1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

Chickens lethargic and dying

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mypeeps'n'me, Dec 12, 2010.

  1. mypeeps'n'me

    mypeeps'n'me In the Brooder

    Jun 18, 2010
    1) What type of bird , age and weight. Two silkies and one sick Ameraucana - all about 7 months old
    2) What is the behavior, exactly. Lethargic and quiet; no diarreha
    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? Symptoms appear one day and the chickens died within the next day or two
    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? No symptoms in my other birds yet.
    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. No trauma.
    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. Nothing I can think of.
    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. Regular unmedicated poultry food, scratch, corn, some treats
    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. I saw a couple of poops in the coop when I cleaned it out that may have been bloody; hard to tell.
    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? Cleaned and disinfected the coop; apple cider vinegar in water and yogurt; plan to mix vitamin powder in their water today, too.
    10 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet? Need to treat myself; I don't want them to suffer, but I cannot take them to the vet.
    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use - closed coop (we are worried about drafts now so today we are closing off two of the windows - they will still have good ventilation, but it is getting colder); hay and wood shavings in the coop floor. Their pen is completely enclosed and covered; we have some hay scattered around there, too. Both food and water is up high enough they can't poop in it. We do allow them to free range on the weekends when we are home.

    Last Monday morning when I went down to feed them, one of the silkies was lethargic and not interacting with the rest. I brought her in the house. She was eating and drinking water, but was off balance and her feet -- while not paralyzed -- just didn't seem to hold her up well. No bloody or runny poop. She lived until Wednesday and then died. Today when I went to feed them another silkie was in the coop, not moving and barely breathing. My poor DH had to put her down. An Ameraucana was out in the pen with the rest of the chickens but not walking around and had her head sitting low on her neck and her feathers kind of puffed out. She was shivering. We brought her in the house and have her in the bathroom with the ceiling heater on. I gave her some scrambled eggs and some water. She is lethargic, but she did eat some. In hind sight, yesterday Fiona (the Ameracauna) did let me pick her up which is unusual, but I've read that when they are getting ready to lay they may be more friendly, so I attributed it to that. A couple of our other hens have started laying recently.

    Having a vet do an autopsy is really not an option. From what I've read online, I think I can rule out Marecks and (since there is no diarreha or bloody poop) worms? Any help or advice you can give would be much appreciated.

  2. Bat Cave Silkies

    Bat Cave Silkies Songster

    Feb 11, 2010
    Bat Cave, NC
    I believe I would do a thorough, head to toe check for bugs.....they're difficult to see and can kill a bird with very little warning. They can be living on the birds for months, slowly sucking the life out of them.....then, throw in another stressor, like cold weather, and it can overwhelm the bird and they die.
  3. mypeeps'n'me

    mypeeps'n'me In the Brooder

    Jun 18, 2010
    I just checked for bugs. I see some very small, tannish colored bugs. They look like sesame seeds. Help! What do I do to get rid of them on the chickens, in their coop and now in my bathroom!!

    I've tried to find a picture and research if bugs can be fatal for them...can anyone refer me to where to research and find out more. Is Sevin Dust safe to treat their pen and them with?
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2010
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Poultry dust! and quick, dust everyone and then clean out all bedding and dust or spray down coop. then add new bedding but don't put it too deep because you'll need to change it all and treat again in 10 days for the ones that hatch out after treatment.
  5. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
  6. mypeeps'n'me

    mypeeps'n'me In the Brooder

    Jun 18, 2010
    Update: having a hard time getting her to eat and she is trying to lay down and on her side. Got her to drink some vitamin water and take just a couple bites this morning. I can get her to open her eyes and she will be alert for a moment, but then she goes right back to sleep.[​IMG]

    I am new to chickens, so appreciate any help and advice. All my other chickens are acting normal, active, eating, etc.

    Meant to also say, while I see a few bugs crawling in her feathers, I don't see any signs of sores, clusters of bugs or anything like that.
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2010
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    Have you treated her for the lice yet, They can cause anemia and make a chicken go down quick. You need to get the lice off of her and continue to give her the vitamin water and other nourishment, your going to have to treat the whole flock more than likely if they are egg clusters they are just starting so your one step ahead. The best!

  8. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Hi, lice do not suck blood. They eat dander. Mites suck blood.
    I would treat for coccidiosis asap. They don't have to have blood in the poop to have cocci.
    Lice tend to like sick chickens

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by