Chicken off balance, can't fly

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickenlady12, Jan 5, 2014.

  1. chickenlady12

    chickenlady12 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 9, 2013
    Hi. I have a six-month-old female Australorp who seems to have some neurological problems. A couple of weeks ago, I started finding her outside the coop at night when I would go to shut the door, presumably because she was having trouble getting up the ramp. Some nights she makes it in on her own, but most I have to put her there. I also have to take her out in the a.m., since it is hard for her to come out on her own and she falls. She walks normally (but not as quickly as the others), eats, drinks and poops normally. She doesn't seem to be able to use her wings at all to stabilize herself. She doesn't attempt to get away when I pick her up and she falls asleep randomly during the day. Because I had two chickens die this fall (one was paralyzed), I feared it must be Marek's. I'm a new chicken owner, so I didn't know I should get vaccinated chicks. Anyway, it's been a couple of weeks and she's not getting better, but she's not getting worse either. Might she be this way forever? I put Corid in their water for five days and directly dosed her with Safeguard, in case she had coccidiosis or worms, but there was no change. I also dusted her with viper insect dust in case of mites or lice. Some days she and one of the other two chickens seem to scratch a lot, but I can find no evidence of parasites on any chickens or in the coop. Any insights?
  2. boskelli1571

    boskelli1571 Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 7, 2011
    Finger Lakes, NY
    It sounds like it could be Mareks. In answer to your question, she may well stay like this for the rest of her days, she may also die, so be prepared. Since your chickens are likely carriers of Mareks, any chicks you get should be vaccinated against it. If you decide to hatch from your own stock, they should not be hatched out by momma but an incubator and then vaccinated.
    Try to keep the dust, dander and coop area as clean as is possible with chickens(!) the scratching may be that the feather follicles itch and cause irritation.
    Best o' luck, Sue

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