2 Dead hens, others sick - may have eaten cement mortar while "free ranging" into garage - Can I hel

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LLU1FarmArtist, Jul 27, 2014.

  1. LLU1FarmArtist

    LLU1FarmArtist Hatching

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    Woke up to dead & sick young hens. Had just started feeding them regular layer mix crumbles, & using new bigger waterer (we didn't have to fill as often). We are on well water, so thought maybe water had soured & grew bacteria & made them sick. Went immediately for antibiotic mix from Atwoods & gave it to them in fresh water & put them back on chick crumbles w/antibiotic in it. Several drank medicated water like very thirsty. Others we made drink a little w/a dropper. While checking out their usual roaming area outside of their house, I found the old hard cement bag in the garage. They roam in & out when they are loose. The bag was torn open & it looked like peck marks on the old hard cement with some powder still on top. Now I'm thinking bad water wasn't so bad after all. Hope they don't all die. Anybody have suggestions of anything else I might do to help them?
    Thanks for any suggestions.
     
  2. lightchick

    lightchick Crowing

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    Welcome! Was it wet cement or dry? If it was dry then that's not a problem at all. It'd be like grit.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

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    Welcome to BYC, and sorry for your loss. Can you do a necrospy on one and open the crop,gizzard, and intestines to see if it is blocked? Check your layer crumbles to make sure there isn't mold that you can't easily see, or clumps in it. Scratch and feed this time of year can mold easily, and can cause aflatoxin poisoning. This can kill pretty fast. Also look at botulism as a possible cause. This comes from eating a toxin produced by rotted animal carcasses, vegetation, and maggots. Here is some reading:
    http://birdhealth.com.au/flockbirds/poultry/diseases/mould_infections.html
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/19/botulism
     
  4. LLU1FarmArtist

    LLU1FarmArtist Hatching

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    The cement was dry.
     
  5. LLU1FarmArtist

    LLU1FarmArtist Hatching

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    Thanks for the article. I think the feed looks good, but I'll look closer. They do spill a lot on the cement floor then pick at it on the floor. It's really dry in their house though. It does gets pretty gross in there before we sweep it all out and spray with Poultry Protector for bugs. We've been doing that every 2 or 3 weeks so far. Maybe the food on the floor turned bad??? If that's the case, caring for them and keeping their house sanitary could be almost impossible for us to keep up with. I haven't had chickens for many years (since I was a kid). Back then we always threw their feed on the ground, but it seems it was mostly grains, though, not pellets. Shish! We've only had chickens a few months and we've really enjoyed them, but it's sure turning out harder than I remember.

    I don't think we're up to a necropsy. I'll just hope the antibiotics work.
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

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    I would think that eating powdered cement could indeed be a problem when liquid is added in the crop or GI tract causing it to solidify.
     
  7. LLU1FarmArtist

    LLU1FarmArtist Hatching

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    We found some moldy feed on floor under feeder. Might have been that instead. Several more have died today. Started with 15 all young and strong. Down to 8 and several of them look sick too. We've completely swept out the house and added fresh hay in boxes, with fresh feed and medicated water. We added a fan, though their house is under a tree and has decent ventilation. They are drinking the yellow water antibiotic mix we added yesterday and refreshed today. When they first start acting sick, they are lethargic and their wings start drooping like they are too heavy to hold up. My 8 year old son's pet died in front of him this a.m. We've been crying all day. So silly... they're just chickens we got for eggs, but they've been the highlight of our summer. I hate to lose them all. Any ideas of anything else we should do.
     
  8. lightchick

    lightchick Crowing

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    Oh! Chickens are amazing pets! So sorry that your losing them![​IMG]
     

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