3 dead birds this week, what should be my next step

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by dynomitegirl, Dec 30, 2013.

  1. dynomitegirl

    dynomitegirl Out Of The Brooder

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    I started raising birds with my son earlier this year. We just moved to a 2 acre farm. We have 15 laying hens 2 rooster and 3 chicks that hatched on Thanksgiving. We also have (had, in some cases) 2 peacocks, 2 chuckers, 4 pigeons, 3 guiena fowl a pair of Lady Amherst pheasants, a pair of red golden pheasants and a female brown eared pheasant.

    After a dog got into our coop and killed 4 chickens and an owl killed 1 in the same week we purchased 10 adult hens from a local breeder in Sept. It was one of those choices I wish I could go back and do over again. His home was being foreclosed on and he was moving out when we came to get the birds. The coops were dark and dirty and it wasn't until the next day that I realized I had 10 sick birds on my hands. there was everything from mites, scaly leg mites, deformed feet, and breathing issues. My gut said I should cull all of them, but this was my first experience with birds and my son really thought we could save them. (and I really didn't think I could kill them) We quarantined the birds and started the whole round of treatments, bathed the birds, treated for mites, antibiotics, and eye drops. We lost one right away and the respiratory infection spread through all of them. When winter hit I had to move them to the main coop with the rest of my birds because we can't get to our back up coop once it snows.

    From research it looks like I would need to have samples sent in to narrow down exactly what strain of virus or bacteria is causing the infection. I have ordered kits to collect samples. The symptoms are decreased appetite that progresses into no food or water consumption, watery, green loose stools (one bird also had bloody diarriah). bubbly, puss swollen eyes, wheezing, and sneezing. The birds that are affected the worst become very lethargic and don't move.

    When we moved the birds to the main coop the disease went through our flock like wildfire. This week we have had 2 pheasants and a peacock die. I have 2 more pheasants and our last peacock in the house in dog kennels so I can give them water and antibiotics by the hour, but I know they won't make it. I tried everything to save the last 3 birds, I know it is just a matter of time.

    So far the guiena fowl, chuckers and pigeons seem immune to it. The chickens are all sick but they don't die, they get past the eye infection part and just continue to sneeze and wheeze. The antibiotics don't seem to help. I am using oxytricyclien , 2tsp to a gallon of water for 10 days and then alternating with aureomycin crumbles in their feed for 10 days.

    I am exhausted, I have tried everything I can think of, where do I look for help? At this point do I contact the state ag dept? Any advice would be appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2013
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    I feel sorry for you and all that you have to deal with. I think your birds have more than one illness, since coccidiosis, mycoplasma, coryza, and E.coli infections can all happen at the same time in birds who are immune-suppressed. Your state ag dept or vet can tell you how to get a bird tested or necropsied. Your birds that are not sick could be carriers to any new birds you bring on the property. When talking to your state vet, ask if all birds including the ones not ill should be culled or not. Certain species may not get a particular disease but they may be able to pass it on. If you get chickens in the future I would probably get them from a well known hatchery, and make sure they are vaccinated for Mareks and coccidosis. Here are a couple of links to find your state vet: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_dis_spec/poultry/participants.shtml
    http://agr.wa.gov/foodanimal/animalhealth/statevets.aspx
     
  3. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    This should be easy to figure out. Look for diseases that affect chickens, pheasants, etc but not chucker, pigeons, or guineas.

    Also most or maybe all states have either free or reduced fee necropsies for the birds of an instate resident. Since there is nor location mentioned in your bio I can't help you find the one closest to you, but good luck. Oh, the one that had bloody diarrhea very likely died from coccidiosis.


    Sorry.
     
    Last edited: Dec 31, 2013
  4. dynomitegirl

    dynomitegirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the advice. I contacted the state vet who over sees wild game and poultry. He suggested we do an necropsy on the dead birds to get more answers. I live in UT and it will be $30 a bird. I will post an update when I know more.
     
  5. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    Oh please do not freeze the birds as they probably wont deal with you if you do ......


    Have you looked in to cleaning out your coop and sterilizing it ????
     
  6. hensintheHOUse

    hensintheHOUse Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am so sorry for you have had such troubles..that is sad really...
    It is just heartbreaking to read your thread..
     
  7. dynomitegirl

    dynomitegirl Out Of The Brooder

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    I got the results back from the necropsy, it looks like we are dealing with Mycoplasma Gallisepticum (MG). As all of the birds I own will most likely be carriers for life my options are to cull the entire flock and start over or continue to raise this flock as most of the birds have passed the most intense part of the illness. These are hard choices to make.
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    The simplest thing to do right now is to research mycoplasma. There are a lot of people who have it in their flocks, and manage it with a no-in, no-out policy. They medicate the chickens when they get sick, and some will use 1/2 strength Denagard to treat once a month as a prevention. MG doesn't travel very far in the air, so it doesn't spread as easily as some diseases. Here are a couple of good MG links to read:
    http://umaine.edu/livestock/poultry/mycoplasma-gallisepticum-faq/
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps034
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/disea...ction-mg-chronic-respiratory-disease-chickens
     
  9. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    My Coop
    So sorry to hear this. As Eggcessive said, research as much as you can about MG before you make any decisions. Then, you can make the best decision for you and your flock once you are armed with all of the knowledge to be had about this.

    I'm really sorry your are dealing with this. When you get 'red flags' about new birds to be added to your flock, it's almost always worth it to walk away from the situation, though I know how terribly hard it can be. I hate to see any bird suffer. What's done is done and you have options. My best wishes to you!
     

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