Chicks that have no use of one leg(or both) & no balance - any ideas?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Blondemama, Sep 10, 2016.

  1. Blondemama

    Blondemama New Egg

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    Sep 10, 2016
    Hi,
    I'm new to this forum and wondered if anyone could help me with our problem, we hatched off 9 what we thought were healthy chicks in April/May (one lot of 4 and one lot of 5) as they grew one of them (first lot of chicks) lost the use of her legs and caused quite a scene as she would try and hobble her way around, then her sister (hatched at same time) also seemed to develop this problem, however she became so bad that she couldn't move and was squawking in pain - unfortunately we had to do what was best for her there and then and shes gone.
    The first chick now has reduced growth compared to the younger set of chicks we hatched two weeks later. However i noticed only a few weeks ago that one chick out of the second set also started walking around on what i can only describe as her knees - she now also loses balance but as she is far bigger than the first chick she struggles a lot more.
    When I pick the girls up their legs are almost like jelly and their feet are almost closed up, we have tried to find out what the possible cause is but cannot find anything of help, we've reared chicks before and never come across this problem and I'm wondering if its a disease spread through them? All the other chicks are now with all our other hens and are quite happy but i refused to add the two poorly ones in for fear of them being killed by the cockerel in there as they are so weak, so at the moment they have free roam of the garden - I'm also wondering is it fair to continue to prolong their life when all they do is eat, drink and hide under a fir tree all day?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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  2. Outpost JWB

    Outpost JWB Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My initial thought is Newcastle's disease or Marek's. So sorry for your troubles.
     
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Welcome to BYC.

    It could be as mentioned Marek's or Newcastle. Also possible is genetic/developmental disorders, Mycoplasma Synoviae, vitamin/nutritional deficiency or some other illness. It's really hard to tell without testing.

    You can offer some Vitamin B2(Riboflavin). Crush a human Vitamin B-Complex tablet and put it in their feed. I'm assuming they are still on chick starter, continue with the chick starter or feed an all flock/flock raiser formula, these have higher protein.

    Sometimes Mycoplasma S. may respond to antibiotic treatment. Keep in mind illness like Marek's, Newcastle and Mycoplasmas are contagious, so the birds can pass that along and the illnesses make the birds carriers for life.

    COMMON POULTRY DISEASES
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044

    MAREKS
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq

    MYCOPLASMA SYNOVAIE
    http://www.merckvetmanual.com/mvm/p...synovitis.html?qt=Mycoplasma synoviae &alt=sh

    VITAMIN DEFICIENCIES
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/publications/6/diseases-of-poultry/217/vitamin-b2-deficiency/
    http://www.tillysnest.com/2014/03/vitamin-deficiencies-in-backyard-chicks-html/
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. chickens really

    chickens really Overrun With Chickens

    All of the above could be the issue....

    Scary when our birds get sick!

    Best of luck!
     
  5. MrsBachbach

    MrsBachbach Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That is signs of a severe vitamin deficiency. I've read of it before and those are the symptoms. I think it is one of the B vitamins. Vitamin E can also cause motor skill problems and it could be something akin to rickets which I think is vit D? So, you really need to start all of the flock on a good vit/min supplement in their water. Look online at poultry sites or go to your feed or Tractor supply store and look for the powder mix to go in the water like Durvet. I've seen them at Tractor supply in a couple of areas at the store. These tend to have salt and sodium in them, but could do in a pinch. Not the little Save a chick packs, but a good multivitamin/mineral mix. Search Avian Superpack online and get some of that. It has a wide range of vitamins/minerals. If you have any B multivitamins in your cabinet, you can cut them in half or quarters depending on their size and start popping one in their mouth once a day to start. Same with E vitamin. But get the mix for water because this is going to take weeks to correct. Several weeks.
    I would look for a different feed supplier too. Your feed is likely deficient in nutrients either for mistake at the mill or age of the product. Feed can loose it's nutrient value if it sits too long on the shelf. One manufacturer told me after three months from manufacture it breaks down, especially in hot weather. Cold weather, usually last about six months.. So, find out how to find the date of manufacture on the bag of feed and interpret it, and don't let the feed store sell you those that are already three or more months old.
     
  6. Blondemama

    Blondemama New Egg

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    Sep 10, 2016
    Thanks for your help guys... I have tried looking into most of these problems. I thought Mareks at first but it hasn't spread to any others so recently ruled that out. When we recently bought some growers pellets the man who sold them asked what they were and stated that we'd want growers with no ASD in them? Never heard of this before.
    MrsBachBach - after the shop mentioning the no ASD I looked into vitamin deficiency but the internet hasn't been very helpful (until now) as there are so many different sites that say different things. Will look at vit supplement for the water then and see if this helps them at all. The 'chick' with the yellow feet has had this problem pretty much since 5/6 weeks of age so would be nice to be able to solve it for her sake otherwise I believe theres no use prolonging their life's when they have so much difficulty :-(
    Thanks again for all your help everyone.
     
  7. Blondemama

    Blondemama New Egg

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    Sep 10, 2016
    Wyorp rock - just looked at the vitamin deficiency sites and straight away it looks like that may be a cause to all this - so we shall take that route first. Thanks for posting those links, they are a great help!
     
  8. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi

    I hate to say it, but that is classic Marek's. I currently have one young pullet in a similar condition and like you I had to euthanize one a fortnight ago that got too bad. I've had it in my flock for two years now and each year I get a few cases at this time of year but it certainly doesn't wipe out or even affect the majority. 30 chicks hatched last year and only one had it and 56 chicks this year and so far 3 have had it. I give them as much care and support as I can whilst they still have some quality of life and I've had some make quite miraculous recoveries ( I have a little cockerel running around now that was down for 3 days without the use of his legs and now you can't tell he's had a problem) but sadly some deteriorate and others die quite suddenly without showing any obvious symptoms.

    By all means try vitamins as they can only help but I would recommend you have a necropsy done if you lose another one.

    Good luck with them. I know how heart breaking it is trying your best for them and seeing them floundering.

    Regards

    Barbara
     
  9. MrsBachbach

    MrsBachbach Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 6, 2013
    Arkansas
    I've seen pictures of that very thing and I know they said it was vitamin related. I really suggest an intensive vitamin regime to try to correct this. As I said it can take weeks, months. If it is Mareks they would have been dead by now, especially the one that has been this way for weeks. Mareks usually take them in a week or two is what I've read, especially the leg paralysis. I remember reading of a ladies experience with what you are going through with her chicken. She made a sling for it so it could stand and eat etc., but she did the vit/mineral thing and eventually the bird did recover. Could be long process. I would get a B multivitamin that provides just the 100% RDA and start putting one a day in the back of their throats, they will swallow. Do that for a three or four days. Long term, get a good vit mix without the sodium to add to the water, something like Avian Superpack (search on internet). You can either cull them(assuming disease) or try the vitamin therapy. I'm not a vet, but I've done alot of reading, and I'm just passing on what I've read and seen, but it's up to you.

    And in the future, if the birds free range or you have some that decide they would rather not eat their regular chicken feed, it's a good idea to provide the vitamin supplement to the water for a few days a week to prevent something like this happening. Sometimes it's the feed, sometimes it's just the birds preferring something else.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2016
  10. Blondemama

    Blondemama New Egg

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    Sep 10, 2016
    Thanks again for all your help guys, certainly is appreciated, unfortunately the one thats been like it for weeks died this morning - I'd like to say unexpectedly but although no so much unexpected it was rather sudden especially she had been fine all day yesterday. The other is currently seeming a lot stronger everyday so there is hope yet.
     

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