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Can lice cause a chicken to have shakiness and trouble walking?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Yogalicia, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. Yogalicia

    Yogalicia Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 24, 2014
    Las Vegas, NV
    Hi,

    I bought some chickens a little over a week ago and one has been having a hard time almost from day one. She was walking really poorly and laying down all the time. I didn't know what to do so began adding some tetracycline to her water (it was all our neighborhood feed store had) and she is walking better daily. Her feathers began looking really bad so today I looked her over very closely and discovered lice. She has a good appetite and drinks a lot and is alert. She acts like a normal chicken other that the walking and horrid feathers.

    I am dusting her and the rest of the flock tomorrow (we have 7) but I am concerned because I noticed tonight that another hen is shaking when she takes steps and is laying down more that usual.

    I am hoping that all I am dealing with is lice but haven't found anything saying whether they would make the chickens weak. Can anyone offer advice?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Do you know if they had a Mareks vaccine? This disease can cause paralysis, along with many other symptoms. Are they puffing up at all or having diarrhea? I would consider worming them, make sure they are on a good 16% layer feed, and put them on some vitamins. If they appear cold they may need some extra heat or to be brought inside. Here is some info on Mareks disease, in which birds may have one or some of the symptoms: http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf
    http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/avian-atlas/search/disease/502
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
  3. Yogalicia

    Yogalicia Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 24, 2014
    Las Vegas, NV
    I don't know if they've been vaccinated. They are on a good layer feed. I'm in Vegas and the weather has been ridiculously nice so I don't think it is a cold issue. They have normal looking poop and then a runny one here and there. If it were Mareks, would the antibiotics make a difference? I've read disease after disease and nothing seems to fit.
     
    Last edited: Jan 24, 2014
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Tetracycline shouldn't have an effect on Mareks disease.
     
  5. CZ123

    CZ123 New Egg

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    Oct 6, 2013
    What about Chicken "Rickets" - if it is try
    giving her a calcium substitute like calcivet and see if she improves
     
  6. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Jacksonville, Florida
    It is the lice that are badly irritating your chickens to the point that they are trying to shake off lice, laying down probably to take a dirt bath in hopes of getting rid of the lice. If they are eating/drinking and alert as you stated, it's not respiratory, stop the tetracycline. Dust them with sevin dust and repeat dusting them again in 7-10 days. Dust inside their coop as well.
     

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