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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 7:03 pm 
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I have a black silkie pullet around 3 months old. She was fine yesterday but today she can't/wont walk. She appears well in herself but seems to tip forward and then lay on her side moving her legs but not getting up. Any suggestions?
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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 7:04 pm 
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can you please fill in the basic checklist from near the top of the forum and the wise ones who help will also likely ask for a photo :)


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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 7:12 pm 
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BASIC CHECK LIST FOR THE SICK BIRD
Please answer these brief questions below, so we can help you as soon as possible.

Age: Approx 3 months
Breed: Silkie
Sex: Female

Your Location- country, state (different areas/climates have different problems)
ANSWER: Victoria

What is wrong? What symptoms have you noted? - As much detail as possible please.
ANSWER: She is unable to walk. If you hold her upright and then let her go she tries to walk but tips forward and then lays on her side sort of paddling her feet.

Full droppings description.- colour, consistency, frequency, offensive smell.
ANSWER: Droppings look normal

Respiratory Changes?- eg. breathing sounds, discharge, laboured breathing, facial swelling
ANSWER: No

Digestive Changes?- eg. eating, drinking, crop filling & emptying
ANSWER: Was eating yesterday but hasn't eaten today

Condition Changes?- eg. Weight, comb/wattle colour, skin, feathering
ANSWER: No change evident

Behavioural Changes?- inc. socialising, laying, crowing, broodiness
ANSWER: She is laying down as she can't walk

Agility Changes? - eg. any lameness, favouring, energy levels
ANSWER: As above. There is no apparent injury to her legs.

Describe your usual worming routine and products. [If none, say so and skip the next 3 worming questions.] Do you have a cycle that you use eg. every 3 months, or every six months?
ANSWER: I haven't wormed her as I've only had her for about 2 weeks

1. When was the bird last wormed??- approximate date.
ANSWER:

2. What product was used to worm the bird, and how was it given? ? eg. in the drinking water, on the skin, by injection?
ANSWER:

3. Was a follow up dose given? (eg. 10-14 days later)
ANSWER:

Any other recent medications?- antibiotics, coccidiosis meds, herbal remedies, etc
ANSWER:

Other changes? – additions to the flock, diet, housing, extreme weather
ANSWER: No. We have recently changed the ramp into the top box of their pen. The older chickens seem to go up there but I haven't seen this one do it.

Photos? – any relevant photos are very helpful
INSERT HERE:

Now, once you have posted with all the above information, please follow this link...
viewtopic.php?t=7955660
...and answer as many of the questions found in those check lists as you can, then get back to us with anything you haven't covered above.


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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 7:17 pm 
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She is eating now but still can't keep her balance.


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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 7:19 pm 
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Does the chicken have big balls of mud stuck to its feet?


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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 7:20 pm 
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How does she sit? Does she have one leg out straightish? Can you post a picture?

Also, can you describe her diet in detail? Did she have a limp before she stopped walking?

Have you felt over her legs for any sign of injury?

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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 7:21 pm 
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Glad to see you here chicken :)


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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 7:22 pm 
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It looks like you've been doing a good job on your own here Chookmad. :D

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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 7:30 pm 
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She has no mud on her feet and when she sits (with support) her feet are bent under her. When she lays on her side she paddles her legs out straight.
The chickens have the RSPCA free range seed mix plus vegie scraps. I have had some layer pellets in there for the older chickens. Could this be a problem. I'm wondering if they got wet and she ate them later but I would have expected her to be a bit 'sicker' in herself.


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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 7:41 pm 
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A 12 week old bird needs a different formulation of food than adult birds. It should be eating a grower crumble which has smaller piece sizes, a higher level of protein and a higher level of vitamins and minerals while the bird is growing. You should have grower crumble available to the bird all the time, so it is feeding whenever it wants to.

There are a few possible reasons for the lameness but first we need to eliminate rickets. It is possible your bird has a dietary deficiency. It is fairly common for young birds around this age to develop leg problems if they are not on a good diet. Sometimes people mistaken think they are giving their birds a good diet by giving lots of kitchen scraps. This just dilutes the nutrients that they need and can become a problem if overdone. Also young birds have trouble with big grains. Also a layer mix is not an appropriate feed for a young bird. It has too much calcium in it, not enough protein, and the wrong proportion of vitamins and other minerals. You need to start feeding it the rickets diet. Here it is:

Quote:
It is a diet that Sandy came up with that is designed to give a sick bird vitamins, minerals and energy very quickly. It is high in protein and can be fed to a sick bird as a tonic. You can replace ingredients with others with similar nutrients. It's just a guide. It was initially meant for birds that have developed rickets as a result of deficiencies, but it's also very helpful for most sick birds, particularly those that haven't been eating well.

A sick bird can often be helped by the Rickets diet. Feed the birds once a day for three days or until you feel the bird is looking and acting better - usually 3 weeks.

This amount feeds one bird. Each serving consists of:

½ to 1 x cooked egg yolk… crumbled into mixture
1 teaspoon of cod liver oil..
1 very small drizzle of honey
2 x tablespoons natural yoghurt - no sugar
2 to 4 tablespoons rolled oats or Baby rice
1 dessertspoon of beef tin cat food…… Not dog food
A few grains of multi vitamin powder
2 tablespoons of grated apple..
Mix to make a crumble mixture not runny, if you have to roll into pellets and force feed, and then gently massage the neck in a downward motion to get it down into the crop, then do it, the bird may be too weak to eat or have lost the desire to eat….

Always have fresh clean water available at all time for the bird and good quality food
Feed the rickets diet in the morning. Also have her ordinary feed and fresh clean water available at all times: if it has not been fully eaten with in 12 hours throw it out... make another one the next morning.. don't add to it.. clean out the dish it was in also before adding the new mixture.


Try that for a few days and keep us updated on any changes, for better or worse.

Another possibility is that there is some paralysis in the legs. One check that you can do is to turn your bird upside down and test the responses in the legs. Take a leg and pull it away from the bird and see if it pulls back against you. Then compare with the other leg. Then test the legs by pushing them toward the bird one at a time, and see if the bird pushes back at you. If you are not sure of the normal strength test another healthy bird. Let us know how you go.

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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 7:48 pm 
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I probably should add that if she can't walk, she can't get to protection or food or water, so you'll have to keep her in a box in a protected area (maybe a laundry) and make sure she gets what she needs.


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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 7:54 pm 
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Thank you so much for all your help - I really appreciate it.
She doesn't seem to push back too much against your hands but will move her legs around when you pick her up or hold her.
I will go out tonight and grab all the stuff for the Rickets diet so I can get it in to her straight away. I'll have to wait until tomorrow the the grower crumble.
Someone suggested Marek's disease :cry: but I don't want to give up yet. Her limbs don't appear to be paralysed as she is moving them, it seems to be a balance or strenght issue. I have had her inside today where it is warmer. Do you think she would be better off inside overnight or out with her friends in the coop?


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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 7:57 pm 
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I would keep her inside, she will be more protected and sheltered and it will be easier for you to keep an eye on her.


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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 8:09 pm 
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Thanks :)


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PostPosted: Thu May 28, 2009 8:40 pm 
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Well I didn't want to mention the 'M' word yet, but it's definitely one of the things to consider. I always like to try the rickets diet first, especially when the diet hasn't been ideal. Fingers crossed!

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