Silkie paralysis- common? Or is it just my birds?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Tanichca, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. Tanichca

    Tanichca Sparkle Magnet

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    Vail, Arizona
    This has happened to EVERY SINGLE SILKIE I'VE EVER OWNED. Which makes it, like, 6 birds. It starts with the bird losing the use of one (usually the left) leg. The bird lists to the side. The paralysis spreads over 48 hours, with the bird dying at the end. Poop is normal, a little runny. The birds affected come from different sources, either breeders or hatcheries. They range in ages from 6 months to 2 years. My dad thinks it may be a type of cancer or nerve disease, possibly caused by inbreeding. Has anyone else ever experienced this?

    My last silkie is at this moment dying in her coop. Gosh, I love the breed, but they're so delicate!!
     
  2. countrygoddess

    countrygoddess Chillin' With My Peeps

    Paralysis that starts in the legs that way and quickly leads to death sounds like botulism, which is the toxin formed by a bacteria found in rotting vegetation and in the soil. I would look at where your birds live and spend their time and maybe change it, if at all possible. Could be you have a contamination of their run.
     
  3. Tanichca

    Tanichca Sparkle Magnet

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    I read up on botulism... It can also be caused by eating insects that are infected. My birds eat a lot of bees and grasshoppers, as for their house, it's dry and fairly rocky.

    Also, if it IS botulism, wouldn't birds other than silkies be affected? The Australorp, the EE?
     
  4. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2010
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    How long do you have them before they start getting sick? What are you feeding them? If you are getting them from different sources then the only thing in common is where you are keeping them. It has to be something there that is happening. Over how long a time period has this happened...from the firs dying to the last one that is now dying? Silkies are not that delicate. Give us some more details and we can see if we can help you figure it out. There has to be an answer. Do you have other chickens? Is there anything you do differently with them than the silkies?
     
  5. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    This sounds like typical Mareks diease symptoms. Once your chickens are exposed to it, it can be very hard to get rid of it without getting rid of all birds and bleaching down everything. Buying vaccinated chicks also helps but is not 100 percent , but better than none. It is a virus that creates tumors in the muscle tissue or other areas of the body. Their is no cure and most birds die from it. Silkies and topknot breeds seem to be extra sensitive to outbreaks if not vaccinated.
    Do a search on Mareks and talk to Seminolewind on here.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2012

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