3 Silkies dead in 1 week!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by LeonieJane, Apr 2, 2012.

  1. LeonieJane

    LeonieJane Out Of The Brooder


    It's been 1 week and I have had 3 x 18 week old Silkies die.

    The first died 48 hours after bathing them all (I did all the right things, washed them in warm water, dried them and left them inside under a heat light for 24 hours until i 100% sure they were completely dry).
    The second one was found dead the following day & this morning I went into the coop to discover my 18 week old roo lying on the floor gasping for air and paralysed.

    Am I right in assuming it Marek's disease?
  2. LeonieJane

    LeonieJane Out Of The Brooder

    Additional information:

    Age: aprrox 18 weeks
    Sex: 2 pullets 1 roo

    Your Location- country, state (different areas/climates have different problems)
    ANSWER: Australia

    What is wrong? What symptoms have you noted? - As much detail as possible please.
    ANSWER: Chickens have all seemed fine but suddenly suffer peralysis of the entire body including neck.

    Full droppings description.- colour, consistency, frequency, offensive smell.
    ANSWER: I noted nothing unusual other than there seemed to be a lot stuck to the silkies near the vent area. (This is why I gave them a bath in the first place.

    Respiratory Changes?- eg. breathing sounds, discharge, laboured breathing, facial swelling
    ANSWER: I was only able to note in the last one found as it was still alive that it was struggling to breath almost gasping and it seems to have a 'sticky' beak.

    Digestive Changes?- eg. eating, drinking, crop filling & emptying
    ANSWER: All bird were eating a drinking fine in the days before death

    Condition Changes?- eg. Weight, comb/wattle colour, skin, feathering
    ANSWER: No changes were noted

    Behavioural Changes?- inc. socialising, laying, crowing, broodiness
    ANSWER: No changes were noted

    Agility Changes? - eg. any lameness, favouring, energy levels
    ANSWER: Energy levels in the first 2 were lower than usual.

    Describe your usual worming routine and products. [If none, say so and skip the next 3 worming questions.] Do you have a cycle that you use eg. every 3 months, or every six months?
    ANSWER: Birds are wormed once/twice a year

    1. When was the bird last wormed??- approximate date.
    ANSWER: approx 6 weeks ago

    2. What product was used to worm the bird, and how was it given? ? eg. in the drinking water, on the skin, by injection?
    ANSWER: Not sure of name but was given in water

    3. Was a follow up dose given? (eg. 10-14 days later)
    ANSWER: no

    Any other recent medications?- antibiotics, coccidiosis meds, herbal remedies, etc

    Other changes? – additions to the flock, diet, housing, extreme weather
    ANSWER: there were 2 additions to the flock 2 plymouth rocks. All were getting along fine. No changes in diet, housing is always kept spotless and no extreme weather.

    Photos? – any relevant photos are very helpful
  3. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Mericks would have probably hit in the 6-8 week old age. Lethargic in the past time though may be an indication of cocci ( a protozoa). Were they thin? Could they see well enough to eat? Do they have vaulted skulls which could cause brain damage/injury from others?
  4. LeonieJane

    LeonieJane Out Of The Brooder

    Hi, Yes they could all see well enough to eat. I'm not sure if I would have considered them thin...though this is the my first time with silkies and i'm used to having larger birds...So it's difficult for me to tell. I'm not too sure what you mean by vaulted skulls?
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

  6. LeonieJane

    LeonieJane Out Of The Brooder

    I would have to say non vaulted.
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    I don't really know what it would be that is only getting the silkies. I've run silkies with standards, bathed them, and not have an issue as such. To tell if they are thin, their breast bone should just be a scaled down version of the standards. Same V or U ish meat around the keel, not a Y with a back of knife blade at the keel look.

    If they have sharp Y breast bones, have been lethargic, I would suspect cocci protozoa over worms.
  8. LeonieJane

    LeonieJane Out Of The Brooder

    Well I have since lost another bird, a barred rock, and so I have put my last 18 week wold bird in isolation.

    I have since discovered some interesting poo (pictured below) from her and I am now convinced it's cocci. (At first when it was just the silkies I thought it was because i bathed them and perhaps hadn't dried them off properly and they had gotten sick).

    She is being treated and I hope she will be fine .

  9. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Yes, treat for coccidiosis.
    I also thought about poisoning.
    Or if those additions were carriers of Marek's, they could be healthy and still expose others, and silkie are very vulnerable. However, most of the time with Marek's, it does not happen over night. It's not a quick death.
    I'm sorry you lost some, I hope it's cocci rather than some disease or poisoning.
  10. LeonieJane

    LeonieJane Out Of The Brooder

    I thought about poisoning as well but I cannot think of how that could happen.

    Cocci makes so much more sense now. So I am now treating all my birds (adults as well)

    We have only had chooks for 12 months and we love them dearly. We are learning as we go and unfortunately we didn't realise these types of diseases existed but
    we are much more informed and prepared now.

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