8 Week old pullet is unable to walk

foxrfarm

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jul 13, 2011
45
2
39
Medina, MN
My 8 week old Black Marans became lame 5 days ago, in her flock of 18 other pullets. She is the only one exhibiting symptoms. My first guess was Marek's, but I was hoping someone could help me try to figure out what is wrong with her. She is eating and drinking when I feed her by hand, but cannot get her head into the feeder or waterer on her own. I considered that the problem might be an ear infection, so I have been treating her with an antibiotic for 3 days - while she is stronger (I'm sure it's because she's eating and drinking), she still cannot stand (or fly).

All of these birds came from a reputable hatchery in Iowa, but were not vaccinated. I guess I'm wondering if it is Marek's, wouldn't the other birds be affected by now too?
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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What are her legs doing? Often Mareks has them sticking straight out or behind them. Mareks is insidious, it hits one bird here and maybe one there and than nothing. Many birds become immune to it, and only a few show symptoms. Some can even recover. It tends to flare during times of stress, and can show up as young as 8 weeks, and birds can die years after being infected. It slowly will paralyze them, so if your bird doesn't improve in the next week or two I would think Mareks, and cull. I don't vaccinate, only cull those that show symptoms.
 

foxrfarm

In the Brooder
8 Years
Jul 13, 2011
45
2
39
Medina, MN
Thanks. Her legs are out to her side and she has strength in her feet. She can grab onto things. Her head tends to weave back and forth, making eating and drinking almost impossible.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Grateful
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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Wisconsin
Mareks causes tumors that will push on nerves which causes the paralysis, it will also cause neurological problems too. I'm certainly not saying it's definitely Mareks, things like botulism will cause similar symptoms as well as head injuries.
 

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