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Mareks? Young Hen, paralyzed, very tired, not eating, ruffled feathers

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chicken Dreams, Dec 22, 2010.

  1. Chicken Dreams

    Chicken Dreams In the Brooder

    Dec 22, 2010
    I have three chickens (originally four) buff orp, new hamp, silver laced wyan, barred rock. three months ago the barred rock became paralyzed at 5 months and progressivly got worse (a week). she had to be killed. i thought the death was mareks but i was told by the hatchery that the parents were immunized, making the chicks immune as well. Is that true?

    now the wyandotte is paralyzed too, but this came on suddenly, about two days. head isn't twisted but it is tucked close to the body. poop has been regular but once it was a white creamish diaharrea. she is also very tired, just sitting on her hocks sleeping. this morning she was on her side. thought she was dead but she's holding on. been frantically searching for answers: mareks? vitamin deficientcy? botulism? please any info is welcome

    the three girls live in a small coop with pine shavings, eat Purina Layena feed, access to grit, about half cup of corn every other day, fresh water. did range but grass is dead.
    buff orp is still laying 5 eggs a week. new hamp is molting. thought wyan was but maybe its worms.

    weather has been snow snow snow and cold dipping to freezing at night. their yard is either frozen or muddy. lots of leaves from the tree on the ground.

    she is isolated from the others in the garage. water and feed is available. won't eat much anymore.

    update: took her out of her box and let her sit on a towel on the ground. ate quite a bit wont drink. stood very wobbly for a few seconds! talking a bit. poop was normal

    thanks everybody who's read this blurb. its nice to know there are other chicken lovers out there [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2010

  2. RedRoosterFarm

    RedRoosterFarm **LOVE MY SERAMAS**

    Mar 25, 2010
    Eatonville, Washington
    When I delt with Mareks it was at around 5 months old. 1 leg would go straight out in front. Then they got weaker and died. I vaccinate for it now but my vet said that 5% can still get it after vaccinations.Maybe vitimans?B and E. Give it a try?? Good luck and hope its a simple fix.
  3. clayhill

    clayhill Songster

    Nov 17, 2008
    Lee County, Arkansas
    I've never heard of chicks being safe from Marek's just because their parents received the vaccine. Chicks should be given the vaccine at 1-2 days old, and yes, the vaccine is not 100% effective (said to be 95% though). I, too have lost chickens to Marek's and don't plan to introduce any more to my flock without the vaccine.
  4. Chicken Dreams

    Chicken Dreams In the Brooder

    Dec 22, 2010
    yes i thought the actual chick had to be immunized not just the parents.

    is it common for a 8 month old hen to actually become sick with mareks?

    i am thinking it might be something else as she can stand a little on one leg just not the other. one foot is curled as well, but i can straighten it.
    maybe a vitamin deficiency but she eats layena.
  5. Molbaygun

    Molbaygun Chirping

    Oct 4, 2008
    New Milford, CT
    I am going through the same thing. Over the past few months, I have lost 2 of my girls (all from Tractor Supply). They were about 6 months old. They were 2 black sexlinked and currently one of my brown leg horns is going through the same thing. The symptoms that you describe are the same. They all slowly lost their balance and I removed each one. Their feet curled under and their legs would straighten out. Currently my brown girls head droops to the side and I will sit her up so that she can eat (which she dies minimally) and I dip my finger in the water and get her to drink. SOmetimes she will sit there with her head up and then flop over. She is losing weight fast. I have the heat lamp on her to keep her warm since we live in CT. She will not last long and I am most likely going to bring her to my vet to have her humanely euthanized on Tuesday. I hate this suffering. I am not understanding why it's my TSC girls though. I'm guessing because they didn't vaccinate them - but then reading about the vaccination and that is not 100% effective either. I have girls that I've gotten from friends that are 5 years old and they are doing well! It makes no sense to me. So sad though. I get attached to my girls.
  6. TajMahalChickens

    TajMahalChickens Songster

    Mar 22, 2010
    is it common for a 8 month old hen to actually become sick with mareks?

    My 8 month old buttercup rooster died of Mareks in November. So yes, 8 month old birds can get Mareks. Not sure if it is common, but it is possible.

    Can you post any pics? That would be much more helpful to see if it is actually mareks.

    if it is mareks, their is no cure, and the bird should be destroyed as to not spread it to other birds.

    I know this seems awful and inhumane, but it is probably the best thing you can do.

    [​IMG] Sorry about the whole situation. It is never easy.​
  7. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Crowing

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY
    I'd go with a vitamin/electrolyte regimen for a few days, or possibly children's vitamin drops.

    Also, a vitmain deficiency can look like Marek's, I've been through it and I did the vitamin routine. It did take a awhile, two weeks, but she got back to normal.
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2010

  8. RedfogsFlock

    RedfogsFlock Songster

    Jan 17, 2010
    Wittmann, AZ
    I'm surprised that you all have had hens at 5 months with mareks? Everything i've researched on it say it doesn't show up till between 6 to 8 months of age?

    I've had chickens vaccinated against it and still get it. I've had chickens not vaccinated against it and live. I thought if you bought babies from a hatchery they were already vaccinated? As for vaccinations, the chick has to be vaccinated I thought? Wow another trip on the internet hiway to find the answer huh? lol

    I've had chickens with mareks show different signs. I've had them with leg paralysis, and some without. I've had some with the jerks, and some without. BUt one thing all my chickens did have was their wings! Their wings would droop a little at their sides.

    It's good to know about mareks actually affecting chickens as young as 5 months tho! I've lost 8 this year to mareks all were 7 months old when they started showing signs. I tried the using the hypericum pills too with no luck. ;(

    I wish you luck!
  9. Molbaygun

    Molbaygun Chirping

    Oct 4, 2008
    New Milford, CT
    The vitamin supplement...is that Poly Visol? I'll head over to CVS tomorrow and see if I can get it there.

    I'm on day 2 with the Hypericum pills and so far I am not sure if it's doing anything or not. I'll continue for the week and see what happens. To me she seems to be moving around alot more by pushing with her feet. She ends up on her side so I have to sit her up. I have her isolated in the shed in a rabbit cage with the heat lamp. She is eating well and when I put the food in front of her she devours it. Scrambled eggs today were inhaled. I give her water with the syringe and the pill dissolved in it 2X a day. She fights me at first but then relaxes after the first couple of drops.

    Not sure what to think but I will try to save her and if it doesn't work then I've already talked to my vet about euthanasia. I want to give it my best shot though and see if I can help her.
  10. Chicken Dreams

    Chicken Dreams In the Brooder

    Dec 22, 2010
    Hey Everybody thanks for the advice

    I read a bit and someone suggested mites so i did a head to toes to vent check

    and viola! gross little lice and mites making my girl bleed [​IMG]

    Thank goodness it wasn't mareks and tomorrow is a trip to D and B!

    Now, it the road to recovery for Rue [​IMG]

    Thanks again

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