2 month old chickens dying

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Fliese, Aug 14, 2014.

  1. Fliese

    Fliese Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2012
    In June, I let a broody hatch out some chicks. She turned out to be a terrible mother and the eggs were all filthy, some exploded, four hatched and she nearly crushed the chicks. She will not get to sit on eggs again. Of the four that hatched, one was deformed and had to be culled, one died when she was about 3 weeks old (she was generally not thriving). The remaining two seemed just fine. They stayed in the broader/grow out pen until almost two weeks ago when we brought back some new chickens (about 2months old to about 4 months old) to the farm. Those chickens came from an NPIP flock and looked very healthy. They were put in quarantine from my main flock, but I went ahead and tossed in our remaining two birds from the terrible hen. Keep in mind, those chicks had been kept away from our flock since the day after hatch, so for two months.

    A couple days ago, one of those chicks was dead. It was a chick with a vaulted skull and had been normal in the morning, so I thought that maybe his head had been hit or something. Everyone else looked fine, so I tossed some ROPA into the water just to be cautious and tucked everyone into bed. In the morning, the other of our hatched birds was standing, fluffed up and not responding. He died by 10a. The others looked fine. I added AmproMed into the water, in case we were dealing with cocci from the incoming birds' farm. The rest of the day yesterday, they all looked fine. This morning, though, one of the new birds was standing fluffed and unresponsive. Another of those birds is also looking a little lethargic and fluffy, but responsive. I put both of them in a dog crate in the garage, but I expect the worse off one to be dead soon, the other seems to be heading that way.

    Is it safe to assume that whatever it is came in with the new birds, or is it possible that the chicks that were hatched under the poor conditions were carrying the illness and gave it to them? I know that chicks who are hatched in places where eggs explode are prone to health issues, but I understood that to last for maybe a couple weeks, not a couple months.

    Does anyone have any idea what is taking out my birds? Some of them have diarrhea, and the one on the brink basically is pooping pink water. Otherwise the symptoms are just fluffing up and dying within the day. Is there anything else I can give them? All of the antibiotics I can find say to not give them to chickens who will produce eggs for human consumption, which is all of these birds except the one remaining rooster.
     
  2. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Put them all on a round of Corid now. The most common killer of young chickens or chicks is coccidiosis. Make sure you get them to drink the med water the whole first day or until they seek water on their own. You can also make a mush out of the medicated water and chick feed.

    Is there any way to know how old the exploding egg was? The deformities may have been a temp variance or bacteria that got into the eggs. NPIP is a great thing but it does not include everything they could catch or bring into your flock. Mostly it covers illnesses that can be passed thru an egg or a chicken can carry for life and spread and not cure. Marek's is not tested for and spreads from chicken to chicken and they remain carriers for life. It does not sound like Marek's because your chicks aren't old enough MOstly. But it could be Aspergillosis carried by old or dirty bedding, humidity and heat, and even grow on chicken feed.

    I would send someone for a necropsy and get to the bottom of it.
    I get you the link on instructions.
     
  3. Fliese

    Fliese Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the advice and link. They've been on cocci meds for three days now. Everyone has been drinking it. I talked to the farm vet today and they think it might be a viral bronchitis infection, because the one chicken who is sick spills water from her beak when I tip her. That's new (or newly noticed). I'm not 100% convinced because they aren't raspy sounding or oozing or sneezing, etc.


    The one who is so sick will be brought into the extension services lab once she dies. The other two have been sitting in the garbage can outside, so I don't imagine they'd be good to test, and I really wouldn't want to have to dig them out of the bin.
     
  4. Fliese

    Fliese Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 5, 2012
    As to the exploding eggs, I know one exploded the day before hatch. A few others disappeared or were found broken and empty around day 10-14. I'm not sure if they exploded or if the hen ate them. She also pooped on the next. I didn't candle her eggs because I thought she could be trusted to do the job, so I just did egg counts about once a week. I only know about the last explosion because she moved the rest of the eggs over to the other side of the broody box , so I found the exploded egg and its goop on the nest when I opened it up to check on food and water supplies.
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2014

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