Marek's or Genetics?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by bagackkk, Apr 23, 2017.

  1. bagackkk

    bagackkk New Egg

    Apr 23, 2017
    The symptoms suggest Marek's, but I am confused by the randomness, and the fact that it only strikes my Polish. I also have Silkies, Orpington's and Serama's, and have never had any of those show these symptoms, and they are often penned together for grow out. The symptoms I have are:
    1. Hits suddenly between 3-5 months of age.
    2. Wobbly legs, progressing to walking backward, and eventually paralysis with one leg shooting straight forward, or backward.
    3. Dropping wing, and flapping to maintain an upright position.

    With each occurrence I have tried anything I could find on the internet, from antibiotics to supplements. I even thought it may just be head injuries from fighting, since Polish do have a soft spot on their head. But the latest bird is all by himself in a grow out cage, because I was trying to protect him from that. He is 5 months old. Last night he was perfectly fine. This morning he is wobbling and drooping a wing. If I can get him up on his feet, he goes backwards.
    Even with hand feeding and watering, I have never had one bird recover, or even survive, from this. Is it Marek's, or something else. Even genetics would be confusing, since I have 3 small flocks with completely different bloodlines, and get this in youngsters from all 3 pens.
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Flock Master

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Hi [​IMG] Welcome To BYC

    I'm sorry to hear about your losses.

    Unfortunately without testing/necropsy there is no way to really know whether it is Marek's, genetics or some other cause.

    Walking backwards sounds like a neurological symptom that is sometimes seen with Wry Neck. Wry Neck is a symptom of several conditions like Vitamin E deficiency, head injury/trauma and certain diseases like Marek's, Avian Leukosis and respiratory illness. Try providing Vitamin E (400IU daily) along with some poultry vitamins that contain B vitamins ( you can also crush a human B-Complex vitamin and add it to his feed). Give some chopped egg or tuna for Selenium with helps with uptake of Vitamin E.

    Wry Neck


    Necropsy and State labs

    Independent lab testing:

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by