Help w/ limping chicken -- Video Added -- UPDATE!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ryan, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. ryan

    ryan Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Mar 12, 2009
    OK, we have 4 chickens: 2 RIRs (about 2 yrs old) and 2 barred rocks (5 months old). We just got the BRs about a month ago. The reds chase them around and peck them...I assume this to be somewhat normal when introducing new chickens. One of the BRs started limping and generally walking around less yesterday. She appears to favor one leg, and sometimes just sits (like a hen on an egg) in the yard while the other 3 move along.....let me get to the questions...

    1) What type of bird , age and weight.
    5 month old BR, don't know weight

    2) What is the behavior, exactly.
    limping, little unnecessary moving around, generally lethargic

    3) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
    everything appears to be fine

    4) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
    other than the reds chasing her and some pecking...nothing

    5) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
    eating and drinking fine as far as we know

    6) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
    normal

    7) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
    none

    8 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
    would like to treat myself

    9) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
    none

    10) Describe the housing/bedding in use
    the 4 birds have a 35 sq ft coop w/ 3 nest boxes and a 100 sq ft attached run. they also free range in the yard. Coop has pine shavings on floor and in boxes.


    When i picked pepper (the limping one) up today, I noticed as I set her feet down on my hand that she had her toes curled instead of open or flat like she wanted to stand on my hand. Don't know if it was a coincidence or if it even matters...just thought I'd let you know.

    She's still able to run away from the red ones when they get after her, but I'm sure she'd rather stay still.

    The main reason that I'm concerned about this is because we had another RIR that had a condition very similar to this though she was several months older when this started. She eventually became very week, the other 2 started pecking her constantly, so we had to put her down. Now i'm thinking "what am I doing wrong, is there something wrong with our conditions that are causing this??!!"

    Also, Pepper laid her first egg today! We were so excited for her, and then saw how she was acting just like Rose (the rir that died), and it put a real damper on the mood. She's such a sweet little chicken...we just want to know what we can do to cure her condition...and maybe it's just a limp she got from one of the reds getting her...

    Any ideas???


    Thanks!

    BTW, this is my first post, but when we got our 3 reds almost 2 yrs ago, I was on here all the time doing research about breed, coops, care, etc. I learned a lot...great site here with a tone of useful insight!!


    Ryan
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2009
  2. MoodyChicken

    MoodyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,869
    14
    181
    Feb 15, 2009
    Northern California
    Sounds like Marek's Disease. Fortunately, it sounds like she has the treatable form. You'll need hypericum, the dosage and preparation are listed on my website (linked below, moody's bantams), poultry health > supportive therapy > green treats and homeopathic remedies. Good luck!!! Be sure to give her lots of TLC!
     
  3. ryan

    ryan Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Mar 12, 2009
    Quote:Thanks Courtney! I've got a couple of questions:

    Is hypericum readily available at feed stores?

    It is deactivated by skin and metal?

    How long do I need do treatment for?

    I'm fixin to google Marek's disease and learn all I can about it!

    Thanks again!
     
  4. MoodyChicken

    MoodyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,869
    14
    181
    Feb 15, 2009
    Northern California
    Quote:Not a problem!

    No, you can find it for sure are health food stores.

    It is indeed! Only mix it in a glass/plastic bowl and use distilled water.

    It can work overnight or take several weeks. It depends on the bird. Treat until she makes no further improvement. But it doesn't hurt to treat even when she doesn't need it.

    Good luck! There's a lot of sources on it. But before you do... it's not as bad as they make it out to be! So don't panic, your flock will be fine.
     
  5. ryan

    ryan Out Of The Brooder

    11
    0
    22
    Mar 12, 2009
    Quote:Not a problem!

    No, you can find it for sure are health food stores.

    It is indeed! Only mix it in a glass/plastic bowl and use distilled water.

    It can work overnight or take several weeks. It depends on the bird. Treat until she makes no further improvement. But it doesn't hurt to treat even when she doesn't need it.

    Good luck! There's a lot of sources on it. But before you do... it's not as bad as they make it out to be! So don't panic, your flock will be fine.

    No kiddin...the sources i've read all report doom and gloom!! I hope this is treatable like you say!

    What about vitamins or other supplements? Our birds eat pellets, and have grit and oyster shells. Should we add something else til she gets through this?
     
  6. MoodyChicken

    MoodyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,869
    14
    181
    Feb 15, 2009
    Northern California
    It's really not bad as everyone says. Seeing as you only have 4 birds and they're just a backyard flock, you probably won't have anymore birds get sick for a long time, if at all. I maitain a show flock (so they're exposed to a lot of stress) of about 60 birds and I only have 1-3 birds get sick a year.


    Some forms are treatable. As long as she doesn't have internal tumor growth, which isn't that common, she should recover. Keep her warm and practice good supportive therapy. The vitamins would be a great idea, and higher protein diet might help too. Read this article on my website, it should help you help your hen. [​IMG] http://sites.google.com/site/moodysbantams/poultry-health-1/supportive-therapy
     
  7. mtnhomechick

    mtnhomechick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2008
    Mountain Home, AR
    Well, I don't know much about Mareks.........so I can't say much about that but......

    I had a girl come home from free ranging with a limp. A bad limp. I kept her in a rabbit hutch in our house for a few days to give her a rest.

    That was about 6 weeks ago..........she's not limping anymore. Little by little I could see it was getting better. For the first few weeks she would just free range to the side of our house and sit by herself. But she's ok now.

    I never even suspected a disease. I assumed she got hurt somehow while ranging.

    Good Luck........Hope she gets better.
     
  8. MoodyChicken

    MoodyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,869
    14
    181
    Feb 15, 2009
    Northern California
    Classic Marek's Disease! It occurs most commonly is 6 month old free ranging pullets, so you fit the description! Sounds like your strain isn't that bad though. The hypericum will speed up the recovery. Yeah, the symptoms can be very subtle sometimes.
     
  9. FarmerDenise

    FarmerDenise Chillin' With My Peeps

    810
    0
    149
    Apr 21, 2007
    Sonoma County
    MoodyChicken I just checked your site. That is great information. BTW ryan, I also think it is Marek's.
    I use rescue remedy all the time. I find it is really beneficial when you first discover your injured bird. I place a drop on the comb area, so it can be absorbed through the skin. Sometimes the bird is so bad off, that you can only put it in a sheltered, warm place to let it recover from the shock. This is where the rescue remedy comes in.
    We have miner's lettuce and chickweed growing all over our field. I just went and picked a hole bunch of it for our dinner salad. [​IMG]
    The chickens can pick their own.
    I had no idea that any form of Marek's was treatable. I will have to get some hypericum next time I suspect one of my birds has it. Is this in any way related to St. John's Wort?
     
  10. MoodyChicken

    MoodyChicken Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,869
    14
    181
    Feb 15, 2009
    Northern California
    Quote:Thanks!! [​IMG]

    Why do you drip it on the comb? I've been dilluting it and giving it orally (so I don't OD them), but does the comb method work just as well/better?

    The tumor forms are not treatable. The hypericum may stop tumor growth if caught early, but 1. I really haven't the slightest idea if that's true, and 2. you'd have to catch it before the bird started acting sick. Other than that, most forms are treatable but it depends on the individual bird. It's great for other things too. St. Jogn's Wort and hypericum are one in the same. But you have to use the pill form.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by