Another Dieing Hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by DCluck, Apr 6, 2018.

  1. DCluck

    DCluck In the Brooder

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    I just went out to put up the girls tonight and am fairly certain that I will have a dead hen in a few days. She is a leghorn and I can not usually pick them up tonight she was in the nesting box, when I reached in to get her out she let me clue number one. She is very thin and has a wet bottom. I put her on the ground and she just stood around. Does not at this moment feel like she's egg bound and no sign of a water belly. I just had a one die of each of these things. I've posted before about the issues in my hen house and I have copied it to this post. If anyone has any ideas I would be most grateful! I was up to 21 hens and in about 4 months I am down to 15. I have run out of ideas. I'm hoping the collective here with years of knowledge will have more insight.

    ----previous post -----

    I've had chickens for 3 years and every thing was going along fine and this past fall things started to go off into the ditch.
    1st. Had a chicken die a non predator death. She'd been slow for a couple of days and her comb was a pale or purplish but I'd seen them get like this before an bounce back with no problems. Then about three days later she was laying in the door way dead one evening.
    2. had a couple of other girls look a little off so I put them in the dog kennel in Hen house and fed them some cooked meat and in a couple of days they were out and back with the flock no probs.
    3. In about Sept I purchased 5, 11 month old hens and one 1 yr old rooster. They appeared fine and dandy [ no scolding please I now see the error of my ways] and I put them with the flock. Life was good for about a month or longer and then...
    4. We had to take down the leaking roof from the hen house. Husband ripped down the rotted rafters and ceiling and left the metal roofing for I'd say 2 weeks perhaps a little longer. It rained and was windy and weather was nasty. We got the roof on it was cold out but not snowing yet[ we live in Wi]
    5. A few weeks after the roof got replaced the hens started sneezing. I researched on line and started with Vet-Rx and applied to their combs and a drop down their beak. No help. I added it and oregano oil to their water for about a month... no help
    6. I got Denagaurd about Feb and treated them with that and it cleared things right up. I've done the monthly protocol, all was good until about 2-3 weeks ago and I've had 4 chickens die.
    7. First two chickens were leghorns and they were not interacting and were not eating. But they time I noticed this and put them in the dog kennel they were dead the next morning.
    8. I picked up one of the chickens and thought that she was very skinny so I started checking into wormers. Last week I wormed them with Safeguard and again every one seemed fine until 3 days ago.
    9. I noticed one of my 3 yr old hens as standing to the side off on her own found her in the morning and she'd never roosted. I brought her in the house tried to get her to eat and drink to no avail and she died. I finally cut open this chicken and OH MY !!! I think she had what appeared to be a lash egg it was large and it smelled awful.
    10. Brings us up to yesterday and today. I had a chicken that again was off, she didn't come off the perch all day, her belly was red and distended and she was not eating. Brought her into the house, read up on lash eggs and how to deal them, because I thought my not catching it was the issue with the last bird. So I'd been giving her warm epsom salt baths yesterday and a couple of times today. Well her last bath was going to be about an hour ago she had some poop ooze out of her and there was pink blood in it. She only had one small poop on 24 hrs and she seemed to be in pain and her belly was growing, so I asked my husband to take her outside and put her down. I cut her open and found she had a water belly.

    So here's my question.... Any ideas of what's going on? Is all this connected in some way. Am I missing something, have I done something, should I be doing something? I actually understood the sneezing and cold because of the issues this fall with the new birds and the roof stressing them out, but then I think of that first girl dieing and no new bird every thing was just moving along.

    I realize this is long and let me take a moment to thank every one who takes the time to read this. I hope I've made myself understandable and not just the ramblings of worried chicken lady.
    Thanks!!
     
  2. DCluck

    DCluck In the Brooder

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    p.s. Could cat food be causing these issues? They don't get cat food intentionally but they do know to go to the barn and clean up what the cats haven't eaten and let me tell you they check every DAY!
     
  3. QuailExpert

    QuailExpert Chirping

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    im sorry for your losses. unfortunately i do not dabble in chickens and cant help you. I hope a chicken expert comes along and is able to help you !
     
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  4. DCluck

    DCluck In the Brooder

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    Thank you! Knowing that there are others that feel the pain actually helps.
     
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  5. Hen Pen Jem

    Hen Pen Jem Crowing

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    Greetings DCluck,

    I saw your post on Saturday, but was unable to take the time to sit down and type up a reply.

    What you are going through, is not unusual. In fact, it sounds a lot like what I am struggling with, right now. I am preparing for my alpha hen "Taji", to die by Wednesday.

    These kinds of scenarios, where multiple chickens start to die, is usually due to disease in the flock. In my case, the flock contracted Infectious Bronchitis. This started in February. The first hen to get sick was a 3 year old hen. She started to lay soft shelled eggs, then a few days later she stopped eating. So off to the Vet we went, he put her on antibiotics for congested lungs. A day later the next hen started to lay soft shelled eggs. At this point I enlisted the help of the doctors at the U.C. Davis Lab, here in town. They diagnosed my hens with Infectious Bronchitis. So, I have been struggling with this for 8 weeks now. Every hen in the flock of 8, has been infected, except for two hens. Even my rooster was infected. Symptoms were everything from mild to severe, and two of the hens had relapses. Thankfully all have healed with the help of my vet, except for the current hen, Taji.

    So, I think your issues started with the upper respiratory illness that your flock had back in February. I use Denagard, and it is a very good antibiotic for upper respiratory illness in chickens. I use VetRx too, but this remedy, is only meant to alleviate symptoms like stuffed sinuses, something like Vick's for stuffy noses in people.

    But, here is the problem with URI's...once a hen gets an upper respiratory infection, it is always possible for the infection to travel to the reproductive system. This is how lash eggs, ascites and other reproductive infections cause deaths in hens. Infection can be bacterial or viral. Unfortunately, by the time the keeper realizes that the hen is not eating, it is sometimes too far gone to heal. And even if you catch it quickly, as I did with my Taji, there are many variables that affect a hen's ability to heal. Weather, stress, age, compromised immune systems, being integrated into a new flock, new chickens suddenly arriving, roosters wanting to mate, etc., can hamper a chicken's ability to heal.

    For my Taji, a compromised immune system is going to cost her her life. As, this is not her first infection, she has suffered from a reproductive infection before and recovered.

    Your chickens were just too stressed with flock changes, ruff weather, and finally an upper respiratory illness.

    But, things won't always be like this. Spring is in full swing and Summer is coming. You will have to work on rebuilding your flock. Just be sure to clean and disinfect the chicken house, before adding any new chickens. AND, quarantine, quarantine, quarantine, I do an 8 week quarantine, 12 weeks for pullets under 9 months. Marek's disease is why I am so cautious.

    Well, these are my thoughts on the deaths of your hens. I hope they have been helpful.

    God Bless :)
     
    DCluck and ChickNanny13 like this.
  6. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Crossing the Road

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    :eek: Hen Pen Jen :bow Thank you for sharing :hugs Sorry for your losses DCluck :hugs Raising chickens/animals is never as "easy" as we all hope :fl
     
  7. Hen Pen Jem

    Hen Pen Jem Crowing

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    Yes, ChickNanny13, you've got it right. Raising chickens or any animal is never as easy as, we think it's going to be. LOL! :barnie

    Many, many moons ago...this was my inspiration for getting chickens.
    lady feeding chickens.jpg What a peaceful and happy scene. Heck, I can't even tell you, when was the last time I could even wear a skirt! My days are spent in jeans and camo clogs, hair in a clip, no make up, yikes! Ha-ha-ha! But, I have to say, I do spend a lot of peaceful days watching my chickens, cats, and dogs running around.

    In all things be grateful. :thumbsup
     
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  8. ChickNanny13

    ChickNanny13 Crossing the Road

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    :goodpost:In total agreement :thumbsup I would have it no other way, we take relish the good days/memories & learn from the :hit & :he & :barnie
     
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  9. DCluck

    DCluck In the Brooder

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    Thank you Hen Pen, I was thinking that the respiratory issue and what I called the perfect storm of stress was what was causing my issues. I do appreciate you taking your time to reply and am heartfully sorry that you are going through the same thing. I just feel so helpless at trying to help them. Then I'm afraid that I'll do to much and cause more problems. I will just keep on keeping on. Already making plans for chicks to help restock.
     
  10. DCluck

    DCluck In the Brooder

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    I hope I'm learning! I know I'll never bring in chickens from some else. I'll buy chicks from the hatchery from now on.
     
    ChickNanny13 likes this.

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