Staggered gate (& death) in 3 of my chickens???

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by crystalchik, Apr 9, 2008.

  1. crystalchik

    crystalchik Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 15, 2008
    Central Florida
    Hello everyone...I recently lost a Grand Champion Silkie pullet and a Silkie cockerel, and I dont know what they have. They only had one symptom: a staggered gate. They looked like they were drunk! They wobbled from side to side and continued to try and jerk themselves back to an upright position. They seemed exausted. But that was the only symptom. They did not have any signs of nasal/eye/vent discharge, congestion, mites, swelling, discoloration, coughing, gasping, sneezing, or anything that looked like a spider/bug bite. They ate/drank up until the point of death (yes they did die). The cockerel got this within 2 weeks after the pullet. And after I noticed that they were staggering, they both died within 12 hours. They were slightly skinny, so I thought I would try and worm my birds. But now I have Sebright that is staggering as well. He seems more allert than the others were, but he acts drunk! Eating and drinking and not the least bit underweight. I must say, though, that it has been 24 hours and he is not dead. Does anyone have even the slightest clue as to what this could be??? I have never seen anything quite like it. I thought poison, maybe, at first, but I have not fed them anything out of the ordinary. If it was the food, I would have a lot more dead birds! My only guess is something neurologically wrong, because they seem otherwise healthy...I am willing to take any information, links, ideas, or anything you are willing to offer. I am assuming it is a contageous disease of some sort...these birds have been to shows as well. Thank you all so much!
    Crystalchik
     
  2. jeaucamom

    jeaucamom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 1, 2007
    Ophir, CA
    Total stab in the dark which may or may not be helpful. But maybe look up botulism. If it leads you on a wild goose chase, I am very sorry. But maybe it could shed some light. Good luck and I am very sorry about your babies.
     
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    If it's a grand champ silkie... my guess is that they had big crests which is synnonomus with vaulted skull and exposed brain. Could they have bumped their heads some how? Were they relocated after a show or moved from coop to coop, or someone picked on them on their head that caused brain damage?
     
  4. crystalchik

    crystalchik Chillin' With My Peeps

    309
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    Jan 15, 2008
    Central Florida
    Hello, thank you for your replies!

    jeaucamom wrote:
    But maybe look up botulism...But maybe it could shed some light. Good luck and I am very sorry about your babies.

    Thank you very much for your support and I will deffinately check into botulism!

    silkiechicken wrote:
    ... my guess is that they had big crests which is synnonomus with vaulted skull and exposed brain. Could they have bumped their heads some how? Were they relocated after a show or moved from coop to coop, or someone picked on them on their head that caused brain damage?

    That is a very good point! Only the pullet, though, had a large crest. The cockerel was just kept as a pet and was very poor quality so he wasnt shown. And she was put back into her original pen. That I know of, there wasnt any trauma to their heads; they are treated like babies! I could say, though, that it might still be possible...being in with other birds and all, but it is a little coincidental with the Sebright now that has never been shown. But I appreciate it very much and your statements brought me to realize something I should look out for in Silkies...It never occured to me that they were more susseptable to brain damage because of the large crests!
    Thankyou very much for all of your help!!
    Crystalchik​
     

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