6 week old chicks - starved to death - WHY ???

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by John-1948, Oct 17, 2013.

  1. Breed: Phoenix
    Loss of appetite
    Weight loss
    Lethargic
    Mopey and sleepy when near death


    Upon performing an autopsy, I discovered that the crop was
    completely empty, the breast meat was almost nonexistent,
    The stomach and intestine tract was completely empty.
    No worms or foreign matter was found in the intestine or throat.
    The gizzard was full of sand, no food what-so-ever.
    There was a small sack of black fluid between the livers that had
    contaminated one liver … don’t know if this was bile, spleen, or pancreas sack ??
    When I cut it, black ink like fluid came out.


    So….. What made these poor little birds starve themselves to death ??
    What can be done to prevent this from happening again with new birds ??
    I have other birds in the same cage ... Barred Rocks, Red Jungle Fowl, etc.
    Only the Phoenix are affected.


    I really love the Phoenix males and want to have several in my free ranging yard .....
    but am afraid to get more until this issue is resolved.
     
  2. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Sorry for your losses... Maybe coccidiosis?

    -Kathy
     
  3. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    If you live in the US, many States offer free or low cost necropsy services.

    -Kathy
     
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Don't know but I would have suspected coccidiosis. When they start feeling crummy and stop eating/drinking it doesn't take long for their gut to be empty.
     
  5. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Last edited: Oct 17, 2013
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    I have heard some people here on BYC say that they have used sand in the brooders before, and sometimes chicks will eat it too much of it causing crop problems, so that have stopped using it. I would switch to pine shavings. With coccidiosis I would think there would be swollen intestines full of blood, and the outside of the intestines would have been very inflammed.
     
  7. I took photos of the autopsy and sent them to McMurray .... They said sorry, they don't have a vet on staff.
    (( maybe because I mentioned I did not get the chicks from them ?? But, I did buy over 50 the past year ))


    The bird had no blood where it should not have been, no pasty butt, all appeared normal except for the
    completely empty entrails .... I know they need grit in the gizzard, but how much is too much ??
    I have a sand box in their cage for their dusting off .... the sand is clean ... the cage is clean ... clean water every day.
    only this one breed is affected ... Phoenix
    .
    I saw one drinking a lot before he passed away, but, without food, it would take several days
    or weeks to completely emaciate like they did.


    I really want to get some more soon ..... or even hatch my own ... but I need to get on top of this issue first.

    Thanks to all !!!!!

    John in downtown Sunny Florida - where the Palm Trees meet the Ocean !!
     
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Send the photos to an avian pathologist in your State.

    -Kathy
     
  9. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My guess is Coccidiosis as previously suggested,symptoms fit. Yes,they will become emaciated very fast,days actually,these are 6 week chicks does not take long. You will not see "worms" with cocci,what you might see is blood/damage to inside intestinal walls. If any chicks/older birds exhibit these symptoms again,treat immediately with Corid(amprolium)treating with Corid will not harm them,but not treating if they have cocci will cause deaths.
     

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