Young Pullet Sitting Down - Marek's?


In the Brooder
8 Years
Dec 5, 2011
Grand Prairie, TX
Hi everyone!

First of all, this is not sunning or dust bathing sitting. It's the strangest thing. This one Easter Egger pullet we have, about 3 months old, has begun sitting down with her legs stretched straight in front of her, sitting up like a dog. When I approach her she stays still until I poke at her, then she will get up, move a few feet, and lay/sit down again. She is the only one that does it. She does sun herself and dust bathe with the others, but she is the only one who is doing this "dog sitting" stance. And she is walking ... I dunno how to describe it, just FUNNY. Like she is doing a silly walk.

The only thing I am pulling up on Google is Marek's. I don't want it to be Marek's! They are supposed to be vaccinated anyway! Ideas and recommendations?
I had my chick did a weird walk/sit thing at 3-4 weeks old. She would walk, sit down briefly with one leg bent underneath and one leg stretched out, get up and do the same thing. She finally found a good spot and laid down in the sun for 1 hour. She's now 2 months old and healthy as ever and doesn't do that any more.
Just wondered what the outcome of this was? My 10 week old Red is doing the same behavior. It doesn't seem to be affecting the other 3 birds in the flock. And they are not treating her differently, but when everyone is running around and happy, she just wobbles a few steps then plops down.
Marek's will make a bird walk funny, almost as if they are drunk. Sometime they will stagger. Sometimes they'll drag one leg. Sometimes they'll just sit a lot.

Naturally, it seems to affect the most beautiful pullets who are just at the point of lay, never the extra cockerels that we don't really care that much about, and can afford to lose.

I do know of a friend who was able to nurse a valuable pullet back to health, although I've never done so. I have generally always culled.

Was your Red vaccinated for Marek's?
My pullet did this too. it turned out to be nothing. she is few months shy of year old and is a faithful layer. hope your chick is alright
@Pathfinders - I bought the chicks from a local feed store, and he said they were all vaccinated. None of the others had any problems.
She also has 'oily' looking feathers. I added vitamins to the water and she seems much improved today.
I may treat for mites - her feathers have some white near the base that doesn't look normal to me. She seemed to be molting for a lot longer than the others did. I keep thinking she is done, but her feathers keep looking ragged.

I am adding DE & ashes to the sand area in the run. She loves her dust baths.
I only have 4 pullets and they have quite a bit of space, so they are not wading around in their poo much. I think she will be ok. I really appreciate this site where I can find answers to almost anything! It makes this hobby so much more enjoyable and FUN! Thank you for your replies
Honestly, I know a lot of people say DE works against mites for them, but I have a 49# bag that will attest to the fact that it didn't work at all for me (I used a pound of it and the rest I didn't bother using, as it didn't work at all.)

Try getting some Sevin Dust and see if that will help. Did you check around her vent, as well as under her wings and on her neck? Sometimes mites don't always show up around the vent, sometimes they are in other places too. And there are other types of parasites than just the Northern Fowl Mite, for some good info start here and scroll down:

Hope that helps.

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