Sick chicken, please help!

azygous

Enabler
12 Years
Dec 11, 2009
26,002
40,069
1,232
Colorado Rockies
Is the G-tubing 1.2cm? It shouldn't be any larger or it wouldn't fit well inside a chicken's throat. Do you have an oral syringe that will fit snugly inside the tubing? If not a good fit, it will make an awful mess.

Let me know when you get the tubing and syringe gathered up. This chicken will die if she isn't fed food and water very soon.

There is very likely other more serious infectious agents at work in your flock. I do not agree that quarantining at this point will accomplish anything. Avian viruses, which appear likely, are so contagious, all your flock is already infected if these viruses are present.

My opinion is that this chicken's life needs to be saved before you do anything else. Have you give the vitamin E yet? This needs to be started immediately. If you do not already have Poultry Nutri-drench on hand, you need to stop at the feed store and pick up some. This will help save the hen's life by getting nutrients into her system as quickly as possible.
 

Tankueray

Bird Nerd
Premium Feather Member
Feb 12, 2021
249
578
136
West Texas
We got the two roosters from craigslist, as the family that had them before had kids that kept harming them. The roosters were fully grown, and we must've got them in August. We go to the same Tractor Supply, and they didn't tell us what hatchery they came from, and I'm pretty sure they're closed right now.. In November I don't think we got anything related to chickens except for a duck we rescued, i mightve said November sometime because I have trouble remembering time. The 20-30 are all 6 months save for around 6-10, who are 4 months. Meat chicken, the sick one, is 6 months. The one with the leg issue(Kevin) is also 6 months. Two that died were 6 months, and the other two four months. The first one got sick in mid to late November, and hadn't had any contact with any other chickens or flock. There was one predator attack, it was a dog whom had eaten half of two of our animals but left them alive, the chickens and ducks were with one. I don't think we've ever wormed them, we haven't heard about that...
Timing is super important here, try to include when things happened as best as you can remember.
  • When was the predator attack?
  • How did the two that were attacked recover?
  • Please explain this more clearly: "the chickens and ducks were with one"
  • Did the Duck come before or after they got sick?
  • How many ducks do you have and do the chickens drink the water that they swim in?
Yes, actually. One of them did for a week or so before we put him down. That was before we brought the current sick one in.
Damn, I was hoping it was Botulism. That's a very distinct sign of Marek's disease.

Have you or anyone that comes into contact with your chickens, or anyone who has visited your house been somewhere in the 4 weeks prior to the first sickness where they (the humans) could have been around any other birds, old coop areas, driveways leading to places that have chickens (like someone that delivers feed or hauls off manure), Tractor Supply or feed store, etc?

Call your county Extension Agent's office and ask if they know of any Marek's outbreaks recently. That might help you figure out where it came from.

I'll be back with more info on determining the cause later.
 

chiki1

In the Brooder
Jan 6, 2022
30
34
34
Is the G-tubing 1.2cm? It shouldn't be any larger or it wouldn't fit well inside a chicken's throat. Do you have an oral syringe that will fit snugly inside the tubing? If not a good fit, it will make an awful mess.

Let me know when you get the tubing and syringe gathered up. This chicken will die if she isn't fed food and water very soon.

There is very likely other more serious infectious agents at work in your flock. I do not agree that quarantining at this point will accomplish anything. Avian viruses, which appear likely, are so contagious, all your flock is already infected if these viruses are present.

My opinion is that this chicken's life needs to be saved before you do anything else. Have you give the vitamin E yet? This needs to be started immediately. If you do not already have Poultry Nutri-drench on hand, you need to stop at the feed store and pick up some. This will help save the hen's life by getting nutrients into her system as quickly as possible.
We have the syringe and tube set up, we can melt down some vitamin E as its in pill form. The tubing is small, maybe a cm? There are holes you can close for the syringe in it
 

chiki1

In the Brooder
Jan 6, 2022
30
34
34
Timing is super important here, try to include when things happened as best as you can remember.
  • When was the predator attack?
  • How did the two that were attacked recover?
  • Please explain this more clearly: "the chickens and ducks were with one"
  • Did the Duck come before or after they got sick?
  • How many ducks do you have and do the chickens drink the water that they swim in?

