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weight loss, watery green poop, lethargy...what antibiotic to try?

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 

Hello....

3 year old black star is sick for the 2nd time in 2 months for about 1+ week now. She exhibited the same symptoms about 4 weeks ago but improved on her own. For about 3-4+ weeks she has been having watery green poops. The entire flock (4 birds total) have been having some watery poops since July. I attributed this to the heat as all of their activity levels & appetites were very good when the watery poop started; checked the poop chart and thought it was ok. Now the little black one has become reclusive and lethargic, losing her appetite and losing weight. Vent looks dirty. She is not egg bound. No respiritory symptoms, no discharge from the eyes, no loss of balance/staggering . She has not laid for about 3 weeks (hard to say exact timing on this). She has not stopped eating and drinking completely but she is no where near her normal stamina. She and all the other birds still have watery poop as well but it is not hot anymore. I now believe  I have to treat them all to prevent them all from declining.

I gave them all pedialyte since saturday as well as poly-vi-sol baby vitamins in a mash of blue seal pellet feed, scrambled egg with the shell and olive oil. All the birds loved the mash except the sick one. She drank the electrolytes but her appetite is very sluggish. Today she eagerly ate tomato and a little cracked corn.

I use pine shavings for bedding. I've cleaned the entire coop and added DE to combat any lice or mites. (I noticed one of the other birds scratching herself yesterday but she is molting around her neck). The coop has an unusual odor....I would not say particularly foul but not normal.

I've ordered de-worming medication from the local feed store. It will be in the day after tomorrow. I want to give the entire flock antibiotics as well. I am not sure what kind of illness to suspect here but I want to try to rule out bacterial infection by treating with a broad spectrum antibiotic. What should i use? Tetracycline? Where to get it? Thank you for any advice as to what she/they may have and how to treat it.

1 EE, 2 PRBs, 1 big ol' RIR bad boy Roo, my pride and joy. Can't wait to get more! Looking to meet more chicken lovers in the NYC/Brooklyn/Staten Island area so message me! 
 

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1 EE, 2 PRBs, 1 big ol' RIR bad boy Roo, my pride and joy. Can't wait to get more! Looking to meet more chicken lovers in the NYC/Brooklyn/Staten Island area so message me! 
 

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post #2 of 26

I would hold off giving them an antibiotic and worm them first. Then wait about a week and see if there's improvement. I recommend you worm them with valbazen.


     Most people have no clue...Forewarned is Forearmed

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     Most people have no clue...Forewarned is Forearmed

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post #3 of 26
Thread Starter 

I am waiting on the de-wormer from the feed store but it will not be in until tomorrow. I will see how they do on this and then give antibiotic. I do not want to lose my whole flock but also don't want to bombard them with meds all at once (also then I would not know which one worked)

Please, is there anyone else who can offer some feedback? I feel I am not getting any answers and am losing time. The black chicken is declining. Today she was lying haphazardly in the yard but then jumped up when I offered her some tomato. She is not eating or drinking much.  The others still have diarrhea but their activity level seems normal.

Has anyone seen a case like this before? Does it sound like worms? Where can I go for more info? I am really getting a little desperate here and don't know where to turn.... any advice or even just speculation would be greatly appreciated.

1 EE, 2 PRBs, 1 big ol' RIR bad boy Roo, my pride and joy. Can't wait to get more! Looking to meet more chicken lovers in the NYC/Brooklyn/Staten Island area so message me! 
 

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1 EE, 2 PRBs, 1 big ol' RIR bad boy Roo, my pride and joy. Can't wait to get more! Looking to meet more chicken lovers in the NYC/Brooklyn/Staten Island area so message me! 
 

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post #4 of 26

While you're waiting for the wormer, clean the Black Star's rear end. Pick her up and visually inspect her for lice/mites, especially around her vent area. You can purchase some poultry nutri drench and give her 2 drops orally once a day for 5 days, use an eyedropper.  Provide her scrambled egg mixed with buttermilk to make a mash and force feed it to her if you have to, use a large syringe without a needle to administer it orally, otherwise you might have to tube feed her. I cant help with tube feeding, never had to do it.


