Getting on to the more severe illnesses now, and if your chicken is showing signs of these it needs to go to the vet immediately…
Marek’s is a horrible disease and it’s really not good news if your chicken has this. It is spread through feather dander carried on the wind, so easily travels from one chicken keeper’s back garden to another. The disease causes lameness and for tumours to erupt on the chickens’ organs. There is no cure, and although there is a vaccine it must be administered when the chick is a day old.
Paralysis of the legs or wings – paralysis may disappear for a few days but this does not mean the chicken is cured
The chickens’ iris changes from the usual colour to grey
Inability to stand or walk
Weight loss and a drop in egg production
Things to try
As I said there is no actual treatment to this disease, so see what your vet recommends. A lot of people will tell you that the best option is to have the chicken humanely euthanized.
However I have read that Hypericum tablets (sold in health food shops) can be beneficial for them. It’s unknown whether Hypericum tablets help the chicken recover from the illness or merely allow them to live with the disease (in which case they are a carrier for life). You can mix one tablespoon of distilled water (it must be distilled) with one of the Hypericum tablets. You should mix it in a glass or plastic bowl, as metal will react with the water and herb. Use a dropper syringe to give bantams around 5 – 10 drops of the fluid and standard sized birds 10 – 15 drops of the liquid; be sure to drop it on their tongue and make sure they rub their beak together, it has to hit the top of their mouth (where their sinuses are) to work.
Contrary to what the media seems to want us to believe (or at least that’s how it felt a few years ago!) this is incredibly, incredible rare. However it does carry with it a very high mortality rate and there is no known cure.
Sudden deaths in the flock
Birds appear lethargic
Drop in egg production
Comb and wattles may turn purple or blue, and sometimes white spots develop on legs and combs
Well I think that is all for now. Apologies for any spelling errors, or things that have been missed out...I’m a little puffed and just want to get it started once and for all!
I had to do it in three separate posts too, otherwise the forum threw a strop at the word count :tooth: