9 month old RIR died today - need some suggestions


11 Years
Mar 25, 2008
1 hour north of Sacramento, CA
I had a 9 month old laying hen die this afternoon. She didn't come out when I let the rest of the gang out to free range yesterday. I found her walking slowly, her backside covered in green watery poop. I brought her in the house and attempted to hydrate / feed her by hand. She was so sick. She lay down and wouldn't get up. Wouldn't eat wouldn't drink on her own. She felt thin and her eyes looked sunken. I didn't feel any eggs in her abdomen. She passed away just a little while ago. I was shocked at how quickly she deteriorated.
It's been incredibly wet here lately and I'm thinking cocci or maybe sour crop. Her crop did feel spongy and when I gently squeezed it air would come out of her beak and it stank.
My question is what do I do now? My BA just hatched 3 babies and am TERRIFIED I have cocci on my hands. I have 8 other chickens and 3 chicks to take care of and I'm not sure what to do with their coop and run... any help would be appreciated.
Could be worms with the sunken in face and weight loss. Coccidia could also be a problem, but mostly found in younger birds. Have you wormed at all? Coccidia can be delt with by using Corid in the water( it is safer than Sulmet with chicks) Worming depends on what worms she may have had. I use either Safeguard liquid goat wormer, 3 cc's to a gallon of water, or if their are lice/mites also on the bird, Ivomectrin cattle wormer applied to the skin.
Chickenzoo has good advice. I am also worried that she may have had fowl cholera. I though this was rare, but apparently not so, and the description fits well. If the chicks are being raised by mama hen, you should not have a problem with cocci, she passes on her immunity to them. But I would clean the waterers and feeders super well, try to keep everything as dry as possible. I'll try and find some info on fowl cholera.
--the one thing that you didn't mention is swollen comb and wattles.
Don't want to scare you, just keep a close eye on them, and keep everything clean. Any way you could get a necropsy done on her?
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Thanks guys... I haven't seen any worms and I check for them often. I wazine'd in December. What about cleaning the run? Should I disinfect? If so how? My other chickens look healthy as can be. The mama and her 3 babies are seperated from the flock and the chicks are eating medicated starter. They're so cute... I need to post pictures.
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If it is wet then mold is a quick culprit as well.... Cocci is a VERY good possiblity but the diahrea makes me think poisoning... fermentation/mold etc.... Check all of your birds for parasite and clean out the coup...especially any moldy foodstuff or hay.
It could also be a fluke, one time thing like lymphoid leukosis. What is your run made of? If there is sand, I would just rake up as much poo as possible and wash it down. If it is dirt, you might think about putting some sand down. I use wood chip, so I just rake out a layer, and put in a new layer once in a while. If you have a muddy run--see Pat's fix a muddy run page in learning pages.
My coop is concrete floor with straw that I turn daily. The run is sand. We live in the Sacramento Valley in the river bottoms. I have great sand here. Interesting that one of y'all said mold. I had noticed that their poop was mildewing in their coop faster then I can clean it up. So humid here. I'll keep on top of it better.

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