Please help! Pullet limping briefly after dirt bath - is it Marek's?


Jul 16, 2019
I'm new to chickens and one of my 7wk old Appenzeller Spitzhaubens has twice taken a very long dirt bath/ hang out session in a large potted plant. She seems happy and content while doing this, but both times I had gotten all the other birds back in the coop and ended up picking her up because she was still hanging out and flicking dirt on herself. When I set her down she was wobbly and kind of falling and then limped for maybe 10 seconds, then appeared to be absolutely fine. When this just happened the second time I realized it's not a fluke, but she has no other symptoms of anything. Her skin looks fine, her eyes look fine, etc, etc.

I want to act quickly to support the health of the other birds, but I don't really know what I'm looking at or for. Could there be another cause for this behavior? If she's not sick, I'm reluctant to isolate her and stress her. Please tell me what to do!
Can you try to capture it on video next time? My girls seem a little off when they first get out of the dustbath, but it stops when they shake the dirt out. I wouldn’t worry too much just yet.

Thanks so much. That's good to hear. :yesss:Basically all google results lead to Marek's and some mention of dust bathing chickens acting weird, but nothing about limping after. And, yes, I will definitely be ready to get video. When it happened yesterday I thought maybe it was some kind of tranced out dirt bath wonkyness, but when it happened again, basically falling/rolling over and then limping I got really worried! Perhaps by interrupting her bath she's not neurologically back on all cylinders? She's 100% in every way aside from this. Here's to hoping she's just a bit peculiar. :fl:oops:
For posterity: everyone seems fine! I haven't seen this behavior since and haven't seen anything of concern from any of my birds. So if you are new to chickens and have seen your chick flopping over and limping after a dust bath and google brought you here, it might, like mine, just be an odd moment. :idunno
Good to know!!! I wanted to get video of it, but I really haven't seen it since. Pretty disturbing to be new to chickens and have a bird falling and rolling over multiple times when you set her down. Every day when I look out and still have 12 healthy birds, I kinda can't believe it. :yesss::lau

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