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Something wrong with my chicken.. Leg seems out of joint? She is just sitting most of the time can'

Discussion in 'Predators and Pests' started by jamievalerio, Dec 14, 2013.

  1. jamievalerio

    jamievalerio Hatching

    Mar 11, 2013
    Rochester NY
    For about five days now my chicken has been acting funny Sits in the corner ,does not move much She is eating and drinking but not much
    I ve given her antibiotics for two days ..slightly perkier but still not moving and can't stand.
    I moved her food next to her this am and she is eating well.
    I just noticed that she can't stand because her leg seems to be dragging...not connected to her body properly? When she falls on it it goes sideways and out from under her.
    She is a red comet , about 20 weeks old . I have raised her in a double sized cage/ crate the total area is 30" x 60". I could not put her with the full grown hens ...they were not nice to her and she was too small . I planned on introducing her to the other birds soon but now she's sick so that can't happen.

    What to do? Is this some chicken disease?
    I can't imagine that her leg will heal if it's dislocated which it seems to be
    I do not want to put her down!
    If I keep her separate can she survive without use of one leg .
    Will she lay. .?

    I m at a complete loss ...what to do?
    Thank you for any help you can give me. :(

  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

    Apr 8, 2013
    Could be a few things but injury sounds likely. If you make 10 posts you can post some photos, if you're able to get them. I'd need to see the leg before I would be confident making a diagnosis. But I think a broken bone may be the issue by the sound of it.

    Restraining her (keeping her in a small cage) with food and water in easy reach is a good idea for now, especially if you make sure she can see the others and they can see her, if you intend to release her back into the main population if she recovers. Otherwise she forgets them and they forget her and violence ensues when the injured/ill bird is reintroduced because she becomes a stranger in their minds.

    Best wishes.
  3. I doubt that it is an injury because I see no way that she could have injured herself or been injured by your other hens especially in the environment that you have provided her. Also you said nothing about her being injured by a predator or other animal.

    I think that she may have Mareks disease. It is a viral illness so antibiotics are ineffective at treating Mareks. Mareks results in tumors, especially on the nerve tissue. Mareks tumors also grow on any organ in a chickens body putting pressure on nerves. This is (imo) the reason that Mareks was once known as "Range Paralysis." That is the good news. The bad news is that Mareks is incurable and if your bird does recover the use of her leg she will remain a carrier of the disease for the rest of her life. I hope that I am wrong about my diagnosis.

    Don't beat yourself up over this, the Mareks virus is everywhere and it is anywhere. However there are things that you can do to lessen the transmission of the Mareks virus. Meanwhile, unless you have extensive training on how to properly vaccinate chicks against Mareks only buy chicks that have been vaccinated at the hatchery while still in the shell on the 18th day of incubation. Even then there is no guarantee that the vaccine will work. There is some very good information at agricultural colleges and universities. Google it to find out more.

    Good luck to you and to your hen.

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