cold feet and loss of roosting reflex

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by prepare2xl, Aug 24, 2010.

  1. prepare2xl

    prepare2xl New Egg

    Aug 12, 2010
    This is the second round of similar illness within our flock. They present with incoordination, inability to roost, and pale, very cold feet. It progresses to apparent total flaccid paralysis of the legs. Until the final 1-2 days, they remain alert, bright eyed, social, and willing to eat/drink if bowls are placed in front of them. They have lived 1-3 weeks after initial symptoms (with frequent position changes, transportation from sun to shade, food and water given by dropper after they lose ability to balance and eat!!!)

    The first two (of 6) chicks became ill at ~ 8 weeks of age. They both died. We waited 6 weeks after the 2nd death before purchasing 5 new chicks from the same feed store. We had taken them to an avian vet because I was afraid it might be something contagious --he did not think they appeared ill with bacterial/viral infection; he suspected exposure to an unknown toxin. No one else became ill. The feed store had a sign indicating that the chicks arrive from the hatchery having been inoculated against Mareks Disease.

    Now, at ~6 weeks of age, our cutest Brahma chick and an Amauricana friend are ill with the same symptoms. The only additional finding is severe lethargy. (The original ill chicks were a Cochin-mix and an Amauricana, so it's not breed/clutch specific.)

    They have all been fed Purina Starter-Grower Chow, free access. The only additional foods have been a small amount of oatmeal, oat groats, millet, sesame seeds, and mung beans as scattered treats. Water is from the house. They have a granite grit container in the pen. Bedding is straw over the natural soil in the enclosure. The first group of chicks had been allowed to free range under bushes and at the edge of woods during the day until the illness became serious. The second batch of chicks has never been permitted to range, but do eat a variety of bugs that wander into the fence. Poops in the pen have not been unusual. The eldest hens and rooster are in robustly good health at 20-22 weeks of age.

    I have read pages and pages of advice from this site. As a result, I have recently added vitamin B and a squirt of vitamin E to the waterer. I gave the sickest little chicky some coconut water and Ensure today for electrolytes.

    I do not expect to save the sicker one (she is nearly comatose), but would like advice about improving chances for the milder (who can still walk and eat, but not roost), and hope to protect the remaining 3 healthy youngsters.

    Thank you!!

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