chicken dying every other week

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chicknegg farm, Jan 8, 2013.

  1. chicknegg farm

    chicknegg farm New Egg

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    Jan 8, 2013
    I have a small flock of chickens about 8 different types. Since Sept. I have had a chicken die on me every other week. When I pick them up they are very light feels like nothing but bones and feathers. I have checked for lice/mites and they are clean. I have dewormed them with medicine about 2 weeks ago and cleaned the coop thought everything was fine. I now have a chicken about 6 months old that is laying down and not eating or drinking. I have also checked her crop for souring or blockage and she has nothing there. My girls are in 4-H and I don't know what to do next. I also have silkies that are next to the coop in the barn and none of the silkies are sick. Can someone please let me know what else to do, I have read and checked everything I could think of. Thank you in advance.
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    There are several types of worms:
    http://www.healthybirds.umd.edu/disease/deworming birds.pdf

    Wazine only kills large roundworms.

    Some vets will do a fecal test for worms for a small fee (false negatives are possible).
    I don't know what the problem is with your flock but if you used Wazine and they have another type of worm then they would still be there. But worms might not be the problem.

    Any diarrhea noted? Could be infection, worms, or something else. Sorry I can't be of much help.
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044
    diagnosis charts at bottom
     
  3. flowerchild59

    flowerchild59 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2010
    Southern IL
    You could take in a bird for a necropsy to find out what is causing your birds to weaken and die.
     
  4. Dahlisgrams

    Dahlisgrams Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 16, 2012
    The Big Apple
    I'm sorry for your loss. It's always hard losing a bird and even moreso when it happens repeatedly. The symptoms sound a lot like Mareks. I suggest having aa necropsy performed on one to determine exactly what's wrong. Unfortunately there is no test for Mareks on a live bird that I am aware of. Best wishes for the health of your flock. [​IMG]
     
  5. chicknegg farm

    chicknegg farm New Egg

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    Jan 8, 2013
    Normal poo when i put her in containment I checked her poo she had hanging on her feathers in back and it was normal.
     
  6. chicknegg farm

    chicknegg farm New Egg

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    Jan 8, 2013
    Thank you for all of your info. My 9th bird just died. I am going to call around to find a vet to do a test for merek's, the not knowing is the worst because I don't know how to treat. I just hope it won't cost to much. Does anyone know the going rate for the test and medicine in cause it turns out to be postive? I don't want to be taken advantage of.
     
  7. Dahlisgrams

    Dahlisgrams Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 16, 2012
    The Big Apple
    Oh, no.. [​IMG]

    Rates seem to vary widely depending on where you live, depending on a lot of factors. It costs almost $200 for a necropsy, histology and shipping for the organs to be tested in this area. It may cost less where you live. If there are tumors/lesions on the organs a histology may not even be necessary for a diagnosis and I think that cost almost half of the figure I quoted. Not all strains of Mareks cause the tumors though, so not having the tumors/lesions does not necessarily mean it isn't.

    There is no treatment for Mareks beyond vaccinating or not vaccinating and hoping they build a resistance to it. There are several schools of thought on the vaccinations because the vaccines do not actually prevent the birds from contracting it, but they do prevent the growth of tumors and/or lesions IF it works for the bird at all. Mareks highly contagious and is spread on feather dander and can live for many years in dust and in the soil. They say once you have it's there to stay and there really is no way to quarantine for it, it's a herpes type virus and can cling to your clothing and the hair in your nostrils. Cull the birds that show symptoms right away as they shed the virus heavily when they are symptomatic, and close the flock, practicing good biosecurity. They say no bird should leave the property or it will carry the virus with it, infecting other flocks and possibly wild birds as well. You might want to have a pair of shoes for caring for your birds that stay with your birds. Don't wear them to the feed store, for instance. Stock up on oxine and don't be afraid to use it.

    There is a window of the most susceptibility from about 8 to 12 weeks but that depends on exposure as well. Another window of susceptibility is for birds coming to the point of lay due to stress from changes in hormones. It can occur but is less commonly seen in older birds but it does happen. It also occasionally shows up in chicks around 6 weeks, again less frequently. This is an insidious disease that hides until it's ready to show itself and then you might have a group that are symptomatic and others that never show any symptoms at all. If one has it, they all can be assumed to have been exposed. If your flock is closed, setting eggs from your resistant birds might produce resistant chicks, but this can take several generations and doesn't always work. Any new birds you bring in will be exposed. You might lose some, but then again you may not. Thankfully Mareks is not passed vertically through the egg but horizontally, from bird to bird.

    There are some breeds that show a greater natural susceptibility than others, Polish, Sebrights and Rhode Island Red being a few that seem to be slightly more susceptible for whatever reason.

    There are many good threads on Mareks. I suggest educating yourself as much as you can. I sincerely hope that you do not have to deal with any of this. Best wishes for you and your flock. Good luck!!!!!!!! [​IMG][​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  8. chicknegg farm

    chicknegg farm New Egg

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    Jan 8, 2013
    Thank you for all of your info. I found a place that will do the testing and cost 78 dollars. I can't take her til friday so i have to keep her on ice. I will let everyone know what I found out, thanks again for your info.
     
  9. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I have read that you can sometimes mail the chicken in and that refrigeration is required, not on ice *for certain places*- you might want to check with your state vet or county extension agent.

    In other words, you might be able to find a cheaper route if you call/email around depending on where you live.

    http://agr.wa.gov/FoodAnimal/AnimalHealth/statevets.aspx
    scroll down
     
  10. chicknegg farm

    chicknegg farm New Egg

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    Jan 8, 2013
    I have called the agriculture for ohio and they will test for 78 dollars. i have a call into a vet to see if they can do the same price. If not I will go for a long car ride on friday but hopefully they will be able to let me know what is wrong.
     

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