Damn, I was hoping it was Botulism. That's a very distinct sign of Marek's disease.

Have you or anyone that comes into contact with your chickens, or anyone who has visited your house been somewhere in the 4 weeks prior to the first sickness where they (the humans) could have been around any other birds, old coop areas, driveways leading to places that have chickens (like someone that delivers feed or hauls off manure), Tractor Supply or feed store, etc?

Call your county Extension Agent's office and ask if they know of any Marek's outbreaks recently. That might help you figure out where it came from.

I'll be back with more info on determining the cause later.
The predator attack was two weeks ago, we had to put down the two that were attacked because of how bad it was. One's organs and heart were showing and the other had a 2 inch deep bite taken out of his rear end. The first one was an adult duck and the other a hen. The chickens and ducks were with the injured hen at the time, next to her in a corner. The duck came in the midst of them being sick almost, before any died. We have 8 ducks and the chickens do not drink the water they swim in, we have a gully the ducks swim in and the chickens and ducks get fresh water to drink from. I only have a friend with chickens who had been to our house last week, but their chickens are all healthy.
 

Tankueray

Bird Nerd
Premium Feather Member
Feb 12, 2021
249
578
136
West Texas
Is the G-tubing 1.2cm? It shouldn't be any larger or it wouldn't fit well inside a chicken's throat. Do you have an oral syringe that will fit snugly inside the tubing? If not a good fit, it will make an awful mess.

Let me know when you get the tubing and syringe gathered up. This chicken will die if she isn't fed food and water very soon.

There is very likely other more serious infectious agents at work in your flock. I do not agree that quarantining at this point will accomplish anything. Avian viruses, which appear likely, are so contagious, all your flock is already infected if these viruses are present.

My opinion is that this chicken's life needs to be saved before you do anything else. Have you give the vitamin E yet? This needs to be started immediately. If you do not already have Poultry Nutri-drench on hand, you need to stop at the feed store and pick up some. This will help save the hen's life by getting nutrients into her system as quickly as possible.
You're not reading the posts, she said in the very first one she's been giving Vitamin E. And she already said that the feed store was closed.

Yes, it's Marek's, quarantining the other bird that is sick from the rest of the healthy flock is absolutely a good idea.

If it came from a leaky vaccine instead of a wildtype infected animal, there is a chance to save the rest of them, as long as anyone with symptoms is separated quickly.
 

azygous

Enabler
12 Years
Dec 11, 2009
26,002
40,069
1,232
Colorado Rockies
Great! Now hold the tubing up to your hen and mark off where it hits the bottom of her crop and leave around three inches that will be exposed at her beak end where the syringe will be inserted. It may end up being around seven inches or so long. Cut it. Then if the end to go inside her throat has any sharp edges, smooth them by heating the plastic with a flame briefly.

Mix up some very runny cooked cereal such as Cream of Rice or Wheat. Crack a raw egg into it and mix it in. Add a teaspoon of sugar to elevate the glucose. This will help revive your chicken. Squeeze a little nutri-drench into the mix. The mixture should be tepid to warm, not ice cold. The beauty of tube feeding is everything can go into the mixture, including vitamins and other meds.

Next, look at this photo. You will be inserting the tube on the chicken's right side of her mouth as shown. It helps to have someone hold her to confine wings and feet while you pry open her beak and insert the tube. It won't hurt her at all, and if she doesn't cough, you have the tube inserted in the right place.

It helps to extend the neck of your chicken if you are having difficulty inserting the tubing. Once in, close the chicken's beak to hold the tubing in place. Begin feeding with the syringe inserted into the tubing. Take it gently and slowly. Give no more than third of a cup at a feeding. Usually, as you tube feed, the patient is calm as it feels very comforting to feel the crop filling with food.