     Most people have no clue...Forewarned is Forearmed

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     Most people have no clue...Forewarned is Forearmed

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post #5 of 26

Bright green, runny poops indicate a chicken doesn't have enough food going through them. I've heard the poops look green because the bile in them is more concentrated because not as much food volume is passing through.

Might your chickens have eaten something with mold on it during the last few months? That can cause a slow decline from internal fungal infection. I posted some info on treating this at http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=545153&p=1 .

Re. Poultry Nutri-Drench--It's MESSY to give by eyedropper. You might try dribbling some on food (oatmeal, etc) & see if they'll eat it that way. It is very good for chickens, but very messy.


Edited by SpeckledHills - 8/17/11 at 8:03pm

 

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www.PoultryPedia.com  ~  HOW TO:  Treat Leg Problems  •  Choose & give Chicken Medicines  •  Super-Glue Wounds  •  Remove Rooster Spurs  •  Identify Breeds  •  Promote Peace in Your Flock  •  & More

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Please visit SOCIAL ISSUES page.

 

Chickens are a joy.

 

www.PoultryPedia.com  ~  HOW TO:  Treat Leg Problems  •  Choose & give Chicken Medicines  •  Super-Glue Wounds  •  Remove Rooster Spurs  •  Identify Breeds  •  Promote Peace in Your Flock  •  & More

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post #6 of 26

3 years old for a sex link hen is pretty old.  They usually start laying odd shaped eggs and then stop laying altogether.  In between the odd eggs and no more eggs many problems can arise.  Egg bound is only one.  You can check that with a gloved and lubed finger.  There is also the internally broken egg that gets infected inside lots of bad smelly green poo or yellow green cottage cheese like discharge.  There is also the internal egg.  There is a tear in the canal the egg travels through and the egg ends up in the abdomen and causes an infection.  Examine the worst of the birds  for a distended abdominal area or rear end.  Antibiotics will help until the next incidence.  Once a hen has any of these things happen it will happen again.  You will need to make a decision whether or not to commit to treating them/her every month or so OR just let her go on her own OR cull. 

My sex link hen same age, same symptoms was treated once then I let her just finish out naturally.  She lived another 4 months eating bugs in the yard and quite content.  She had 2 other instances of broken internal eggs in that time frame.

Hope this helps you rule out or feel more confident in treating.  Best of luck.

Pro 27:23  Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.
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Pro 27:23  Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.
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post #7 of 26
Thread Starter 

Thanks everyone for your replies....I have been so busy caring for her, trying to figure out how to treat the others and going to work I did not have time to write more....

I took her to the vet yesterday. He did not see any mites or lice. Her prescribed 100 mg Doxicyclin capsules in 500 cc water per day for all 4 hens. Does anyone know if this sounds like an appropriate dosage? The weight loss on this hen is astounding. She is only 2.4 pounds and you can see her breast bone clear through. The vet wanted to take a stool culture and a throat culture...she had some plaque in her throat. All these exams would have cost about $200, I could not afford it so I came home with the antibiotics alone. The vet said to hold off on worming them....to treat with antibiotics first; that backyard birds don't often pick up parasites and he speculates the cause is bacterial or fungal but he did not seem definitive on this. 

There is no way the sick one will drink 125cc per day (her share of the total daily 500cc) so I have taken the concentration down to about 50 cc per water and gave her about a teaspoon this morning. I mixed the medicated water with some plain whole mild organic yogurt and added some poly-vi-sol baby vitamins. I have to force feed her this from a syringe, about 6-9 ml total. Not fun for her or me. She definitely fought me more this morning than last night when i dosed her which I took for a good sign. Her vent is dirty today, I gave her a little bath yesterday I will clean her vent today. I am trying to stress her as little as possible and keep her surroundings quiet and light during the day, quiet and dark at night. I have a little fan blowing on her, the temp in the room is about 75-80. Her poop is very watery, some dark greenish solids and mostly whitish liquid. She is still very lethargic but alert and will eat a little tomato or cracked corn from my hand. I am going to try some ground oatmeal and dry milk mixed with the medicated water as well.

She has laid misshapen, almost round eggs in the past and her poop does have a foul oder but I would think the vet would have figured out if she was egg bound. She is so thin now, I think I would feel the egg in all my handling of her. Also, the other birds have runny poops as well....and i am really concerned now because they do not seem quite as active as normal. I soaked some bread in the medicated water and fed them this, which they ate pretty eagerly. Also gave some yogurt with vitamins. I don't know what else to do....I have to wait and see if the antibiotic works.

