Please help with a Child's sick Chicken - possibly Marek's?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by elliemae0, Jun 17, 2009.

  1. elliemae0

    elliemae0 Hatching

    Jun 17, 2009
    Please share your expert advice with me! We have a small flock 39 chicken flock, and have been back-yard farmers for over 2 years now. 9 are over 1 year old, the rest came to us this past spring. We purchased 12 from a well-known hatchery, and then my husband and I agreed to take on some additional chicks for a friend who was having personal problems. My daughter, who is 7, quickly fell in love with one of our friend's, which was a Bantam Cochin (white, with Black Spots). Precious chicken! Well, over the last two days we've noticed a significant change in "Lovey's" behavior. She walks almost like she's drunk, can't seem to control her wings (at times, they almost act like their broken), though I'm sure they're not!) She lays on our lap, and shuts her eyes..... "Falls" (as far as a bantam can fall) every few steps. Our first thought was "a neurological problem". My husband believes it's been going on for awhile, just getting worse. We started searching, and came across Marek's disease, and while I'm not an expert, it sure sounds like that's what it is. I didn't notice the eyes gray, though. My question is, do we need to go ahead and put the chicken down or can she recover from this - we're confused by everything we read. We don't want my daughter to have to watch her go through paralysis, etc., if this disease gets degeneratively worse because she's already emotionally attached to it, but if she can recover, we would certainly like to keep her. Also, am I understanding correctly that the other chickens, (while most likely exposed) may not be at risk for getting it, and that our older chickens will probably be fine?

    Forgive me for my ignorance, but we've never had a chicken disease, never had a chicken die, and this is new to us. Thank you for your help!
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2009
  2. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Songster

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    I don't have advice for you about Marek's, but if you will change your title to indicate that you're asking about Marek's you will more quickly get the right answers from the people who are familiar with the disease.

    I'm really sorry that you're going through this.

    Marek's sounds awful. [​IMG]
  3. mom2chicksandpups

    mom2chicksandpups Songster

    Apr 18, 2009
    Southeast Alabama
    I don't know anything about Marek's, but I wanted to share an experience with you.

    I have an EE chick (about a month old) who was walking like she was drunk, falling over to one side, falling on her back, etc. I was honestly ready to put her down, even though she is very sweet. I begged my husband to do the deed for me because I am attached to her and he is not. She is "my" chicken. He didn't have the heart after picking her up and seeing how sweet she is, so he talked me into separating her in an empty brooder for a couple of days. After being separated, she is now up on her feet and running around like normal with the others.

    I don't know what was wrong with her, but it was getting worse because the others were stomping all over her and knocking her down. After we separated her and gave her some time to rest, she is fine now. I was mad at myself for even considering putting her down, but we had this happen once with another that died and I was sure the same would happen to her.

    Maybe you should try separating this one and giving it a little time to rest. It's at least worth a try. It will cry at first when you put it somewhere by itself, but it seems to help to put a stuffed animal with it so it has something to cuddle up to. Good luck!
  4. elliemae0

    elliemae0 Hatching

    Jun 17, 2009
    Thanks, I'll try! BB
  5. elliemae0

    elliemae0 Hatching

    Jun 17, 2009
    mom2chicksandpups - What a great idea. Would you believe I have a stuffed-animal birthday party business...... That's a terrific idea! I'm going to go put one with her now (We separated her tonight, and she's on the back porch!!
  6. wolfee

    wolfee Hatching

    Jun 5, 2009
    I posted almost the same thing 3 weeks ago about my silkie...

    My chicken gradually became uncoordinated to the point that she couldn't get up on her feet at all. I also thought she had Mareks. During the last 3 weeks, there were a couple of times where I thought, "This is it..." But miraculously, she's getting better. Slowly, but better nonetheless.

    At first I had her on anti-biotics I got from the feed store. Then I was lucky enough to have a friend who is a friend of a vet. Although he isn't an avian vet, he took the time to research the symptoms and we put her on a stronger anti-biotic (Ciprofloxacn 250mg) I dilute one pill with 9.5cc of water and give her .5cc twice a day. She is now standing and taking a few wobbly steps. I also put her back on the chickstart crumbles as it has more vitamins even though she is about 6 months old at this point. If I could find a water-soluble vitamin for chickens, I would be giving her that. I tried Poly-vi-sol, but wasn't convinced it was doing her good, so I stopped. None of my other chickens (and they all were in close contact with her) show any symptoms.

    One thing you need to be wary of - she probably can't eat and drink enough on her own to sustain herself. Even now that she's regained some movement, I still take the water and food to my hen periodically.

    These people here at this site are wonderful with great advise. I hope both our chickies make it. Good luck and keep us posted!
  7. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

    Jan 11, 2007
    IF it is Mareks , she will either recover or not... you have different forms of it and the "grey eye" is one...
    How long ago was the move to your house from your friends? a move can be very stressful for a bird and they will often stop eating and drinking sufficiently and become weak in the adjustment period. You can order AviaCharge 2000 from McMurry which is an excellent complet and balanced daily nutritional/vit supplement .
    >separate and monitor if she is drinking sufficiently (you can put electrolytes in her waterer for three days if you suspect dehydration)
    >you do not say exactly how old this chick is and if she is (or has been) on medicated starter (for cocci)
    >offer (free choice) live culture (non-flavored) yogurt
    these are basic support measures that often make a world of differnce.

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