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Not Marek's

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by olivianic, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. olivianic

    olivianic Hatching

    Jan 17, 2017
    I have a Polish, named Peep Peep, that was two months old and started to limp. Within two weeks, both legs and feet were paralyzed. They splayed. I suspected Marek’s although she had been vaccinated when she was one day old. The breeder said that although she was vaccinated, in rare cases, it could manifest itself. None of her six sisters had symptoms. She wanted to stay with the other chickens although I would find her hiding from them. I isolated her by taking her in the house and putting her on towels in a box. I took her to an avian vet, who took x-rays. There were no breaks. He gave me a liquid painkiller and said to come back in two weeks. He also said she was too skinny. I tried to feed her as much as I could but she seemed to get worse. I didn’t want her to be in pain. A friend recommended another vet. I cried all the way to the vet, thinking we would have to put my poor chicken down. The vet gave me liquid vitamins and steroids in pill form. She said to keep feeding her, especially greens. She also said to massage the bottoms of her feet and try to get her to put them on a table as if she was walking. I was on a mission. I purchased baby food, mostly greens although she loved sweet potatoes. Nothing spicy or with dried onions as per the vet. We also made a sling for her (Cloth clamped to a plastic bin. It had three holes – two legs and one for her vent). The sling allowed her feet to slightly touch the bottom of the bin. I had multiple cloths as they were often soiled. Both of her feet were shriveled. We made splints but they were a disaster. Peep was very sad but I would talk to her and she would quietly coo. I put a pillow in the box with the towels so that she would have something very soft to sleep on. My husband thought I was nuts and everyone said to put her down. Every day, I was torn because I did not want her to suffer. I fed her babyfood with a spoon five times a day. I was afraid to syringe feed her because I didn’t want to send the food down her mouth the wrong way and choke her. Vitamins and steroids (one/eighth of a pill, crushed) were always given with food. She also loved organic sandwich bread dipped in water. In addition to sipping water, this helped keep her hydrated. I would hold her and massage the bottoms of her feet. She wasn’t always docile and would try to fly out of my arms and the sling. After several weeks, she started to push herself out of the sling using one of her feet. Two more weeks and she was able to jump out using her left foot. Her right remained paralyzed and just hung sideways. All she wanted to do was hang out in the grass outside. She would say peep peep and I would answer her peep peep and we would go back and forth talking -- hence her name. As she got stronger, she started to walk and dragged her right foot like a clubbed foot. She was fearful of the other chickens as they would peck at her. A doctor came to my house for dinner and said she had a friend who rehabbed chickens. She said to keep massaging her feet and gently flex them with my thumb in the center of her foot. Another week went by and when I took Peep outside, she flew out of my arms and landed properly on both feet. I was ecstatic! She still dragged her right floor but it was promising. After another week, she stood on her right foot and walked with a limp. After another, week no limp at all! Peep is smaller than her sisters and is not aggressive as they are when it comes to food. I think she had a vitamin B deficiency. Food was always plentiful when she was younger but somehow something went awry. It was easy to think that this was Mareks. Please contact me if you ever have any questions about what I did. [email protected]
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
    3 people like this.

  2. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    What a lovely success story! I'm so glad your patience and dedication were rewarded!
  3. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

    May 19, 2009
    Amazing, I sent a note and flagged this post, I hope someone reads it and makes this post a stickie over on the ER thread. What a wonderful journey of faith and success!
  4. hailstorm97

    hailstorm97 In the Brooder

    Jan 14, 2017
    Amazing. Adding this to my bookmarks :) Thanks for sharing.

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