Chick cannot walk, has blood in stool


7 Years
May 30, 2012
Hi. I have a small hen, she is a ~2 month old Buff Orpington (give or take two weeks.)

As I type this, she is active and alert, but cannot use, or refuses to use her legs. She can move her wings and use them to balance herself, and she still has a strong appetite. What may be wrong with her? Prior to finding her alone/refusing to walk, I had observed that she had begun 'tripping' over her left leg, and she commonly sat still with her eyes closed for long periods of time. Could these have been symptoms of something I overlooked? I have also very recently noticed that her stool contains small amounts of blood or is discoloured and abnormal in some way (orange, runny, and incredibly foul smelling.) What should I do?

A more concise list of information;

Symptoms: Will not walk, has abnormal stool with blood in it.
Duration of symptoms: Blood has been ongoing for three weeks, looking into medication for Coccidiosis(?) Paralysis of legs has been for approximately five days.
Type of Animal: Hen, Buff Orpington
Gender: Female
Age: Less than 3 months.
Action taken: No treatment, observed and kept well fed. Isolated from other chicks and hens.
Other details, possibly unrelated: She is a bit of a runt, smaller and lighter than her siblings. Has always closed her eyes and behaved differently or 'calmer' since I got her, didn't consider it as symptoms to anything. I received this particular batch of chicks when they were 1 month of age.
Environment specifics: Shares coop with four other hens, one rooster. Two of the hens and the rooster are her siblings, all of the same age. Other two hens are Australorps, fully grown adults. All live in same coop, kept well fed and watered. No hostility between any of them has been observed. Property is located in residential block, within city.

Ask if you need any more information!
I'm sorry to hear that your little girl is sick.

First, if she has been bleeding for three weeks, why haven't you started treatment? That being said, if it were coccidiosis, she would be dead by now. If you still want to try and treat, Corid is the medication of choice. You can find it in most feed stores and it is put into their waterer for 5 - 7 days.

As for the paralysis....there are two things that this could be.
1. a vitamin deficiency....I would give her .5mls of poly vi sol, without iron, once daily. 400 ius of vitamin E twice daily. This can take up to two weeks to make a difference.

2. Marek's disease. Read threads on this. Your pullet meets a lot of the criteria for this disease. If she dies, have her necropsied to find out what actually killed her. It will be the only way that you will know whether or not whatever she has will affect the rest of your flock.

Remove her from the rest and put her somewhere that is safe and warm.
I know it wasn't wise to ignore her bleeding, I thought maybe it was discolouration from something she had eaten (and I hadn't observed it continuously as I don't often check their stool for changes, so I hadn't realized until I noticed again that there was blood in her stool all of this time.) I've never had to deal with this kind of illness before and it wasn't until recently that I put some research into it. I don't feel smart for putting it off, believe me.

Thanks for all of the help though, I will definitely look into it. As for her current location, she lives in my bedroom so she is isolated from the rest of the flock, and I can keep an eye on her. I will try treating for vitamin deficiency.

[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]I should have also mentioned that since she has been in with me, she has been notably more active, but has had less control over the motor functions in her legs (she used to maintain a balance sitting upright with her legs, now she leans to the side and appears to have no control over them.)[/FONT]
I'm still really concerned that this is Marek's. I've been dealing with this deadly disease for almost a year now. I've lost 30 + never gets easier :( Try to treat for a vitamin deficiency. If she gets worse, I would have her put down and necropsied. Make sure you take care of all your healthy birds first, just in case.
Alright, I'll have all of my birds vaccinated as well as treating for vit deficiency in my little one, thanks for the help. I really hope it's not Marek's, that would break my heart. This particular chick was one of my favorite birds. I'll keep in touch via this thread to let you know how it works out over the next couple weeks.
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I had just come back in here to edit my post though, I wont go forward with it until I am sure the chick has it, as she is isolated and none of the others are showing symptoms.
Once they have been exposed, the vaccine is not as effective...but, if you do find out that it's Marek's, I would vaccinate anyway. Some studies have shown that it still helps to prevent the disease or, makes the symptoms less severe.
As far as I know, they haven't been exposed. That is why I wanted to vaccinate them, I am aware that preventatives will very usually not help after infection. As a precaution though, I would like to look into it anyway. I have had a lot of hens (even I wonder how I've gone this long without any diseases or illnesses!) and there will probably always be a risk of introducing some kind of illness when bringing new hens into the flock. Especially since most of them aren't professionally bred, they're usually just chicks from other backyard chicken owners who have a rooster and know as little as I!
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I vaccinate everyone also. I just wanted to give you the information so that you would have it. I buy vaccinated or hatch and vaccinate...then booster at 6 weeks..then yearly. European countries follow this regimine and with all the problems I've been having, it sounds good to me :) Good luck with your plan!!

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