15 week old hen trouble shooting

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Beach Chickies, Jul 31, 2014.

  1. Beach Chickies

    Beach Chickies Hatching

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    Jun 30, 2014
    I have 5 red star hens hatched about easter. The biggest one got sick 3 days ago. First she stayed in the henhouse and wouldn't forage in the yard with the others. Yesterday she ate and drank but spent most of the day sitting and sleeping in the shade. Today she can't move, eat or drink. She has good breathing, no poop to anaylis or any fluid from her nose and looks good. Being only 15 weeks I don't believe it could be an egg blockage problem. Her neck and abdomen seems normal with no swelling. They eat layer crumbles, treat worms and forage in a florida yard. They love wild bananas..Any ideas?
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

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    Apr 8, 2013
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    Hello and [​IMG]

    Have you checked into Marek's disease? Lots of FAQs and info on this forum about it. Pretty common, but still serious disease, some experts reckon everyone should just assume their flock has it unless proven otherwise.

    Have you checked her crop to see if it's emptying normally? If crop or gizzard bound they usually stop eating for at least a while. But they generally do keep pooping for a bit. Checking is best done usually by putting her in a cage with no food and seeing in the morning if her crop is totally empty.

    Anyway, best wishes with her.
     
  3. Beach Chickies

    Beach Chickies Hatching

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    Thanks for the info but.....poor Blondie died and went to chicken heaven already. I talked to the breeder that I got her from and he suspected maybe a parasite although I use diatremaceous earth around the pen and in the crumbles as directed. He suggested Waszine and tetramyacine in their water prior to them laying in a month, they have been vaccinated for Mercks and the others here and at the farm are doing fine.Her color was fine and clear bright eyes and a good appetite but within 3 days of acting out of the ordinary, just died peacefully. Maybe we just lose a chicken sometimes for no apparent reason. The Art and Mystery of Chickening.
     
  4. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

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    Sorry for your loss.

    Marek's is still a possibility because the vaccine doesn't stop them getting it, only stops most of them showing symptoms. Some will still die from it, there are different strength strains of Marek's and some are so virulent you can still lose a whole flock to it even when vaccinated. Also some breeds are more susceptible than others.

    Parasites rarely paralyze them, so while it's a mystery death, it's generally a good idea to bear in mind that whatever killed her is still potentially a threat to your other chooks until you know what. Still, may take you years to find out what, or you may never know. Anyway, hope it's a one-off.

    I would autopsy her if I were you, but if you're not up to it I understand. Even with DE being used they can get worms, too many commercially available forms of DE are too weak or soft to do the job. I've had good and bad batches of it and use multiple worming aids like cayenne, garlic, etc as well.

    Best wishes.
     
  5. Beach Chickies

    Beach Chickies Hatching

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    Jun 30, 2014
    Thanks for the info, I am going to my local farm supply to get a wormer and anti bacterial for the water. The breeder I got the red star hens from treats his flock twice before they start laying. A question, ..somebody gave the dead bird some table scraps including chicken bones the night before she got sick. Would anything like that harm a young hen? I usually only feed them layer crumbles and occasional dried meal worms. Any help for this newbie would be appreciated. Thanks mate.
     
  6. chooks4life

    chooks4life Crowing

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    Yes, the chicken bones in particular are a very likely issue.

    They taste and smell of protein, calcium, gelatine, and general nutrition that many chooks are often desperate for so even if it's a struggle to get it down the hatch they will persevere. Of course it may never come out the other end. I am very fussy with what sort of table scraps my chooks get, even though mine are free ranged and generally smart about what they eat.

    Table scraps are often extra risky with cage reared birds as they often lack sufficient experience/instinct to handle things like onion peels (able to block them up internally, too much fiber in a strong sheetlike form) and bones (also able to block them up, but also if they were hard enough they could have pierced her internally and caused her to die). Septicemia can rapidly result from bones piercing the intestines. Such an issue would likely stop her eating immediately.

    We have a 'chook bucket' at our place, which only certain, safe scraps go into, and a 'compost bucket' which non food scraps go into like peels, bones, etc.

    Best wishes.
     

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