wobbly chicken


Jun 11, 2017
Hi -
I recently built a new chicken coop using half of my garden shed, including a 25ft enclosure run. i had 5 chicken -4 that were raised together from chicks (currently 3 1/2 yrs old ) and one Americauna that i introduced in October (after keeping seperate for 30 days ). When transfering the "ladies" one of my leghorns gave us a hard time catching her and never seemed to adjust to the new coop . I originally thought she got hurt in the transfer but her limbs were all fine. She just seemed to slow down and about two weeks ago i came home from work and noticed she had runny stool and here crown was paler. I figured i would watch her over night and see in the morning. The next day she became wobbly and had a hard time walking and she past away that night. I thought she had pneumonia. I checked inside the new coop and run and everything seemed fine my other girls were laying and eating fine. ( One week later her sister ( my other leghorn ) started the same wobbly walk - I immediately seperated her into our hospital coop (used when they were babies and we kept just in case we had a sick bird) put her on Tetroxy hca-280 . other than the wobbly walking everything else fine - crown bright red - laying ( i am tossing all eggs ) . i kept her seperated for two weeks and reintroduced her last friday. Well it has been a week and this morning she started wobbling again. No other signs (still laying - looks great ) i am at a loss as to what is wrong. I have seperated her again and back on the tetroxy but i dont know what to do. I dont believe it is Mareks - I am thinking vitamin deficiancy. any suggestions would be great appreciated .
Does she act as if she is going to fall over? I had a rooster with mareks and he was real wobbly on his feet, having to use all of his energy not to fall. Mareks is hereditary, not contagious by air, so it could be that if the other one is her sister
She does look like she is going to fall over - the puzzling piece is when I seperate her and giver her antibiotic she rallys back in days. A extra week seperated and after a week in the coop again she was wobbly. One more thing I noticed she opens her beak to speak and nothing comes out. Still laying and eating pellets and fruits/vegetable.
I was wondering if she could have a vitamin deficiency?
Hi @htnwilson :frow Welcome To BYC

How is her poop?

It's possible it could be a vitamin deficiency - offer some poultry vitamins that contains B Vitamins or crush a human B-Complex vitamin and add it to her feed daily.

Since she gets better with antibiotic treatment and separation - I would suspect some type of infection. If you can take a poop sample to your vet for testing of bacteria, cocci and worms that would be a good idea.

If moving her back to the coop with the other chickens seems to bring on symptoms, it's possible that stress could be making an underlying illness present itself, but look take a look at this environment compared to her "hospital quarters". Is there anything different - feed, water, bedding material, ventilation, possible mold, etc.

Not to be argumentative, but Marek's is not vertically transmitted (passed through the egg). Transmission is through dust, dander, feather follicles and is in the environment.

"""The route of infection is usually respiratory and the disease is highly contagious being spread by infective feather-follicle dander, fomites, etc. Infected birds remain viraemic for life. Vertical transmission is not considered to be important.""" Reference: http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/90/mareks-disease/

Transmission and Epidemiology:
""The disease is highly contagious and readily transmitted among chickens. The virus matures into a fully infective, enveloped form in the epithelium of the feather follicle, from which it is released into the environment. It may survive for months in poultry house litter or dust. Dust or dander from infected chickens is particularly effective in transmission. ..
regardless of vaccination status, infection spreads quickly from bird to bird. Infected chickens continue to be carriers for long periods and act as sources of infectious virus...
Marek’s disease virus is not vertically transmitted."" Reference:http://www.merckvetmanual.com/poultry/neoplasms/marek’s-disease-in-poultry

One of the more comprehensive articles I've found about Marek's:
Update - Louise has been separated for a week - stopped wobblying after a day - the feed store supplied me with a probiotic for their water - she has laid an egg every day . Her poop is normal. The only other thing that happened the day I pulled her from the chicken pen was , she kept opening her beak like she was trying to make a sound and nothing came out. that too has gone away. I am going to keep her separated for another week and then take it from there.
i just wanted to update - Louise is back with the ladies and doing well. i did figure out what caused her illness. where the new coop and run is located the other side of the fence in my neighbors yard and is not maintained, it is woods with overgrowth and vines. There was a spot where the fence was high and with the fencing she was sticking her head thru to get treats. i believe she contracted botulism. i covered the opening and everyone is fine.

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom