Lame Chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by meckler, Jan 22, 2016.

  1. meckler

    meckler Out Of The Brooder

    21
    2
    49
    Jul 9, 2015
    A few days ago, my husband checked on my younger chickens (about 3 months old) and one was not moving around and was laying awkwardly in the run of the coop. Most of the girls were in the coop, due to the extreme cold (single digits with a wind chill of -7), with the heat bulb to keep them warm. He easily grabbed her and brought her inside for inspection.

    She has no visible injuries. Her feet are not discolored or swollen. She is eating and drinking as normal. However, when she tries to stand, her feet cannot support her and she squirms around to get to her food and water. She makes normal chicken sounds and seems perfectly fine when she's just sitting. Her poop is normal.

    At first I thought she may have frost bite, but now I'm not so sure...

    Please help me! I don't know what to do with her! I'm afraid she can't live in my garage forever. [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2016
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

    15,950
    3,549
    436
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I would think either she hurt her leg or Marecks. If it doesn't improve in a few days I would suspect the latter.
     
  3. meckler

    meckler Out Of The Brooder

    21
    2
    49
    Jul 9, 2015
    If it's Mareks, what do you advise I do? Some information online is very alarming. I have 18 chickens.... 12 are over 2 years old and 6 are about 3 months.
     
  4. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

    15,950
    3,549
    436
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I would keep it separate, if it doesn't improve, I would cull it. The others I would wait to see if anyone else shows symptoms. Sometimes it's limited to one or two and the rest go on to live full lives. I had it in a few birds years ago, I haven't seen it since. It's also possible she just hurt her leg, so rest, and reevaluate after a few days. And I wouldn't panic, most flocks have had Mareks, some don't even know it. I do only hatch my own birds or order chicks from a hatchery now, no more swap meet birds, or Tractor Supply.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

    5,232
    814
    291
    Dec 25, 2012
    I think that she has Mareks Disease. There is no cure and if she lives she may spread it to all of your flock. Do what ever it is that you decide but "tis best that it was done quickly."

    I assume that every state has a poultry diagnostic lab. Call your land grant college to learn more. Then send in the fresh cadaver and get a necropsy report. One of the 10 sponsors advertising below did have a list of labs in every state.
     
  6. caw555

    caw555 Out Of The Brooder

    74
    3
    33
    Jan 21, 2016
    New Zealand
    is she in pain?[​IMG]
     
  7. caw555

    caw555 Out Of The Brooder

    74
    3
    33
    Jan 21, 2016
    New Zealand
    is she in pain?[​IMG]
     
  8. meckler

    meckler Out Of The Brooder

    21
    2
    49
    Jul 9, 2015
    Update:

    caw555 she's in no visible pain.

    Today I went to change her bedding and she was balancing on both feet! When she tried to move, she walked a couple steps and then her little legs slid. I picked her up and the foot/leg that I thought had paralysis responded to my touch. She flinched it back, not as quickly as the other foot, but still moved it! The toes still seem a bit less responsive than her "good" side. Maybe she's going to be ok? Maybe it was frostbite? Could she possibly recover from Marek's symptoms so quickly? I thought of trying hypericum, but now I'm not sure if I should or not... Any advice?

    She's cooing and seems very alert. Eating and drinking well. Poop is still normal.
     
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

    15,950
    3,549
    436
    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    It's not frostbite unless there is swollen black tissue, it's possible she pulled a muscle, some Marecks birds do recover, but you can't know if that's what it is without an autopsy. Hopefully she continues to improve.
     
  10. meckler

    meckler Out Of The Brooder

    21
    2
    49
    Jul 9, 2015
    Update... I decided to administer the Hypericum treatment. I dissolved one tablet in a tablespoon of water and then using a dropper, gave her about 10 drops every 12 hours for one week. We saw a marked improvement in about 3 days when she started to stand on her own without flopping over. She still was a little unstable when I decided to return her to her friends. Now, several weeks later, it is difficult to even tell which chicken had the problem! She runs, flaps her wings, roosts with the other girls and seems to have made a full recovery! When the other chicks range in the woods, she does tend to hang around the coop area with anyone else who's there, but maybe that's because she got so much loving from us that week. Maybe it was Mareks, but if so, hypericum just may have cured it!
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by