Any advice helps! New chicken owner with 2 sick girls :(

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by HAndrews07, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. HAndrews07

    HAndrews07 In the Brooder

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    Oct 22, 2018
    Nova Scotia
    Hello
    I am a new chicken owner and have a total of 9 girls, a mix of Orpingtons and barred rocks. They live in a nice large coop with a run and I clean the coop about once a week. We let them free range whenever we are home.

    About a week and a half ago I noticed one of the Orpingtons had a very messy bum. I gave her a bath and didn't think about it again. A few days later it was in the same state and one of the barred rocks was looking the same. I didn't notice any worms or anything in their poop but decided to try and deworm them. I gave them oral Ivermectin on October 17th with no real change. They continue to have diarrhea and are getting increasingly weak/falling. They still eat and drink some. I gave them two days of "stress aid" (an electrolyte & Vitamin mix) and started them on tetracycline last night. I just dont know where to go from here. Today the Orpington was just laying on her side in the straw and didn't try and get away from me when I patted her which is unusual. Their vents look healthy and they don't feel egg bound. They are just having this persistent liquid poop with some loose green material in it.

    Does anyone have any other suggestions? It is breaking my heart to see them like this. They are quarantined from the rest of the flock and the rest of the flock have shown no symptoms. They are out in our baby barn in a stall right now... I was hesitant to bring them inside because we would be putting them in the basement where the wood furnace is and I was nervous of them becoming to accustomed to the heat and not be able to handle the cold of the coop if they survive...but im thinking now maybe being warm would take some of the stress away.
     
  2. rebrascora

    rebrascora Crowing

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    How old are they and what do you feed them.... main feed and treats?
    Do they free range or are they penned?
    Can you post a photo of them and one of their poop?

    Can you feel their abdomen by cupping your hand between their legs. You are feeling for any fullness or bloat in that area and below their vent. Check healthy birds so that you have an idea of what normal is. Checking this at night whilst they are roosting is easiest. I cup my hand between their legs from behind.
    Also, feel the sick birds' breast area.... how does their breast bone area feel? Is the bone sharp and protruding or reasonably well muscled.

    If they are of laying age? If so, do you know when they last laid an egg?

    If you can get back to us with some answers to the above questions, hopefully we will have a better idea of what might be going on.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

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    Do you have a local vet who could perform a fecal test on some fresh collective droppings taken in, in a plastic baggy? Since they are new, it could be worms or coccidiosis being on new soil. Ivermectin may not be the best choice for worming these days, as I have heard there can be resistance. SafeGuard Liquid Goat Wormer (1/4 ml per pound) or Valbazen (1/2 ml per chicken) will get all of the possible chicken worms, except for tapeworm. Give them orally to each chicken and repeat in 10 days. Toss out eggs for 24 days total.

    Coccidiosis has about 9 strains that affect chickens. Most normal chickens build up resistance to the strain in their own soil, but may be exposed to one they have not built resistance to in a new home. Immune-compromised or run down chickens could also get coccidiosis. Treat with Corid (amprollium) from your feed store at 2 tsp per gallon of the liquid Corid for 5 days.

    Wash their bottoms with warm soapy water.
     
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  4. HAndrews07

    HAndrews07 In the Brooder

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    Oct 22, 2018
    Nova Scotia

    They are approx 6 months old. The barred rock was laying and the Orpington hadn’t started to our knowledge (never caught her in a nesting box). I would say it’s been a week since the barred rock laid.

    They are a mix of coop/wired run and free range. On the weekends they are free ranges the whole day but on weekdays just a few hours in the evening.

    They eat lay mash with treats of fruit and rolled corn. We started supplementing the two sick ones with some eggs for extra protein today. They still eat and drink but not a lot. I was able to hand feed the Orpington some egg but the barred rock was having none of it though I did see her drink water.

    I will have a good feel of one of our healthy birds tonight to compare but their breast bones are sharp, they have obviously lost a lot of weight. Their abdomens are just squishy soft but their sternum? (The bone connecting their ribs is pretty much protruding at the bottom) :( The one who is laying on her side can barely weight bare.

    I will try and get a picture of their poop. It’s hard because it’s primarily liquid and they have just been resting in straw the past few days with frequent changes.
     
  5. HAndrews07

    HAndrews07 In the Brooder

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    1
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    Oct 22, 2018
    Nova Scotia

    Thanks for the suggestion! Unfortunately the only vet is about an hour and a half away. Our local “farm” vet doesn’t deal with poultry apparently. I have some Piperazine, could that work? I have never seen Valbazen in our stores. I still have seen NO actual worms in their poop. I would have thought if they were infested enough to be making them this sick I would have seen a few. It’s hard to know whether to continue with antibiotics or stop and deworm again :(
     
  6. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Read more

    Ivermectin isn't really good as a wormer anymore.
    Can you get Safe-guard?
     
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  7. rebrascora

    rebrascora Crowing

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    Where did you get them from and were they vaccinated for Marek's at hatch? Marek's disease often exhibits at this age and symptoms can vary enormously. It is one of the most complicated diseases to diagnose in chickens and one of the commonest.

    How long have you had these birds at your premises? If they have only been there a week or two it may be coccidiosis as explained by Eggcessive
     
  8. coach723

    coach723 Crowing

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    Safeguard liquid goat wormer is usually widely available, you can also use Safeguard horse paste, same thing. Peperazine will only work on roundworms, the Safeguard will get most worms. Since you don't know for sure what worm it may be, I'd use the more broad spectrum wormer. Worms are often not visible in droppings, doesn't mean that they aren't there.
     
  9. rebrascora

    rebrascora Crowing

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    Personally I doubt it is worms making them this sick at this age and I would not worm them again when they are so ill, unless you suspect worms.
     
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  10. rebrascora

    rebrascora Crowing

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    I would be inclined to treat them with Corid, which you will find in the cattle section of your farm shop. If you have the option, get the liquid and give the sick ones a couple of drops of the neat solution directly into their beak and then add 2 teaspoons to a gallon of water as their drinking water, make fresh daily and ensure they do not have access to any other water. Corid should be simple to get hold of and has a relatively mild action so worth trying in case it is coccidiosis in my opinion. Whilst some worms are becoming resistant to ivermectin, you would be unlikely to have that problem if these are your first chickens on the property, so I can't see the point of deworming again at this stage unless you have seen worms in poop.

    Can you post a photo of the chickens? Do they appear weak and unable to stand or uncoordinated like they are drunk and wobbly?
     
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