What's wrong with my pullet? Started limping but getting worse

Hens_And_Chicks

Songster
10 Years
Feb 23, 2009
551
1
139
Ohio
I noticed my most vocal pullet limping yesterday - she is about 22 weeks old - I checked her and could not find any evidence of injury. I thought maybe the roos were rough with her. She was still a bit limpy this morning but just went out and she is sitting - she doesn't try to get away - I felt her abdomen and can't feel anything abnormal except she feels thin. She's laying almost sideways. She's eating - I took her out of the coop to separate her from the others.

Does she have a leg injury and the roos aren't leaving her alone long enough to heal?

She is bright eyed, eating and still talkative.
 
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horsejody

Squeaky Wheel
11 Years
Feb 11, 2008
6,923
38
271
Waterloo, Nebraska
Do either of her legs appear weak or paralyzed? Was she vaccinated for Marek's? I hope it's just something simple. Marek's is just kind of a worse case scenerio. I always think of it when somebody says there are mysterious leg problems, especially when the chicken is in good spirits otherwise. They often look like they are trying to lay a bit on their side too. No matter what is is, I would separate her until she is better. Put her in a dog crate or small cage.
 
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Hens_And_Chicks

Songster
10 Years
Feb 23, 2009
551
1
139
Ohio
I don't know if she was vaccinated - I bought her & five other pullets from Meyer Hatchery. If it is Marek's, what now? I'm so new - will all my birds be affected?

I don't mean to panic but I don't have the knowledge - how do I proceed.

ETA: I did notice her poop is runny/liquid. Does that mean anything?
 
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horsejody

Squeaky Wheel
11 Years
Feb 11, 2008
6,923
38
271
Waterloo, Nebraska
Does she have signs of paralysis in either leg? Not always, but often, Marek's starts with the left leg. No matter what she has she should be isolated in a small cage with the food and water right in front of her. Clean the cage daily. Marek's itself isn't painful. The pain occurs when the bird injures itself trying to get around. If it is Marek's it might go into remission, it might not. If she goes into remission, it could take days, weeks or months. If it doesn't go into remission both legs, both wings and the neck can be effected. If it gets to the neck, all hope is lost. If you didn't request and pay the few extra pennies for the vaccination, they are not vaccinated. Marek's is everywhere worldwide. It one of the most common poultry diseases on the planet. If it is Marek's, all of your chickens will be carriers forever even if they never display symptoms. I would also recommend that all future chicks be vaccinated and properly quarantined for at least 10 days afterwards. On the bright side, it might not be Marek's, but I have no idea what else it might be. However, I sincerely hope it is something else.
 

Hens_And_Chicks

Songster
10 Years
Feb 23, 2009
551
1
139
Ohio
Thanks for the replies HorseJody - I contacted Meyers and they told me the chicks I bought were not vaccinated. From the little research I have done over the past hour, all chickens can get Mareks and vaccination does not eliminate it, only makes the symptoms less.

Can she survive? If she lays an egg, the egg is ok? I have her caged seperately now with the electrolyte water and feed - she was very thirsty - she is alert and moving about some.

Can I vaccinate my own chicks for Marek's?
 

horsejody

Squeaky Wheel
11 Years
Feb 11, 2008
6,923
38
271
Waterloo, Nebraska
Quote:Actually, a properly vaccinated and quarantined chick does not get the disease. There is a lot of bad info on the net. The vaccine prevents the disease, but you have to quarantine the chick until it has full immunity. I got my info from a poultry vet at a university and a vet at the vaccine manufacturer. Chicks that get the disease after vaccination, were not properly quarantined. Yes, if it is Marek's she may survive. She will need to be in a small cage with food and water right in front of her. Take her out every day to look for improvement. She will either go into remission or she won't. Marek's is not passed through the eggs. The eggs are safe to eat. If it is Marek's and she survives, she will probably always be a bit thin and have lower egg production.

I really hope it's not Marek's. It's an awful disease.
 

wingnut1

Crazy Bird Lady
11 Years
Apr 21, 2008
1,183
1
169
A Galaxy Far Far Away
Sorry about your pullet --

Because you said your bird is eating and looks OK except for movement, I wonder if there is a value in considering the possibility that she's had an injury of some sort?

I'm not a veterinarian or even close (can barely spell the word!) -- but wanted to mention that I had a pullet start limping around the same age - and took her to the vet -she is a large orpington - it turned out that she had a sort of growth spurt in her bones - kinda like large dogs can get. I actually paid for an x-ray because I am insane - and she had some thickening at the joint where she seemed to be tender. They gave me the same kind of pills they give to dogs for pain (prevacox) and some glucosamine (think joint lube) and I changed the perches so she wouldn't have as far to jump down - and made them wider so she would have more stability.. after a few weeks she stopped limping.

Good luck with her....
 

Wynette

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Sep 25, 2007
25,574
182
421
Michigan
If you can prop her up in a dog crate between 2 bricks so that she's in an upright stance, and make sure she can reach her food/water, that would be a good start. I have cage cups in my dog (chicken!) carriers, and they are SO handy!
 

Hens_And_Chicks

Songster
10 Years
Feb 23, 2009
551
1
139
Ohio
She seems to be doing much better in a cage by herself. She is not tilted to either side and does occasionally push herself up so it's not complete paralysis - at this point.

Let's just say, for the sake of disussion, it is Mareks Disease.

I never had chickens ever on my property until I got Broilers last July and then the pullets about a 7 weeks after the Broilers were all butchered.

The pullets came from a hatchery and the rest of my chicks I hatched out in November. How does a chicken get Marek's if they were never exposed to any other chickens? I'm trying to understand here.
 

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