not broken leg - Marek's

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Eggsitter, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. Eggsitter

    Eggsitter In the Brooder

    88
    3
    48
    Aug 10, 2012
    southern maine
    New to chicken keeping & I made a stupid mistake. Two of my 3 hens got taken by a hawk, rushed out to get two replacements and ended up w nightmare. Found two on CL and brought home Marek's.
    I should have known better, maybe I can list some of the VERY early clues that I ignored or wrote off & it will be helpful to those hoping it's an injury & not Marek's.
    1. She was floppy. Just floppy everywhere. Like a half filled bean bag.
    2. had NO weight to her
    3. did not see well, couldnt figure out where roost was without a half hour of work.
    4. black, had more white dander than any other chicken
    5. had feather quality issues, quills were not fully covered
    6. was cheerful and sweet to the end
    7. started w a slight limp and by the next day could not bear weight on one leg.
    8. Within a week she was not able to walk or limp around (I took this to be her instinctively resting)
    9. Her appetite was huge. She drank & tweeted to me.
    10 She would doze off and startle awake. She would 'stall out'
    11. Her eyelid then was not working right.
    12. I noticed feather loss on her legs.
    13. She did not show signs of pain when I touched her legs.
    14. She could move her legs, just not stand on them. One leg was worse than the other but both eventually were unusable. I noticed in the sling she would not use the leg I thought was good to adjust herself.
    15. I swear I saw her twist her head completely around 360 degrees.
    16. Her wings became less contolled.
    We put her down on Sunday and limed the yard, bleached everything. We only had her a few weeks. The other hen is also likely infected & exposed my other one I hatched a year ago. These two are past the age for death but are now carriers. Blech. Nightmare.
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    If I were you, I'd send your hen off for necropsy to verify the diagnosis. IF she has been refrigerated this is possible. There are other things that can cause paralysis, etc.

    I am sorry for your loss.

    You know, what you can do is just keep a closed flock and buy some new chicks that have been vaccinated for it. Just move forward and buy your replacements as intended. But with baby chicks they will need to be about the same size as the adults before integration.

    Or try to get some more adult chickens from a good source. I have read that the vaccine prevents tumor formation but not the illness itself...don't know much about it.

    Chin up!!!

    If it were me I'd go ahead and buy new chickens keeping a closed flock. It is quite possible that the other ones will be OK and the new ones will be OK too.

    There are too many things that can take a flock down but if you don't want to cull the remaining part of your flock then get some more!!! [​IMG]

    I would just be prepared to have to put one down if suffering...hopefully this won't happen to you again.
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013
  3. Eggsitter

    Eggsitter In the Brooder

    88
    3
    48
    Aug 10, 2012
    southern maine
    Thanks and you are right, lots of things can be the issue. When I thought her leg was injured I read a ton of info. Saw lots of folks like me. So in retrospect I thought I'd give some of the early early signs I saw. I didnt have an autopsy but pretty sure this was classic Mareks. The dead giveaway was when I read 'they smile til the end' and that was the strangest truest part of this. She was the happiest little thing even though her body was shutting down.
    The one leg going first symptom made me think injury and so I didnt notice the second leg going soon after. Maybe if nothing else I can help if any of these symptoms match. If not oh well. I am sad to lose these three birds. They were delightful.
     
  4. Eggsitter

    Eggsitter In the Brooder

    88
    3
    48
    Aug 10, 2012
    southern maine
    Thanks and you are right, lots of things can be the issue. When I thought her leg was injured I read a ton of info. Saw lots of folks like me. So in retrospect I thought I'd give some of the early early signs I saw. I didnt have an autopsy but pretty sure this was classic Mareks. The dead giveaway was when I read 'they smile til the end' and that was the strangest truest part of this. She was the happiest little thing even though her body was shutting down.
    The one leg going first symptom made me think injury and so I didnt notice the second leg going soon after. Maybe if nothing else I can help if any of these symptoms match. If not oh well. I am sad to lose these three birds. They were delightful.
     
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I am sure that your chickens certainly had a good life and knew they were loved. You loved them so much- it is obvious.
     

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