My sick barred rock sweetheart

Magnum41

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 28, 2014
8
0
7
I need some help please. I have a Plymouth barred rock hen, Wilma, who is approximately 1 yr old and she is exhibiting symptoms of Marek's disease. She doesn't want to stand and when picked up/put down, she will balance herself with a wing. She will eat only the meal worms, not her normal pellets and I'm not sure if she is drinking on her own. I have been assisting her hydration with a dropper full of probiotic water. I've checked to see if she is egg-bound but I did not find any lumps in belly, but I'm not totally sure. I'm rather new to keeping chickens.

I've done some research on this website and others and the Marek's disease seems to fit but I don't want to rule out other possibilities, such as mold poisoning. She has been removed from the flock (9 hens counting her). 6 of the other hens are <6months old but appear healthy on all counts; the older hens too. Wilma is essentially the Queen so it's not likely that she is getting picked on.

These symptoms have been going on for approximately a week now, with no real signs of improvement. However, just last night I noticed she was "gasping" as though she was trying to get some air. I have checked her comb and it looks normal (no bluish tint) and her iris appear red in color, not cloudy. She is my little sweetheart of the bunch so I'm really trying to find some help for her. I understand that some of the Marek's cases last ~5wks so I'm prepared to nurse her along if that's what it takes. One last thing, I have not given her a bath as treatment for being egg-bound but I am willing to do so.

Many thanks!
 

Blackberry18

Songster
Mar 25, 2015
1,803
130
196
Minnesota
I need some help please. I have a Plymouth barred rock hen, Wilma, who is approximately 1 yr old and she is exhibiting symptoms of Marek's disease. She doesn't want to stand and when picked up/put down, she will balance herself with a wing. She will eat only the meal worms, not her normal pellets and I'm not sure if she is drinking on her own. I have been assisting her hydration with a dropper full of probiotic water. I've checked to see if she is egg-bound but I did not find any lumps in belly, but I'm not totally sure. I'm rather new to keeping chickens.

I've done some research on this website and others and the Marek's disease seems to fit but I don't want to rule out other possibilities, such as mold poisoning. She has been removed from the flock (9 hens counting her). 6 of the other hens are <6months old but appear healthy on all counts; the older hens too. Wilma is essentially the Queen so it's not likely that she is getting picked on.

These symptoms have been going on for approximately a week now, with no real signs of improvement. However, just last night I noticed she was "gasping" as though she was trying to get some air. I have checked her comb and it looks normal (no bluish tint) and her iris appear red in color, not cloudy. She is my little sweetheart of the bunch so I'm really trying to find some help for her. I understand that some of the Marek's cases last ~5wks so I'm prepared to nurse her along if that's what it takes. One last thing, I have not given her a bath as treatment for being egg-bound but I am willing to do so.

Many thanks!
So sorry about your hen! I also have quite a few chickens (including Barred Rocks) that I feel especially attached to. Mine starting acting similar to this, and so I had an autopsy done, and they ended up having tapeworm and roundworm. How long has she been acting like this? Does she seem to be losing weight at all? How does she act, mellow? If it is a tapeworm or some other intestinal parasite, then I recommend getting some dewormer (Ivermectin or other). I dewormed mine as soon as I found out, and they got better almost immediately, and starting laying a couple weeks later again.
 

Magnum41

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 28, 2014
8
0
7
She has been acting this way for about a week now. She is very mellow, and will occasionally cluck at me when I approach. Keep in mind the she is normally very vocal. Just last night while externally checking for egg binding, she pecked me (and yes it hurt a little which I'm taking as a good sign). Today, about an hour ago, I went ahead and gave her a warm bath since I figured it wouldn't hurt. I also check her for egg binding via her vent but couldn't feel anything. This hasn't changed anything as of now. I just finished giving her some water manually with an eye dropper and then placed her in the house in a warm, dry, dark place. As for the tapeworm suggestion, I will definitely give it a try. Ivermectin is a horse wormer. Is there a proper dose for a chicken? Thanks again.
 

Blackberry18

Songster
Mar 25, 2015
1,803
130
196
Minnesota
She has been acting this way for about a week now. She is very mellow, and will occasionally cluck at me when I approach. Keep in mind the she is normally very vocal. Just last night while externally checking for egg binding, she pecked me (and yes it hurt a little which I'm taking as a good sign). Today, about an hour ago, I went ahead and gave her a warm bath since I figured it wouldn't hurt. I also check her for egg binding via her vent but couldn't feel anything. This hasn't changed anything as of now. I just finished giving her some water manually with an eye dropper and then placed her in the house in a warm, dry, dark place. As for the tapeworm suggestion, I will definitely give it a try. Ivermectin is a horse wormer. Is there a proper dose for a chicken? Thanks again.
You're right. Ivermectin isn't usually for chickens, but it's still a good dewormer. I recommend using a half water - half Ivermectin solution and apply it with a brush under the wings, under the vent, and under the feathers on the neck. You can also check a local farm store for chicken dewormers.
 

Magnum41

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 28, 2014
8
0
7
Update: So I completed the Ivermectin treatment as suggested with application under her vent, under each wing, and behind the neck/between the shoulders. While she hasn't made any dramatic improvement, she has stopped the gasping. However she is still just laying around. She is eating some of the Happy Hen's Treats mealworms but not very much. I haven't found any new poop either some I'm growing more concerned. Should I wait a little longer or trying worming her via the Wazine wormer?
 

Magnum41

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 28, 2014
8
0
7
It has been over 48hrs now since the Ivermectin treatment. There has been very minor improvements where I found her drinking by herself, yet other times I find her face down in the bin and she can't right herself. I'm wondering if she didn't have a stroke. When I pick her up, her left side reacts normally, yet her right side, she won't move her wing or leg very much. She doesn't stare off into the distance like others I've read about....she just lays there all puffed up. Not sure what to do next. I don't imagine she has much longer before she signs off permanently.
 

bantyhen

Chirping
6 Years
May 20, 2013
292
10
81
North Carolina
She could have something like bronchitis if she is wheezing. I had a hen that wheezed a lot so I gave her apple cider vinegar in her water and that seemed to help. She got better
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Magnum41

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 28, 2014
8
0
7
Thank you for all the help. However she is now with Jesus. I appreciate all the effort.
 

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