2 chickens dead this week, please help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by AnnaL, Aug 8, 2014.

  1. AnnaL

    AnnaL In the Brooder

    Jun 3, 2014
    I'm new to raising chickens, and we've been fine up until this week. On Tuesday, we didn't spend as much time outside with the chickens as usual, but when I looked out my back window in the early evening I noticed one was dead. She was roughly 15 or 16 weeks if that makes a difference. We had no clue what happened, so we hoped it was a fluke and just watched them a little more closely. This morning (Friday), my husband went out to tend to them like he does every morning and one of them had partial paralysis on half her body and was completely inconsulable, so he put her out of her misery. We think she was one of the 12 week olds.

    Based on my brief search, I suspect botulism. We also have ducks, so we have a pool for them that occasionally goes more than a day without being changed. We also use a waterer that holds 2 days worth of water. We're going to make all water a daily thing, but realistically can't do it more often than that.

    Based on what I was reading it sounded like our compost pile could be part of the problem too?

    So I'm wondering what I can do to help any of the others that might be sick but aren't showing symptoms get better and what realistic actions I can do to get rid of toxins and prevent this from happening again.

    Also, if you think it sounds like something else, please let me know. I find it strange that just the girls are dying, but that could jst be coincidence.

    Thank you.

    Oh, and I read something that mentioned apple cider vinegar, but didn't say what to do with it?
  2. Mallory8502

    Mallory8502 Chirping

    Apr 26, 2014
    I would take a look at any fresh poops in the coop/run and if you see anything that looks like blood in the poop it could be coccidosis, which is fairly common in younger birds. Coccidosis doesn't always show as bloody poop though, and like most chicken diseases, can be hard to diagnose. If they are having diarrhea at all I would say go ahead and treat for coccidosis if you are losing birds. Probably the easiest medication to find is Corid - at tractor supply and maybe southern states. It is labeled for cows.

    You could be right and something from the stagnant water made them ill. In either case, treating with a broad spectrum antibiotic (also at TSC) will cure many bacterial illnesses.

    You can even use Corid and the broad spectrum antibiotic together without issues if you are not sure what to do.

    None of this will help if it turns out your birds have a viral illness, in which case you can't do much but offer supportive care and electrolytes in the water.

    Are the ducks and chickens getting along ok? No fighting?
  3. AnnaL

    AnnaL In the Brooder

    Jun 3, 2014
    Thanks for the suggestion, I read up on coccidiosis and my gut feeling says that it's not the issue. We only have a small property, but they have full roam of the back yard during the day and we haven't seen any symptoms of them being sick other than the partial paralysis this morning. Everyone else still looks good and we spent lots of time outside with them just so we could keep a close eye on them. We're going to continue doing this for the next few days too.

    The ducks and the chickens get along great! the majority of the flock including the 3 ducks were in the brooder together, so I think that helped to bond them.

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