Pullet cannot walk & now has loose poo

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Erica_H, May 25, 2017.

  1. Erica_H

    Erica_H New Egg

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    So here is the backstory. None of my pullets would use their roost. They liked to pile up in a big pile on top of a very low table.

    One of my Dominiquers (jelly bean) was limping about a week ago. I figured she hurt her leg in the pile. She was still walking but had a limp. She has continued to gradually get worse. Not wanting to move but able to walk when encouraged

    About four days ago one of my leg horns didn't come out when I opened the run door. I went to investigate and her left leg seemed to be really bothering her. She had trouble standing. Now, she cannot walk at all or stand and her legs just sprawl out whichever way she falls and she has running poo.

    Both are still eating and drinking. Both have big appetites still.

    I'm worried unnamed leghorn has something more than a hurt leg going on. Idk. I examined both legs and feet. She can move them but it seems to be hard or painful.

    I've been scrambling eggs for them and mixing herbs, scrambled eggs, egg shells, grit, scratch and grower feed up and locking the others out and allowing the two injuries ones to eat and drink.

    I'm at a loss. Any ideas?
     
  2. KikisGirls

    KikisGirls I'll be back after Christmas Premium Member Project Manager

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    Welcome to BYC.

    How old are they?
    Just weeks old?
    Can you post a pic of the two in question and of their poo?

    Have you had them since hatch if not where did they come from and do you have older birds?
     
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  3. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

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    Hi

    Unfortunately it sounds like you need to research Marek's disease. This is how it started in my flock. The first one, you assume is an injury but once you have two or three lame or floundering around unable to stand, you have to accept it's something other than a sprain. I'm going to guess that your birds are somewhere between 10 and 20 weeks and that you either bought them from a breeder or you bought them from a hatchery but have recently introduced other birds from a breeder or fair/auction/swap. Hatchery chicks are unlikely to get it unless they are infected by another bird. Some hatcheries offer a vaccine but you have to request it as an optional extra and it is not 100% effective.

    I hope I am wrong, but what you are describing is pretty typical Marek's symptoms and it is an extremely widespread and easily contracted virus. Unfortunately you may have some heartache ahead of you, although I have had birds recover from first and second attacks of it, with a year of good health in between but sooner or later it kills them.
    Sadly there is no recognised treatment, just good nutrition (which you are obviously on top of) and supportive care and a quick end once they stop eating. Some people say St John's Wort helps and others have tried other homeopathic remedies, but in my experience, some birds just recover without any treatment (but will always be carriers for life) whilst others deteriorate and die. The virus suppresses the immune system, so they are more vulnerable to respiratory infection, coccidiosis and E-coli as well as the partial paralysis and wasting despite eating well and internal tumours. It's hard to believe they have such a horrid disease when they are bright eyed and wolfing down food, but that has been my experience. I've had it in my flock for 3 years now and although I don't have many die from it, each one is heart wrenching. I just had to euthanize one last week that I had been giving supportive care to for 3-4 months, but she eventually lost the battle. She was 2yrs old and it was her second attack.

    I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news and very much hope it is just some weird coincidence that both got injured.

    Best wishes

    Barbara
     
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  4. Erica_H

    Erica_H New Egg

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    May 25, 2017

    Oh sorry guess I should have put that.
    Leg horn is roughly 15 - 17 weeks now and dom. Is roughly 13 - 15 weeks now.

    I can post pictures tonight when I get back home.
     
  5. Erica_H

    Erica_H New Egg

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    I actually have been suspecting that might be the case when the leghorn also got hurt. And thank you for your kind words .

    To answer your question, I had two pullets and got three leg horns and three doms from the same lady about a week later. So two were from one farm and already there and 6 came from another.

    I do have a couple of questions:

    #1 I am assuming that I probably should not get any more birds until all of these are gone. Is that correct?

    #2 is it still ok to eat the eggs of my chickens once they start laying?
     
  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

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    I have bred from surviving birds in my flock and last year my broodies raised 56 chicks and only 3 suffered Marek's, but I do seem to have a less virulent strain than some people experience. Of the 3, the two pullets both deteriorated and had to be put to sleep and the little bantam cockerel that I really didn't want, made a miraculous recovery and is currently the picture of health and making a total nuisance of himself trying to mate my large fowl ladies. It is 8-9 months since he was incapacitated with it and to be honest, I didn't think he would make it at the time but kept him alive to keep the pullet that was lame, company. The pullet went down hill and he suddenly got better. Not even any meat on him to make it worth culling him like my other excess cockerels!
    Some people buy in vaccinated chicks and keep them separate (with good biosecurity to prevent cross contamination) for 3-6 weeks. Some people are trying a second vaccination at 3-5 weeks range I believe. There is some research that suggests that the vaccine may be responsible for the more virulent strains, which might explain why Marek's in the UK is usually milder than that experienced by folks in the US. We don't have large hatcheries that vaccinate and sell mail order here, so most back yard people buy from small outlets and breeders which don't vaccinate.

    As regards eating eggs, I understand that there is no risk to humans via eggs or meat from the Marek's virus itself.

    Good luck with your two girls. If it is Marek's I hope it is a mild strain like mine.

    Best wishes

    Barbara
     
  7. Erica_H

    Erica_H New Egg

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    Thank you for the info. I'm sorry that you went through all of this too. It's very saddening
     
  8. HenOnAJuneBug

    HenOnAJuneBug Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had a hen who started limping. I kept her in a brooder to keep her off her feet for a few days, but it didn't get better. So I put her back with the flock thinking that exercise might be good for her. IT got worse to the point that she couldn't even use that leg. She would just sort of swing it out in front of her and hop on the other leg. I was amazed how she could get around. I'd give her taxi rides whenever I could to make her life easier. This lasted about a month. One day I dropped her off at the coop; she seemed fine. I returned an hour or so later and she was dead. I was glad for her sake. I never knew what was wrong with her.
     
  9. Erica_H

    Erica_H New Egg

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    Im very sorry for your loss but I do understand not wanting her to suffer
     
  10. Charm1704

    Charm1704 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like Mareks to me too..Charm1704
     

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