two-year old chicken off balance, couldn't lift head

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by elias002, Apr 20, 2009.

  1. elias002

    elias002 New Egg

    Apr 20, 2009
    Minneapolis, MN
    I had a chicken that I just put down yesterday. She first started acting like she couldn't stand up without sticking out a wing for support; she seemed off balance when she walked. This went on for some time. No other symptoms except she was somewhat messy around her vent area. Then gradually she seemed less able to lift her head, so that her head laid down on her back and her neck/crop area stuck out in front. She still managed to manouver enough to eat and drink, but I figured she would gradually starve and so I decided it was more merciful to kill her. Do you have any idea what happened? My other chicken seems fine. Was this some sort of nutritional deficiency?
    Thanks for any insights. I've had chickens for four years and this was a first. (p.s. I'm new to this listserv; just got your address while asking around about my chicken)
  2. pinkchick

    pinkchick "Ain't nuttin' like having da' blues"

    May 30, 2008
    Washington State
    How sad, sorry for your chicken.
    I was just going to post the same question!!!

    I hope some one comes along soon to help you out.
    I'm not trying to steal the thread just wanted to post some of my hens symptoms as they are very close to your chickens.

    One of my 1 year old amerucauna (sp) hens seems like she is off balance and uses her wings to steady herself. Yesterday morning she would still run out of the coop and peck scratch but when she leans down to eat the scratch, she almost crawls on her belly to eat it and then looses balance, if another chickens comes by she will move and stand up and walk away, even jump up on the old rabbit cages I leave for them to play on, but she is very slow to move. Like she is unsure of her legs. She is very much still interested in eating and drinking, it's weird. She has not laid an egg in 2 weeks or longer, but all 4 of my amerucauna's haven't laid for 3 weeks, should this have been a concern.

    I separated her from the other chickens yesterday. She is mad as heck that she can't come out but she is standing up and walking around the same as before, but she still looses her balance if turning around or trying to peck something.
    She was accidentally left behind in the coop yard 4 nights ago in the rain.

    I will be watching this thread.........waiting. BTW....WELCOME TO BYC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2009
  3. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

  4. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    I do not know the answer. I have never dealt with Marek's. It is a complex viral disease with several types and sets of symptoms. I am wondering if this is what you have both been dealing with. It can happen even if they were vaccinated for it.

    Rather than tell you what bits and pieces I recall, I will let you research it here on your own.

    Here is a thread that talks about a herbal treatment for Marek's:

    Good luck, and sorry for your loss.

    And for elias:

  5. elias002

    elias002 New Egg

    Apr 20, 2009
    Minneapolis, MN
    You know when I first read about Marek's I didn't think it sounded at all like what happened to my chicken, but now after reading more of the BYC posts I wonder if it was a neurological form of Marek's. It would be great to hear from others who have seen this form--only affecting balance, neck etc. but no lesions or other symptoms?? If it was Marek's, what do I need to do before I get any new chickens?
  6. sebright guy

    sebright guy Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 14, 2009
    put her away from any other chickens. if you can i would give the next chicken some kind of meryks medication. youre supposed to do it to the chicks. im not sure if you can heal an adult meryks. we used to have it but not anymore. none of our chickens with meryks ever lived. but we were begginers and we lost alot of our flock to it.

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