Stumbling Cockerel--What could be wrong besides Marek's?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LavendarFeather, Nov 24, 2013.

  1. LavendarFeather

    LavendarFeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have an 8 or 9-month-old Ameraucana cockerel from a local breeder, not vaccinated. He's always been a sweet and gentle guy, and has never crowed or chased hens (there were younger but more dominant cockerels around). The past few days he has been "nesting" on the ground, rather than roosting. Last night I saw that he was stumbling. I have separated him from the flock. Obviously, my first concern is Marek's, and I'm reading up on that, but I'd like to know what else, if anything, might cause similar symptoms, so that I don't overlook any treatment that might help him. I'm keeping him warm and giving vitamins, and ail supplement his diet. He appears to be of good weight, and his appetite is fine so far. Does anything else come to mind? I would be very grateful for any input.

    Betsy
     
  2. loveourbirds

    loveourbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    head/neck injury, leg injury, vitamin deficiency, mites/lice/worms, mold in feed.

    or possibly, mereks, botulism, newcastle disease.

    i can help you find links if you need more information.

    unless you have just moved them, or added another chicken from another flock - mereks or other diseases are unlikely (but not impossible). usually the quickest way to eliminate problems is to look at disease's gestation rates, and age of fowl effected.
     
  3. LavendarFeather

    LavendarFeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you so much! I will investigate all possibilities. I suppose it could be an injury, although that would be a first, and not sure how he might have hurt himself. Have not had a problem with mites, but I think I'll get a fecal done, as well as ramping up his nutrition. Mold…hmmm…shouldn't be, but it's always possible. I really appreciate your taking the time to post an answer to my questions, and will make the most of your advice. Thanks again.

    Betsy
     
  4. Kassaundra

    Kassaundra Sonic screwdrivers are cool!

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    My first thinking would be injury.

    I had a male go lame suddenly I decided to cull and necropsy b/c I didn't think he would get better. He had never been sick a day no sneeze, cough, runny eye nothing. Anyway after I got inside I realized he was full of teste growths, so big and so many they decreased circulation to his legs causing the tendon in his legs to sever. I do not think this is common and doubt seriously this is what is wrong w/ your guy, just an example of how odd some chicken problems can be.
     
  5. LavendarFeather

    LavendarFeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wow, that is wild! Maybe he DID get injured. That would be much better than an illness, I think. I'm sorry about your bird--that is a really strange problem he had!
     
  6. loveourbirds

    loveourbirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    dont know if this will help, most "limping" injuries are caused by to high of roosts (not over 4 feet), or a slick surface under the roost. sometimes they will cause it fighting with another rooster.
     
  7. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Double-check him, too, to make sure the Achilles tendon hasn't slipped out of place in one of his hocks. There is info on that on the Poultry Podiatry page on the site linked in my sig.
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    When you wrote about the tendon severed, I remembered reading about tenosynovitis where the gastrocnemius tendon can sever do to this viral arthritis. Probably not related, but thought I would share: http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/pou...s/overview_of_viral_arthritis_in_poultry.html
     
  9. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    Mareks as Kassandra discovered is basically cancer. It is caused by a herpes virus so antibiotics are worthless except for preventing secondary or opportunistic infections in birds already infected with Mareks. Any chicken infected with Mareks that survives, remains a Mareks carrier for life. So you are dooming future chicks to a horrible death by treating birds sick with Mareks so who in their right mind would treat for Mareks? Mareks vaccinations may or may not protect your birds because the Mareks vaccine is so fragile that any improper handling of the vaccine can ruin its effectiveness.

    Since the tumors caused by Mareks grow on nerve tissue as well as on every organ in a chickens body there can be all kinds of different symptoms caused by Mareks (a.k.a. range paralysis) depending on which nerves, organs, or combination of nerves and organs are affected by the tumors. This causes all kinds of symptoms confusing most people about what is really wrong with their birds. In fact Mareks is so confusing that it is the most often diagnosed disease (by university poultry labs) of back yard poultry. This shows that most backyarders don't recognize Mareks in its many forms.

    Mareks is also called "range paralysis" or sometimes "Gray Eye" or "Gander Eye" because a chicken's iris should be red or orange and chickens living with Mareks have a gray iris often with a misshapen pupil. If you "rescue" buy, or are given any chickens with a gray iris, RUN don't just walk away from the deal. You and your chickens have everything to loose and absolutely nothing to gain.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2013
    1 person likes this.
  10. LavendarFeather

    LavendarFeather Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Many thanks to everyone contributing to this thread. I am puzzled by something about Mareks. I read that it is everywhere--that wild birds carry it, that it is just so common in the environment, that all birds have been exposed. Why do they not all get sick then, but remain at risk if an infected bird comes in contact with them? Just wondering...

    Here is the update on my boy, whose name is Football. He seems to be feeling better this morning. He chose to sleep on the ground, rather than roost last night. He is living alone now, in a converted child's playhouse, and the roost is about 18" off the ground. During the day, he's in a corral that's about 30' on each side. He had a good appetite this morning, and was feisty enough to not let me catch him to examine him. I could have caught him if I'd persisted, of course, but didn't want to stress him. I gave him fresh water with vitamins, and will make him some chopped egg this morning.

    I'm really hoping it's an injury, but it's just a hope. There's no reason to rule out disease at this point. One possible way he could have injured himself is that I had put him in a different run a few nights ago. I have 3 converted dog runs in the back yard. The birds all free range together for a couple of hours each evening, then go back in the runs to roost at night. They all intermingle (about 30 birds), and sometimes change which run they prefer, but generally they always go to the same place. None of the roosts are very high, but when I measured last night, I saw that the roost in the run I had moved Football to was about 6" higher than the one he'd been used to (42" vs. 36") So maybe he miscalculated when hopping down, and hurt himself? No one else has ever done that, but he's a pretty big guy, heavier than the others. I know I'm clutching at straw here… but maybe….
     

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