks since Flo became ill. She is basically fine except that she cannot stand. She eats, drinks, makes happy chicken sounds, but really can't move around much...wing assisted hops that are clumbsy at best. Is there anyone out there that has seen a chicken recover after such a long and severe illness? If there is hope, I don't want to put her down. She is a sweet little bird. But she cannot do little chicken things...it's no life for a chicken. What should I do?

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