Chicken Leg Paralysis

by Laura
(Santa Maria, California )

Question:
When my chickens reach 14 weeks, Suddenly they start walking funny and limping the next day.

The third day they are down in one leg. The fourth day they are on the ground and cannot move one leg they start getting really thin. The 5th day they die.


When 1 day old they were vaccinated with Marecks.

Answer:

From the description given there are two main possibilities that I see.

1. If this lameness is accompanied by any of the following: cheesy nasal discharge, loss of appetite, rapid weight loss, increased thirst, swelling of leg joints, wing joints, foot pads, wattles, and sinuses; swollen sticky eyes, and sometimes breathing difficulties it could be Cholera (chronic).

In this situation, I would dispose of the dead birds, remove all sick birds from the flock, and clean everything. There is no vaccination and no known cure for this and it does spread from bird to bird.

2. If you do not have any of the above symptoms with the birds the other logical choice would be Osteoporosis.

This is a retrovirus that is also spread from bird to bird and these birds were probably infected from the hatchery or in breeding.

There is no cure and you must get rid of these birds and start over, getting the new birds from a different source.

Sorry you are having these problems. Neither of these scenarios is very good.

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Paralyzed chickens

by Robert Pettit
(Morelos, Mexico)

Question
I live in Mexico and have rented a small property where the previous occupant had ducks, turkeys, chickens, etc. and very unclean.

I rented this property so my son could have laying chickens. At between 4-6 weeks we have lost 8.

Today, at 4 months old another two died. They seem to be completely healthy, eat well, run outside and catch bugs and the next morning they are laying on there side unable to get up. So, I sacrifice them.

Always I see orange colored excrement in the pen prior to this happening. I have treated twice with Baycox and disinfected every day after, however I am unable to do this more than once a week now.

Any ideas? They have been wormed twice with ivermectin, vaccinated with Merck Newcastle vaccine and fed a commercial food. My son is not taking this very well and would like to find out prior to losing all of them. Thank You, Bob

Answer
Was the property completely cleaned and sanitized before you brought the chickens there? I would certainly advise that you start giving them a water soluble vitamin.

You should also increase their protein levels by feeding scrambled eggs or canned cat food. It would be the wise choice to contact a vet for him to diagnose the problem and advise you how to treat it.

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