Advice please for my poorly Silkie hen

Rose3412

In the Brooder
Feb 3, 2021
13
8
13
Morning all, 2 days ago I noticed my gorgeous mini Silkie girl acting a bit slow on the movement front and veering off to one side as she lost her balance sort of thing. She would sit on the ground and seems to tip forward quite significantly before 'righting' herself.

So this girl was hatched mid July last year so is around 7 months old now. My hens are conpletely free range and always go for a spot of grass and water before they come to my back door for their growers. I was advised by the breeder to move to layers at 20 weeks which I did, but after a scare a few weeks ago with a slightly younger hen and seeking advice here I was told to move to move back growers until they begun laying. So I give growers in the morning and layers with a small amount of corn in the afternoon. She if course has not actually laid an egg. Due to age/time of year, I was hoping she'd come into lay in the spring time.

So this little girl, I brought her inside to a quiet spot night before last and settled her down and hand fed her with ease as I do this all the time anyway. She ate and drank and I could feel her crop was maybe about half full and soft. She's had a couple of normal poops. She is still legless and mostly immobile, staying on the dog bed where I put her, she has moved about though as she in different positions.

This morning she had tried to feed but been hit and miss sometimes successful but seemed to give up. She's chattering away to me still bless her. I swear I could hear tummy gurgling sounds from her and not me first thing!! Anyway I put some apple cider vinegar in her water and she took some, after her giving up feeding on the pellets I mashed some up with natural yogurt and one raisin mini weetabix and spoon fed her... She loved it. Her crop was maybe a third full but she took what she wanted to take.

Do any of you lovely people have any other advice for me.
 

Rose3412

In the Brooder
Feb 3, 2021
13
8
13
Do you think it might be mareks?
Hi, I've considered this but I'm not sure. My other 2 hens are fine. I fed her again at lunchtime this time giving her a few strands of minced beef and she ate well and independently, behaved quite ravenous! Which she of course must be. She can move her legs and wings but it's like she's at the stmbly drunk stage. She is always sitting although like I said she is obviously shuffling about as in different positions when I check on her.

When I brought her in the other evening I did a brief check for lice etc and didn't spot anything, however after her lunchtime feed I did a more thorough look all over her body and can see mites in different stages as they are different sizes. It's been wet here so no dust baths for sometime. Whilst I saw a few lice, she was not what I would regard as infested and I observed no clusters of eggs on the feather shaft or anything.

Could this really be the reason?
 

Rose3412

In the Brooder
Feb 3, 2021
13
8
13
It sounds like mareks. Where did you get her?
Oh god no 🙈 from a local breeder. I looked at some videos and they seem to suffer from complete leg paralasis. Or is that in the later stages? My other silkie who is a little younger had the drunk hen symptoms a few weeks ago and miraculously recovered after a few days. I witnessed afterwards the Cockerell being very vigerous in his efforts so assumed he injured her (I since despatched him)
 

Rose3412

In the Brooder
Feb 3, 2021
13
8
13
Yes I've been reading and reading, Searching for answers, it's a mine field. What can I do for her for the best. Shall I try supliments/extra vitamins etc at this stage anything is worth a shot. Her eyes are perky, open and alert, she is still chatty to me, eating well and pooping very well!
 

Rose3412

In the Brooder
Feb 3, 2021
13
8
13
Sorry just to add they completely free range and have good access to grass (my lovely lawn!) and scratch and for rage all kinds from my flower beds so I would consider their diet brilliant, so much so they turn their nose up at veg scraps. Where as my dads dozen in the biggest enclosure ever go mad for anything as they have barely any greenery left in the 30 years he's had hens!
 

Rose3412

In the Brooder
Feb 3, 2021
13
8
13
So she's definitely brighter but still lost her balance and legs. That hasn't changed but she is eating the natural yoghurt, mashed growers and few raw beef strands mix she positively loves it and this evening most definitely had a full crop. She is eating and drinking so well, great poops and chattering to me. I have doused her and the other 2 in diatomaceous earth and got some strong stuff to do the coop with tomorrow.

Does anyone else have any suggestions going forward please that might help-no harm in trying approach, bshes such a sweetie
 

NatJ

Free Ranging
Mar 20, 2017
4,999
9,002
506
USA
You could add water to the normal feed, if she's having trouble with it dry.
That would be especially useful if she also has trouble drinking.

I see you've been mashing her food up with yoghurt, so I'm just offering this as another option.
 

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