Help me trouble shoot illness-16 week old roo


11 Years
Apr 21, 2008
North Central Florida
Hi guys, I'm in hopes that someone can help me trouble shoot my 16 week old roo. It began as an "ear infection", who knew they can, so treated him with Terramycin (first antibiotic), on day 4 he began to act drunk coming out of house, the other 3 are still fine. By the time he ran into my leg 3 times, I picked him up and brought him in, fed him egg and a bit of cheese to see if it was food, or needed more.
As the evening wore on, he began to back up until he could not go anymore, then his wing feathers would cram in the wire. We placed him in a larger wire cage in the living room, Terramycin & electrolytes, scrambled egg, yogurt (live), a chunk of watermellon. He ate the egg and yogurt extremely well.
After leaving the house for 5 minutes, it seems as though its worsened, now falling to his side," pushing the news paper away", and almost making it onto his back.
Once he gets through these "fits", he sits on his feet and naps.

I cannot say I'd try anything, but we have given him asprin, B vites, electrolytes, nutritious foods.

The other 3 that lived, ate and spent their days together from chicks up to now, fed the same thing, and there are no toxins, no plant matter near them, no mites, no deworming at this point. They have been in a 8X8 area, fresh air and clean food & water.

Can someone suggest a direction? The Poultry Tech here cannot imagine what the matter is, it does not seem bacterial, viral, so I'm on the vite route.
He is with 2 other young roos, could they have caused a injury enough to show nerve damage? I welcome your opinion!
I had a pair of La Fleche pullets get into something once and they got sick with Botulism. One was worse off that the other. She got to where she couldn't stand, eat or drink and would fall over on her side and flop around from time to time. The guy at MSU told me to put her out of her misery... I decided to give her one more day to recover. I kept water in her... not worrying as much about the food. Gave her electrolytes.... and she did make a full recovery. Her sister never got as bad and recovered also. None of my other birds got sick. But that's not to say that what your bird suffers from is the same. And yes, it could be nerve damage. I had a hen that flew out of the coop and misjudged and hit the wall and never recovered and had to be put out of her misery. But it could very well be Marek's and I would certainly keep it separated until you find out for sure. If you separated it soon enough it is possible that only the one bird was exposed.

Best of luck to you.... hope it all works out!
Botulism will either kill them in a couple days or they will recover in 4-5 days. I had a show hen get it once when she ate some old boiled egg she found in her cage under the chips. She pulled through.

Usually when I hear neurological symptoms I immediately think marek's, especially when the birds are not vaccinated.

Marek's is very prevalent.
Thanks guys, no, none of my birds have been vaccinated against anything. We have a small group of chickens, most hatched right here. I did read somewhere that Turkeys can bring illness that do not affect them, yet will pass to the chickens. But, this bird has never been around the broad breasted/white midget poults- not saying I cannot be the carrier, but I would think that the 4 16 week old birds would have exhibited signs of something.
Now, when he thrashes around, more foot motion then wing motion and his head is laying on his shoulders.
Eating and drinking have not been an issue, I do not have to encourage it, eggs, yogurt, water/electrolites, terramycin. His puples are fine, brown iris'. Once he gets up, stretches his legs, he does seem weak.
His feces has had clear mucus liquid- gelled, white and brown.
Just now I noticed that there was a large ring of gel and liquid green with what has the consistancy of ground beef, but its green, not red.
I guess time will tell
If he doesn't make it you should consider a necropsy to determine if it is Marek's.
He will go for necropsy for certain when it comes time. After eating all he has, medicated mash (all I had at this time) and antibiotics, he has slowed his "fits" down to none in 2 hours.
A poultry man said that these things do happen, not excluding mareks, and where he was with 3 other birds that perhaps they were keeping him from the food and water and that creating the nerological issues.
So, now we will place him back in the coop with the others, but have him higher up and in a pen so he has his own food and water, see if that could be part of it, if not, necropsy.

Feel free to keep giving suggestions!

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