Hypericum and Marek's pullet - so far, so good!


In the Brooder
10 Years
May 16, 2009
Lakewood, CO
Just wanted to post this for the folks out there struggling with Marek's and trying to decide what, if anything, to do. We apparently have it in our flock, had a OEG bantam with the classic spraddled legs several weeks ago and did what we did to make her comfy and hope she might come out of it, but ended needing to cull for her sake. I was so hoping it was just a random occurrence, but alas...

A little under two weeks ago a mille fleur bantam pullet started the wing drag and tucking her neck all the way in, like she couldn't hold it up at all. A day later she was dragging one leg and hopping on the other and holding her head nearly upside down, still eating good but not moving much at all. I spent many the hour perusing all the possible options, and found this thread : https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=135247 with all the info on how to dose with hypericum, which we have done for about 11 days now. The first 9 days it didn't seem to be doing anything, she could hold her head up enough to eat like a fiend with help, but otherwise could only sorta scoot herself by pushing with one leg, had one wing sticking out at an angle unless we tucked it in for her and would just sit in a lap for ages if given the chance.

I was getting ready to check with a vet friend for euthanizing her this week - don't know if she heard us talking
or if the herbs finally kicked in, but yesterday she was standing (YAY!). This morning as I'm getting dressed I hear this flapping and one little squawk- we have been taking the food and water out of the little basket she has been sleeping in in my kids' room because she would kick it over during the night when she tried to prop herself up to sleep. Apparently this morning she wasn't content waiting for me to come in there at 6 am and put it in for her, she had flown out of the basket and was standing next to it as big as you please peeping at me when I came in LOL! Today she is outside, not with the other birds, but on the grass, holding her head, a little slow moving, but definitely on her way

Oh - for information's sake - we are doing Hypericum x6 by Hylands, bought at Vitamin Cottage - one tablet in one tbsp of distilled water, around 10 drops 2 or 3 times a day depending on how early/late we are up and how much she fights us to take them
She has been confined to a basket in the house, which she has mostly not made any effort to get out of until the last day (again, yay!) and eating grower feed, warm oatmeal, scrambled eggs, fruit scraps and yogurt. We just started electrolytes and vitamins yesterday because I was out before and waiting for them to come in. Everyone else in the flock seems to be okay, so far, and we're debating the merits of older vaccination at this point, I haven't found enough research to decide for sure if it will be helpful or possibly induce symptoms in the birds that so far are doing okay.

I am just so tickled that she may make it, and there aren't very many people I can share with that don't look at me like I've lost my marbles, but I know y'all will understand

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