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What is wrong with my chickens? Please help!

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi there

 

Background: I purchased some new chickens from two breeders and one had a swollen eye. I was unable to source Terramycin; treated with Consumix then ran out and couldn't source more; then treated with Doxybiotic for Pigeons and Caged birds (after researching options and checking with a Vet to see if I could) and thought that I was in the clear...

 

Four -ish weeks later my Araucana Rooster had a bit of heavy breathing and looked worse for wear. His comb was exceptionally pale and I relocated him, my Araucana and EE hen to a private coop and started treating them with Consumix. I lost him two days later. I have only had him for a few weeks and don't think that I heard him crow once and did not see him mount any hens, so I am not sure if he was not entirely right from the start. He did come from a good breeder, and although his comb was never a bright red, it became paler about a week ago and his heavy breathing symptoms only really showed a day or two before he died.

 

Nevertheless, I do not want to lose any other chickens. Please view the photos and give me some advice!

 

Above: My Lavender Araucana Hen. Pale comb and swelling beneath eye.

 

 

 

 

The two photos above are of my Lavender Pekin hen. She also has a pale comb and is very pale in her eye area.

 

Above: My Lavender Pekin Roo - there seems to be nothing wrong with him, he is just very shy and cute!

 

 

Above: A general shot of my chickens. I am a bit worried that they look bare around their eyes and am concerned that it may be because of mites. Please advise. I have cleaned out their coops every four to eight weeks and sprayed the coops with a combination of bleach, dishwashing liquid and sunflower or canola oil as a natural remedy for bugs. There is also lots of dust and loose earth for them to fluff about in. Could they have worms?

 

I have a separated area for these chickens (Araucana hen, Easter Egger, Lavendar Pekin trio, two Siklie Roosters, and various ages of a mix of breeds) to free range in during the day.

 

My other chickens (Dutch Bantam trio; Blue Australorp Roo and Australorp as well as a mix of other hens) are in my garden (next to the other fenced off area) and show no signs of illness or pale comb.

 

Any advice would be much appreciated!

 

Jax

post #2 of 7

Don't guess what's wrong. Contact the Agriculture Department in Pretoria and ask them where your nearest poultry lab is.

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

Reply

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

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post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your advice! I will contact them and my Vet, over the Easter weekend I was unable to do so before.

post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 

How does the poultry lab test for the illness?

post #5 of 7

You can send a bird that had just died and they can do a full necropsy. Or better yet one that is very ill with the same symptoms. They will humanely euthanize and then necropsy.

State and national labs are usually much cheaper than a vet for that purpose. A vet will usually have to send the bird off to the same lab but they get their cut too.

 

In the states the cost varies widely. Some states are free. In MO it is $85 for a complete rundown but worth it to know exactly everything that is going on in the bird and subsequently, in the flock.


Edited by ChickenCanoe - 3/29/16 at 5:24am

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

Reply

NPIP 43-813

“Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.

Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”                  Mark Twain

Reply
post #6 of 7
To check for mites hold them and spread their butt feathers apart till you can see their vent. Look for any black dots crawling away from the light. They like dirty warm areas.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi there

 

Thank you all for your advice.

 

For external parasites: I dusted their coops with Karbadust - I am note very happy with getting it into all of the cracks and only tried the bag method of covering my hen with one hen (the sickly Araucana) because I found it very uncomfortable for her (and thought that there MUST be a better way). I have since found a fantastic spray (or so it sounds) for chickens as well as their coops: Ectomin 100 EC G3314, but need to source a smaller bottle as the supplier only had 5l bottles and it is very expensive. How convenient - an all rounder spray! I will continue with the oil, dishwasher and bleach natural remedy generally and only use the spray if I suspect it necessary.

 

For internal parasites: I de-wormed the chickens with Ecomintic 50 (Fenbendazole 5% m/v) (3ml per kg). I used 100 ml for 20 liters as advised by a breeder for mixed breeds and ages - smaller chicks and hens will naturally consume less. I haven't seen any worms in their stool yet, but still think that it was a good idea (it seems the general cause of anemia).

 

For general health: I am using a course of Consumix Plus for all of the chickens in the general area where the three hens with pale combs are as well as VMD Aminovit as a booster - which covers most sicknesses and was advised by the store.

 

The sick Araucana hen already looks much better and far more active. The two other pale combed Lavendar Pekin hens seem the same, they have been very active anyway.

 

Because there were only three hens in question, I have not tested their stools and did not see it as necessary to do a full necropsy. I am going to give it a few days to see if there is an improvement, if not, then I will send stool for testing. If the Araucana hen dies, I will investigate sending her for a necropsy. I just thought that it was worth giving her a chance, and she does seem to look better. Thank you for the insight about the Agriculture Department in Pretoria Flock Master.

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