Featured I need advice on a sick pullet

Discussion in 'Beginners Forum' started by dmkrieg, Oct 1, 2017.

  1. dmkrieg

    dmkrieg Member

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    First off let me start off by apologizing for my ignorance and not vaccinating or deworming my chickens since I started raising them in April. I thought I was doing everything right and my chickens have always looked so good and healthy from what others have told me when they've seen them.

    Here's my issue I went out to open up the barn one cool morning and found one of my Easter Egger hens just laying on the ground underneath where they would normally roost. She appeared as if she couldnt stand and I could understand if it was a hirt leg or wing from maybe falling off her perch. I brought her inside and she seems like she just can't stand at all. I have her vitamin water with electrolytes and separated her from the rest of the flock, but she doesn't seem like she will turn around. Any advice on what I could give her or what to look for with my other chickens in case it's a virus??

    Ive never vaccinated as I mentioned previously and curious as to everyone's maintenance for their checkers to try and keep them from being sick??
     
  2. robin416

    robin416 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    There is absolutely no reason to apologize. I never vaccinated any of mine. I stopped worming probably six years ago and have chickens that are getting quite old. All are over six years old.

    We can not prevent them from getting sick. We can do all of the right things and it will still happen, they are living creatures after all.

    That said, have you checked her well. Looked for lumps or swellings that don't belong? Does she have movement in her legs?
    Any drainage any where?
    If you mix up a treat for her will she eat it?
    Is she thinner than another of the same breed?

    It is possible she's been under the weather for a while. They are quite good at hiding illness.
     

  3. dmkrieg

    dmkrieg Member

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  4. robin416

    robin416 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Stop beating yourself up, this happens to all of us. I remember it being devastating in the beginning when I first got them but I've come to accept that they truly are delicate creatures and stuff happens that we have no control over.

    That's exactly what I mean, they seem totally normal. That's how chickens hide any physical deficiencies. Sometimes you can catch the look of the eyes that will tell you something isn't right but that doesn't tell you anything. All you can do is step back and watch.

    Have they begun to lay yet?
    Has her comb changed?
    What about droppings now that you have her isolated?

    Scramble an egg, see if she'll eat that. If you have any yoghurt without goodies added to it to see if she'll eat that.

    Add a touch of sugar to her water, that helps hide the other additives.

    If it's a virus there is nothing to be done except support. Although I don't think that's what it is.

    You didn't mention them getting oyster shell which is not the same thing as grit.
     
  5. dmkrieg

    dmkrieg Member

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    Hello Robin416! I have other hens laying but the 4 Easter Eggers haven't began doing anything and don't have any combs. I just checked my chart and they would have been born first week in July. I keep for all the chickens as free choice a mixture of oyster shell and Poultry grit... well mostly because a 5 year old little boy decided it would be good to mix them together lol. So I keep several little bowls around their areas with it in there. It's mostly because I feed the treats and also I have laying hens.

    As far as the scrambled egg I assume its actually a fried scrambled egg. Should I put anything in it?

    I have her shavings so thick in there i need to go check her stool. I honesty can't remember seeing any last time I was out there with her.
     
  6. chickenqueen

    chickenqueen Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Is it a paralysis-like state on one side of the body?
     
  7. dmkrieg

    dmkrieg Member

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    Yes it seems to be. She just lays on her side
     
  8. chickenqueen

    chickenqueen Super Moderator Staff Member

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    It's probably Marek's disease which is very contagious.There is no cure for Marek's and suspected cases should be culled immediately.I could be wrong(and I hope I am!!!)but that sounds like classic symptoms of the disease.
     
  9. robin416

    robin416 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Except I didn't get an answer about leg response. See if she'll grip your fingers when you touch her feet. Pull on each leg and see if she pulls back.

    There is also the issue of botulinum toxin that can cause the same issues.

    There is just not enough information to form any opinion on what is going on with the bird.
     
