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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 28574
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 45 years of experience
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My chicken about 10 weeks old was found in the pen curled up

Customer Question

My chicken about 10 weeks old was found in the pen curled up in the corner covered in ants, after removing all the ants I have her inside in a box with wood shaving and water, she can't move at all, there are no signs of injury, she has no energy and can hardly lift her head to drink the water, we need to hold her head and bring the water to her mouth, she will then drink a bit though, over night there are no signs of improvement, but does still drink the water when given to her. What do you think I should do?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry to hear of this with Junior. To be quite frank and pragmatic, I must tell you that my poultry owners will cull such a chick. Regardless of the cause of such a presentation, it's severe enough that the likelihood of recovery is near nil. Junior's paresis (weakness) or, indeed, paralysis, is most indicative of Marek's disease (herpesvirus) at her age but I would also consider a toxin such as botulism or aflatoxin as well as overwhelming bacterial or viral infection.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.