Wobbly chick

Winnie123

Chirping
Apr 25, 2020
34
36
64
I have an 11 week mixed breed blue eggar pullet I got from “My Pet Chicken” that is suddenly wobbly on her feet. She WAS vaccinated for Marek’s disease. I first noticed it two days ago with no improvement (today is day three) and today I am noticing her starting to shake her head.

She can walk and she still eats and drinks on her own, she’s just very wobbly and falls down easily. I also noticed today that when she takes steps, she picks up her left foot very high. I was hoping it was just a vitamin deficiency so I have her isolated in her own pin with vitamins in her water, but it’s been two whole days and there is no improvement (I’ve read mixed things on how long it takes them to recover from a vitamin deficiency). I did remember that every since she was about two weeks old, she’s always been a little on the lazy side. She would be resting under the heating plate while the others were running around. But she wasn’t wobbly until a few days ago and she has always been eating and drinking fine, so I just assumed she was fine and just a lazy chicken.

I’ve checked her over for any injuries including the bottoms of her feet and everything seems fine. Her legs don’t appear to be injured. Her eyes look normal. There are no parasites. Etc…

Do you think this is still likely just a vitamin deficiency that hasn’t resolved yet? Could it be Marek’s disease even though she was vaccinated?

I have 24 chickens in total (even some that are NOT vaccinated) and she is the only one exhibiting these symptoms. It’s very confusing! Any help/advice would be appreciated!
Thanks!

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DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium Feather Member
Jul 23, 2018
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Have you closely examined her ears to see if she either has an infection or excessive wax build up in one or both of them. This sounds like an equilibrium issue. I would continue with the vitamin/mineral therapy.
 

Winnie123

Chirping
Apr 25, 2020
34
36
64
I went and looked at her ears, eyes and mouth very carefully and everything looks normal. She seems to be a bit worse today😢.
 

sierra123

In the Brooder
Sep 7, 2021
23
19
26
The head shaking and balance issue also reminded me of an ear problem or inner ear infection.

I'm a new chicken owner so honestly I don't want to give any feedback that could be completely wrong and even more harmful, but if it were my chicken I would try to boost her immune system while I waited for more answers. I feed garlic to my chickens as an immune support and all 10 of my flock members have been healthy. I've also heard that boiled/scrambled eggs are a powerhouse treat, which I've been giving to a new wobbly chick I have.

As far as the supplementing, what exactly are you giving? I know sometimes the water additives aren't enough to reverse a deficiency fast enough. What is the diet like? It's strange that one chicken would exhibit signs of a deficiency while all the others presumably on the same feed are doing fine. I'm not sure, but my gut is circling back to an ear infection.

Perhaps start research in that direction and see if you can find any similar threads with helpful advice. Hoping she recovers soon. She's beautiful!
 

Winnie123

Chirping
Apr 25, 2020
34
36
64
We recently had to put her down. She had become completely paralyzed. She couldn’t get up at all to eat or drink or make it into her coop anymore and had started doing what looked like gasping for air.

I was giving her vitamins directly into her mouth every day to make sure she was getting the full dose for over a month and she just kept getting progressively worse over time. Her last two days were the WORST or I would have put her down sooner.

I was told that she likely had a genetic neurological issue or deformity that I just couldn’t see. Everything I saw screamed Marek’s to me but she is still the only one to show symptoms and I have other chicks in there her same age that are not vaccinated and she IS vaccinated. Her eyes and ears looked completely clear and normal though. I couldn’t find any sores or injuries anywhere on her body. She did have what looked like scrapes on the tops and sides of her feet but she didn’t get that until the very end and I think it was from her trying to move around.

it was sad because she was still fully alert and loved to eat treats and everything. But the poor thing was just miserable and not getting any better.
 

sierra123

In the Brooder
Sep 7, 2021
23
19
26
We recently had to put her down. She had become completely paralyzed. She couldn’t get up at all to eat or drink or make it into her coop anymore and had started doing what looked like gasping for air.

I was giving her vitamins directly into her mouth every day to make sure she was getting the full dose for over a month and she just kept getting progressively worse over time. Her last two days were the WORST or I would have put her down sooner.

I was told that she likely had a genetic neurological issue or deformity that I just couldn’t see. Everything I saw screamed Marek’s to me but she is still the only one to show symptoms and I have other chicks in there her same age that are not vaccinated and she IS vaccinated. Her eyes and ears looked completely clear and normal though. I couldn’t find any sores or injuries anywhere on her body. She did have what looked like scrapes on the tops and sides of her feet but she didn’t get that until the very end and I think it was from her trying to move around.

it was sad because she was still fully alert and loved to eat treats and everything. But the poor thing was just miserable and not getting any better.
I'm so sorry for the loss. It sounds like she was a sweetheart. I hope you have lots of time to spend with your other chickens.
 

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