5-week-old pullet lying on its side, unable to get up? (Marek's?)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Vora, Jun 19, 2011.

  1. Vora

    Vora Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2011
    I know, I know, it's my first post. I'm actually here all the time, just reading what other people have to say. Anyway, here's my issue;

    I just bought a random mix of chicks to start as pets, having just lost mine to neighborhood dogs (yes, I just bought a bigger, stronger coop for them) and all of them require a heat lamp except for the little Mille Fleur the woman pushed me to get. I was suspicious to begin with, because this chick does not seem to be in good shape. The woman didn't specify how old, but I'm guessing about 5-6 weeks old. She's missing the feathers on her back and around her vent down to her stomach, her wings drag a bit, as though she can't quite hold them up, and seems to have trouble similar to pasty-butt. Her vent seems to constantly be straining and her tail is always shaking. I'll dip her in some warm water and out will come some healthy-looking poo after a minute or so.

    Today, I went out to change the bedding in their outdoor brooder, then sat and watched them for a while. I'm handling my silkie chick when the Mille Fleur starts scrabbling around. I look over, and she's laying not-quite-on-her-side, the leg near the floor curled up and the other leg scrabbling as though she's trying to get up. I pick her up, thinking her foot is caught on something, and she continues to scrabble, confused as to why she can't stand up. Her folded up leg is moving normally now, but she still can't seem to pick herself up. After a minute or so, she's fine again. I place her on the ground to check, and she stands up and walks around like nothing happened.

    WTH? Does anyone have any ideas? I'm sure the missing feathers are from her being plucked at by other chickens from the brooder when I got her, but the constant vent straining worries me, and now this worries me even further.

    Edit: Also, after looking around at mille fleur pictures and remembering what my own pullets looked like at 5-6 weeks, I'm thinking that this girl is actually only 2 weeks old. This alarms me, since the woman I bought her from told me she was old enough to be out of the heat lamp, and didn't have one over her.
     
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2011
  2. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    I would keep her warm or at least give her that option. I would give her some Corid encase she has coccidia and perhaps a little safeguard for any internal worms. Take a listen to her lungs just under the wing... any gurgles, wheezing etc...... Mareks is normally in the left leg if i remember correctly and progresses to the wing, neck and upward, it normally does not get better than worse. Any paleness to her throat, any bugs in her feathers, any loss of weight?
     
  3. Vora

    Vora Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2011
    I've only had her since Friday, so I'm not sure if she's had any weight loss. Certainly not since that. And no, I don't seen any particular paleness of the throat, all of her skin is the same pinky color. No bugs at all, in the brooder or on her. If I remember correctly, it was her right leg that she was having trouble with.

    Just went out to listen to her breathing, and I didn't hear wheezing or gurgling, but more of what I guess I would describe as occasional rasping. Sounded like what gravel would sound like if you ground two pieces together. I held up another chick for comparison and didn't hear it.
    There is no sign of bloody poo, just some watery bits occasionally.
     
  4. Vora

    Vora Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 15, 2011
    Little pullet is much better, her wings still seem droopy, but perhaps that's just her waiting to grow into them? Her poo is normal but I give her a warm bath every so often to be sure it's getting out properly. Her feathers are growing in, and there's only been one other incident last week where she seemed to have one leg paralyzed. Still not sure what this is, perhaps some chronic seizure?
     
  5. luvinrunnin

    luvinrunnin Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 12, 2011
    Glad she is doing better. I never had any idea chickens could have so many things wrong with them until I came to this site!!!
     

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