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Chicken paralysis? Fine last night, near death today

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by humpbacks1962, Oct 5, 2011.

  1. humpbacks1962

    humpbacks1962 Songster

    Jun 20, 2007
    Middletown, CT
    This little roo was born with a crooked neck, and blind in one eye. I considered helping him go, but he was eating, thriving and looked like he was going to be fine. I am not planning to breed chickens, so I decided to keep him, since he was fairly independent.

    He is about 4 months old, fed on medicated mash as a chick now on grower feed. He is free range, so he eats grass, bugs and anything he fancies out in the yard.

    Here is the issue: He looked just fine yesterday. Each morning I have to leave for work before the sun sets. I fill their bowls, change their water and they come out when the light of the sun comes. Usually within 20 minutes after I leave.

    So I followed my routine this morning and left. I just came from work and decided to look at the chickens before they went in the coup for the night. They do it normally by 6:30 PM. But I found this bird laying on the floor of the coop, near death!

    I picked him up, offered water but to no avail. So I started saying my goodbyes and took him to the place where I move some rocks and we always find juicy earthworms. That perked him up in a second! So I started talking to him, encouraging him and he is now scratching the ground, foraging, and eating corn as if nothing happened.

    I am worried though because I notice he has a lazy wing. It is droopy. Almost like he had a stroke or something. He seems to have lost his voice. This is totally weird.

    I just left him out, and am considering to bring him in for the night, isolating him from the other chickens.

    Does anyone know what this is about? Are these symptoms of an illness I am not familiar with? Please help. Thanks

  2. justbugged

    justbugged Head of the Night Crew for WA State

    Jan 27, 2009
    I would bring him in and isolate him from the rest of the flock. It's been my experience that most likely he will die no matter what you try to do for him. Because chickens are so low on the food chain, they rarely show that they are sick until they are near death. So I have seen hens look fine earlier in the day and then be dead in the afternoon.

    You could try worming him, but with his other heath issues it might be kinder to just let him go.

    I am sorry that I don't have a better answer for you. [​IMG]
  3. humpbacks1962

    humpbacks1962 Songster

    Jun 20, 2007
    Middletown, CT
    Actually, that is good advice.

    I found the hypericum treatment thread and ran to the health food store to get him hypericum.
    I gave him a dose and put him to sleep in a stuffed carboard box in the basement, away from the others who are in the coop.

    I thought about Marek's, but he really picked up after we started digging for worms. When I put him in the box, he has a full crop. His wing is droopy though.

    Let's see if he makes it through the night, and hope for the best.
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    I hope it's something simple, but the wing makes me think I would have Marek's as one of the possibilities. But you would also need a history of any chicken in your flock having prior contact with chickens outside your flock. Maybe he's just injured.
  5. humpbacks1962

    humpbacks1962 Songster

    Jun 20, 2007
    Middletown, CT
    The chicks were not vaccinated, so Marek's is a rational possibility.
    He woke up this morning, his wing still a little droopy but walking, foraging and feeding himself.
    Let's see what the future holds...

    It is so weird that he was so near death only for a day!
  6. Achickenwrangler#1

    Achickenwrangler#1 Songster

    Aug 7, 2011
    west virginia
    Hi there...you said he was born with a crooked neck and blind in one eye? You know, I gotta wonder why?? It may be likely that this guy hase lived out his life, and prob would have not gotten this far without you in the first place...it may just be old age..its more likely he had a malfunction from the beginning, not some new disease, that he has spent his given time..make it a happy one..if it is a disease, on the other hand-they all have all already been exposed. If no one is picking on him, and he is not suffering, just watch and help him when you can...good luck
  7. chickens are great 12

    chickens are great 12 Chirping

    Aug 5, 2011
    I do not know what he could have, Mereks is possible, but I hope for the best! Keep us updated and I hope he feels a lot better!

  8. humpbacks1962

    humpbacks1962 Songster

    Jun 20, 2007
    Middletown, CT
    Well he is still alive but his crop feels like a rock! Maybe because he pigged out after he came back from the temporary paralysis. I shall force down some warm olive oil and massage his crop when I get home tonight
  9. flashover1969

    flashover1969 Chirping

    Apr 13, 2011
    Gilbert, AZ
    Keep an eye on the crop. I would definitely consider worming with Valbazen, considering all of the insects and worms that chickens eat. Just do a search of the forums for worming and valbazen and you will find threads on how to treat.

    Hope your bird gets better soon.

    Please keep us all updated with health status and treatments [​IMG]
    Last edited: Oct 7, 2011
  10. humpbacks1962

    humpbacks1962 Songster

    Jun 20, 2007
    Middletown, CT
    I so adore this forum!
    Thanks to all replying with such warm advice. Thank you for lovingly sending good wishes to a plain, little runty rooster!
    I shall buy the deworming medication too. I cant wait to get home and treating his sour crop. I will also get him Activia yogurt, which I never even buy for me. But the bunch of cockadoodler mamas here will understand :)

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