Topic Options
#14511 - 08/24/06 03:43 PM sick silkie roo - blind & lame - HELP!

I have a heck of a mystery on my hands, and any input would be great.

I bought a silkie roo at our local poultry show at least a year ago. In order to be in the show, I know he needed his LT and pullorum test/vaccinations and a test for AI in order to get into the show. I do not know how old he is, except to say he's at least a year and a half old.

My silkie roo I think has had failing eyesight for some time, b/c he has always behaved differently from the rest of the flock - sleeping in the nest box, not pursuing hens, etc.

About four months ago, I noticed that he wasn't moving around much - and he got attacked by a possum, who removed several feathers from his back. I brought him and and noticed after about a month that his eyes were going cloudy, like an old dog's with cataracts or something. He just sits around in one place usually, although he is able to use his legs.

I am thinking maybe he has gone totally blind. I am not sure how to check. I tried to make like I was going to poke him in the eye to see if he reacted, and he didn't, but neither did my dumb ol' Delaware hen who sees just fine! How can you tell if a chicken's gone blind if he doesn't bump into stuff?

Also, his neck's gone twisted. His head is now positioned like he's listening closely to the ground. He can't eat unless I feed him, same with drinking. I originally was just going to let him die, thinking he was really sick or was poisoned or something (but I wasn't sure how he could be poisoned since he's been in a cage for the past several months). He's acting totally like himself otherwise - no breathing difficulties, no digestive problems - all else looks normal. He's in his molt.

He also has had a persistent case of scaley leg mites. I've tried several remedies and these are pretty persistent mites - it's time for ivomec.

His skin is dry and he looks a little pale. other than that, he's his old self.

I'd like to breed him, and can resort to AI if I have to, but I don't want to breed him if the neck is a hereditary thing, or if he's diseased.

Any hints or suggestions or information about what may be going on would be greatly appreciated.


#14512 - 08/26/06 05:42 AM Re: sick silkie roo - blind & lame - HELP!
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
First you need to fix what you know is wrong. If he has leg mites you need to cure it. Next I would not breeding him, you could simply pass this problem on to the next generation or have developmental problems from the start. Nothing worse than having to cull chicks that just hatched. What is his diet? I would try vitamins. First use some cod liver oil on bread. Just soak a spoonful on a slice of bread and feed it to him. Spread it out through the day. Then add a poultry vitamin mix to his water. Good luck!

Bill L

#14513 - 08/26/06 07:19 AM Re: sick silkie roo - blind & lame - HELP!
Susie Offline
Lord of the Fowl

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 1902
Loc: Arkansas
Have you read up on Marek's to see if it fits the symptoms you're seeing?

#14514 - 08/28/06 02:25 PM Re: sick silkie roo - blind & lame - HELP!

Could be a disease, or simply a vitamin E or selenium deficiency. Silkies seem to be prone to this. Avia charge 2000 is a good mix to add to their water. As to what is causing blindness, don't know. Cloudy eyes are sometimes just cataracts.

#14515 - 08/28/06 03:56 PM Re: sick silkie roo - blind & lame - HELP!
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
What is he being kept in? Is he being kept inside of a coop with some other birds. Are the birds allowed into fresh air?

#14516 - 08/28/06 04:12 PM Re: sick silkie roo - blind & lame - HELP!

Thanks for the info. I kind of gave up on Silas and figured he'd die b/c of inability to eat, drink etc. He lay in the corner of his cage as a lump, with his head tucked under, unable to stand. I dug a grave for him and everything.

Then after two and a half days, he didn't die. I decided to give one last ditch effort to save Silas, since he seemed to want to live so badly. I gave him an injection of water under his skin to combat his dehydration, fed him gruel from a syringe, and gave him large doses of penicillin and tylan-200, and he started improving almost immediately! His neck has started to straighten out, and even his eyes are clearing up. His skin is darker and less dry than it was. I'm totally puzzled as to what illness he had...

I have been treating his terrible scaly leg mites, which remain the worst I've ever seen. A thick application of pine tar wrapped with paper towels got the mites on his legs some time ago, but they migrated to his toes - a much harder place to daub with tar and wrap with paper towels. His toes look awful. I'm painting his feet with Campho-Phenique now, and hoping this will at last kill them for good.

He's standing up in his cage, and his head is only slightly tilted now, his eyes are bright and shiny black - I expect by the end of the week his head will be back to its normal posture, and he'll be eating on his own. Far from being a lump, he's alert and much more active in his cage. I got some vitamins and he's going to get them tonite.

I can only wonder what the heck brought him to the low condition described in the beginning of this posting... ear infection? eye infection (there was no pus or discharge)? Vitamin defieincy? He may have been eating chick starter more so than big bird food, and I wonder if that was causing a deficiency in him... If anyone has any theories, I'd love to hear them.


Moderator:  Admin @ The Coop, Moderator2 
Who's Online
0 registered (), 64 Guests and 3 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Shout Box