How to tell if my chicken has Mareks

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by vchambers, Oct 9, 2014.

  1. vchambers

    vchambers In the Brooder

    Sep 12, 2014
    Hi there! I have a pullet at about 15 weeks old. I noticed yesterday that she does not want to use her one leg. She keeps it tucked up when she stands and when trying to walk she uses it for a quick second....stumbles or steps on her bad she does not know its there. As I noticed this she was following the rest of the girls outside for a drink. Needless to say she stumbled and pretty much fell off down and off the ramp. It was sooo heartbreaking to watch.....thought maybe she hurt it jumping down from the perch, etc. I checked her leg and it doesn't seem swollen or broken. When I pick her up she seems to move her leg just fine but just not when she has to put weight on it. I have put her in a cage by herself with some water and food. Hoping she can just rest it without the other girls around. Does this sound like mareks??
  2. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    It may be, please put Mareks in the search box and read up on the symptoms. If it is Mareks, it is very contagious - any survivors will be carriers for life.
  3. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    1 person likes this.
  4. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.

    I'm sorry to hear about your bird! Many diseases/vitamin deficiencies can mimic Marek's Disease, so it may not be Marek's. Definitely post in the Emergencies section.
  5. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    I'm sorry to hear about your chicken! [​IMG] Unfortunately, her symptoms do sound like Marek's. However, don't give up hope yet! There are several other causes of lameness, injury, vitamin deficiency, etc., which are not fatal and can be treated.

    In answer to your main question, the only way to know for sure if a bird has Marek's is to send in some blood to be tested. Even then, though, there can be false negatives. The best method of diagnosing is simply by the symptoms.

    I would definitely post about your hen in the Emergencies section of the forums. People there should be able to offer some help.

    Best wishes to you and your hen.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2014
  6. liz9910

    liz9910 Crowing

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    [​IMG] I agree, the Emergencies forum is the best place to post.
  7. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Sorry about your bird, hope you are able to figure out what is going on.
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    She may well have a sprain or it could be broken, but they leg should be swollen if it were broken. Is her cage inside the coop or run where she can still be with her flock mates? That will lessen the problem of having to reintegrate her if she is out for a couple of weeks. Put some vitamins in her water, especially B Complex, but a good poultry vitamin would be good. I'm hoping this isn't Mareks, but here are some links to read just to educate yourself:'s_Disease
  9. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    The above members have given you good advice and tips.

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