Advice needed.... Worried about disease. :(

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by curranchickens, Feb 9, 2014.

  1. curranchickens

    curranchickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 2, 2011
    Fredericskburg, VA
    I have a 6 week old lavender Ameraucana chick who is haveing problems right now. She seemed fine until yesterday. I bought her from a reputable breeder at one week old. She has been in my brooder ever since with four brothers and sisters from the same hatch. My brooder is inside the house.

    She started having a hard time walking and her one leg was just dragging behind her. She is still eating some and still drinking some. I separated her and put her in a shallow box. She just lays there. What could be the problem? She seems skinny. She had a bowel movement and it looked normal to me. Pictures below.

    What is my best action? How should I treat and should I treat my other birds for anything?

    . [​IMG]
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Could she have been hurt or broke the leg? Is there any swelling or redness? Did the breeder give them Mareks vaccines? It's a disease that is common and exists in the dander and dust of the chickens. Once on the property, it's pretty much always there. Your breeder may not have problems with it, but you could have it on your property. If you look at your chick, and compare it with icture #11 on the Cornell site, it may be close. I'm not a vet and can't diagnose this, but it may be something to check into. Here are the links:
  3. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    X2. Even some of those folks regarded as reputable breeders do not vaccinate for Marek's. Some I have spoken with claim it isn't a problem in their environment, so they don't do it. Then, when one unknowingly buys from them, and they are exposed to Marek's on his/her property, they die. I would attempt to boost the bird's immune system as if it were a nutritional deficiency or a slipped tendon. Keep the bird in a comfortable environment, give vitamins-electrolytes-probiotics in her water, making a fresh solution each day, with plenty of fresh starter/grower feed available. I hope your chick recovers.
  4. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

    Jan 17, 2013
    I would definitely try giving a good multi poultry vitamin be cause Sometimes a vitamin deficiency can cause these symptoms. If no improvement is made from the vitamins then I might suspect Mareks. Most breeders do NOT vaccinate but leave it up to the owners to do. If the chicks are kept inside and not exposed to outside or adult birds then the new owner still might be able to vaccinate, even if the chicks are a little older. But if they have already been exposed to the outside and adult birds then sadly it would be too late to vaccinate. Because the chick at that point is likely wouldn't hurt the chick to vaccinate but if they have already been exposed then it won't help either. Mareks is everywhere.its really a race to get them vaccinated before exposure.
  5. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    Chicks must be vaccinated at one day old for Marek's in-house, in a clean, sanitary environment. Since Marek's is horizontally transmitted and airborne, it does no good to vaccinate chicks, or adult birds that have been exposed to other birds where the virus exists. That means you can either buy chicks from those who vaccinate, or incubate your own eggs and vaccinate at one day oldyourself. Marek's is not passed through the egg. There are those who breed for resistance to Marek's but have yet to see any proof of how effective that is anymore than the vaccine.
  6. BigECarter

    BigECarter Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 8, 2012
    Mississippi Gulf Coast
    It certainly looks like Marek's, but as someone else noted, there are other conditions that have similar symptoms. I only have experience with Marek's, so that's where my advice will focus.

    - I agree that you need to find out if the birds were vaccinated, but that won't rule out Marek's. In my case, mine were, and I still lost 7 of 9. Either the reputable breeder I purchased from lied to me, mishandled the vaccine rendering it unaffected, or I have a particularly virulent strain that the standard vaccine does not protect against.

    - Think about what you would do if it is Marek's. With the birds still in the brooder, it might be possible to cull the chicks - Marek's is highly contagious though, so it may be too late. If you have an existing, non-vaccinated flock, this should be considered.

    - you could plan for the worst, and assume Marek's. There's a great (long) thread about life after Marek's.

    - I recommend having your sick bird necropsied. If she does not stabilize with vitamins, I would cull and send her to a lab. Knowledge is power. Make sure that she stays refrigerated, not frozen, or they won't be able to do the necropsy.

    I am a plan for the worst/hope for the best person. I hope that this is not Marek's, but I recommend reading the Life After thread and learning everything you can.


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