Young bantam rooster extremely sick

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Twelve Palms, Jun 1, 2010.

  1. Twelve Palms

    Twelve Palms In the Brooder

    16
    0
    22
    Mar 8, 2010
    Hello, I'm new to chickens so I would appreciate all the help I can get. Sunday morning I found my 4 month old bantam rooster on his back, legs flailing around, and his head/neck curled around in a terrible position. He was flapping one wing and pushing one leg, but was not able to stand at all. I didn't know what to do so I gave him water by dropper and some chick food which I make into a paste. I thought for sure he would be gone this morning when I woke up, but he's still alive and still no better. It's so horrible to see him like this--he can't get off his back and just flops around.... I don't know what to do. I'm very fond of the little boy and wish I could help him, but I don't know if there's anything to be done. It looks very bad. Any suggestions???? Quick responses would be greatly appreciated. Judith
     
  2. babsbag

    babsbag Songster

    724
    4
    131
    Jan 12, 2010
    Anderson, CA
    Unfortunately my first thought would be Marek's disease which is never good. There are some post on BYC where people have used hypercium to treat it with success, but it not easy, not quick, and doesn't always work.

    Do you know if he was vaccinated for Marek's?
     
  3. Twelve Palms

    Twelve Palms In the Brooder

    16
    0
    22
    Mar 8, 2010
    Thanks for your response. No, the chickens have not been vaccinated for Marek's. I just learned about it while reading all the posts on this site--lots for me to learn. I finally had to have him put down because he was so bad--a good friend came over and took him away and took care of it so I wouldn't have to. Can Marek's come on that suddenly? He was just fine when he went to roost and the next morning, he was in that terrible condition. Someone said it could have been a stroke??? He did have lots of stroke-like symptoms... This is my first time to have to make the decision to end a chicken's life. It was very difficult, but I guess I had better get over it if I'm going to raise chickens. Judith
     
  4. MotherJean

    MotherJean Songster

    Yes, dramatic symptoms like that can seem to occur like a shot out of the blue. One form of Marek's causes lesions on the brain. They may have been there for some time without any observable effect. When they get bad enough, however, and depending upon what part of the brain is affected, it can present symptoms that include mild symptoms like limping and staggering or more serious symptoms like contortion/convulsion, paralysis, and sudden death. It's a dreadful disease and once you've confirmed a case of it in your flock, you must be diligent about vaccinating any new birds against it and keeping them off the ground for at least two weeks until the vaccine provides some immunity. Marek's can live in the soil well beyond a year. As to the rest of your birds. I think it's important for you to secure a necropsy on your rooster to determine whether or not Marek's was present. If so, you have to expect that others in your flock have been exposed and may contract the disease. There has been some evidence that vaccinating birds after the fact may not prevent them contracting the disease, but it may reduce the severity of it and lessen the mortality rate.

    I sincerely hope Marek's can be ruled out for you.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: