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    • CommentAuthorsuperkev62
    • CommentTimeApr 17th, 2012 4:46pm (Apr 17th 2012)
    Hi new to this but in need of a bit of advice. I bought four Brahmas last month. All looked big and healthy. About 10 days ago I noticed a limp and this quickly deteriorated to sitting about all day save for getting in and out of the hen house at the start and end of the day and the occasional stumble to the water. She still eats very keenly, still lays the odd egg, drinks seems perky. She has no obvious injury and both legs piston furiously when I pick her up. Vet gave her a quick look up and down and announced he didn't know what it was but probably mareks. Suggested I have her for Sunday lunch. She is sat in a very large dog crate in my study. Do I have any cause whatsoever to be optimistic. Am I right in saying this could go on indefinitley. Would be really grateful for any realistic opinions. S
    • CommentAuthorLynnW
    • CommentTimeApr 17th, 2012 5:41pm (Apr 17th 2012)
    How old is your hen? It sounds like the only symptom is a limp, right? Does her comb look pale? look very closely at the bottom of her foot is the center of it swollen? Vets know very little about Chickens and usually just say kill it. Are any of your other hens acting funny? Hens can just hurt their legs jumping off a perch..if the only symptom is a limp, it doesn't really sound like Marek's to me. I'd be a bit more optimistic about this..injuries take time to heal, keep a close eye on her, and check out the rest of your girls. Check out the threads on here about "Bumblefoot" there are pictures of it. I'd think it was that rather than Mareks.
    • CommentTimeApr 18th, 2012 11:22pm (Apr 18th 2012)
    Let me start by saying I know absolutely nothing about chickens apart from what I've read on here. I've owned dogs, cats and rats but never a hen!

    A friend of mine had a very similar problem when she first got hens. Timing was freakily similar too. One of hers would just refuse to walk. It would sit about all day, only eat if hand fed, and the lay-experts (excuse the pun) she met all said to "wring its neck". It was muted that maybe she was broody, but the symptoms didn't fit exactly. She took her to the vet who was about as much use as your vet, and in the end let time and nature take its course (along with attempts to get her to walk, turfing her off her adopted broody box, continued hand feeding). One day she suddenly decided she was going to move, and although weak and shaky (not surprising after so long) within a week she was back to normal. She is still fine and healthy now.

    I suppose my point is that the folk on here can guess at possibilities for you, but without seeing her its hard to judge. As Lynn says vets see hens as a waste of time to treat, so your alternatives are to either find another vet who has more experience or wait it out and see how she goes. I don't know what Mareks is, but as long as she's eating and drinking and doesn't seem to be in pain then surely it's worth giving her some time before rushing in to euthanising her? My only other comment would be is Mareks infectious? Are the other hens OK?

    Good luck - please let us know how you get on, and welcome to the forum!
    • CommentTimeApr 21st, 2012 1:30pm (Apr 21st 2012)

    Keeper of the hens

    That vet sounds worse than useless - you wouldn't suggest eating a dog for Sunday lunch!!

    How are your other hens, showing any symptoms? How is egg production in general? You want to look out for sudden weight loss and a drop in egg production. Also, are the hens' irises the normal orange colour? If they've turned grey that's a definite Marek's indicator!

    Have a read of this thread:

    To be honest I would keep her warm, rested and well fed, and see if it heals. I'd look around for a chicken-friendly and experienced vet who could give you a second opinion and maybe check for any broken bones.

    Good luck and welcome to hencam.