4 ONTH OLD LEGBAR BALANCE PROBLEM

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by marchharefrance, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. marchharefrance

    marchharefrance Just Hatched

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    Hello,
    I am re starting an 8 day old thread here, but I was lucky to have responses from lots of intelligent and knowledgeble people. I followed everyone's advice and even visited a vet who thought the problem was Rickets, I then returned and they thought it may be a broken leg and splinted the one that appeared to be lame. Today I returned and after much discussion, I am told it could br Marek's disease. My little hen has baffled everyone.

    Can anyone give a clue as to what I can do for her please?
    She is alive and most of the day, alert. At present she is wrapped in a towel under my arm and responding to the screen and pecking my specs and the keyboard. Admittedly. she does fall asleep from time to time.

    Does this sound like Mareks to anyone? I have read the long but amazing pages on this site about the desease but my chic, doesn't have many symptoms. She eats what I feed her, the poop is well formed and normal, not runny at all, nothing in it. She talks to me and responds to sounds around her. She tries to move aound with a splint on one leg, but falls over! Her wings are strong and she shouts at me when she doesn't want any more food. She probably gets about 3 ounces of pellet feed a day with other things added to make up the weight.

    I do not want to give up on this young chicken. However, the vets say that after 8 more days ( She has been off balance for 8 days already!!) if she doesn't improve, she should be put to sleep. I have seen 3 different vets. Admittedly propably not Avian vets. I live in France and find the language difficult. although I did understand them all.

    ( To get to this ongoing problem.)----
    Blossom is not able to balance, does not attempt to feed herself and she weighs only just over 1 kilo! She is alert and allows me to feed her by hand with her poultry food pellets ground down, some porridge oats added, mixed with Plain bio yoghurt with a bit of honey. I also syringe water with minerals ( from the vet ) down her throat and also feed her some scrambled egg. This I have done 6 times a day for 8 days. I give her fresh cut grass cut small and fresh herbs fom the garden on a plate and she is able to eat it by pecking from a plate. She will accept yoghurt from a spoon.

    I am aware that she is thin. I immediately removed her from my other hens on the day I thought she was being bullied. Hwever, bear in mind that these young chickens from a hatchery had lived here happily together in a new coop and run for 7 weeks before any problem occured.

    Can anyone advise on this situation please?

    I know I am probably clutching at straws, and ultimately the vet will leave the choice of Euthanasia to me.
    This amazing little hen has been by my side 24 Hours a day since she took ill.
    I do not want to make a wrong decision, although I have to consider what is best for her, not for me.

    Advice would be much appreciated.
    Thank you all.
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    It's always a very heart-wrenching call when to end the life of a struggling chicken. It's never easy. But sometimes you have to see that there's a point beyond which your chicken has no future. I call that point when I see my sick chicken can no longer get around, get to their food and feed themselves, or that they are in obvious pain.

    There are other diseases similar to Marek's and my flock is carrying one of these viruses. I don't know what's ailing Blossom, but I had an EE hen who lived for several years with a progressively worsening of her legs to support her. She responded, at first, to a twice daily dose of half a baby aspirin. But the flock began to see there was something wrong with her and attacked her.

    I would place the hen in a protective pen during the day and let her sleep in my garage in a basket at night. She thrived on the attention, and we bonded closely. I even rigged a crate in her day pen so she could lay her eggs. But eventually she could no longer get to the crate or get to her food bowl. She was lying in her own waste. At that point, she and I decided it needed to be over. So I euthanized her.

    It's your call. You may not ever know what's wrong with Blossom unless you choose to have a necropsy done after she dies. The disease my flock carries is Lymphotic leucosis. It, like Marek's, causes tumors to grow on organs and it can cause a lot of pain. There's no cure. Luckily, most chickens have a resistance to it, so my flock is reasonably healthy and normal.

    You can continue to give Blossom this intense one-on-one care, but you will need to know that at some point, she won't have any quality of life. Then you will need to help her out of her misery.
     
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  3. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    There is also this consideration: What is best for your flock? If she does have Marek's disease, your flock is already exposed, and your land is carrying this strain of Mareks. And I'm of the opinion that most of our flocks are more likely to be exposed and just might test positive for Mareks if one were to test them. However, Mareks disease is not likely to affect all birds in the same way. Some may test positive while never showing signs of disease. Some may become ill and recover, only to succumb to the tumor issues at a later date. And some may be infected, and live out their entire lives without issue. Nor does vaccination prevent the disease. All it does is prevent the debilitating tumors, while the bird can continue to be infectious to the rest of the flock. I read an article a couple of weeks ago about how the immunization can actually create super virulent strains of Mareks: that kills within a matter of a few days, instead of the slower course in which many birds do recover. If this bird were in my flock, she'd have been culled at first sign of illness for the sake of the rest of the flock. It's never easy to have a sick bird. And it's difficult to have to cull a bird. I've removed several birds from my flock, most likely due to reproductive issues. At the time, I was saddened, and chose not to do a necropsy, which most likely would have told the story, but... chose not to b/c I didn't want to invest the time or deal with the mess.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
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  4. marchharefrance

