Chicken falling over!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by luta, Sep 7, 2016.

  1. luta

    luta New Egg

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    Sep 7, 2016
    Help! My daughter's favorite chicken, Luta, keeps falling over. At first I thought it was a hurt wing or leg, but then every once in a while she will run or flap her wings.

    She has been mostly sitting down but has been rolling onto her side the last little bit. She does not have bumble foot, has been eating and pooping normally.

    Please help us save Luta! She is a gold-laced cochin, about 3 months old.
     
  2. luta

    luta New Egg

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    Sep 7, 2016
    [​IMG]
     
  3. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unfortunately it sounds like Marek's disease. She's certainly the right age for it.
    I have two in a similar state at the moment, a young pullet and a cockerel. It's caused by a herpes type virus which can have a number of different symptoms, but common ones are inability to control a leg or a wing, wry neck and/or wry tail and wasting despite eating well. There is no recognised treatment although people have reported some improvement with vitamins and/or herbal/homeopathic remedies. I've tried turmeric and black pepper in the past to try to prevent tumours developing but they get sick of the taste after a while and stop eating so now I just give them supportive care, as much access to grass, sunshine and good food as I can arrange and they do best with the company of other chickens. It is however extremely contagious and easily transmitted, so you have to make a decision as to whether the rest of the flock have already been exposed. I've had it in my flock for 2 years now, so I don't isolate sick birds unless they are being picked on and then I usually put them in a pen on the lawn where they can still see the other chickens and move around but feel safe and have unlimited access to food and water. Scattering food in and around the pen so that the flock comes and eats around them, helps to encourage them to eat and also move around rather than just sit or lie next to a feeding station. I have had the best recovery results with this set up but you need to be prepared for the worst because it is often fatal. I had to euthanize a young pullet a fortnight ago because her quality of life was no longer sustainable. On a positive note, I've also had some make quite miraculous recoveries pretty much overnight and others that took months of TLC but were eventually able to free range with the flock again and laid eggs. Their lifespan is usually limited by the disease though and secondary attacks are usually more serious and prolonged and are usually triggered by stress.

    There are several really informative threads here on the forum about it. If you put "Marek's Disease" into the search field, you will find them.

    Good luck with your chick.

    Barbara
     
  4. luta

    luta New Egg

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    Sep 7, 2016
    Thanks so much. I really hope it's not Marek's. What did you do for the miraculous recoveries? Did you try vitamins? If so, which ones? Thanks!
     
  5. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The most miraculous recoveries happened without any special treatment at all. Just left them in the flock. One day they were absolutely fine, next day limping, the following day they were floundering on their sides not able to get up and the next day they were up and walking almost perfectly normally like nothing had happened.
    It's such a weird virus....no two sufferers are the same which is why there is so much misinformation out there. If I had treated those chickens with something, I would be swearing that it did the trick, but the fact is that some just get better and sadly some don't. Some improve over time with TLC and some slowly deteriorate. Some die suddenly without any symptoms or warning and some flounder and then miraculously recover, although most will suffer a second attack at some point in the future, usually when they are stressed.... like moving home or changes in the flock dynamic or following a predator attack.

    All you can do is support them to enable them to have the best quality of life that they can enjoy and be prepared to euthanize them when it becomes hopeless.....you get a feeling when that time comes.....sometimes it takes a day or two to come to terms with it, especially when you have been lavishing love and attention on them and I can tell you it's not easy, but you owe them a quick death when they are really suffering in my opinion. Hopefully it won't come to that with your Luta.
     

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