New to chickens, especially sick ones

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ASanchez, May 24, 2019.

  1. ASanchez

    ASanchez Hatching

    May 24, 2019
    I've only had chickens for about 6 months, when we inherited a flock that was here at the house we bought. We had 4 older girls (4-5yrs?) and 4 younger ones (2?) I built a nice yard for them and a larger, more weather proof coop than what they had, and moved them all in. Everybody was happy until my brother's dog came over.. long story short, now we have 6 chickens. The attack was back at Easter, so I assumed everyone had gotten over the stress of it, but then last week one of the older girls went lame overnight.

    She was fine one day, and the next she couldn't walk and the tips of her comb were purple. I isolated her in a large kennel, found some mites/lice, treated the whole flock for that with permethrin, and gave the sick one electrolytes and meal worms. She wouldn't eat or drink (except dropper fed) for abt. 3 days. Then she started to eat and drink and began to perk back up. Her comb reddened a lot (still slightly purple on tips) and her spirits are up. Now she wants to scratch and behaves mostly normally, but still can't take more than 4 or 5 steps before flopping back down. She's super weak and has had bright green poop this whole time.

    I know it sounds like Marek's, but is it possible it's worms? I don't see any in her poop or the other girls'. I can't take anything to the vet (which I know makes diagnosis hard). I'm just looking for experienced opinions on this.. if it's time to put her down we can do that, but I need to tell my kiddos that I tried everything I could before we go that route. The rest of the flock seems perfectly normal, and these chickens were raised here on this property, if that helps. Any advice welcome!
  2. AmyJane725

    AmyJane725 Songster

    Feb 22, 2019
    Western WA
    Good luck. I hope someone here can help your old girl.
    ASanchez likes this.
  3. Hencraze24

    Hencraze24 Songster

    May 9, 2019
    Sussex, WI
    :( Sorry. This is beyond my experience. you may have to put her to sleep if she can't get better.
    ASanchez likes this.
  4. Trux

    Trux Crowing

    Mar 26, 2018
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    The stress of the attack could possibly have brought on Mareks symptoms if she had the virus in her body. That said, Mareks is best diagnosed after death with a necropsy by your state poultry vet or lab.

    Since I have seen an old hen suddenly lose balance,and not be able to walk for more than 3 steps before falling backward or sideways, and now is recovered, I would wait and see what happens. Give her food and water, and try some B complex or poultry vitamins in her food or water, and see how she gets along. She may get better, or she might get worse. When on stops eating and drinking, even when tempting with scrambled egg or tuna, then I will cull them. I have not had Mareks in my flock so far, but after having a dog kill two chickens, I would see if she is having symptoms from an injury or possibly showing signs of a reproductive disorder.
    If she should die and the symtoms had persisted, contact your state vet here for a necropsy, but remember to promptly refrigerate—not freeze—the body:
  6. annaBsChick

    annaBsChick Songster

    Nov 24, 2014
    Herndon, VA
  7. ASanchez

    ASanchez Hatching

    May 24, 2019
    Thank you! I was able to contact the old owner of this particular bird and she turned out to just be very, very old. I really appreciate all of your help on this forum! And I'm glad it 'probably' wasn't Mareks.

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