Thank you for your request in aiding your hen...i will need some more information to try and give you the best answer possible:
Are the birds feathers puffed up?
What is her diet and how is her food consumption?
When did she first start exhibiting symptoms?
What is the condition of the other birds?
What is her behavioral activity like? Have these changed? Is she active? Was the decline rapid or slow and steady?
I might have some more questions based on your answers but this will get me started into trying to diagnose your birds problem.
Her feathers do not seem puffed up. She is a polish hen so has the crown of feathers on her head anyway, but feathers on her body seem normal.
We feed her Start-n-Grow. Consumption was apparently normal, but not sure about today. We did not see her eat anything since we noticed the problem several hours ago.
We noticed the symptoms a few hours ago---the first thing we noticed was that she was shaking as if cold/shivering (we live in Phoenix, so it's not that cold). Then it seemed to affect her ability to walk-- we tried to put her up on her perch near the heating lamp, but she was unable to balance herself.
The other birds seem normal. We did have a different chicken die last week, but with very different symptoms---she seemed very lethargic in the AM, and went downhill from there, and died that night. This chicken's decline was very rapid---seemed normal yesterday, just noticed symptoms tonight. She continues to shake all over, seems to be pecking at things that aren't there.
Could this affect the other chickens?
Thanks for the response and answers.
Firstly you need to isolate the bird immediately no matter what...its not worth risking the lives of the other birds. I would seek a local avian vet to diagnose in person as obviously this bird is very sick and slipping fast.
It could be a couple of things. The first and most serious is Marek's Disease. This bird has all a lot of the symptoms. It is HIGHLY contagious. The disease attacks the nervous system it is degenerative and fatal. There is a vaccination available if the bird tests positive at the vet. Obviously I dont want your other birds to get sick as this is the case so isolation is important.
I believe your bird has Avian Encephalomyelitis which is a strong ringer for the symptoms you described. It is also contagious, there is no treatment other than preventative vaccination...and sadly it is fatal.
I would keep the bird indoors in order to makes it more comfortable...if you can get her a vet tomorrow.
Seeing the bird in person would qualify or rule out any doubt. After clicking the green "accept" button feel free to check back in with me using the reply option. I wish I had better news...hopefully your quick jump in seeking help will be key to saving the rest of your animals.
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