Agnes: 1 year-old Barred Rock, Infection under Wing? Mareks? (Pics)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ajmathenia, Jul 11, 2011.

  1. ajmathenia

    ajmathenia New Egg

    Jul 11, 2011
    Hey everyone,

    It's been a rough year for little Agnes, our sweet one year-old Barred Rock. We got Agnes and three other hens (two Wyandottes and another Barred Rock) at about nine-weeks old. From the get-go she always seemed so sad... hanging her head down and keeping out of everyone's way so as not to get pecked. Despite her smaller size and place in the pecking order, she hung in there with the big girls and quickly became our favorite. She's had a lot of issues recently, and since I don't know if it's all directly related to the current calamity, I'll try to give you a quick run-down. Sorry if this is lengthy.

    A little less than two months ago, we noticed that Agnes seemed to be going blind in one eye... and then a few weeks after, the other. (The eyes appear dull and the pupil is misshapen.) At the time, we assumed that her blindness was caused by the other chickens. We had seen them pecking at her eyes every chance they got, especially when she bumbled into their path, and it wouldn't surprise us if they had pecked her blind.


    We fashioned a separate area of the coop for Agnes to sleep and eat away from the other chickens. She was no longer able to get on or off the roost at night, so we made an enclosure low to the ground for her. We felt pretty good about what we were calling "Agnes' Home for Blind and Abused Chickens" and that's when we noticed the worms.

    Yes, now not only was Agnes blind but she had a severe case of roundworms.

    We wormed all of the chickens with Wazine and then also gave Agnes Valbazen about a week ago. She seemed to perk up quite a bit, even starting to blindly wander around the yard a bit eating grass. Once again, we thought we were in the clear. And now this...

    Two days ago, I noticed that Agnes' right wing seemed a little sticky. Since she can't see her way around very well, I just assumed that she picked up something sticky in the yard. The next day, she was still sticky so I brought her in and tried to wipe her wing off. She was very resistant to me opening her wing outward. When I did, I noticed that the underside of her wing was also sticky and matted. She wouldn't really let me look under there and I didn't notice any obvious injury, so I gave her a bath and put her back out, hoping that would solve the problem. But today the stickiness was still there.

    This afternoon, I got her inside, covered her head with a towel, and was able to get her to lay down and stretch out her wing so I could get a good look. Her feathers were very sticky, matted and there were about a dozen ants crawling around. It smells pretty awful. There are parts of her "underarm" that seem to be completely bare compared to the other side. And it looks like there are some areas that may be infected. There are small pencil eraser sized areas and the skin is kind of yellowish and rough, in some areas almost a golden orange color. I tried to cleanse it and put antibiotic ointment on it, but have no idea what I'm dealing with.

    Here is a picture of her bad right wing and a close-up.


    And here is a picture of her good wing for comparison.


    I've read a little on here about Marek's but since I'm just in my first year of Backyard Chickening, I don't really know much about it. It seems like she could be displaying some symptoms (blindness, weight loss, scabs on skin) but isn't having any paralysis or issues with her legs. I just wanted to see if you folks had any other ideas.

    Here is other information that may be helpful. Thanks for reading and for any thoughts you might have.


    1) What type of bird , age and weight.
    Barred Rock, ~14 months, 3.25 lbs.

    2) What is the behavior, exactly. (See above)

    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? (See above)

    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?
    No, the other birds seem fine.

    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
    Irritation (scabs?) under right wing, but no bloody areas or sign of trauma.

    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
    I am starting to think that Agnes is just doomed. [​IMG]

    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
    She has been eating some egg laying pellets, watermelon, cat food, yogurt, chicken scratch and water. But in very minimal amounts.

    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
    The poop looks normal most of the time, but is occasionally on the runny side. This morning there was a somewhat unusual runny poo that seemed pinkish in color.

    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
    For wing - Bath, Ointment on Skin, Nothing else.

    10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
    I would prefer to treat myself, as I fear Agnes is on her way out and I can't afford to spend a lot at a vet. I would be willing to put her out of her misery if necessary.

    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help. (See above)

    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use.
    Agnes generally sleeps in her own run away from the other chickens. She has a little house she can go in and be elevated off the ground at night. The rest of the run is dirt and is raked out regularly. She is able to go out during the day, but since she's blind, she doesn't move around as much as she used to.
  2. chkn

    chkn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2010
    Boy she sure looks good otherwise. Maybe she hit her wing coming out of the roost or something. I'd be sure to spray some Scarlet Oil or something on that wing.
  3. ajmathenia

    ajmathenia New Egg

    Jul 11, 2011
    Yeah, it's very possible that she hit her wing on something. It's hard since she can't see where she's going... the other day she walked off the ledge into a deep concrete stairwell. And sometimes she makes her way up into the coop and unsuccessfully tries to get up onto her old high roosting spot.

    I hope it's nothing more than that, but it isn't looking too good. If anyone else has any thoughts, I'd be happy to hear them.
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    From many pictures that I have looked at, that skin does appear to resemble the follicle tumors of Marek's. They do burst, releasing fluid, then form a small brown scab on top.
    But just in case it's not, I would put her on an antibiotic just in case it's an infection.
  5. CatDaddyAlbert

    CatDaddyAlbert NoFeathersRuffled

    Apr 22, 2011
    Gumboro, Delaware
    Just wanted to jump in her with some information and what I personally know about Marek's. Although not rampant I have experienced it and can provide at least a little insight.

    First, there are four kinds of Marek's as explained in this article from the University Of New Hampshire.One of those kinds is ocular and here is a picture of a chickens eyes with Ocular Marek's. It is VERY distinctive.


    When my bird had it I found this article from UNH that really helped.

    Good luck with your girl and I hope it is not. My suggestion is you isolate her away from the rest of the birds. Marek's is highly contagious if that is what it is.

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