Chicken walking funny

Ac33iu

In the Brooder
May 24, 2020
12
8
26
Sandown, NH
Hi,

One of my chickens is 9 weeks old and started to walk funny yesterday. Crossing her legs as she walked, stumbling, and laying down frequently. Checked her feet and they are clear of anything we can see. I have added photos and videos in hopes someone can help out. Thank you!

Video links here:


 

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First thing I would do is get a B complex tablet supplement (regular, not time release) grind up half a tablet and give once a day, see if that gives you any improvement. You can grind it up and mix it in a little moistened feed if it will eat it that way. I would also probably give some vitamin E also (400 Iu capsule-you can also empty into the food), with a bit of sunflower seeds or tuna or cooked egg for selenium. Vitamin deficiencies can have some weird neurological symptoms sometimes. See if that helps.
 
First thing I would do is get a B complex tablet supplement (regular, not time release) grind up half a tablet and give once a day, see if that gives you any improvement. You can grind it up and mix it in a little moistened feed if it will eat it that way. I would also probably give some vitamin E also (400 Iu capsule-you can also empty into the food), with a bit of sunflower seeds or tuna or cooked egg for selenium. Vitamin deficiencies can have some weird neurological symptoms sometimes. See if that helps.

Thank you for the recommendation. It has been 7 days now and we have been boosting with vitamins and she seems to be getting worse with her legs. She is still eating and drinking, though we have to bring it to her. Her poop also looks normal. She still can push with her feet and can use her wings, but her legs are losing more function. She is now almost only laying and moving (sliding/stumbling) only when she is getting trampled or something similar. Here is a photo of how her legs are sometimes sitting while laying.

Additionally, we keep checking for other symptoms of Marek's,, her eyes and skin look good. Thank you.
 

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Legs split, one forward, one backward is a very common symptom for Mareks. The paralysis is progressive, so getting worse, is also. It's particularly difficult to watch a bird that seems otherwise OK slowly lose use of it's legs. :hugs You may try putting her in a chicken sling for periods to keep her upright and make eating and drinking easier. Examples below:
0fc3977125679ff97e41196d94cdfb6b--broken-leg-recovery.jpg

e0342c9d342cb3f8f72cf353724e56d4.jpg

DIY-Plastic-Bin-Chicken-Sling.jpg

sling.jpg
 
Sorry about your pullet. It does seem like there is a possibility of Mareks disease. There is a blood serum test available for about $20 at this Texas lab, if you are interested in contacting them for details:
http://www.vetdna.com/test-type/avian-bird
Otherwise when a chicken dies most state vets can do a necropsy and then test for Mareks if they suspect it. Here is a list of state vets to contact:
https://www.metzerfarms.com/PoultryLabs.cfm

Here is a good article about Mareks:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq.66077/
 
Thank you everyone. Should we separate from the rest of the flock, or is it safe to say that since they all grew up together that they have all been exposed? Will she show signs of improvement ever?
 
If it is Marek's then they have all been exposed. Some birds do recover, but they will be carriers and contagious always. There are several people on here with Marek's in their flocks, there are different strains and different levels of virulence, so every case can be a little different. The long Marek's thread that @Eggcessive gave the link too is a good place to start. There is another where the discussion is breeding for resistance to Marek's which many feel is a better alternative to the vaccine, which prevents symptoms, but doesn't prevent them from actually being infected.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...ding-for-resistance-to-mareks-disease.894589/
 
Sometimes lamness can turn out to be something other than Mareks. The Mareks faq lists some of those. I treated an old hen last year who was imbalanced and unable to walk for 5 weeks and then recovered with supportive care. That is one good reason to try the blood test. I have heard of infections in an organ (spleen) that have caused nerve inflammation and pressure, causing leg paralysis.
 
Sometimes lamness can turn out to be something other than Mareks. The Mareks faq lists some of those. I treated an old hen last year who was imbalanced and unable to walk for 5 weeks and then recovered with supportive care. That is one good reason to try the blood test. I have heard of infections in an organ (spleen) that have caused nerve inflammation and pressure, causing leg paralysis.
Thanks again for the advice.

We are keeping her in a sling periodically throughout the day. Though her legs are still essentially paralyzed, she is alert and eating/drinking normally. We did reach out to where we got her from and had extensive conversation about Mareks, and she has had no history of it. We are optimistic it is something else and continues intensive care will nurse her back to health.
 

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