Pecking your brain....Hens with neurological deficits

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MupMac, Oct 22, 2019.

  1. MupMac

    MupMac Hatching

    Oct 22, 2019
    My youngest son has an interest in poultry and he has been keeping a small flock for the past two years. He started with a couple of silkies and chocolate Orpingtons.
    This past spring a friend got him a dozen Amerucanas eggs for hatching and incubated them. He managed to have 4 hens and 2 roosters from the clutch. We raised them from day old and they have become very friendly curious and beloved chickens. At about 12 weeks one hen developed what I thought was wry neck and we have her supplements, feeding her with a dropper and by hand but she did not recover and died after about a month of intensive care.
    We noticed about 8 weeks ago one of the hens developed scissor beak. We were making sure she was getting a little extra attention because she took longer to eat.
    Then one of his roosters died suddenly through the night. He didn’t appear to be at all sick.
    Over the past couple weeks the hen with the scissor beak has declined. She was less mobile and not able to roost with the others. We took her out of the coop and again supplemented her with high protein and electrolytes and extra love. Sadly she died today.
    I have looked up Mareks disease but from what I gather it is usually very devastating for a flock. He has other chickens that he has raised from small and haven’t been vaccinated and are living in the same environment without issue.
    I wonder if anyone has experienced similar situations. Could it be a genetic condition with this particular clutch of eggs we got? Are some breeds more susceptible to neurological conditions ?
    Any words of advice or insight? I have a broken hearted 10 year old and we are trying to make sense of it.
  2. MysteryChicken

    MysteryChicken Crowing

    May 31, 2018
    East, Tawas Michigan
  3. MysteryChicken

    MysteryChicken Crowing

    May 31, 2018
    East, Tawas Michigan
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Enabler

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Welcome To BYC

    I'm sorry for your loss and heartache:hugs
    What do you feed?

    Sadly, without a necropsy it would be hard to know what's affecting your chicks.
    I hope you don't lose any more, but if you do, consider sending the body to your state lab for more information.

    Wry Neck is a symptom and some common causes are Marek's disease, vitamin E/B1 deficiency, trauma to the head and sometimes genetics.

    Scissor beak can be from a number of things as well - genetics, malposition in the egg and improper temp/humidity during incubation. Sometimes a bird with scissor beak may have other developmental issues that arise as they grow/mature.

    Marek's can affect chickens in various ways, it's complicated and frustrating, so it's a possibility this could be what you are dealing with. There is no real treatment, trying to manage symptoms with vitamin therapy seems to be what most people do.

    Here's a good article about Marek's.

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