HELP! Rehabilitate a sick chicken/ Legs and Balance

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by urban chicken mom, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. urban chicken mom

    urban chicken mom In the Brooder

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    Hi, I have a Black-copper-maran pullet almost hen that has been sick for over 4 weeks. It's crazy that I purchased two together because the other one was smaller (Pettie Lune-little moon) but now the little one has matured into a hen and the other sick one remains a pullet (Ma Chari-my darling). I have hand feed her (oatmeal), given her water, and vitamins(baby vitamins, blackstrap molasses, garlic, antibiotic, colloidal silver etc). She is defiantly better then she was (no fever, closed eyes unable to lift nick etc) and is able hold her head up enough to eat and drink now if I put the food and water up in front of her chest but she cannot stand, walk, or sit. Here eyes are open fully open now but I want her to walk and I don't know how to rehabilitate her legs and balance. I make her walk a little each day by holding her behind her wing on her back but she has absolutely no sense of balance and cannot coordinate her legs and her head is still a little bit corked. I use straw or paper towels to prop her up but she still can keep herself clean. I have been washing her and blow drying her feathers to keep her looking her best :). Not sure if it is Mareks, New Castle, or something else but i want my sick chicken well. Any information or suggestions would be most appreciated. Included are photos of her step by step recovery... thumbnail_IMG_3583.jpg thumbnail_IMG_3677.jpg thumbnail_IMG_3846.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
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  2. Melky

    Melky Spring has sprung!

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    Welcome to BYC! Only way to tell with best confidence etiology of illness is trip to vet. You can read about Mareks on site, does sound like could be. Have you had l Mareks in flock in past and how did you know? Other deaths in flock? Others Ill? Stools like? Eating and drinking? Upper respiratory symptoms like drainage or wheezing? Vaccinated against Mareks? See article here on Mareks. It’s mostly supportive care. Isolate sick bird. Provide with own food/water and supplements. Add sav a chick electrolytes to water. Start antibiotics in case something treatable with one if can obtain from TSC or other source.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/articles/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq.66077/
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
  3. urban chicken mom

    urban chicken mom In the Brooder

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    I've never had this problem with my chickens before. Given, growing up on a farm, I had a huge flock of chickens as a child back in the early 80's. I never had one of my girls get sick. I found those two disease online and by speaking with the farmer of whom I bought my girls from. I don't want to let her go but I don't know if the vet could do anything but i do love her and want to do what's best. I'm trying to be patient. Here are a few more pics.
     

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  4. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

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    Unfortunately it sounds very much like Marek's. Oatmeal is not great for chickens so I would stop that, much as they love it. I would make a wet mash with chick crumbs and warm water and add a little scrambled egg and a poultry vitamin supplement like Poultry Cell.
    If you get a nice sunny day (you haven't specified your location on your profile page??, so I'm not sure what season or climate you are in) getting her outside in the sunshine on grass for a little while would be good.
    I have had a couple of Marek's birds return to free ranging with the flock after being nest bound for several weeks with leg paralysis, so as long as she is still eating there is hope. I would encourage her to move a short distance towards a special treat once or twice a day. Make sure the surface is even and not slippy and don't try to support her, let her crawl. She needs to learn to manoeuvre her body with the disability she has. It looks really ugly to watch them crawl with their wings but it is part of the rehabilitation process in my experience. My girl gradually relearned how to use her legs over a period of weeks doing this. Start with just a couple of feet and don't put pressure on her, let her do it of her own accord.... which is why it has to be a special treat.... and make sure there is no competition from other chickens. Pressure and stress make it worse. She needs to focus and take her time.
    She may also benefit from a chicken sling which can be easily made from everyday items.... see below
    sling 2.png It needs to be adjusted so that her feet just touch the bottom but her weight is supported. Food and water pots can be clipped to the box in front of her within reach. Her vent should overhang the fabric so that her poop drops clear or if she needs more support the fabric can be wider and a third hole cut under her vent to let poop drop through.
     
  5. urban chicken mom

    urban chicken mom In the Brooder

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    In this pic i'm giving her charcoal water just in the case that she ate poison somehow.
     
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  6. urban chicken mom

    urban chicken mom In the Brooder

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    Thanks! This is so cool!Have you had luck getting yours to walk again with this method?
     
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  7. Chick-N-Fun

    Chick-N-Fun Almy Acres Farm

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    Welcome to our FUNomenal community! Best wishes and bear hugs to you and your sweet hen! ❤️:hugs
     
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  8. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

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    Yes, after about 3 months she returned to free ranging with the flock. She retained a slight limp but was able to keep up and get up onto a 6 ft roost and back down without a problem. It was actually her second attack of Marek's. The first lasted just a few days and then she fully recovered. Another learned to lift her gimpy leg up out of the way after a couple of weeks of standing on the numb foot and tripping and then dragging it behind her causing the knuckles to become grazed. I tried to make little boots and splints but it made things worse and eventually she figured it out for herself and never looked back once pulled it up and learned to hop everywhere. I have also had others that declined and died or had to be euthanized. I now call time on them if they lose interest in food as that usually indicates there are internal tumours as well as the paralysis. I do my own necropsies on those that don't make it, so I have learned a lot about the disease since my flock got it 4 years ago.
     
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  9. urban chicken mom

    urban chicken mom In the Brooder

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    Thanks for all the tips! It give me so much hope to keep going with her. Haven't given her oak meal in a few weeks. She just been eating corn, chick grit, water, and vitamins.
     
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  10. urban chicken mom

    urban chicken mom In the Brooder

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    I see... thanks for sharing your knowledge!
     
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