Marek's? Not sure what is wrong, hen suddenly losing weight but still eating


Aug 10, 2017
Northern Wisconsin
I have a black Austrolorp, 1 year old, that has suddenly taken a turn for the worst. A month ago she was very healthy, she was large, laying eggs, active, with a big and bright red comb. Suddenly I noticed she was starting to lose weight and becoming more lethargic. Her comb had begun to decrease in size and become paler. Before she had gotten sick I had treated my flock with Corid liquid for 14 days, doing both the high dosage then the preventative because I had found blood in their poop (The Corid did not make a difference and I was still getting blood). About a week after she got sick I wormed the flock with Safeguard and found roundworms in their poop. I wormed them for 5 days straight. I have had 2 other sick birds these last few months but they never got as bad as the austrolorp. I have a 1 year old Barred Rock that hasn't laid in months and has been decently lethargic, but she got mostly better after worming. The other sick bird is a Sex Link and over 4 years old, so I'm sure her lethargy is due to her old age as a production layer. The worming didn't seem to help the austrolorp and she only continued to get worse. She eats a lot (a normal amount) but she is just feather and bones at this point. Her poop is very runny and odd looking, sometimes quite green with feed in it. Just yesterday I noticed she started to walk funny. She is having trouble standing upright and stumbles a lot. Her feet look kind of swollen though I might be mistaken, it is kind of hard to tell. I didn't see any injuries on her legs and feet so I am not sure if it's just weakness or something else. She does not have any lice/mites, discharge from eyes/nose, and she is still very interested in food. I am completely stumped on this. I have not separated her from the flock because I think she would be too cold in the garage and her water would freeze. She also does not get picked on by the other birds and gets plenty to eat, so I kept her with the others. Any help would be much appreciated, I like this bird very much and would hate to see her die, but I can't imagine how she will come back from this.
Little update, since last time she has somehow stayed alive but she is not improving, I can not even tell when I am holding her she is so skinny and she still eats a lot. Her legs are still very weak and she cannot stay upright well, almost as if she has no balance and trouble using her legs. Her comb is now very small and pale. Today she took a turn for the worst, she is unable to move or stand up, we will put her out of her misery if she does not die tonight (since hopefully it will be more peaceful for her). I have scoured the internet and just have no idea what happened to her. I know no one has replied to this thread but I would still very much appreciate any help. @aart @Eggcessive @sourland
Sorry your post got missed a month ago.
So 3 birds sick, but still alive, out of how many total?
Which bird are you talking about in the update today?

Did you raise all these birds from chicks.....or maybe bring in an older bird?

What all and how exactly are you feeding?
It sounds like your australorp may have something that is causing her to waste away. It could be cancer, which is common in hens, or it could be something else, possibly Mareks disease. If you do lose her, I would try to get a necropsy through your state vet to find out what was wrong. The body must be kept cold, but not frozen. Here is a list of state poultry vets including the Barron and Madison locations where you can contact them and ask about prices and how to get a necropsy:
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