Beautiful RIR chick just deteriorated in days.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by petrel, Oct 16, 2017.

  1. petrel

    petrel Chats with Chickens

    I have a flock of 16 new hatchery birds that have grown out beautifully over the last seven weeks. 4 days ago a RIR started with 1 drooping wing. Then a drooping wing and a limp. Then drooping wing and a dragging non extended foot. Finally a drooping wing, and an inability to to open either foot on her own, so she could not walk.

    Before we noticed her lack of mobility, she was badly savaged by her flock mates. We isolated her and she continued to take water and feed, but would only sit on her rolled up feet and refuse to move.

    I euthanized her today, as i could not bear to hear her peep for her flock mates and she was so weak she could no longer stand, even when startled or open her feet.

    My concern now is for the health of the rest of the flock. None of them have demonstrated any of these symptoms yet, but I'd like to know if there are any preemptive measures I can take.

    This flock was on vitamin/electrolyte enhanced water for their first four weeks. They are on all organic chick grower with chick grit provided now.
     
  2. littlefarmgirl9

    littlefarmgirl9 Songster

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    So sorry to hear that! You did all you could, she just would've suffered.
    As for the symptoms, I thought right away of Marek's and kinky back. Marek's is highly contagious among birds, especially chicks, often characterized by changes in eye pupils and vision. Kinky back is only really prevalent in meat birds though.
    Not exactly sure, all you can do is keep an eye on it.
     
    petrel likes this.
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    So sorry for your loss. Mareks comes to mind with a paralyzed foot and leg, and dropping wings. With chicks that age, Mareks can show up, but things like coccidiosis can also be problems that cause weakness and loss of mobility. Vitamin deficiency can cause leg problems. Mareks can only be diagnosed with a necropsy examine of feather follicles or tumors, performed by a state vet or poultry lab. There are 4 types of Mareks, neural, skin, organ, and eye manifestations. They may only show one of the signs or several. Wasting away, poor appetite, and a lack of immunity can accompany Mareks. Look for any signs in your others. If she had Mareks, they were all exposed at the same time already, some may not get sick, but they would all be carriers. The disease remains in the dust and dander for years, as well as in carriers. This long but thorough article below is very good at explaining things: https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq.66077/
     
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  4. petrel

    petrel Chats with Chickens

    Thanks. My thoughts went first to Marek's too. However, they were all supposed to be vaccinated for Marek's at the hatchery. I guess it is conceivable that one got skipped or that the vaccine is not 100%.

    I will keep a close eye on them and get some vitamin supplement for their water. They just came out of the brooder yesterday, and they are acclimating to the coop now. When we turn them out into the run on Wednesday, they will be much easier to keep an eye on.

    Thank you very much for your insights.
     
    littlefarmgirl9 likes this.
  5. petrel

    petrel Chats with Chickens

    Fortunately, the remainder of my new flock seems to be thriving. I can only guess that my poor RIR chick must have been skipped in the vaccination process, or the vaccine did not work for her.
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    It is hard to know it was Mareks without a necropsy. She could have had an internal disorder such as a weak heart, kidneys, poor imunity, or had coccidiosis. Many people on BYC who have had chicks necropsied professionally have reported coccidiosis being the cause of death when Mareks was suspected. Good luck with the rest of your flock.
     
  7. petrel

    petrel Chats with Chickens

    Thanks!
     

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