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Q: My chicken cannot walk. Does she have Marek’s disease?

A:

Lameness is a very common symptom of Mareks’ disease, but there are many other conditions that can also cause paralysis or lameness in your chicken. Nutritional Deficiencies, such as rickets, vitamin E deficiency, and vitamin B1 or B2 deficiencies can cause problems that may mimic some of the symptoms of Marek’s disease. Botulism and certain poultry diseases such as Encephalomyelitis, Aspergillosis, or Lymphoid Leukosis can cause paralysis in chickens. If you have a bird showing symptoms of any illness, quarantine her right away, and have an avian vet diagnose her.