5wks trouble standing, walking

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by sunshinegirl, Jul 2, 2008.

  1. sunshinegirl

    sunshinegirl Out Of The Brooder

    31
    0
    22
    Jul 2, 2008
    Hi. I'm new to this board, and new to chickens. We just got our first batch of day-old chicks 5 wks ago, and they've all been healthy, happy, and growing like crazy. This morning I noticed one of my black austalorps seemed to be having trouble with her left leg. I picked her up and examined her, and there's no sign of swelling or injury. Her eyes are clear, doesn't seem to have a fever, but when she tries to walk she seems to lose her balance, skitters sideways and falls over. When she tries to stand up her left leg starts shaking, kind of like a person's would from muscle fatigue. She's eating and drinking fine, and seems to want to run around and play with the others but she just keeps wobbling and falling over. She seems to be trying to compensate by walking along the walls of the coop. She spends a lot of time lying down with her feet tucked underneath her, not on her side. So far none of the others have been picking on her, and she doesn't seem to have any trouble getting to the feeder/waterer.

    She's one of a group of 27 we ordered from Welp, and they were all vaccinated for Marek's, but I've read that the vaccine isn't 100% effective. Could this be her problem? Do I need to isolate her from the rest of the flock? If it is Marek's, does she have any chance of recovering (she was vaccinated - would this increase her chances)? These chicks have quickly become my babies, and I don't want to lose her, or risk any of the others having similar problems.

    We kept them in the house in the brooder until they were almost 3 wks old, then moved them out to the coop about 2 wks ago. The coop is an old horse trailer that my dad and I refurbished. It was cleaned and painted before they were moved, and it's never had chickens in it before now. These gals are 5 wks old, are fed Dumor chick starter/grower that we get from Tractor Supply. Every couple days we give them some treats - 1/2 a piece of ripped up bread, 1/4 of a mashed banana, or a handful of ground up oatmeal. I clean their feeders and water out every day. They get fresh food 3 times a day.

    Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
     
  2. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Hi, Welcome. At the top of the page use the search button and look up posts on Mareks. It will give some insite if that is what you are dealing with.Being that she was Vacc. it is less likely.Worms can also make them weak as well as mites,fleas etc. - [​IMG]
     
  3. sunshinegirl

    sunshinegirl Out Of The Brooder

    31
    0
    22
    Jul 2, 2008
    Thanks so much for the reply. She doesn't seem to have any fleas or mites. I guess worms could be a problem, but it seems like the others would be having trouble too. The thing is, she doesn't really seem weak or lethargic in general - she seems to want to run around and play, just seems frustrated that she can't make her leg work right. Doesn't seem to be in any pain or act sick, which tends to make me think it's neurologic. What can I give one this young for worms?
     
  4. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    4,871
    24
    251
    Jan 11, 2007
    You mentioned vaccine failure and that is a possibility >who can say?
    but when she tries to walk she seems to lose her balance, skitters sideways and falls over. When she tries to stand up her left leg starts shaking, kind of like a person's would from muscle fatigue

    I would suggest you give a vitE/selenum combination supplement (this is a human geltab) making sure the selenium content does nOT exceed 50 MICROgrams... (this is well known to help neurological symptoms and protect from permanent damage.) P r i c k open and and squeeze out the contents giving one each day for three days and then every other day three times and see if that helps.​
     
  5. sunshinegirl

    sunshinegirl Out Of The Brooder

    31
    0
    22
    Jul 2, 2008
    Thanks for the great advice. I tried the vit E/selenium today - just let it soak into a fingertip-sized piece of bread and she gobbled it right up. She seems marginally better tonight - can stand and slowly walk a few steps in a straight line, although she's still pretty shaky. When she tries to run she still goes sideways and falls over, but just being able to stand and take a few steps is an improvement. I'll keep up the suplementation for the next few days as directed. Hopefully it will do the trick.

    I'm wondering if I should supplement the gals feed with some kind of vitamins? I know we've fed our horses a vit E/selenium supplement before for hoof and coat condition, could I feed the same thing to my chicks? Are there any supplements made specifically for chickens that anyone has had good luck with? Or maybe any particular foods high in vitamin E that I could feed my girls on a regular basis?
     
  6. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Jeffers sells Poultry Cell which is like Red Cell,but for chickens. It has a lot of different Vitamins in it. Don't know off hand any others just for chickens, but I would be very careful using one geared towards horses because of the consentration used is much higher and could overdose or worse...[​IMG]
     
  7. sunshinegirl

    sunshinegirl Out Of The Brooder

    31
    0
    22
    Jul 2, 2008
    Well, she still seems to be having trouble. [​IMG] I gave her the vit E/selenium for three days, and I'll keep giving it every other day 3 more times. Every once in a while I think maybe I'm seeing some signs of improvement. This morning she stood up tall, and I thought that's a good sign. Then she tried to take one step forward, fell on her nose and did a little flip onto her back. She's still skittering sideways, falling over and moving around in uncordinated circles.

    I keep picking her up and looking and feeling her over again and again, thinking I must have missed something. I can't find any mites, swelling, cuts, etc. Will a chicken flinch or try to peck at you if you hit an ouchy spot? Nothing I do seems to bother her.

    She still seems to be eating and drinking fine. I keep taking her aside to give her food and water on her own just to make sure. At least she doesn't seem to be getting any worse, but I'm still worried about her. Does anyone have any ideas what this could possibly be? Could she have had some kind of stroke, injured her back/spine, eaten a bug that made her sick? I'm grasping at straws here, but I just want to fix her, and I really don't know what to do.
     
  8. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    Without a vet check it would be hard to say, well even with a vet check it could be hard, but in these cases it is best to give all the fluids and supportive care you can give and see if she starts to improve. iI give mine some Tylan just incase there is an infection. Call your states Department of Animals & Ag., they can be very helpful and even offer necropisys at very little money on birds that have or will pass. Wishes and prayers sent your way...
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by