Chickens sick and dying, don't know the cause.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by andysforrest, Jun 10, 2010.

  1. andysforrest

    andysforrest Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2010
    1) What type of bird , age and weight.
    Buff orpingtons, 9 mos old
    2) What is the behavior, exactly.
    Listless, sitting a lot, found one dead hen last night - thought she might have been egg bound, but found another hen this morning in the same exact position (sitting). The chickens are not wary of us, or of being picked up, which is unusual for all but one hen.
    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
    Less than 24 hours
    4) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
    No.
    5) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
    Noticed algae growing in their water source. Also changed feed companies five days ago. Noticed moldy food at the bottom of the container holding their old food, so threw it out, and didn't gradually introduce the new food.
    6) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
    We feed a laying crumble and give them cracked corn for scratch, as well as free range the chickens. However, due to our schedules, the chickens haven't free ranged since before the food change.
    7) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
    Very watery and diarrhea. Runny, brown color - with pasty butts on a few chickens. Have cleaned their butts today.
    8) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
    Going to give a corn mash mixed with sour milk.
    9 ) 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?
    Want to cure myself - I don't have a local vet available.
    10) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
    No pictures available.
    11) Describe the housing/bedding in use
    The chicken coop is all wood with straw in the nesting boxes. The bedding is shavings. Bedding hasn't been changed in two months, but turned regularly. I'm going to completely empty out the coop before returning the chickens. Have two hens still showing weakness and listlessness. The rooster and one hen are somewhat normal in nature. I'd appreciate any thoughts you can give me to help my chickens.
     
  2. peaceful

    peaceful Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 24, 2008
    BC Canada
    Ouch. have you secured their water source now so that it is safe? Can you get some of their old feed from the store, making sure it is in good shape (ie not old or mouldy) to see if they respond better to that, or to do the integration more gradually?
    Sounds like they have had a toxic reaction to something: the mould, the new feed, the water problem.
    You could try a little apple cider vinegar in the water (eg. 1 tsp ACV to 1 gallon water)(ACV is bacteria fighting and has minerals), also you could try allowing them to free range especially to an area with short grass or greens which can be naturally healing. Maybe even offer yogourt to help flush the system also.
     
  3. andysforrest

    andysforrest Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2010
    Thanks for the advice. I've cleaned out their water jug really well, allowed them to free range all day (I just put them away now) and I'll turn them out again tomorrow. Of the six hens we had, we've lost four. [​IMG] I'm wondering if one will make it through the night, because she's looking a little listless, although not as bad as the others were this morning. Also, noticed that our new chicks are showing some signs of diarrhea. They're not in the same pen as the other layers, but there is a common denominator of cracked corn. So, we're taking that out of the equation. Hopefully, we won't lose any of our new chicks as well! I'll see if I can try the yogurt tomorrow. Thanks for the ideas!
     
  4. feathersnuggles

    feathersnuggles Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 4, 2009
    Seattle
    What's the weather been like? Is it raining a lot? Is the material in their coop or run wet or not?

    ETA: if you use ACV, make sure your waterer is non-metal. ACV can help their intestinal health.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2010
  5. Slater1995

    Slater1995 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:I am not sure how old your new chicks are but it is a bad time of year for Coccida. I lost 3 6 week old chicks from it. I would get them on some antiobiotic water and watch their stool for blood although if you see blood it may be too late. My chicks sat around vary still. they were fluffed up and peeped like they were crying.

    You could go ahead and treat the entire flock for the coccida although it is more likely to affect the younger ones. I used amprolium (recomended by a vet) and once you finish treating with it you have to give a vitamin/electrolyte supplement to replinish their bodies. Hot wet weather increases the likely hood of coccida.

    As far as you older ones, I would give them an antiobiotic, try some yoguart. There is a site you can visit and talk to a vet for a small fee. It is called justanswers.com. You only pay if the vet helps you. I have tried it and it was not bad. the vet gave me good sound advice and how to treat and amounts to give. the 1st response took a couple hours but all follow ups were pretty quick.

    Good Luck.

    teresa
     
  6. andysforrest

    andysforrest Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2010
    Thanks for the ideas! Our new chicks are 3-1/2 weeks old. The corn is the only common denominator between the two. The older laying hens have the tall waterer where we found the algae, and I'll definitely pick up some apple cider vinegar tomorrow. But the new chicks have a smaller waterer and it is changed twice a day.

    What are some of the signs and symptoms of coccida? I know the chicks were vaccinated for both coccidiosis and marek's disease when we got them. Our older hens were vaccinated as well, but that was back when they were born. i appreciate all the thoughts so far!
     
  7. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

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    My first guess was Mareks until you mentioned they were vaccinated.

    I'd stay away from the sour milk and corn mash. I don't see any advantage to that. I'd try and find some fresh feed. A good gamebird mash or crumble would be great with the extra protein.

    Vitamins and ACV won't hurt either.

    Cocci can some on quick but will produce bloody poop most of the time.


    How many birds are involved? How many show symptoms?
     
  8. andysforrest

    andysforrest Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2010
    Feather snuggles,

    The weather has been warm - humid with scattered rain showers over the last week. The coop is dry and when we changed out the litter today found no wet spots at all.
     
  9. andysforrest

    andysforrest Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 22, 2010
    Purple Chicken,
    We took the sour milk and corn mash away after we noticed that the baby chicks were starting diarrhea this evening, because that was the only common denominator. We had six laying hens and one rooster. We are now down to three hens and the rooster, although one of the hens was starting to act listless this evening. None of the chicks were listless, but I saw fresh diarrhea in the litter. We completely dumped the food in their feeder and filled it with fresh. It's a crumble laying mixture. Now that the baby chicks are showing the diarrhea, I'm thinking it can't be the feed because the baby chicks have a totally different starter mix. All of the chickens were vaccinated at birth. The weird part for me is how sudden it came on. No sugns or symptoms until yesterday and by this morning we had two dead chickens. I worry that it's going to make it's way through the whole flock.
     
  10. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

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    Apr 6, 2007
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