chicks die at one day old, legs don't work, please help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by emilyschicks, Apr 13, 2012.

  1. emilyschicks

    emilyschicks New Egg

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    Apr 13, 2012
    south central PA
    I have had free range chickens for about 5 years and always let a hen or two brood and raise her chicks on her own. Last year was the first year I had a mass death of chicks, once from an owl and once from an unknown ailment that killed the chicks at about two weeks. Two days ago my experienced mama hen hatched one of her 11 eggs, the chick seemed healthy until I found it dead the next night. Her second chick hatched yesterday and seemed fine except for a slightly distended stomach, however, tonight the chick was unable to stand and its legs were stuck out at an unusual angle. I’m afraid whatever is happening to this chick is what killed its sibling and I really don’t want the whole brood to go down! Please help!
    I really don’t want to have to bring them inside. I tried that once and hated the results; those chickens were slow to react to danger and never fully bonded with the rest of the flock.
    A lady I ran into at the feed store today thought the problem might have something to do with how they hatch. This makes sense because the shells this year are really thick; however, they seem fine for at least the first 12 hours after hatching…

    Update: the chick seems fine this morning except its legs don't work at all. It was out of the nest and i wonder if mama hen pushed it out (i put it back). Legs seem paralyzed.
     
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  2. 4-H chicken mom

    4-H chicken mom Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 3, 2007
    Oberlin, OH
    Were the chicks that died last year your eggs or from another source? I am thinking Marek's disease. I'm thinking this because of the paralysis and the large death rate from last year. If it happens again this year with the rest of the chicks, I would have the hens tested. There could be other reasons though. Good luck. :thumbsup
     
  3. emilyschicks

    emilyschicks New Egg

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    Apr 13, 2012
    south central PA
    I have never bought chickens. However, last year i was given two hens by my neighbor who got them from a foreclosed homestead. I looked up Marek's and found the exact description of my currently living chick (not sure about last years though). Does this mean I'll need to replace my entire flock? All the adults are visibly healthy. Thanks for the help!
     

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