Lame hen- Marek's or nutritional problem?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Beau coop, Jan 28, 2009.

  1. Beau coop

    Beau coop Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2008
    Friend has a 14 week old bird that has both legs laying flat under her with feet going forward. One foot has curled toes. Chick is eating, drinking and pooping fine. If food is put right in front of her.

    No roo to damage her. No other harm that she knows of. Food stored in airtight containers, all birds eating same food. They have not been outside yet. Only one lame bird in flock of 4. All same age, same breed, and acquired at the same time.

    Since both of her legs are forward as opposed to the one leg forward one leg back position of Marek's, we thought nutritional problem. Eyes look normal. No mites, lice. If you turn her over, she will try to move the leg without curled toes.

    Has been inside for 2 weeks, feeding cooked eggs, pellets, yogurt, and is supplementing with vitamins. Showed slight improvement in mobility for a few days they regressed. Her weight seems fine.

    Would only one bird have come down with a nutritional problem if they are all eating the same food?

    Any ideas?
    Last edited: Jan 28, 2009
  2. Chicken Woman

    Chicken Woman Incredible Egg

    Oct 16, 2008
    Maybe low calcium. I read another post where a guy put oyster shell in a blender until it was powder and then put in warm water to disolve it. he then let the hen have as drinking water. In 2 days the hen was up and eating, walking etc.

    Not sure of course but worth a try .
  3. Beau coop

    Beau coop Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 19, 2008
    Definitely worth a try. Would only one bird have the issue if all are eating same food?
  4. marcel

    marcel New Egg

    Jan 28, 2009
    I would still think it is Marek's Disease. This usually strikes in the 12-20 weeks time frame. Those infected with Marek's will live several weeks under hobby conditions but not commercial. Could be low Calcium as suggested but as you said no others are affected. If these are home -raised a small % will have Marek's. If commercially purchased they should have been vaccinated at hatching. Don't worry, not direct contact contagious. Do the right thing and euthanize as conditions dictate. FWIW, regards. Marcel
  5. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Overrun With Chickens

    Feb 22, 2007
    Morganton, NC
    Legs shooting out and the curled toes are a classic sign of Mareks. Most flocks carry it. With mild strains, only a bird or 2 will ever show symptoms.

    I loose 1-3 each year from that years hatchlings. This year it was 1, but that was my prized little Dutchman. I have tried every so- called remedy that I have read about. Nothing ever worked.

    Each one seemed to slowly get better for a while and then a sudden and severe come back. Eventually each progressed until they started having trouble breathing. At that point I wasn't left with a choice and euthanized.


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