Mille Fleur has health problem

by Khara Cavendish
(Norton, Ohio, USA)

Question

Mille Fleur has health problem: I have 7 chicks total in the group; 2 wheaton Ameraucana, 2 Golden Seabright, 2 Mille Fleur, and 1 that we're not sure the breed of (possibly java or something of the sort). They are all one month old.

One of my Mille Fleur chicks has something wrong with it. I don't know what. I know it doesn't have coccidia because they were tested a week ago. He has uncontrolled movement.

He can't walk, falls over, and can't hold his head/neck still. I am feeding him wet chick feed so he can eat on his own, and giving him water with a syringe.

Answer
The symptoms sound like they might be Marek’s. This chick needs to be separated from the others and the brooder area thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.

This is a highly contagious disease that chickens get from each other. Young chicks, if exposed, have little immunity to fight it. There are three forms of the disease and the most common affects the central nervous system, making them less an less able to function.

Sadly there is no cure. I’m sorry to give you this news. The most important thing is to protect all other poultry from contact with him and his droppings.

The next thing you should do is find out if this is Marek’s, from a veterinarian that knows poultry diseases.

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Young Chicks Having Trouble Walking

Question:
Young Chicks Having Trouble Walking: I have 6 2 month old chickens that are all having trouble walking. They all eat and drink fine and appear healthy other than it seems like walking is difficult and they would rather not do it.

When they do walk they flap their wings as if it helps them to move . they don't stand very long either when they are at there food or water they will always lay down to eat or drink. any suggestions?

Answer:
So sorry this is happening.  Unfortunately it sounds like it might be Marek's disease.  It can affect the central nervous system, causes poor response in feet and legs first, then they become paralyzed. 

Sadly, there is really no cure, if this is Marek's.  They seem to stay alert and want to eat, but have trouble getting their body to cooperate. 

Young chickens seem to be most often affected.  There is a vaccine, and if you replace these, you must get vaccinated chickens.  Marek's can stay in the environment and affect other chickens with the same problems.  

Sadly, the kindest thing to do is put these out of their misery (if this is Marek's) as they will continue to get worst until not being able to eat at all.  They may have been infected with this when you got them, or somehow exposed to it where you keep them. 

This is a very contagious disease, recovery can happen with a lot of medical intervention, but they will always carry the disease, if they survive. 

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