A SICKLY SILKIE
QI have a three-yearold Silkie that has developed loose lime- green stools and she is having trouble holding her tail end up. She is very unsteady on her feet and has stopped walking about, and just leans against the wall. What can it be and how do I treat it and will my other hens get it?
With almost any other breed, I would say that your bird has a liver problem, but with the lack of balance as well, it could be Marek’s disease, for which unfortunately there is no cure. If it is liver disease, then an antibiotic should help. See your vet quickly. Silkies and Sebrights are particularly prone to Marek’s disease and most of them are vaccinated against it as it is a herpes virus. This vaccination has to be given at day- old. It is not effective in adults. Marek’s also has a nasty habit of producing tumours anywhere in the body of a hen. At the age of this hen, it could have developed these; the paralytic form of Marek’s is more common at puberty.
Healthy white Silkies