2 Month Old Chick With Weak Legs

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by CherryAdventure, Dec 8, 2014.

  1. CherryAdventure

    CherryAdventure Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 8, 2014
    Hi.

    About a week ago I realised one of my 2 month old chicks was having trouble walking. It's sort of a stumble, stumble, trip.[​IMG] And when she is standing still her leg seems to dislocate at the hip and she just falls over. Now s/he has trouble standing at all. Her/his mother has stopped taking care of it and just walks off with her other 4 chicks.
    S/He doesn't appear sick because her/his poos are normal and s/he eats well when we provide food but s/he cant move around to get to food herself. S/he cant scratch or chase bugs or even get into our off-the-ground boxes.
    Someone said it's a leg deformity and is common and incurable. She also said that s/he could live but we would have to carry her/him everywhere. Is she right?
    [​IMG]
    Oh, and she was fine at birth. Only been having troubles recently.
     
  2. CCsChickens

    CCsChickens Out Of The Brooder

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    Unfortunately it does sound like a deformity of some sort if the chick cannot walk well/keep up for themselves and especially if the mother hen have left them. It could also be a broken bone since you said s/he was fine at birth, which indicates that it has happened recently or slowly over time. If the chick cannot fend for itself you're left with a couple of options in my opinion:
    1. VET
    Take the chick to the vet - they will be able to diagnose it properly and give the best advice wether it be to sadly put it down or make some adjustments to ensure it can survive and live as successfully as possible. Also even if you know what is wrong the vets can provide you with some pain relief for the wee chick.

    2. HUMANE OPTION
    Unfortunately in some situations like this, many owners would choose to simply end the chicks life; its already suffering/at a large disadvantage and even if you so want it to live and survive it may be too a hard life for the chicken and unfair for it if it struggles to even move around. A chicken should be able to peck, scratch roost and walk. If this one cant then its life if it lives will not be to the fullest. I myself would try all I could to ensure that it lives a good life but sometimes you have to think of whats best for the chick. For example my flock has CRD at only 4 months old... some people have told me they would have culled the whole flock and started over. However mine show little/no symptoms so I've decided that their own quality of life the good outweighs the bad in their situation.

    3. LEAVE IT
    You could just continue to hand feed the chick and see how you go if you're not up to ending its life humanely yourself or taking it to the vet for euthanasia or just to see whats wrong. However then again you wouldn't want the chick to suffer.

    Ultimately the choice is yours however as an owner you should be putting the animals welfare first, and it seems like this chick will grow up to be immobile and have to rely on you for feed water etc. You probably wouldnt be able to go away from home at all as it will need constant feeds during the day, watering and general company/interaction, whereas the other chooks would be able to access their food and water and amuse themselves. It will not have much of a life and there could be many complications with an extremely sedentary lifestyle for a chicken such as full loss of movement, sickness, sores etc. If it were me I would take it to the vet for an opinion and weigh up the cons and pros but it sounds like this poor chickie isn't going too well :( Good luck I wish you all the best and hopefully s/hes not in too much discomfort.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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  4. CherryAdventure

    CherryAdventure Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for replying. All this information really helps. I had a look at the Marek's link. We have lost chickens before. One had what seemed like tumors on her wing, leg and eye. And two just randomly lost condition, till the point where they couldn't walk. Could this all be Marek's?
     
  5. CCsChickens

    CCsChickens Out Of The Brooder

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    This sounds like Mareks... after Donrae mentioned it I did a bit of research out of curiosity http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marek's_disease
    'there are frequently lymphomatous infiltration/tumours in the skin, skeletal muscle, visceral organs.' it says in this wiki article that there is usually microscopic lesions/tumours but after a few more weeks they develop to become noticeable.. . 'Clinical signs: Frequent wing and leg paralysis' - this also backs up the theory of your chickens condition being Marek's Disease.

    http://birdhealth.com.au/flockbirds/poultry/diseases/mareks_disease.html - also a good site the author Dr Rob Marshall considers Marek's Disease to 'be one of the most significant and under-diagnosed disease of show and backyard poultry'.

    I don't really know what the treatment of Marek's Disease is, most articles only mention prevention which leads me to think that it is one of those 'have it for life' diseases (such as CRD) however seems to be more lethal and fatal.

    I know that vets can be extremely expensive but if it is Marek's Disease you need to be sure, not only for the fate of your sick chick, but the health and safety of the rest of your flock. Good luck and keep us updated with the results :)


    This is the BEST site I have found for anything to do with raising chickens; feed, coop, breeding, infections etc!!! Just found this now hopefully it will help you to understand Marek's and see if it matches to what is happening in your flock and then you can go from there!
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq
     

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