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Introducing chicks in the run after deadly infection

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Hi, I have had a nasty episode in my outside run, a python came and killed two hens (there was a small hole in the night coop, still baffles me how a 3 meter python squeezes through a 3 cm hole, but anyway, it happened, hole is now closed). 

 

Two days later one of the surviving hens got ill, yellow/ green poo and lethargic, died in two days. I gave it metrogyl (antibiotic) but did nothing. Then another died a day after. I had a stool sample of the surviving hen analysed, as I was worried it was coccidiosis. 

Stool sample only showed 'motile bacteria' so no idea why the metrogyl did not work. Vet is now suggesting another antibiotic, but I am hesitant as the hen has no symptoms, just a low appetite. But I have no idea what would be a normal amount for her to eat, she is only 4/5 months old and not laying yet. But she eats less than my 5 week old ones. She mostly eats mealworms which I gave her as a treat since she is a bit sad & lonely & possible ill.

 

Which brings me to my main point: I have 3 chicks that are around 5 weeks old and I want to put in the run as they are outgrowing the small cage they are in. Who can I make sure the run is safe?

 

I have cleaned the night indoor coop with bleach. But what about the outside run. It is fairly large, 3 by 5 meters. 

And should I give the pullet that is out there the antibiotic to make sure she is 'clean' to protect the chicks? 

Normally I'd rather not give too much antibiotic to not screw up their gut health. 

 

Shoudl I wait longer to let them grow bigger?

 

Put them outside short periods to get used to it?

 

There is only the one pullet now in a large space, so not worried much about harassment.


Edited by Karien - 2/4/16 at 6:20pm
post #2 of 9

I have no advice to give you re infection but I am fascinated (and horrified!) that you deal with pythons as predators. I've been feeling sorry for myself over losing a hen to a coyote. But pythons! Wow!:ep

See my chicken blog at:  http://polloplayer.wordpress.com/
My little flock includes Pippa, a Belgian Mille Fleur d'Uccle, Ginger, an EE and three babies added January 2016 - Bella the BO, Ava the Australorp and Nugget, a RIR.

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See my chicken blog at:  http://polloplayer.wordpress.com/
My little flock includes Pippa, a Belgian Mille Fleur d'Uccle, Ginger, an EE and three babies added January 2016 - Bella the BO, Ava the Australorp and Nugget, a RIR.

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post #3 of 9
I'm so sorry for your loss. you can try a solar powered electric fence around your coop. you can place the wires low and pout one high. so it will " ZAP" the predator with a electric current and hurt them.I bought everything for my electric fence off Amazon.com fairly reasonably priced. Make sure it's solar powered. I haven't had the time to put mine up yet but it Will offer great predator protection! you might consider one for your birds protection.hope this helps you out best wishes!!
post #4 of 9

I understand you concern about the possibility a pathogen still is lurking somewhere in the run to sicken your remaining hen and new chicks. I would have the same concerns.

 

There are viruses, however, that lurk in the soil that can take many years to become neutralized. Marek's is one, and there are similar viruses that have a shorter viability. I would have the soil tested for such pathogens. Call your largest state university (Irvine?) and ask them to recommend a lab. They probably have an agricultural extension office that performs these tests. Then ask if it's possible to test your live hen for any viruses. Antibiotics isn't going to help with viruses, but knowing it's active in your flock will at least let you know what you're dealing with.

 

You're wise to be hesitant to release your new chicks outside until you know what's killed those battery hens. The python incident was bizarre. I guess So Cal has become like Florida with a reaming population of pet reptiles being released to fend for themselves by irresponsible humans. This is what you get.

 

If your last hen suddenly sickens and dies, don't dispose of her, but have the lab do a necropsy. That way, you can then be certain of what is killing these chickens.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanks all. 

 

We have given an antibiotic to the pullet, but her appetite has not improved, she has lost weight since last week unfortunately... 

It makes me think it is not bacterial. even though the stool sample did show pathogenic bacteria... Her poo and behaviour are still normal. 

 

Azygous, we are not in the US, I'm in Asia (Singapore) but no-one here keeps chicken for fun, it's a big city state with no countryside. 

In Malaysia and Indonesia, our neighbouring countries ,people keep chicken in the villages, but they just run around wild and it is a different, much tougher breed. But not good layers, and I am not allowed to import those chicken into Singapore, they are very strict. So my only option has been to get ex battery hens. 

 

I'm not too worried about the python coming back, as we have fixed the night coop, and there is no way in anymore. Pythons hunt at nights. 

 

It's the infection/ bacteria/ virus or whatever it is that worries me... I am not sure whether the university would do soil samples? Thing is, we live in the jungle, adjoining a national park, and there is so much lurking in the area. Maybe battery hens are just not string enough for this environment? 

post #6 of 9

So glad to know you do not live in southern California. That's a different kind of jungle. Do you have a university you can inquire at? Surely, they would have a lab and could look at your soil under a microscope and run some pathogen tests to see what grows. It's really the only way to know if it's something in the soil making your hen sick.

 

Or just turn the chicks loose and hope for the best. Sometimes there is just no guarantees. Like I pointed out, if this hen dies, you can find out for sure what made her sick by getting a necropsy.

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 

For who likes to see more of our jungle chickens, and an update: http://www.bedu-mama.com/2016/02/the-hassle-with-hens.html

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
post #9 of 9


@Karien wow! That is some snake! What an interesting life you lead!

See my chicken blog at:  http://polloplayer.wordpress.com/
My little flock includes Pippa, a Belgian Mille Fleur d'Uccle, Ginger, an EE and three babies added January 2016 - Bella the BO, Ava the Australorp and Nugget, a RIR.

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See my chicken blog at:  http://polloplayer.wordpress.com/
My little flock includes Pippa, a Belgian Mille Fleur d'Uccle, Ginger, an EE and three babies added January 2016 - Bella the BO, Ava the Australorp and Nugget, a RIR.

Reply
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