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8 week old chicks having trouble walking

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by KelseyForren, Feb 25, 2016.

  1. KelseyForren

    KelseyForren Hatching

    Feb 25, 2016
    I have a handful of almost 2 month old chicks that seem to all have a hard time walking. It doesn't seem to be getting better, and I feel that it wasn't this bad when they first hatched. I see some some crooked toes, but I'm afraid it's too late to fix that. Could that be the only reason they're having a hard time? They kind of just stumble around, and if possible, I'd like to do something to help them become more mobile for when I turn them outside. They don't try to fly, and they don't roost.

    These chicks are barnyard crosses from my backyard flock that I incubated myself. I've heard there can be complications from fluctuations and inconsistencies in temperature during the incubation process, i.e. crooked toes, etc. I hatched 12 of 21, but only 4 have survived. I lost a the majority of them recently, in very close time increments to the next. Could they have a disease that's causing this (i.e. Mareks)? Should I get them vaccinated or give them something?

    Any and all input is appreciated. First time incubating chicks.

  2. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    It does sound like you could have in infection of Marek's. The best way to diagnose what's going on is if one dies send the body to a lab for a necropsy.

    It also could be an incubation defect as you suspect. At this point, there's not much that can be done about the defects, though. You can always try increasing the nutrients by way of fermented feed or added vitamins and see if they improve.

    If you plan on hatching any more chicks out of this flock, it's very important to know if you're bringing baby chicks into the world already infected with Marek's or some other disease since many of these are passed to the chick through the egg.
  3. ChickenChaser9

    ChickenChaser9 Songster

    Feb 3, 2016
    Hello KelseyForren,
    Maerek's disease is everywhere! It is airborne on particles of dust. It will stick to your clothes and shoes. You will bring it into the home with you and it will decimate your babies. It is always a race to see if the vaccine works before they get infected with the real deal. Please have your birds protected by getting vaccinations for this terrible disease. There are a whole slew of other heartfelt articles from chicken lovers that lost whole clutches to this on the internet if my warnings are insufficient. I do not know for sure that is what is afflicting your birds but if they haven't been vaccinated for Maerek's their may be a carrier in the group getting them all sick.

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