Thank you to our members.


Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Jan 26, 2007
BC, Washington Border
I would like to personally thank those members who have chosen to post their diagnostic results and those who have posted resource materials for our forum members to read. Although not all the vet opinions agree on course of action, much like the research out there. It will allow those members effected to make a better informed decision on what course of action to take.

Whose vet or what research recommendations are absolutely gospel? That is a question only time and more study of AE will ever answer. In the here and now, all any effected can do, is what they feel is best for them and their chicks.

So to all those who have chosen to partake in the discussions in a constructive way.


You have no doubt aided many, and touched lives in ways you may never know.
May I please be allowed to post my opinion and a few quoted references? If so, here is my humble opinion - based on the following articles, it is my opinion that those who choose to keep their sick chicks isolated, warm and well cared for can expect some to recover and those that recover will be immune to this "naturally occuring virus" that exists world-wide and normally only affects chicks less than 6 weeks old because after that they have developed their own immunities. Again this is my opinion, offered solely as help to those trying to make a very difficult decision. I have never told anyone NOT to report this if they live in a state that says they must report the outbreak. I am only trying to post information for those trying to make a decision to cull or not (especially if their AG Dept. puts the decision back on them)



Nature of the disease

Avian encephalomyelitis (AE) is a viral disease of young chickens caused by a virus from the Hepatovirus family and characterised by central nervous system signs (Epidemic Tremors).

Susceptible species
AE occurs naturally in chickens, turkeys, pheasants and Japanese quail.

AE has been reported from virtually all developed countries, including New Zealand, Australia, USA and New Caledonia.

Clinical signs
Chickens of all ages are susceptible, but clinical signs of encephalitis only develop in those younger than four weeks. The disease is similar in turkeys and chickens. Under field conditions disease is most common in the 1–2 week age group. Following initial dull expression of the eyes, the following signs are seen:

- progressive ataxia with the chick losing control of legs, sitting on its haunches and falling onto its side;

- tremor of the head and neck.

Ataxia progresses to paralysis and death results from inability to feed or drink, or through being trampled.

Some birds recover, and others may survive with persistent clinical signs.


From article in "The Poultry Guide":

Most prevalent in chickens 1 to 6 weeks of age. Susceptible chickens more than 5 weeks old will develop antibodies to AE, but do not show clinical signs at the time of infection.

Chickens of all ages are susceptible, but clinical signs of encephalitis only develop in those younger than four weeks.

Prove good nursing during outbreaks will help with mortality. Lifetime immunity is acquired through vaccination or recovery from a natural outbreaks.

From Univ. of Fla. IFAS Extension site:

Clinical signs: Signs commonly appear during the first week of life and between the second and third weeks.

Transmission: The virus can be transmitted through the egg from infected hen to chick, accounting for disease during the first week of life. The disease can also be spread through a flock by direct contact of susceptible hatchlings with infected birds, accounting for the disease at 2-3 weeks of age. Recovered birds are immune and do not spread the virus.


Thank you for allowing me to post my opinion - little fuzzy butt lives literally depend upon it.
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