Does my Rooster have Marek's? Or something else?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by bacota, Aug 17, 2010.

  1. bacota

    bacota Hatching

    Aug 31, 2009
    I have a pretty large (I don' t know the breed) 2 year old Rooster. Sometime ago we noticed him limping. We also noticed another large 4-5 year old hen limping. I have two younger smaller birds (Aracauna and ISA Brown) that were having no problems. I decided that their brooding boxes were too high so I put a bale of high under it, and I lowered their perch. The hen seemed to get better. I thought the rooster got better, but then I saw him falling down. Then I watched him repeatedly jump on his perch and fall off. So I put a step behind it, but he stopped getting on his perch and just slept on the floor.
    I thought his leg got better but the other day it got worse.

    Yesterday he didn't leave the coop and today he can't walk at all. His legs are stiff out in front of him. I'm trying to put food and water in front of him where he can reach it.

    I'm pretty much a rookie here with just three hens and a rooster. I don't know what to do with him except to put food and water in front of him where he can reach it. The other hen seems to be fine.

    I had read about Marek's but it seems to be a disease of younger birds and very rare among older birds, or did I misunderstand.

  2. bacota

    bacota Hatching

    Aug 31, 2009
    PS I know (now) that three hens is not enough for a rooster, I'm raising up some younger ones. They are still separated. Is it possible that I spread a disease from the chicks to the adult birds?
  3. cowboychickens

    cowboychickens Hatching

    Apr 15, 2010
    Hi - so very sorry to hear about your rooster. [​IMG] The symptoms do sound very familiar to the ones that I experienced after I brought in a rescued hen that did turn out to be a carrier of Marek's Disease with no symptoms. While visiting with the second veterinarian that I consulted with, I finally had it diagnosed after I had one of my hens put down so she would not suffer any more. Then part of her remains were sent to a lab for diagnosis. Marek's Disease is very contagious, and almost always fatal. In a nut shell, I undertand that it causes tumors to develop in the nervous system. It is a very slow-acting disease, and it is extremely frustrating and horrible to watch. I understand the new chicks are exposed to the disease when they break through the shell upon hatching. The other/older chickens are infected through constant exposure to other diseased chickens. I hope this information helps, and certainly hope this is not what you are experiencing in your flock. By the way, I lost my entire flock of 26, except one older hen that I had bought as a chick from a very responsible feed store who sold only innoculated chicks. I did not appreciate or understand how important this was at the time.
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2010
  4. GardenerGal

    GardenerGal Songster

    Dec 20, 2008
    Marek's symptoms are one leg in front and one pointed to the back. Not both stiff in front. Your chicken may have a nutritional deficiency. I've been reading here that lack of B vitamins can cause the kind of paralysis where both legs are stiff and out front. Search BYC for "vitamin B deficiency" and see what you can find. There are different types of vitamin B (B12, B6 and so on) so maybe a complete B complex vitamin would help. But do look it up on BYC to get the best information.
  5. RedRoosterFarm

    RedRoosterFarm **LOVE MY SERAMAS**

    Mar 25, 2010
    Eatonville, Washington
    Mine had right leg out in front. sounds like something else. It hit mostly my birds 3 to 5 months and under. 1 adult got it but it was like they were a bit drunk but the leg was the dead give away. Good luck and hope its just a vitiman issue.
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2010
  6. AddictingChickens

    AddictingChickens In the Brooder

    Sep 9, 2010
    westford, MA
    Oh boy!
    My Rose comb had trouble breathing and after two days was "better" about a month later, she died. About a month and 1/2 later my hen started limping, hanging wings low to just not walking. Her claws are under her but one at times is curled - not both - yet!
    I dropper fed her B12, have her separated from the others (in my laundry room)- afraid it might be too late though if Marek's - with food, water with B12.
    I don't know if its a deficiency or Mareks. do the symptoms overlap. Like the paralysis in feet??
    I dont want to watch each hen slowly die...
    Please - anyone out there who may know? This is my first winter with tme and they are all around 7 months old.[​IMG]

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