3 month old RIR shaking weak legs, poor balance...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Godiva, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2007
    Colorado
    I went in to let the 'chicks' out this morning and one of the RIR chicks was not going out so went to shoo him out and found that he is really wobbly on his legs and seems to be shaking. I left him inside and went to check on all the others and there are at least another two with similar symptoms - just not as advanced. I didn't notice anything yesterday - but that doesn't mean they were 100 % since I didn't spend time watching them. Oh, actually I have just remembered that I thought a couple of days ago that one of them may have got hurt because it was a bit staggering one evening, when I went to check on it later I couldn't find it because they all seemed to be walking fine... And I don't know if it is related at all but I saw that a couple of the chickens have toes that are misshapen and I have never noticed that before... I am usually pretty observant but I guess I could have missed that

    These guys are on shavings that are needing to be changed - just behind at the moment as I have a whole bunch of broodies and chicks and am not quite keeping up. SO the shavings are smelling rather strong... I have most of them outside today but the run has been rained on lately and the hay I have down to stop it from being a complete cess pit is wet through. Is it maybe mold? I haven't seen any but that doesn't mean it isn't there... or is it an infection, their poop looks normal. Still eating and drinking. Trying to run around but staggering... I am thinking of trying to figure a way to put them outside in one of the chicken tractors to separate them from the others. I have done nothing except make sure they are not mixing with other chickens.... I have an electrolyte powder so am thinking of putting that in their water... Is this something infectious and do I need antibiotics? THere are no vets that do chickens out here but there is a vet that would help me out if I ask for something specific...
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2008
  2. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    Could it have gotten a bonk on the head.
    Just FYI straw and hay mold REALLY fast. Which and make any animal sick.
    If the pine bedding has a strong smell you need to clean it out. Remove what you can.
     
  3. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2007
    Colorado
    OK, I have been reading up as much as I can while I wait and hope that someone can help me. I am wondering if this may be Marek's disease!!? If so what the heck to do? Apparently it is spread by their dander and I have almost all my chickens in a coop where they are only separated by wire... in other words the dander is everywhere!!! HELP! I have baby chicks, and some due to hatch next week!!! If this is Marek's is there a chance that some of my chickens will make it? Does it affect younger chicks more than older? I started my flock with day old chicks in March 07 (that were vaccinated for Mareks by the hatchery) everything else we have hatched ourselves.... I read somewhere, just a few minutes ago that vaccinated chickens will infect others? The hen that hatched the RIR chicks is one of a small handful of the original flock that was vaccinated.... is this how this happened? Is this what we have do you think? I am feeling sick to my stomach... we have only just got our flock really going after dogs killed most of our original pullets, just starting selling eggs, just started getting on top of all the setbacks we have faced... Please give advice, thanks in advance... this site is amazingly helpful even just with searching through previous topics!
     
  4. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2007
    Colorado
    Well, it is more than one of them which says to me some kind of infection.... as soon as DS is down for his nap I am going to go and clear out that whole section of the coop and DH will ahve to bring shavings home for me.... should get a good few bales in his Jetta anyway. Of course today the car is in for work so I am stuck at home....
     
  5. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2007
    Colorado
    OK, I would really appreciate a reply or two please folks!? I want to know what you think... I have isolated the three RIR's with weak legs, they seem to be the same today... their knees seem to be very close together and the feet kind of splay out a bit. I have cleaned out all the old shavings and replaced with clean. SHould I move all the chicks that have been in the same area outside or is it too late already. I have a lot of chickens esp baby chicks that seem to be fine and I am just kind of freaking out as I have nowhere to move everybody! I don't know if this is Mareks... How fast does it progress? This seems to be quite slow moving.... Droppings still look ok, eating drinking normally as far as I can see...

    I don't know if I am imagining it but I think there may be a couple more of the RIR's showing slight "wobblyness"... The chick that has been worst has something going on with its wing feathers, they look kind of curled... really don't know how to describe it, just looks abnormal. They use their wings to try and balance when they are staggering so maybe the feathers are getting bent and worn... I have also noticed that they do a high stepping walk - lift their feet unusually high, really does look rather like drunk trying to walk carefully for a cop when he's been pulled over! [​IMG] try and find something to smile about huh!?

    Please help me, how do I manage this?
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2008
  6. meriruka

    meriruka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    Just a few questions to help narrow it down maybe.......
    Have you picked them up and inspected their feet? Also, look for mites.
    Have you ever wormed them?
    What are you feeding them? Does their feed smell off or moldy?

    Forgot to ask...what kind of shavings? Pine or cedar?
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2008
  7. katrinag

    katrinag Chillin' With My Peeps

    How old are the chicks that are having problems? Did you hatch them? Does everyone else seem fine today?
     
  8. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 17, 2007
    Colorado
    I have them on pine shavings. They are on the same feed as a number of other chicks and it seems fresh and I haven't seen any mold... I feed them unmedicated start and gro (purina) and I add a little kelp meal, diatomaceous earth to their feed. I have put electrolytes in the sick ones water. THese are chicks I hatched under an old hen - I got the eggs from someone on this forum, no problems and I know they have a great reputation. I have been wanting to get some of that enzyme based spray just to be double sure that we don't have an issue with mites. Not so sure how to check for that... what am I looking for and do you think this could be from something like that?! I have noticed that there may be some others starting to get weakness in the legs... not sure - will have to watch them.
    I haven't inspected their feet, what am I looking for. I have noticed that two of the three have toes with knobs on one or two of the joints.
     
  9. meriruka

    meriruka Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 18, 2007
    Food sounds good, bedding is good. So you can rule that out.
    A heavy mite infestation can leave chickens weak and anemic.
    Pick one up, lift the feathers up in different places and look at the skin (and around the vent too) if you see anything crawling around on the skin, it's probably mites. They are very small and usually reddish.
    For worms, they usually get lethargic, but I don't think staggering.
    But they will continue to eat but will get skinnier, see if they feel bony when you check them.

    The legs should be smooth, scales flat. If they are bumpy, could be scaly leg mites. The pads on the bottom of the feet should be soft, and hard areas that look scabbed over could be bumblefoot.

    Once you rule all that out, then you'll want to look at infections and maybe meds.

    The electrolytes are a good idea and can't hurt.

    While you're inspecting them, are their eyes clear & bright? Combs & wattles a good color? Any nasal discharge?
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2008
  10. jenni2142

    jenni2142 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 16, 2008
    South Carolina
    you say they look drunk? could they have been exposed to mold or eaten something toxic? maybe compost? do a search on chickens acting drunk. I have seen it on here a lot and they always describe it as looking drunk and it ends up being a toxin, frequently access to compost.
     

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