It is definitely possible they could have eaten something a little moldy or spoiled although they are usually pretty discriminating and won't eat things that are past their prime. Therefore this could be fungal.....I think doxycycline will treat this ? does anyone know for sure?

What do you think guys? What do you think about worming them anyway or many wait till the antibiotics are through. This is highly stressful for all the birds and me....I think the others can sense something is wrong because I took the black one away yesterday and she didn't come back to them.....

I am contemplating spending the $50 and taking him the stool sample......

1 EE, 2 PRBs, 1 big ol' RIR bad boy Roo, my pride and joy. Can't wait to get more! Looking to meet more chicken lovers in the NYC/Brooklyn/Staten Island area so message me! 
 

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1 EE, 2 PRBs, 1 big ol' RIR bad boy Roo, my pride and joy. Can't wait to get more! Looking to meet more chicken lovers in the NYC/Brooklyn/Staten Island area so message me! 
 

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post #8 of 26

This sounds wierd, but once they come off the antibiotics for a few days, try raw milk and scrambled eggs.  I know it won't get ride of the worms, but it seems to help with just giving them a boost after a period of stuff like this according to a friend who swears by it - says it is an old timer's cure-all.

Good luck!  It's worrisome when your chicks don't feel good.

Mom to 4, Granny to 3, loving our flock of well, the chicken math just keeps getting more and more complicated.
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Mom to 4, Granny to 3, loving our flock of well, the chicken math just keeps getting more and more complicated.
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post #9 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeckledHills 

Bright green, runny poops indicate a chicken doesn't have enough food going through them. I've heard the poops look green because the bile in them is more concentrated because not as much food volume is passing through.

Might your chickens have eaten something with mold on it during the last few months? That can cause a slow decline from internal fungal infection. I posted some info on treating this at http://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=545153&p=1 .

Re. Poultry Nutri-Drench--It's MESSY to give by eyedropper. You might try dribbling some on food (oatmeal, etc) & see if they'll eat it that way. It is very good for chickens, but very messy.


Oh boy, SpeckledHills......after reading your info on the other post, and the other bird Polly wit such similar symptoms I am inclined to this this may be a fungal infection. I do remember there was some mold on their feed several months ago because it had gotten wet. I discarded all this feed but they may have eaten some. When the vet examined her and I saw the plaque in her throat it struck me as fungal in appearance. I could not afford to have this cultured....it was about $130...if I bring them a stool sample, which is less costly, do you know if it would reveal the fungus if this is the cause of infection....?

Now I am very worried because I have started them on the antibiotics....I've been giving yogurt as well. She won't drink any water, I've been adding the poly-vi-sol to yogurt with the antibiotics and having to force feed her with a syringe. I can try the apple cider vinegar and will get some spinach. She still loves tomato. This condition sounds very hard to treat but all the symptoms are fitting......Do you think I should see how she does on a couple of days of antibiotics? She doesn't seem any worse than yesterday when we started them and actually fought me more when I fed her this morning....

1 EE, 2 PRBs, 1 big ol' RIR bad boy Roo, my pride and joy. Can't wait to get more! Looking to meet more chicken lovers in the NYC/Brooklyn/Staten Island area so message me! 
 

Reply

1 EE, 2 PRBs, 1 big ol' RIR bad boy Roo, my pride and joy. Can't wait to get more! Looking to meet more chicken lovers in the NYC/Brooklyn/Staten Island area so message me! 
 

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post #10 of 26
Thread Starter 

I ordered the poultry nutri-drench....I hope she will make it....it will be here tomorrow.....

1 EE, 2 PRBs, 1 big ol' RIR bad boy Roo, my pride and joy. Can't wait to get more! Looking to meet more chicken lovers in the NYC/Brooklyn/Staten Island area so message me! 
 

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1 EE, 2 PRBs, 1 big ol' RIR bad boy Roo, my pride and joy. Can't wait to get more! Looking to meet more chicken lovers in the NYC/Brooklyn/Staten Island area so message me! 
 

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