Two Week Old Chicks Slowly Becoming Paralyzed.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by celtinbirks, Jun 20, 2019.

  1. celtinbirks

    celtinbirks In the Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2019
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    A little over a week ago, we had a Barred Holland chick who, for the first two weeks of his life, looked very healthy. Then, over several days, he become paralyzed. He seemed to loose control of his legs first, then wings. He was unable to eat or drink by himself and was slowly "wasting away". A few days after the first chick started having problems, another chick started exhibiting the same symptoms. We separated the two from the rest. The first chick ended up completely paralyzed except for his neck. We had to put him down today and I am taking him in for a necropsy tomorrow. The second chick is slowly getting worse. I have held her up to the food and water and she takes a little of each. My husband thinks that he noticed tonight a couple of chicks in the two dozen we have left acting a little weird......

    We have been feeding them commercial organic feed and have them on hemp bedding. A small and large brooder are in an insulated shop. We have some eight week old Barred Hollands (that we got from a different hatchery) that we recently moved from the large brooder to the outside and they still seem very healthy. We never had them in the same brooder with the younger batch of chicks, but the younger batch was moved to the large brooder a few days ago when we moved the older chicks outside. The sick chicks were put in the small brooder. The two brooders are about 15 feet apart. We open the doors of the shop during the daytime to give the chicks fresh air.

    Does anybody know what disease or condition might be causing this? I think that it will be a few days before I get the results of the necropsy, and I don't want to loose any more of these rare chicks.

    Thanks so much!
     
  2. I am not even not an expert but the disease I was thinking of that can cause paralysis is Mareks Disease. You might search the forums or google Mareks disease for information.

    Meanwhile I’ll try tagging some people who will be able to help when they come by. @casportpony @Texas Kiki @CarpCharacin
     
  3. AmyJane725

    AmyJane725 Crowing

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    Did you have the chicks vaccinated for Marek's?
     
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  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    Mareks disease usually does not strike chicks between 2 and 3 weeks old. In fact the very earliest Mareks can strike is 3 weeks, since it takes that long for exposure to cause symptoms. More often, Mareks symptoms do not show up until the chick is over 5 weeks to 25 weeks.

    There are a few possible answers. One is mold in feed, that can cause neurological symptoms and death. Another possibility would be a virus—AE or avian encephalomyelitis or epidemic tremors, which strikes in the first 4 weeks of age, causing paralysis and tremors. Vitamin E deficiency might also cause muscle weakness.

    The type of paralysis you describe (ascending paralysis of the extremities) sounds a little like botulism, which comes from eating a toxin found in dead animals or vegetation that has been buried or underwater.

    There have been chickens who were thought to have had Mareks, who after a necropsy, were found to have coccidiosis that caused extreme weakness.

    Where are you located, and I hope you will let us know what the necropsy shows.
     
  5. Thank you for your response! When ever I try to remember who to tag I forget scads of you.
     
  6. celtinbirks

    celtinbirks In the Brooder

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    No.
     
  7. celtinbirks

    celtinbirks In the Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2019
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  8. celtinbirks

    celtinbirks In the Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2019
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    I'm located 30 miles S. of Portland, OR.
    I will post the results of the necropsy.
     
  9. Welcome to another Oregonian! Sorry we met this way. I am about 30 miles north of Portland near St Helens.
     
  10. celtinbirks

    celtinbirks In the Brooder

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    Jun 18, 2019
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    Hi Neighbor! I'm SW of Molalla.
     
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