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Help! Sick/Injured Chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by larsocam, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. larsocam

    larsocam Out Of The Brooder

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    I just went out to the coop to check for eggs (9:20 am) and found one of my three hens on her side in the middle of the coop, the other two were in the run. She is usually very flighty and never ever lets me get anywhere near her. Anyway, I picked her up and did a once over looking for signs of injury and didn't find any external lesions at least. I then put her on the ground in the yard and immediately she started pecking around for food but I noticed her left wing isn't held up to her body like the other one and it looks like she is limping a bit. They are kept in the coop at night and it doesn't look like there were any signs of predators. I am wondering could this be some sort of trauma caused by the two other hens or are there any diseases that look like this?

    Some background information: I bought three pullets in mid summer (my first chickens ever). Two of them are for sure laying (including this one), not sure about the third. They started laying not too long ago and now with the shorter days it has been hard to figure out who is laying and the amount of eggs I get daily seems to vary a lot. Last Wednesday I got one normal egg (all their eggs have been pretty small) and one giant egg for the first time. Since then it has only been about one egg every other day. Not sure if I am leaving anything out so feel free to ask any questions that may help me figure out what is going on.

    Thanks for your help, I'm worried about the girl.
     
  2. larsocam

    larsocam Out Of The Brooder

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    Bump/Update

    So my main concern is she has Marek's due to the unilateral paresis signs she is displaying. How common is this in an approximately 7 month old hen that is housed with 2 others and has no exposure to other chickens?

    I have confined her to a big plastic tote with a wire top. She seems to be eating and drinking well but is definitely lethargic. She has pooped a couple of times since yesterday and it seems a little runny but there is some form to it. I got a vitamin supplement for her water (not sure if that will do anything) and just trying to feed her regular pellets plus some yogurt/treats to encourage eating. Anything else I can be doing for her?

    Thank you
     
  3. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Elma, Washington
    I sorry to say it, but it sounds like Marek's disease.

    They don't have to be exposed to other chickens to get Marek's..... wild birds can spread it too. I'm just learning about it myself. Lost a 5 month old pullet last week. In the evening she was on the roost with everyone and looking good, the next morning she was on the floor and died 3 hours later. I had the WSU animal health lab do a necropsy because I have 20 other birds. Diagnosis was Marek's related lymphoma. So, I asked to have a histology test done, to be a little more conclusive.....waiting on the results.....

    I cleaned the coop and disinfected the feed/water bowls and now I just watch the others to see who's next.....
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Any moldy feed or litter?
     
  5. larsocam

    larsocam Out Of The Brooder

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    I just went out to clean the coop and noticed some of the poop piles were moldy. The other two chickens still look happy as can be.
     
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

  7. larsocam

    larsocam Out Of The Brooder

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    Interesting, I hadn't though of Botulism as a potential cause. I am skeptical it is that, but at least that one isn't always a death sentence.

    Update (day #4). The last two days she seemed the same as the day I found her, still a little weak in the left leg and wing, but could walk around. This morning I took her outside and she pretty much just fell down with her leg out behind her (the classic Marek's pose) [​IMG]. So now I guess it comes down to how long do I wait before I cull her? I have by no means a production flock (I only have three hens)? Also, how do I go about cleaning up the coop or anything she has been around and hopefully prevent the other two from becoming another casualty?

    Thank you for all your advice.
     
  8. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    You may want to think about and find out about sending her for necropsy if you cull her or if she passes away, so that you can know what you are dealing with. You can (I have read) contact your state vet or county extension agent.
     
  9. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree. I just did the same, and I'm glad I did....

    About the cleanup - the vet who performed my the necropsy suggested having hard surfaces in the coop, i.e., everything painted, so there are no pores for the disease to hide in, but my coop isn't built like that, it's all bare wood inside. So I cleaned out all of the bedding I could and sterilized the feed/water containers in hot bleach water. Now I watch and wait. It's been 2 weeks and no signs of anything.

    She also said to keep birds younger than 5 months seperate from these birds until they reach 5-6 months. Older birds appear to be less affected, 5 months is the magic number, and that is the age of the pullet I lost.
     
  10. n8ivetxn

    n8ivetxn Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Elma, Washington
    Oh, one more thing. - In the run area, I covered the soil with a sand/gravel mix to keep the existing dander from flying around - that is how Marek's is spread, through the dander. This time of year, we don't have to worry about that too much. But I thought it would be a good measure anyway.
     

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