That will be enough for tonight. Tomorrow, try to get several feedings into her over the day. If it's not too late, she should be much improved by tomorrow. The wry neck may take a few days longer.





2E58EFC7-81BD-4ADE-88BC-5E00F907A388_1_105_c.jpeg
 

Tankueray

Bird Nerd
Premium Feather Member
Feb 12, 2021
249
578
136
West Texas
I'm so very sorry, and I need you to be strong as you read this next part.

Marek's is a disease of paralysis. Her autonomic nervous system is shutting down. She will not be able to swallow, and her gizzard will not be able to digest the food. She will eventually stop breathing and likely have seizures when her blood oxygen levels get too low, just before she passes away. The seizure may cause a mess to happen. The most humane thing you can do for her right now is to euthanize her. Please place her body in a paper bag or wrapped in newspaper, then inside a plastic bag (you can double bag with plastic store bags) and then place her into the refrigerator, not the freezer, until you can call the State Lab in the morning to find out how to request a necropsy.

The other bird with the leg issue - that may also be a sign of Mareks, especially if it seems to mimic how things progressed with any of the other birds.

The rest of your flock may be able to survive this, so there is some hope if that's any comfort to you and your younger brother at all.

I very sincerely wish I was wrong, I'm sorry.
 

chiki1

In the Brooder
Jan 6, 2022
30
34
34
I'm so very sorry, and I need you to be strong as you read this next part.

Marek's is a disease of paralysis. Her autonomic nervous system is shutting down. She will not be able to swallow, and her gizzard will not be able to digest the food. She will eventually stop breathing and likely have seizures when her blood oxygen levels get too low, just before she passes away. The seizure may cause a mess to happen. The most humane thing you can do for her right now is to euthanize her. Please place her body in a paper bag or wrapped in newspaper, then inside a plastic bag (you can double bag with plastic store bags) and then place her into the refrigerator, not the freezer, until you can call the State Lab in the morning to find out how to request a necropsy.

The other bird with the leg issue - that may also be a sign of Mareks, especially if it seems to mimic how things progressed with any of the other birds.

The rest of your flock may be able to survive this, so there is some hope if that's any comfort to you and your younger brother at all.

I very sincerely wish I was wrong, I'm sorry.
Ah, thank you for the information.. We got food into her system and shes more active, opening her eyes and walking a bit.. The one with the leg is completely fine except for her leg, we think she had a stroke or is developing bumblefoot.
 

Tankueray

Bird Nerd
Premium Feather Member
Feb 12, 2021
249
578
136
West Texas
Please don't discount that you have a much larger issue with your flock. I am a trained professional. I am also the first person to argue an internet diagnosis from FB or a forum, and I almost always do, so I'm not saying any of this lightly.

The leg split is a classic sign of Marek's and only Marek's, any Vet will tell you that. There's also a very weird symptom with a very virulent strain of Marek's that causes intermittent full body paralysis, usually only in broiler chickens.

Your state lab offers free consultations, call them in the morning and they will tell you the same thing I am: 207.581.3874
https://extension.umaine.edu/veterinarylab/poultry/

You can also listen to this podcast episode for more information:
https://www.breedersacademy.com/ep88-mareks-disease-with-dr-rodrigo-gallardo/

There are many possibilities for how they got infected, and you may never figure it out. The onset of laying can be stressful enough to cause a flare up. Vaccinated day-old chicks that come into contact with other chickens within 7 days can infect others. Something you can do is check the rest of them for tumors you might be able to see externally, weird patches of feather follicles, or something weird about anyone's eye. Any one of those things could mean that they are an asymptomatic carrier, but some never show any signs or symptoms at all. There is no cure for Marek's, and it can survive in the soil for years after the hosts are gone.

Good Luck.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom