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Jessica Johnson

Wobbly/stumbling chicken

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Hi all, I bought 3 point of lay salmon faverolles from a reputable breeder on the 19th of August, just over a week later one of them started having problems walking and balancing. Her feet seem heavy and it’s like she’s about to tip backwards and she rights herself with her wings occasionally . Her tail looks a bit rounded down and her wings a bit dropped. She can’t scratch around in the ground like the others as she loses balance. She still preens herself when she’s sat resting.

She is eating and drinking well. We took her to a vet and they have given her 2 intramuscular antibiotic injections (Baytril) over 2 days and then subsequently 7 days worth of oral suspension of the same antibiotic. I have also wormed them all with flubenvet layers pellets. 

2 vets I spoke to suggested Marek’s disease which would obviously not end well but she was vaccinated as a one day old chick with Poulvac MD - Vac.

any suggestions or stories of similar issues would be helpful,

with thanks


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Have you contacted the breeder directly? 
Marek’s can flare up after a stressful period, like moving house. If it is Marek’s it often does not end well, although my chickens who had Marek’s weren’t vaccinated.

Have a look at her eyes. Mine had two different pupil sizes, which is a sign of Marek’s.

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Perhaps something has flared up after the move. I wouldn't have bothered with the vet visit, but I appreciate that is the first instinct for your chickens welfare. Guess you just wait and see. Genetic variations can throw up problems, especially if the breeder is using young hens, despite their 'apparent' reputation. Please don't breed anything with hens under three years and preferably five, or genetic problems will multiply. The problematic hens will have died early. Ask the age of their breeding flock and see if they are just breeding major problems.

I think Marek's is just another breeding error and not actually a disease, just a genetic problem?

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