Mysterious sick chicken - can anybody suggest anything??

choptrack

Hatching
11 Years
Oct 10, 2008
2
0
7
We are new to owning chickens, we only bought 6 hens about 3 months ago
at around 22 weeks of age. Most have been healthy, happy and laying eggs (which is
the good part) but one of the girls is not doing as well.
We took her to the vet and she has given us antibiotics for a sore leg the chicken has.
symptoms: not eating, not drinking, lethargic, sore leg, not laying eggs, small and pale comb.
positive signs: alert, chirps, no physical signs of illness, no fleas or mites, can stand up.
She is in no sign of pain, does not cry or chirp much, only started having yellow runny poo
a few hours after we gave her first dose of antibiotics, before that, poo looked normal.
The 5 other chickens are perfectly happy, healthy and eat plenty.

Extra info: They have a large chicken coop with indoor nesting boxes and roost, with an
indoor/outdoor chicken run with lots of roaming space and an extra run for scratching around
in the dirt.

I'd appreciate any suggestions or thoughts. We are very worried.

- Thanks in advance!!
 
Last edited:

FarmerDenise

Songster
12 Years
Apr 21, 2007
810
1
149
Sonoma County
She might have Marek's disease. Lameness is one of the major signs. Once they have it, there isn't much you can do.
I have lost quite a few birds to Marek's this year. Some of mine got lethargic, didn't eat right and/or had trouble breathing. Some seemed kind of listless one day and were dead the next. It is something chickens can come down with in their first year and it is very contagious.
You might want to do a search here to get more info.

I hope it is not Marek's, for your sake and your chicken's.
 

choptrack

Hatching
11 Years
Oct 10, 2008
2
0
7
I have heard of that, and have looked it up. It is just so hard to tell. She doesn't seem to have breathing difficulties and doesn't cough, wheeze or have any flu like symptoms. She stands up, or sits down and is wide awake and alert, just doesn't have the energy to move much.

We have isolated her so hopefully none of the other chickens will catch whatever she has.

Thanks for your help.
 

FarmerDenise

Songster
12 Years
Apr 21, 2007
810
1
149
Sonoma County
Your welcome. And I really hope it is not Marek's.
We lost eight chickens so far this year. We had necropsies done, so we know what they died from.
I did have a chicken, who limped and was a bit lethargic a year ago and the vet suggested that she might have calcium deficiency (she was more than a year old, so the vet didn't think she had Marek's.) She got the same feed as all the others, plus I gave them cottage cheese and yogurt. We started giving her crushed eggshell and she got better. So we figured, she probably just didn't process the other forms of calcium very well.
Good luck
 

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