Please help! Chicken cannot stand or walk. Keel protruding. :(

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by nugget08, Oct 15, 2018.

  1. nugget08

    nugget08 Hatching

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    Oct 15, 2018
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    Please help. We have five chickens that are about 2 3/4 years old. One of them cannot stand or walk. It's keel is protruding and she has trouble eating and drinking, she mostly has trouble drinking though. She will only eat her food if it is soaked in water first. One of her legs is pulled back while the other is forward. He comb is not too discolored, it just looks like it has a bit of purple/blue at the tips which may just be from the cold weather. Her poops are a yellowish greenish and don't happen very often. Her toes are also curled up. She can't even sit correctly, she can only sit lop sided. She has trouble keeping her eyes open but they look normal. She has been isolated from the other chickens while this has been going on. This has been going on for a couple of days now, and we are worried these will be her last days. Somebody please help! We are all very worried and scared for her. Is there a broken bone? Does she have Marek's Disease? Is she just sick? What can we feed her to help her get better? (Also, we bought electrolytes to see if it would help. We have also been keeping her very hydrated with giving her 7 milliliters of water every 30 minutes to an hour. )
     
    ButtonquailGirl14 likes this.
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

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    My first thought with a protruding keel is parasites.
    Have a fecal sample read to see what is eating their food in the intestine before they can put on muscle.
     
    puffypoo22 and ButtonquailGirl14 like this.
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

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    Welcome to BYC. How long has she had these symptoms? It does sound like Mareks. Both Mareks and riboflavin deficiency can cause lameness and curling under of the toes. Her inability to eat and the positioning of her legs sounds more like Mareks. Have you had her on poultry vitamins that include riboflavin (B2?) A chicken sling might be good to get her upright and in front of food and water. Sorry you are dealing with this.

    I would advise you to contact your state poultry lab to get a necropsy to look for Mareks if she dies. The body should be prompty refrigerated, not frozen in a plastic bag, and shipped or taken to the lab. The state vet may prefer to deal with a local vet, but that varies state to state. Here is a link that contains contact info for each state:
    http://www.metzerfarms.com/PoultryLabs.cfm
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

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  5. nugget08

    nugget08 Hatching

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    Oct 15, 2018
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    Thank you for responding so quickly. After you suggested Marek's I looked it up. Univ of Maryland Extension has a great Fact Sheet (FS-1007) explaining Marek's. Quite certain it is the Neural Marek's. Love the sling seat for chickens. Slick.
     
  6. Firefoot

    Firefoot Chirping

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    Hey fellow Marylander. I have had two birds this fall with Marek's, one with big subcutaneous tumors and one that presented neurologic and lame. I sent the neurologic one to have a necropsy at the MD Animal Health Lab (I sent her to the one in Frederick but there's also one in Salisbury). The guy I got my newest chickens from earlier this summer said he's been hearing of Marek's all over the place because of the stressful weather we had this summer. The Animal Health Lab actually put my pullet down for me. My husband drove her there in a cat carrier and they dispatched her via cervical dislocation, which I think is quite humane. A friend used the same method on my first Marek's pullet and it was very easy and fast. I sent her in last Wednesday and have full results in today (had preliminary results on Friday). So in case you go this route, the lab is great to deal with, very compassionate, and can put your animal down for you (M-F 8:30-4) if you cannot do it.
     
  7. nugget08

    nugget08 Hatching

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    Thank you so much for responding and for the tips! Yes, I will definitely look into what parasites there are and if there are any.
     
    ButtonquailGirl14 likes this.
  8. nugget08

    nugget08 Hatching

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    Oct 15, 2018
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    Thank You!
     
  9. ButtonquailGirl14

    ButtonquailGirl14 Free Ranging

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    so sorry:(
     
  10. nugget08

    nugget08 Hatching

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    Oct 15, 2018
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    she just died today:( 10/17/18
     

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