Before it gets worse - Medical Advice Needed.. Marek's, cocci or ???


Apr 22, 2009
I have spent several hours researching my chickens symptoms and I am unable to fully identify with any one in particular. So I am hoping to list her symptoms and someone may be able to point me in the right direction.

I have 4 hens about 5/6 months old that free range in our fenced in long Island backyard and they are locked up at night. 2 have started laying eggs over the last 3/4 weeks, and 2 do not.

Yesterday, one cochin hen (whom does not lay eggs, I don't think) started to walk but tip over on her left side. However when my daughter tried to pick her up she ran away fine. Last night when we checked her she was not on the roost. Today I observed that she is not falling over but walking very unsteadily and has to catch herself . She eats, drinks and is walking around with the others while pecking at the ground for tidbits. I noticed that her tail feathers are down while the other's are up. She also does have runny poop on her bottom looks dark brown. But I haven't seen her go yet. She appears to be of normal weight and her eyes look fine in color. We do not use pesticides on our lawn.

Labor Day Weekend, we started them on a laying feed (blue seal brand) along with some oyster shells. And we use pine shavings only in their coop, with a bit of hay where they lay eggs.

They were bought from a small Long Island Farm, so they are not vaccinated for Mareks. I realize that it is a possiblity but can not fully identify with the symptoms. And noticed that cocci has possiblity in this as well.

If anyone can give me a better idea so that I can try to make an assesment. I am unaware of any avian vets around here, but my 2 cousins are vets of the usual more domestic kind.

In either case could I do any harm if I purchased some poly-vits and gave the ACV in the water? Also should I worry about my children touching them? And do I need to discard my eggs?

Sorry so long of a post..... I appreciate any help/advice....

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Just saw a poop from this chicken and it looked normal color.... Hmmm.... Anyone???

something in these links could help. Sorry I'm not very knowledgable about these disease issues.
Seperate your sick bird. keep her quiet and warm. Vitamins and electrolytes are a good idea.
I don't think your children are in any danger.
And I wouldn't eat eggs from her. The others are probably OK, but if you have doubts- Is it worth the worry?
Hopefully someone with more advice will be along soon

I have a pullet doing the exact same thing. No stiff leg, no runny eyes/nose, no sneezing, eating, bright eyes, alert, good color and clean vent, she's even preening. Hungry, eating and drinking. Trying to walk, but off balance. Her poo is a mustard color and extremely runny and almost foamy so I started her on Sulmet, but have been giving her Yogurt with probiotic to offset an upset stomach. I also started her on liquid b-12, vitamin e and poly-vi-sol w/o iron. She's new to me, quarantined and clearly not well. Glad I kept her from the rest of my flock like I'm supposed to. She seemed a little better today. I just started this treatment yesterday.

According the website above, I was right in treating with Sulmet mine sounds like Fowl Cholera...
Thanks for that post these websites are extremely informative!
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Thank You, and by the way, how much of the poly vi sol (I bought the enfamil brand) do I give her?
I've seen people post to use 4 or so drops. I figure most are "water based vitamins" meaning the body flushes what it does not use, make sure it is NOT poly-vi-sol with iron... I have also seen posted that they do not do better without the addition of vitamin e capsules. Good luck with your baby, mines doing better and it's only day 2. I hope she recovers, she's a really sweet hen.
Have you isolated her? I think i would isolate her in a dark place so that you can watch her carefully and she can really rest.

I've never read about the imbalance thing having anything to do with cocci, just lethargy and sleepiness.

It does occur to me that she may have had some kind of accidental head injury or (i don't know if you've already checked) an injury on her foot making it hard to walk.

I would isolate her and check her all over. Check her obdomen to see if maybe she's having some difficulty with that first egg. Examine her feet to see if something might be hurting her, anything you can think of and a few things you can't.

Keep her isolated and feed her scrambled eggs to help her heal in case there's an injury.

I'm certainly not an expert, but in lieu of having any specific symptoms to a specific disease, this is what i would do.

I really hope she gets better quickly.
Would being eggbound cause these type of symptoms? She does seem to keep dipping down too. What would I feel for?
you're feeling for a hardness in her abdomen. **feel gently**
basically you're feeling for an egg. but if it's in her lower abdomen, it's probably a little stuck.

i thought of being egg bound because i've read where others' chickens had a hard time walking because of where the egg is stuck, kind of pressing against their joints and whatnot.

i'm not an expert.

i suggest that you do a search for entries by Threehorses that include the word "egg-bound." You will get much more professional info from her than from me.

I definitely think it would be worth it to put her in a warm bath and see if she happens to lay an egg.
OK I will go on an egg hunt. Thanks... As I am hoping this is the case and not a disease....

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