Off balance chickens!! Need ideas!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by em530, Sep 24, 2016.

  1. em530

    em530 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everyone I have a silkie approx 1.5 years old, she was born unable to walk but we corrected with splints and cardboard shoes, after that she has been completely normal up until now?!! A few days ago the was slight shaking of the head which then progressed to a head tremor with intermittent falling over now she struggles to walk more than 5/6 steps with out completely falling over, I have her separated, she has been wormed and is regularly checked for mites she has also been treated for cocci and is now on vitamins, nothing seems to be helping and I have no idea what it could be? I let the chickens out this morning now I seem to have a youngster showing the first signs (just slightly of balance) these chickens are our pets and Iam mortified at the prospect that this could be something that wipes them out [​IMG] Does anyone have any ideas?
     
  2. 0wen

    0wen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Were your birds vaccinated for Marek's Disease at hatch?

    A couple of links on Marek's in my signature and you can find a lot of information on it by searching here and on google. Silkie's have a reputation for being especially vulnerable to Marek's but really - once it finds your flock, the news is never good. I would isolate your sick birds and start thinking about giving your coop a good cleaning. If it is Marek's - you'll know it soon enough. Most state Veterinarians will perform a necropsy free of charge to confirm...
     
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  3. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Indeed paralysis in legs most likely mareks
     
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  4. em530

    em530 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you that is something I have considered but I'm hoping it's not, i have been checking on them throughout the day and the youngster seems fine now, which is strange, my older hen however is still in a bad way, she is perky but just unable to get very far I thinks she feels vulnerable so is choosing to sit in her house with only a few attempts To come out and have a peck around, her legs seem to work ok but her head doesn't, it flickers from side to side which then in turn I think makes her fall over, is this something associated with mareks? Are there any other signs symptoms I can look out for? Thank you for your help
     
  5. em530

    em530 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    And no only 2 of my entire flock have been vaccinated for mareks. All my silkies, sablepoots and bantams have not, weekly I completely empty the coop, steam clean and then disinfect it, I also steam clean all feeders and drinkers etc im doing it again today. I really hope it's not mareks [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
  6. MasterOfClucker

    MasterOfClucker Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Last edited: Sep 24, 2016
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  7. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I don't have Silkies, but they can have head tremors/neurological disorders because of the way their skull is shaped. It's possible that it could be Marek's, but her age 1 1/2 yrs., would make me investigate other avenues. Even chicks can look like they have Marek's, but sometimes vitamin deficiencies, genetic/neurological/developmental disorders may be the cause.

    Offer her some poultry vitamins (make sure it has B vitamins) in her water, make sure she is staying hydrated. Wet feed would also be good, add some extra protein like egg, tuna, mackerel or meat.

    Other possibilities due to her age would be egg binding or internal laying/reproductive disorders. This can affect the legs and balance as well.

    Silkies:
    https://poultrykeeper.com/blog/diseases-common-to-silkies/
    http://www.browneggblueegg.com/Article/HoleInHead.html

    Marek's - great detailed article explain Marek's - also list some deficiencies/illnesses that "mimics" Marek's - long but worth a read.
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq
     
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  8. em530

    em530 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for your help Iam going to have a good read through all the information, the young chicken that seemed wobbly this morning when first let out seems perfectly fine now which is very strange, I have put all the chickens on vitamins today hopefully that will help if they are lacking something, I did originally think the older hen looks brain damaged but I didn't know how that would have happened unless the cockerel has pecked her head too hard, I don't know whether this amounts to anything but her poop is quite yellow/green as opposed to the normal white/brown, I checked her over earlier and can't seem to find anything, the only thing that seemed different was the posture of her neck and that her feathers and skin seem extremely dry, not soft like usual??
     
  9. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    In my limited understanding of Silkies, their skull is very fragile so a peck or bump on the head can definitely cause some problems.

    Can you post a photo of the poop and her posture - how she is standing/laying down - or a video?
    Does she normally lay eggs - I know they are not prolific layers, but does she lay any and when was the last time?
    How does her abdomen feel - hard, soft, fluid filled, normal, etc.?
     
  10. em530

    em530 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes I will get some pics and try get a video too, she hasn't layed an egg for a while as she had chicks 10/11 weeks ago so she was broody before that and hasn't layed since, i will go out and check her shortly to feel abdomen [​IMG]
     

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