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Chickens dropping like flies

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

I woke up 3 days ago and found a limping chicken. She would still get around but would take an occasional rest. She slept outside the coop as she was unable to get to the roosting bar. She did this for two days. I had her on aspirin and would give her electrolytes and yogurt via a syringe (w/o needle). She finally went back in coop and roosted with the girls. The next morning, the chicken next to her remained on the roosting bar. I thought this was rather peculiar. I picked her up and put her on floor. She was completly lethargic!

Her movements are seizure like and her eyes are barely opened.

She has been like this for 3 days now. I have her on antibiotics and electrolytes. She looks like she is gasping for air.

Today, I woke up to another chicken who looks nearly dead  She was on the floor of coop. She was completly fine the day before


Is this Mareks? or could have my chickens been poisoned?

Does Mareks really kill chickens this fast?


I am torned!!! :(

post #2 of 12

For 2 to be affected so close together I would suspect a toxin or poison such as mold in the food, botulism from eating dead animal remains, maggots, or rotted vegetation from a compost bed, lead posioning for old lead shot or paint chips, or from rat poison or chemicals. It hard to think that a neighbor might want to harm your chickens, but that also needs to be a possibility. I would look at and smell your feed for any off odor or color, since mold can form overnight in feed. Look around your yard for any animal carcasses. Here is some info about botulism, mold in feed, and Mareks disease:

post #3 of 12
Thread Starter 

I really think my chickens were poisoned! At least these 2

post #4 of 12
Thread Starter 

Update, the nearly dead chicken is now dead. The one who is very ill is still alive.

post #5 of 12

Because the sick birds became ill at intervals I suspect Marek's disease.  However at this point anything is a possibility.


I think that poison (or a toxin) would have resulted in symptoms showing up in all the affected birds at pretty much the same time. 


Of course much depends on what type and how much toxin was consumed.


There are no iron clad symptoms of Marek's disease because it is a tumor that can attack any organ of a chickens' body also Marek's goes through a progressive worsening of symptoms as the tumors enlarge.


Keep us posted and good luck.

Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
Keep your chickens safe from predators, buy and wear fur. 
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

But shouldn't be overtime? And i would have seen other symptons as well and signs of a  weaker bird. 

The chicken that died was perfectly fine yesterday. In fact she even laid an egg. Today, she pretty much woke up dead.



post #7 of 12

Some chickens can go rather quickly from Mareks, but most will have symptoms for a bit. Some will last for weeks. The necropsy by the state vet or local veterinary college would really be helpful. In a few states they are free, and some will euthanize a sick chicken at no extra cost. Make sure that your chickens are eating and drinking normally, watch for anyone standing hunched or puffed up, and look for any diarrhea or blood in their droppings which could be a sign of coccidiosis (many times a reason for sudden illness.)

post #8 of 12
We're waiting for confirmation of Mareks from necropsy but ours went that fast with very similar symptoms. 6 dead in 2 weeks. How old are your chickens that are sick?
Edited by SweetandSavory - 1/12/16 at 4:18pm
post #9 of 12
Thread Starter 

they will turn 1 on march 13 of this year

post #10 of 12
Thread Starter 

Today, i made the one that is gasping for air throw up. She threw up corn! Which i do not feed them. She also threw up what appeared to be a piece of a red balloon. She looks better but still not there

Edited by Jporres - 1/13/16 at 2:31pm
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