Last spring, I found one of our four-week-old Partridge Rocks sprawled on her side in the brooder. She was being trampled by the seven other chicks and basically unresponsive. Enter the information from Backyard Chicken! I fed her infant vitamins and electrolytes with a dropper and within 24 hours she was up and perky again. However, we noticed the next day that she couldn't seem to get her head in the feeder anymore. He neck was twisted to the right and the left shoulder blade was higher than the other so she couldn't peck straight down like the rest of the chicks. We took the cover off the feeder and she was able to eat and didn't seem to be in any pain. We suspected that something got broken while she was down and grew back funny. Four weeks old (April 2011) - Esther is the middle chick. You can see how her neck is twisted and her feathers are puffed up where the shoulder is higher. She has always been lighter than the other pullets, but we made sure to give her special treats away from the others, and honestly she's such a sweetie she probably gets held more as well. All the others started laying at around 5 months of age, but not Esther. She never squatted or showed any signs, but we kept her anyway as a pet. Plus, we figured that by having a non-layer at the bottom of the pecking order we were saving ourselves the trouble of losing eggs. A few weeks ago (March 2012), we noticed her squatting and going into the nesting boxes. She started singing the egg song and her vent became moist. Finally, we caught her in the act, but I had to stand guard to keep the other hens from kicking her out of the box. The became very aggressive with her and started chasing her away. They'd be foraging in the yard and one would catch sight of Esther and take off after her. One week ago we had a severe (for us in SoCal) winter storm. We had freezing wind and rain followed by snow. I kept the hens confined to their coop and run, doubling their food because they weren't able to forage. On day three I noticed Esther hiding in the corner of the run. She had lost weight (not sure how much, but I could tell by holding her) and seemed very sad. She also seemed unsteady on her feet and would sit on her butt like a kangaroo while she ate. I moved her to a separate coop and run to keep an eye on her and gave her some hot starter mash. I could not believe how much she ate! At first I thought the other hens had been keeping her from eating and she was just hungry or dehydrated. I've had her separated for three days now and she's gone back to eating normally and cries to be let out to forage. But she still seems unsteady on her feet and sometimes falls backwards with her feet under her. It almost looks like her back end weighs more than her front and she tips over. She hasn't laid all week, but has been having normal, solid poops several times a day. She can make it up and down the ladder to the coop, but sleeps in the nesting box rather than get on the perch. She's always had a funny gait because of her shoulder and twisted neck, but this seems different. Before she was one of the fastest runners, and although she was definitely funny looking, she seemed strong and healthy. I've been doing loads of searches here and on Google, but nothing seems to fit. It's like she's lost her balance and looks like a chicken who's gotten into a barrel of beer! She is still sitting funny, but every time I tried to get a picture he got up thinking I might have a treat. Here are some pictures for her taken today (March 24, 2012). Any ideas? I'm wondering if she had Marek's as a chick and if it might be progressing now that she is laying. Or maybe it's a coincidence that this started when she was stressed, and the change in her skeleton due to laying has put her off balance. I am mostly concerned that she might have something that could be a threat to the 8 chicks I have in the brooder right now. I'd hate to put her down after all this time and when she doesn't seem to be in any pain, but don't want to get so sentimental that I jeopardize the rest of my flock. I would appreciate any insight.