  10. dmkrieg

    dmkrieg Member

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    That's what I was worried about. I separated her as soon as I found her. Does this mean if it is that the rest of my flock may get it too?? I bought her from a Rural King along with 3 others
     
  11. chickenqueen

    chickenqueen Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Probably,but keep in mind that a bird can acquire the disease and show no symptoms but can infect others.If it is Marek's,the virus will be present in their areas and any new chickens could get it.It is just one of those things you have to deal with when raising animals.It's not the end of the world or the end of chicken raising but you may have to take precautions in the future.
     
  12. dawg53

    dawg53 Well-Known Member

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    Birds with Marek's generally lay on their side with one leg forward and one leg behind them. I've never dealt with Marek's. Seminolewind (Karen) knows all about Marek's disease. I'm sure she'll jump in here.
    We might be jumping the gun here about Marek's anyway. Have you closely inspected her for lice/mites? Especially inspect the vent area.
    Here's a pic of a pullet with Marek's:
    thmar.jpg
     
  13. dmkrieg

    dmkrieg Member

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    It does kind of look like that and her head she tilts back
     
  14. seminolewind

    seminolewind SuperModerator Staff Member

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    Hi. It does sound like Marek's because it's the right age, and the symptoms. Does she eat? Does she look like she's eating but not really grabbing food? See if you can measure it. Can she aim and pick up the food? It's important to know if another starts having the same symptom.

    If you got them at Rural King, and had no contact with chicks outside Rural King, chances are lower about having Marek's.

    I never discount that it could be something else. I would give her a multi B vitamin. If your chicken has Marek's it means they all have it now and you could possibly lose them all. From now on it means that any chicks you get have to be vaccinated and quarantined for at least 3 weeks. There's no cure for Marek's.

    With Marek's , there's no definite way to tell except by necropsy by an animal disease lab. If another ends up lame, chances are it could be Marek's.

    Either way you should treat them for a vitamin deficiency or a broken leg. Marek's birds usually don't act sick like all fluffed up and not trying to eat. They usually look quite content.

    Keep us all up to date. Keep her confined with thick bedding in case she has a broken leg.
     
  15. robin416

    robin416 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    That sounds more like a vitamin deficiency. Can you get us a pic please.

    And stay away from ideas that this is a deadly event. Like I said before, we don't have enough information to be tossing out a diagnosis. That head back is one of those things that we need to know.
     
    dmkrieg likes this.
  16. robin416

    robin416 Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Do this, stand back and watch the bird. Write down everything you observe. Then check the legs like I said in an earlier post. Take a pic.

    Then come back here and send everything here.
     
    dmkrieg likes this.
  17. dmkrieg

    dmkrieg Member

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    What would I do without you guys!!! I will get you a pic soon. Im out at a benefit so I will take it as soon as I get back and document everything.
     
    nannypattyrn likes this.
  18. dawg53

    dawg53 Well-Known Member

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    "Head back" could possibly be 'stargazing,' caused by a thiamine deficiency. Avian Super Pack should treat it. Dosage is 1/4 teaspoon per gallon of water for 5-7 days, made fresh each day. I would provide it for all your chickens as it is loaded with all kinds of vitamins and minerals including thiamine.
    https://www.jefferspet.com/products/avian-super-pack-4oz
     
    dmkrieg likes this.
  19. dmkrieg

    dmkrieg Member

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    Thank you so much! She keeps tying to stand and just can't and will eat and drink. One foot isnt in front of the other both are the same. I took a small video of her too. I have this soft bedding in a rabbit hutch for her to lay in so if your wondering about the bedding it's just in this area so it's softer for her. In the chicken area I have pine shavings. Also the bowl of water isn't dirty, it is the electrolyte water with a couple pieces of bedding knocked in it. I didn't want anyone to think I was giving her nasty water haha
    IMG_4302.jpg IMG_4305.jpg
     
  20. dmkrieg

    dmkrieg Member

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    She tries to stand but is just wayyy to weak so she plops back down. If I can prop her up she will drink and eat on her own a little. I will order that stuff from Jeffers Pet if I can't find it locally forst I don't want to waste any time trying to heal her.