    marchharefrance Just Hatched

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    Jul 13, 2016
    Hello,
    Thank you once again for your response, I did use the Aspirin when you suggested it I am so sorry about your flock.
    I don't know how you have carried on .I am devastated and this is my first venture in keeping chickens. I took 6 years to get the courage to try it whilst preparing the garden for them to be happy and safe.I only have 3 birds and I am supposed to collect 2 Brahma 8 week old chicks from the hatchery next week(.They were new born when I collected my first 3) Now, I don't know what to do .I may only be bringing them here for them to be sick too. And what about the other 2? I have worked so hard in keeping them clean, happy and well fed and even only after having them for 8 weeks, I really couldn't envisage my life without them in it.

    However, reading your e-mail, I realise that other people also love their animals as much as I do and I respect you for doing the right thing.
    Sitting here with her on my knee talking to me, it is very hard but I will do the right thing also.
    Thank you.
     
  5. marchharefrance

    marchharefrance Just Hatched

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    Jul 13, 2016
    HELLO,
    I admire your bravery and professionalism.
    I only have 3 birds and have waited years to research and buy the right breeds from what I thought was the right place. I chose a hatchery, Which looked immaculate, proffessional and all of the birds looked fighting fit. Most people in France buy them from a market. Perhaps I should have done the same but it doesn't matter now. Chicken keeping is nw to me and so far I haven't done very well.
    However, I know now what I have do.
    Thanks for the response.
     
  6. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    Do not beat yourself up over this. Chances are that it really doesn't matter where your bird came from Mareks dz. is everywhere. It is carried by the little sparrows, and other birds that fly over your property. Some birds get sick. While others do not. As a flock breeder, it's in my best interests to cull birds that are prone to disease, and move on. Luckily, I've yet to have signs of Mareks show up in my flock. Got room for a turkey? Turkeys can be carriers of a strain of Mareks that is less deadly. So, chickens that are exposed to that strain have natural immunity to the more deadly strains! I love it when wild turkeys come through my yard! Can you get some turkey poop from someone who does have turkeys to inoculate your yard????
     
  7. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    This isn't the end of the world. When I found out my flock was carrying LL, I was devastated. Like you, I had tried to keep them clean and well fed and healthy. I have no idea how LL infected my flock. The lab technician who did the necropsy on the eleven-month old cockerel I had brought them after I had euthanized him, told me the virus was everywhere, carried by wind, shoes, clothing, etc. Marek's is the same. Your Blossom was somehow exposed to something and was vulnerable, not resistant like many others are. So she got sick. Marek's and LL aren't the only chicken viruses. It could be something else that has infected Blossom. That she's been afflicted so young doesn't bode well.

    Many people have flocks that carry these viruses. Occasionally a chicken will sicken and die for no apparent reason. They think nothing of it and move on. Knowing or not knowing what has killed a chicken is a choice a flock owner makes for themselves. I like to know what it is I'm dealing with. That's why I took my cockerel to a lab after I euthanized him. Knowing what sickened him and how it affects only some chickens has enabled me to give my flock the best care I can. I've lost no more chickens since he died, and I even have seven-year old hens who are very healthy and still lay eggs. All the rest are happy and healthy, and recently a hen hatched a single healthy baby chick.

    So, life goes on. I know what I'm dealing with, so there are no longer any surprises. My twenty-five chicken flock is perfectly healthy right at present. No one can predict what the future holds. I'm caring for my flock and enjoying them right now and I don't dwell on might happen in the future.
     
  8. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener True BYC Addict

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    This is all the more reason to keep a closed flock. NPIP is a false security and only tests for certain pathogens. If I were to have my flock tested today, and they tested negative for the specific diseases that were tested for, that does not mean that THOSE diseases could not show up in my flock tomorrow. Nor does it mean that a NPIP certified flock DOES NOT carry something else that could come in and wipe out your entire flock. When folks go to the poultry swaps and bring home some pretty birds, what else may they be bringing home? As Azygous says, provide the best care possible, enjoy your flock. And I'll add to that, cull when illness shows up. What can we do to ensure good care? Avoid overcrowding. Deep litter. Fermented feed. Access to free range if you are able to do so. Invite wild turkey populations onto your land. Early exposure to soil for new chicks. Have a management plan in place that includes removing sick birds. Full disclosure when purchasing or selling eggs, chicks, or older birds.
     
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  9. marchharefrance

    marchharefrance Just Hatched

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    Jul 13, 2016
    Your E-mail and your enouragement is much appreciated
    Many thanks.
     
  10. marchharefrance

    marchharefrance Just Hatched

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    You made me smile , which I haven't done in days!!

    As for the Turkey, I don't think I could afford the postage to France! Also would the customs allow him in?
     

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