by Khara Cavendish
(Norton, Ohio, USA)
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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?
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.