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#1 2008-09-08 13:57:51

Ridekool
Active Member
From: Arnprior, Ontario
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 153

Not sure...

I've never seen this before...

I have a meat hen who I thought broke a nail and was limping around (started last week) I segragated her with food and water so the roo's wouldn't bother her. Starting Friday she can no longer walk. She kinda of crawls on her hocks. She's still eating and drinking and looks healthy. I am having her put down as she's not sound (no way I'm eating this one) She's about 3 months old and full grown...All the other birds are fine.

Has anyone ever come across this before?


There is only one quality worse than hardness of heart and that is softness of head.
--Theodore Roosevelt

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#2 2008-09-09 17:14:16

Ridekool
Active Member
From: Arnprior, Ontario
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 153

Re: Not sure...

Geez! What a year for chickens :(

My Mom was wondering if it was some kind of parasite. I'm not about to do a autopsy...wouldn't know what to look for anyway.

*sigh* :banginghead:


There is only one quality worse than hardness of heart and that is softness of head.
--Theodore Roosevelt

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#3 2008-09-09 20:38:14

Ridekool
Active Member
From: Arnprior, Ontario
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 153

Re: Not sure...

All the other birds are fine. I had one meat hen get a cold but she's fine now. They run around outside all day so they should have good bone on them (?) Since this hen is still eating/drinking and moving and is alert I'm not sure if it's a parasite...but I don't know. This year has been a terrible year for birds (mine anyway) One batch of bantam chicks went from 7 to 1. I thought when I changed to a better feed I'd have no losses, I've had more this year then I ever had in all the years I've owned birds (somewhere around 20yrs)
I'm not raising store bought meat birds again, I'll *make* my own and hope they grow slower.
Frustrating!!


There is only one quality worse than hardness of heart and that is softness of head.
--Theodore Roosevelt

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#4 2008-09-09 21:09:55

Chickee's Mom
I Love A.C.E.
From: Gull Lake AB
Registered: 2008-02-26
Posts: 4079

Re: Not sure...

Hey guys were these birds vaccinated for Mareks?? RideKool, I am still looking to see what your chicks had, sent for a book, should be here this week.  ' The Chicken Health Hand Book' by Gail Damerow. Will see if there is anything in it.

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#5 2008-09-10 12:17:06

Ridekool
Active Member
From: Arnprior, Ontario
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 153

Re: Not sure...

No mine weren't. I don't think :confused: I'll have to dig out the paperwork on them :banginghead: They're ready to be butchered...wouldn't Mareks hit them sooner?...?

Thanks Chickee's! I really appreciate it :thumbsup:


There is only one quality worse than hardness of heart and that is softness of head.
--Theodore Roosevelt

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#6 2008-09-10 13:48:13

Chickee's Mom
I Love A.C.E.
From: Gull Lake AB
Registered: 2008-02-26
Posts: 4079

Re: Not sure...

This is taken from Storey's guide to raising poutry.

Marek's Disease
Marek's disease is a disease of chickens caused by a herpesvirus. It takes many forms but is usually characterized by tumor formations in the muscles, nerves, skin, and intestines. Birds older that 2 weeks may be affected. It can cause losses of 30% or more in pullet flocks up to the time of housing.

In the neural form of the disease, tumors in nerves, particularly the sciatic nerve of the leg, result in lameness and paralysis. In the ocular form, birds show " grey eye," or irregularly shaped pupils, and blindness. In the visceral form, one finds tumors of the liver, kidney, spleen, gonads, pancreas, proventriculus, lungs, muscles, and skin. Symptoms are lameness, droopy wing(s), incoordinationd, paleness, weak, labored breathing, and gray iris.

There is no treatment for Marek's disease, and the best control measure is vaccination of the baby chicks. This is usually done at the hatchery. Many hatcheries now vaccinate the eggs just prior to hatching, thus reducing the handling of newly hatched chicks.

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#7 2008-09-10 14:58:48

Ridekool
Active Member
From: Arnprior, Ontario
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 153

Re: Not sure...

Hmmm... It's possible. I'll check the paper work when I get home since I can't remember for the life of me if I had them done :hide:

She'll be put down tonight :aww:


There is only one quality worse than hardness of heart and that is softness of head.
--Theodore Roosevelt

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#8 2008-09-10 15:54:49

Chickee's Mom
I Love A.C.E.
From: Gull Lake AB
Registered: 2008-02-26
Posts: 4079

Re: Not sure...

:sorry:

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#9 2008-09-11 01:13:58

chrissysask
A.C.E. Addicted
From: Shell Lake, Saskatchewan
Registered: 2008-05-21
Posts: 598

Re: Not sure...

wonder why home grown chicks aren't affected like that?  At least I've never had any problems with the ones I've raised myself.


raising Arabian horses, meat goats, commercial sheep, guinea fowl, peafowl, merriam turkeys, pilgrim geese, rough collies, assorted exotic chickens

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#10 2008-09-11 01:26:41

Chickee's Mom
I Love A.C.E.
From: Gull Lake AB
Registered: 2008-02-26
Posts: 4079

Re: Not sure...

Your right Chrissy, wonder if it has anything to do with bringing in birds from out and about?? All the chicks that I have hatched aren't vaccinated or are the ones the hens raise.

Ridekool, I found something that might be what happened to your chicks...could be what is called, ' sudden death syndrome and really nothing you can do about it.
Explain the symptoms to me again.

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#11 2008-09-11 12:17:11

Ridekool
Active Member
From: Arnprior, Ontario
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 153

Re: Not sure...

Turns out the hen was vaccinated for Mareks :confused:

The other casulties...
Chicks hatched out healthy and active (under Momma hen)
A few days later I started to find the odd one on his/her back not trying to get up. I put the chick(s) under a heat light and the seemed to come back to life. Few hours later I'd find them again on their backs and dead (regardless if I kept them under the light or put them back with Momma). I did manage to keep one little chick alive for about a week and she seemed to come back from the dead, one day I could hear a clicking when she as she breathed and a day later she died.


There is only one quality worse than hardness of heart and that is softness of head.
--Theodore Roosevelt

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#12 2008-09-11 14:25:54

Chickee's Mom
I Love A.C.E.
From: Gull Lake AB
Registered: 2008-02-26
Posts: 4079

Re: Not sure...

Marek's, percentage affected, 30 to 50 percent in unvaccinated flocks, less that 5% in vaccinated flocks.
Mortality, can be nearly 100%, gradually increasing for up to 10 weeks, higher in pullets than in cockerels.

The only thing I can find about a chick on it's back is this Sudden Death Syndrom. How many chicks did you lose?
Rattling or chirping sounds leads to Newcastle. The diagnosis says, chicks with both nervous and respitory signs.

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#13 2008-09-11 18:05:48

Ridekool
Active Member
From: Arnprior, Ontario
Registered: 2008-05-26
Posts: 153

Re: Not sure...

All together...8(?) From 3 different groups. Only 1 with the clicking noise...

*sigh* I don't know if Sudden Death Syndrome makes me feel better or not...:confused:


There is only one quality worse than hardness of heart and that is softness of head.
--Theodore Roosevelt

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#14 2008-09-11 22:35:58

Chickee's Mom
I Love A.C.E.
From: Gull Lake AB
Registered: 2008-02-26
Posts: 4079

Re: Not sure...

I know, I could see it if it was only one or two, but to lose that many chicks??? really not sure what that could have been.
Will keep reading.

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