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Chickens developing Slow Growing Disease/Sickeness and Dieing

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

My grown chickens have developed an illness that is very complicated. I took it upon myself to get veterinarian help. Treatments did not work on my first very sick hen. Sent off another hen to UT Austin college for dissection. Concluded that the dead hen had fowl pox. The symptoms don't all add up to fowl pox from the extensive research I have been doing. I have baby chicks inside at this time and I do not want them to contract what my grown hens are developing. Symptoms progress over months, 6 months or more. I currently have a Cochin Bantim Rooster and a Old English Hen that shows no symptoms. The ones that have died are 1 Barred Rock, 3 Red Star, and 1 Black Star. Currently have another Black Star showing Laten symptoms. Unsure what to do. I love my chickens and hate to eradicate them, especially if they seem healthy, laying eggs, and have no issues.

Symptom timeline below

 

Goes away after a few weeks:

Clear runny nose

Shaking head to release secretions

Open mouth breathing at times

 

Constant:

Egg Production stops suddenly

Decreased Appetite

Runny Stools and White Liquid

Cluck turns into a Goose Noise

 

In the End Symptoms: A few days to a week before death

Unstable, easily falls to either side

Both wings droop, slowly progresses downward

Tired, staying in coop -not free ranging much

Separating self most of time away from flock

Having difficulty keeping eyes open, like half shut most of the time.

 

Please Help!!! Chickens are a very complicated bird, if sickness becomes apart of the flock. I experimented with my first few sick chickens. Quarantined, gave tylan 50 & tried other local feed store antibiotic. Vet did steriods, some improvement but did not work. Added apple vinegar to water regularly. Got Vet RX to see if it would help at all, don't see any changes. Tried an Electrolyte solution, made hen open mouth breath more. Stopped each one after no improvement on symptoms. Gave accordance to directions and BYC posts.

 

Fyi: After each bird died, I would disinfect the coop. I regularly sprinkle DM powder around the coop area and inside the coop and also the nesting boxes. I clean my very large coop weekly or every other week. Each bird has more than enough space. Fresh water is available at all times. Feed is mixture of scratch, pellets, crumbles, and meal worms. I very rarely feed them human scraps because they have plenty of land to free range. I feel I am doing everything by the books and what Ive read, so why are they still getting sick?

 

Any suggestions that I have not thought of or should try? I am exhausted with trying to figure this out. I truly love my chickies way too much! :)


Edited by Breakofday316 - 2/25/16 at 11:23am
post #2 of 25
Thread Starter 

Forgot to add symptom my Barred Rock developed:

 

Redness around Comb

Swelling of Comb

Black tiny Circles on both legs increasing in number over time

No scabbing or nodules or open areas developed (like pictures of poxes)

One had foamy watery eyes


Edited by Breakofday316 - 2/22/16 at 2:19pm
post #3 of 25

Can you post some pictures and/or video?

Some photos of the comb and black tiny circles on the legs as well.

Were they vaccinated for Marek's, anything else?

 

Sounds like some type of respiratory infection.

The first link has a comparative symptom chart at the bottom which you might find useful.

Hopefully someone with more insight will chime in.

 

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044
http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/the-great-big-giant-mareks-disease-faq

http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/94/mycoplasma-gallisepticum-infection-mg-chronic-respiratory-disease-chickens/

post #4 of 25

Here is a very good link that I have found good to research symptoms of various diseases since it includes pictures. Just click on "View All Disease Names" and go from there. It has a section for each disease for clinical signs and gross lesions, and includes many of the rarer diseases. It might help you to find something that seems familiar:

http://partnersah.vet.cornell.edu/avian-atlas/#/ 

post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Looking at her today, she's developed sour crop. Very unsteady when she runs & then fluffs up in the back. I think the sour crop is just an addition to all the other issues.

th_trim.D0E258E8-C370-4D47-A72B-7553C3A20EE6.mp4
Edited by Breakofday316 - 2/23/16 at 11:53am
post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Breakofday316 View Post

Looking at her today, she's developed sour crop. Very unsteady when she runs & then fluffs up in the back. I think the sour crop is just an addition to all the other issues.

th_trim.D0E258E8-C370-4D47-A72B-7553C3A20EE6.mp4

When I click the picture there is an error?

How old is she? Is she laying yet?
Does her breath smell?

What does her poo look like?

What type of feed/treats do you feed and does she have access to grit?

Was there any testing for coccidiosis?  http://www.backyardchickens.com/a/coccidiosis-how-to-treat-it

 

http://www.tillysnest.com/2012/01/crop-issues-html/


Edited by Wyorp Rock - 2/24/16 at 9:21pm
post #7 of 25
Thread Starter 

When I click the picture there is an error?

 

Unsure why that is. I used the link to photobucket, maybe wrong link.

 

How old is she? Is she laying yet?

 

She is at laying age because other hen we have is the same age and started laying a few weeks ago.


Does her breath smell?

 

No odor of the breath

 

What does her poo look like?

 

poo is nice solid. has some white creamy color to parts of it.

 

What type of feed/treats do you feed and does she have access to grit?

 

I mix together and feed them purina organic pellets, purina crumbles, scratch, grit, and meal worms.

 

Was there any testing for coccidiosis? 

 

Not sure. I know they just did dissection on her sister to see why the other died & conclusion was pox.

 

I guess it could possibly be wet pox and we would see any outside lesions.

post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 

Here are a few pictures since the video did not work. Its hard to tell she is off balance and her wings droop to the ground. I put her in this box to quarantine her and she can't even get out, that shows how uncoordinated she is at this time. thanks~

post #9 of 25

Did this hen also have the respiratory signs of runny nose, and head shaking? Is there any mold in the environment? The symptoms she is showing sound like it could be some neurological problem such as Mareks, lead poisoning from eating old lead shot in the ground or paint chips, or from eating moldy feed. Fowl pox doesn't cause the runny nose or any of the symptoms you have described. Aspergillosis from mold can cause respiratory as well as neurological and other problems later on.  It's really puzzling. Avian influenza can cause redness around comb and swelling, and red spots on legs, among other symptoms.  I would recommend that you get another necropsy done by your state vet if you lose her.

post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 

Did this hen also have the respiratory signs of runny nose, and head shaking?

Yes.

 

Is there any mold in the environment?

No. I keep a very clean coop and they free range during the day.

 

The symptoms she is showing sound like it could be some neurological problem such as Mareks, lead poisoning from eating old lead shot in the ground or paint chips, or from eating moldy feed.

I agree on the neurologic because she is about to die. She is unable to stand, lying on her side. Breathing has slowed. Will not open her eyes. I tried getting her to stand and her legs are stiff.

 

Fowl pox doesn't cause the runny nose or any of the symptoms you have described. Aspergillosis from mold can cause respiratory as well as neurological and other problems later on.  It's really puzzling. Avian influenza can cause redness around comb and swelling, and red spots on legs, among other symptoms.  I would recommend that you get another necropsy done by your state vet if you lose her.

 

I agree on another necropsy because I don't want my baby chicks I have to die also. Never realized chickens could be so complicated. New world I have learned so much about and never thought I could be so attached to each one. It would be nice to know what they have and how to treat it properly.

 

Thank you for your help.

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