possible mareks or botulism not sure


9 Years
Jan 22, 2011
i had a 1 year old americauna hen that i recieved free from someone that also gave me a rooster for free. they both seemed healthy and generally great. but after about 2 months the hen seemed very depressed and a little lethargic so i brought her into the house in a dog crate with bedding of straw and plenty of food and water. iwas also giving her lettuce and shredded carrot as a treat, she was eating fine and i thought she was better, i would let her out of the cage to walk daily and i noticed she was walking with her foot not opening all the way and she would trip. she could run, but she still would trip frequently. i thought i made her condition worse by caging her up so i put her back outside in the barn with the rooster and my 6 ducks who all seem fine, no symptoms, so she could stretch out or just be with the others again so she's not lonely. anyway, 4 days passed and her condition is the same her symptoms were white diarrhea, slight leg paralysis, lethargy, ruffled feathers, head held close to body and she held her body in an upward stance and would hang out in the back of the barn but would follow the others outside into the run. on the fifth day i thought maybe she had parasites but i didnt see anything on her body. she ate a little and drank a little and the next day i went to buy antiparasitic meds as well as antibiotic that i thought would help her based on symptoms. only to find the next morning she passed away already. i went ahead and medicated the others with only one dose and your suppose to use the meds daily for 5 days. im not sure what she had but if someone could give me some insight into the mareks and botulism which i thought might be what she had. should i continue medicating the others or just watch for any symptoms first. the barn does have mice and i have seen a couple possums, one we were able to relocate, but the other i have seen tracks, but no tracks or signs of it lately. i know wild animals carry the botulism and other diseases but im not really sure what to do in this situation. any help or advice would be great. thanks.
Sorry for your loss. A lot has gone on in the past few weeks I assume so I don't think you will be able to find out what happened to her. I will give you some ideas of what I think:

Malnutrition, especially vitamin B causing the curled toes. Were you feeding her a balanced laying mix?

Being cooped up and not able to walk could have caused a kink in her intestines.

In a cage in the back of the barn by herself is a lot of stress for any animal.

She could have mites or lice and they could have just sucked the life right out of her.

Please Please Please Everyone*****Unless you know exactly what infection you are fighting do not give antibiotics. I can't stress that enough. In the long run we are only making our flocks more susceptible to more diseases because WE misuse the antibiotics****

It could have been any number of things. If this happens again drop us a line and hopefully we can get a handle on it sooner and help.

Relocate or kill the opossum and make sure you kill all the mice. When mice pee and poop in the chicken feed and th4 chickens eat the food it can make the chicken sick. Also your ducks with their food. Mice are not healthy to have around humans either.
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