chickens walking weird, and other symptoms

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lovinchicks, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. lovinchicks

    lovinchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    to start off, we had 3 chickens around Sept 5th get symptoms of rye neck. We gave PolyViSol and they all recovered in 1 or 2 days. I don't think that is related to what I have going on now, but I wanted to add it in case it is.

    About 7 days ago I found a dead chicken when I opened up the barn. I didn't notice any others looking sick. The next day, again there was a dead chicken. This time I stayed down in the barn for a while really observing them. (BIRD 1) I finally saw one bird that looked off balance. I put her in a pen by herself, and that night she could still roost. Next night she was on the ground, and could no longer walk. I brought her in the house. At first she was alert, and eating. She stopped eating, and we have been tube feeding her, with no improvement. If you lift her up to look at her, I don't think she can move her left leg at all. and I dont' know how to describe what her head does. It kinda outstreatches, almost involintary. And sometimes she'll throw it back to her left side, but it seems she does that when she is trying to get up and can't move. I also noticed that when she takes in a breath she will open her mouth, and it closes when she breaths out. Poop keeps getting stuck in her backside. I would say it is on the solid to soft side. Maybe a bit runny, but it's hard to tell.

    (BIRD 2)At the same time I noticed my Ameraucana's wings were drooping, and she really wasn't walking around, so I brought her in also. She is def. underweight. You can feel a lot of her breast bone. Her comb seems pale. She is NOT having any balance issues. One weird thing about her is, she won't eat out of her bowl of food. If I put it in my hand she'll eat it, or she'll scratch the ground and eat any that have fallen to the bottom of her box. Poop was runnish, but is now solid. She has improved energy wise, all other symptoms still the same

    A day later I found 2 roosters that are kept in the pen next to the others with balance issues. (BIRD 3)The one just kinda high steps when it walks, with no other signs of illness. Has not gotten any worse. (BIRD 4)The other one after I found it quickly went to walking on the bottom half of it's legs. It could still walk on it's feet, but only did so if he felt the need to move quickly. I also noticed that he also opens his mouth when breathing in and closes when breathing out. This bird has maybe gotten a tad bit worse.

    (BIRD 5) The next day another bird showed the signs of doing high stepping when it walked. It has remained the same.

    It's been 4 days since seeing any more birds with any symptoms. I don't see any bugs on them. I havn't seen any signs of worms, but not sure if I would see them. As for Mareks, I dont' see any changes to the eye, the feather follicle looks normal from what I can tell, and they don't have one leg going forward and one going back, but I don't know how long that takes to develope. Just the one chicken has the left leg that seems dead. Any Idea what I battling over here?????

    I have around 65 chickens of various ages. So it is just a few out of a bunch ( at least for now uugghh) All the sick ones are feed Purina Chick Starter, as they have not started to lay yet. They are 4 to 5 months old.
     
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Have you researched Marek's? Another thing to investigate is the possibility of botulism. Both conditions have similar signs and symptoms.
     
  3. lovinchicks

    lovinchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, I have reserched Marek's. From what I see with Marek's, they will get the grey iris, swollen feather follicles, and the one leg going forward and one leg going back due to tumors. What I don't know is how long till they progress till you start to see these symptoms. So far I don't see those symptoms in these birds, except for the 1st bird who can't move her left leg or stand up. But she never threw one leg back.
    As for botulism, I'm not sure where that would come from. Also It's affecting birds in two different pens, although they are right next to each other. Would you consider botulism in that case? I had ruled it out because of that, but I don't know, I've never had experience with either..
     
  4. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Marek's has other signs, as well, depending on which system the virus attacks. Whenever multiple birds go down at that same time with seeming neurological problems it is always a good idea to look at the most common causes first.

    As far as botulism goes- do the birds all eat the same feed? Could your feed have gone off? Has it been especially rainy? Anything rotting around? Do they get any treats/extras?
     
  5. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would say Marek's vs. Newcastle disease. In either case, not all birds show all possible symptoms and signs, and the course can vary greatly, from severe with high mortality, to mild with very low mortality. Survivors will be carriers, but some go on to live relatively long lives, for a chicken, with few residual symptoms. Symptoms may re-emerge during times of stress, such as during a heavy molt.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2012
  6. beofswiftfeet

    beofswiftfeet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    timblin pa
    these seem to be the same symptoms as my roosters (2) have exibited. one recovered fine but the other I am tube feeding and as yours which I forgot to post is doing the neck as yours breathing fine but periodically stretching neck and opening mouth. He does this to when I am tube feeding well syringe and am able to feed then let him breath dont know if he is doing this for food or actualy for breathing. I was told perhaps mushrooms. do you have a lot of birds around your feed (bowl) also - wild birds. I find that too and perhaps something from them ie mareks. The vet for me did not think so but then again until they destroy then do a necropsy they will not know for sure. and that I refuse to do. Rebel recovered and perhaps Henry will too. The girls have not shown any symptoms at all. good luck.
     
  7. lovinchicks

    lovinchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My husband reminded me that they are on different feeds. One pen gets Purina chick starter and the other flock raiser. They haven't gotten any treats lately. And when I do through stuff in for them, I make sure it is not bad. They are under a red maple that is dropping leaves and some of them gobble them up. They came up poisonous for chickens on some lists. But I didn't see any actual people say that it caused problems in there chickens. It has been more rainy here lately, but not horrible. And I do have to admit [​IMG] my compost pile is in with the roosters. But if I throw anything rotting in there, I make sure to bury it. But that doesn't mean my husband does! But that wouldn't account for the hens getting sick in the other pen???
     
  8. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The symptoms you describe sound typical of the common diseases of chickens already mentioned.
     
  9. lovinchicks

    lovinchicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes we get sparrows that come in and out. I figured they probably brought something in that my bird caught. I have not seen any mushrooms, but that doesn't mean that they don't eat them before I see them. Do you know where you go to get a necropsy done? does any vet do it? I would really love to figure what we have exactly, as we have some sweedish flower hens and some cream legbar chicks in the barn with the other birds.

    And does anyone know how fast the symptoms of Mareks progresses? or if they don't die from it, how long till they are on the mend. Also does the unbalance go away since that is caused by the tumers right???
     
  10. janinepeters

    janinepeters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is really hard to answer. So many people write in about these imbalance/neurologic symptoms, but few people have a necropsy done. So we end up assuming it was Marek's disease without ever really knowing. What I can say is that for the time that I have been following threads about chickens with these symptoms, and having seen these problems in some of my own birds, the course and outcome of the illness vary tremendously. Sometimes the disease sweeps through a flock causing severe neurlogic signs (circling, e.g.), quickly killing many of the birds. Other times, just one or a few in a flock show mild symptoms (staggering or sideways walking) for a few days, and then appear to fully recover, perhaps showing some symptoms in the future during times of stress. I just had 2 birds that had a very heavy molt and showed staggering gait for a few days. Now that their new feathers are unfurling, all neurologic signs have disappeared. Was it Marek's? Newcastle? I don't know.

    At the other end of the spectrum, I had a rooster develop sudden neurologic symptoms 1-2 years ago. At first he was just staggering, but soon lost his appetite and began circling. When he could no longer drink on his own, I put him down. But all other neuro symptoms in my flock since then, have been mild and transient...
     

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