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Brain Damage?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Luffa, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. Luffa

    Luffa Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2017
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    There's Something about Martha.

    Our Martha, a Buff Orpington, just doesn't seem right in the head. She's one of nine, ~10 week old young females, who we moved into their outside combo henhouse/run this weekend. Even as a baby peep she was kind of ditzy. She'd shake the entire time she was picked up or held, she flopped down on her side more than the others but ate & drank well and was always one of the first to crowd in for hand-fed mealworms.

    Now that she has more room out of the brooder, it's obvious she's got something strange going on. She wobbles sometimes, seems to lose her balance, trembles, and gets spastic. Still flopping on her side a lot, still eating and drinking well.

    We're concerned about her but have no idea what to do, if there's anything that can be done.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Many things can cause those symptoms from a brain injury to vitamin deficiencies, and even to diseases like Mareks which can start to show up around 8 weeks. It's also possible she's not formed correctly and will continue to fall behind.

    I don't think there is much you can do. I would check your feed tag to make sure it's fresh, but if all your other chicks are doing well than it is probably self limited, sometimes they improve and sometimes they don't.
     
    aart and chickens really like this.
  3. Luffa

    Luffa Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2017
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    Thank you so much oldhenlikesdogs. I never even considered disease as a possibility.She was supposedly vacced against Mareks per our nearby Southern States. She came from there along with 5 of her flockmates. Happily all 8 of the other chicks are doing fine.

    I have to admit I'm more upset than I thought I'd be. I just want to hold and comfort her although she doesn't seem too bothered by it. Poor little bird doesn't know any different, I guess.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

    15,906
    3,476
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    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

    15,906
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    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    It's easy to get attached to them and want to do all you can to help them out. I have done my fair share of stuff like giving a chicken physical therapy, and helping those who are going blind. Hopefully your little one hangs in there.

    The link above talks about some causes of neurological problems.
     
  6. Luffa

    Luffa Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2017
    Central Maryland
    I appreciate your sympathy and fellow feeling.

    The helpful article you referenced is informative but also frightening. Her symptoms seem more like Epidemic Tremor that any of the others and I sure hope she doesn't have it. I just feel so bad for the poor little girl.
     
  7. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    I though the tremors sounded right too. I personally have never heard of them so I'm learning something too. I treat all my chicks like they are my kids so it's hard to watch them suffer. We have had to cull very young birds, as well as having a few not make it. I currently have a 2 week old chick who continues to have troubles pooping, so I'm unsure if it will make it either. I hope your young one improves, but odds are against it unfortunately. I would be interested in hearing how it goes, and whether it improves.
     

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