Chickens Very Sick. Not Responding to Medicine. Best Way to Cull?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Winggedheart, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. Winggedheart

    Winggedheart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi everybody; okay, so my chickens are sick. I have no idea how they got to be so bad, because they live in perfect conditions. They free-range, get clean water and coops, are far from being overcrowded, and get a wide variety of feed, grasses, and bugs.

    Our chickens aren't laying, is the first symptom, though that one can easily be credited to heat. Even though it has been cooling down greatly!
    The second thing is loss of weight; very, very severe loss, over a number of days---even when the chicken is eating.
    Poop seems extra watery, but has no change in color. The most noticeable problem is the weight, and severe loss of balance. They stagger, and fall over.

    The flock will be in pristine condition one day (other than no laying, and we have a lot of laying-age hens) and then the next there will be two, seeming random, sick birds.

    Now, I've treated the whole flock for worms, Cocci, and vitamin deficiency, and have disinfected the coops. But nothing works. The sick birds remain ill for a period varying between 2-7 days, in the absolute same condition, before dying. I currently have three very, very sick birds, and I'm at a loss. Any ideas? I honestly have no idea what to do. I continue to treat them for Cocci.

    So now for my second question, what is the best way to cull these sick birds? They're getting no better, and I fear babying them will make things worse for the rest of the flock. I've never culled adult chickens before, and am not sure the best way to do it. I'm not squeamish, but I want to destroy the possibility that after the first blow the chicken is still alive. Any input would be fantastic.

    Cheers
    - Journee
     
  2. Cuban Longtails

    Cuban Longtails Flock Mistress

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    Removal of the head is a sure way of knowing the bird will not be alive after the first blow. Use a sharp axe.

    Is it possible they've gotten into some sort of poison? If they aren't having bloody poop, I wouldn't treat for cocci. That medication isn't easy on their digestive system and it's always good to follow up with probiotics to build the gut back up.

    What product did you worm with? Wazine and meds like it only get the large round worms, leaving the smaller intestinal worms still alive.
     
  3. Winggedheart

    Winggedheart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay thank you.

    I cannot think of any poison...so unless they have found something deep in the woods, it is unlikely. But I never considered that.

    Mostly just DE, which has worked for our family multipliable times in the past.
     
  4. Telamon

    Telamon Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2010
    I have no idea.
    I wouldn't cull it if I were you, try opening his/her beak and putting the medicine in. If he/she dosen't swallow it, then you can cull it by using a big knife abiout 1-2 inches tall.
     
  5. Winggedheart

    Winggedheart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you for the suggestion, it's really appreciated. [​IMG]
    The problem is, they take the medicine, but are not responding to it. It's quite frustrating.
     
  6. Telamon

    Telamon Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 31, 2010
    I have no idea.
    Quote:Yeah, I hate it when that happens. Probably only works on humans? We DO have a different digestive system.
     
  7. Winggedheart

    Winggedheart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Very different! *Sigh* Hopefully they'll get better soon. [​IMG]
     
  8. ReikiStar

    ReikiStar Chillin' With My Peeps

    Have you added any new birds to the flock? Could something have come in that way? Symptoms are so varied but you might want to look up some of the recent Marek's threads and see if that isn't what you're dealing with. The chickens losing weight, even while eating, and falling over make me think it's at least worth your while to rule it out. In most cases it's fatal (they become paralyzed and starve to death unless culled).

    Have you checked them for lice? Sometimes a bad case of lice can cause a chicken to become anemic which would include weight loss and weakness.

    Sorry you're going through this. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2011
  9. Winggedheart

    Winggedheart Chillin' With My Peeps

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    We last introduced new chickens into the flock a couple months ago, and got them from a friend who had no history of disease---but it's very likely. I'll be sure to look Mareks up.

    I have checked them for that, and have found no signs at all. Will check again.
     
  10. BlazeJester

    BlazeJester Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think avian encephalitis is a virus they can get from wild birds, so if they had contact with feces or dust from a bird that was infected they may have gotten it that way. Otherwise, there are so many different kinds of avian illnesses... it's hard to tell.

    I have a sick chick that I suspect has AE (that or Marek's, since I did not have them vaccinated) and someone on this forum recommended to me that I get a necropsy done if the bird dies, which is what I'd primarily recommend to you. Some of the contagious diseases are kept track of by the state departments of agriculture. They want that type of uncontrollable death reported so they can track viral outbreaks in the area and keep them from spreading. It sounds like whatever your chickens have is viral since antibiotics and parasite control are not helping your flock.
     

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