What is happening to my chickens?


Nov 30, 2015
Hello. I am new to this site and I am new to chickens. We started with 7 chicks (5 of which our silkies). They all were born in early April. To date I've lost 4 of them. Two died suddenly in the same day with no symptoms. About a month or so ago my 3rd silkie got sick. She had trouble putting weight on one leg and her eyes were very glossy. I thought she had gotten hurt somehow but we were unable to find any injuries. We decided to put her down. A few weeks ago my rooster started displaying the same symptoms. He is still eating and alert. Just today my other silkie died in the coop with no previous symptoms. Besides my male silkie I have two other bantams who appear healthy. I'm not sure what is happening to my chickens. They are kept in a coop with large enclosure. I feed them a quality food for layers and often provide table scraps. The chickens are well past laying age and I have never found an egg. They must have some sort of illness. Ideas? Thoughts?
Welcome to BYC. Sorry for your loss. The best way to find out what is killing your birds is to get a bird necropsied by your state vet or local veterinary college. Were your birds vaccinated for Mareks disease? There are many illnesses that chickens can get. Younger chickens can die quickly of coccidiosis. Mareks is a viral disease that causes a lack of immunity, and can cause paralysis in one or both legs or wings, along with many other symptoms. Worms, crop or gizzard problems, respiratory diseases, and heart, liver, or kidney disease could be a cause.
Thank you. They were not vaccinated. I'm hoping the chicken that is sick now will recover but he doesn't look well. I hope it's not Mareks since I understand that once it is on my property, it will be risky to ever introduce new birds.

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