Chickens with bloody watery diarrhea - one already lost

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by williamsl77, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. williamsl77

    williamsl77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm new at this and already feeling very bummed that this is happening... here's the story.

    We have 22 bantams that are 4-5 weeks old, 6 aracaunas that are 4-5 weeks old. We had 2 sixteen week old hens, a buff orpington (died last night) and a NH red. I had been housing them in the garage until about two weeks ago (in multiple large rubber maids with tops cut for ventilation and heating lamps). The two 16 week hens were in an extra large dog crate on their own and we have only had them for about two weeks. We built a very large walk in coop 7ft by 7.5ft with lots of ventilation and roosts and nests. We moved the chicks in first for a few days and let them all loose to get to know each other. They did really well. (They had been in containers all near each other their whole lives, so they had all seen each other all of that time). I did notice the aracaunas pecked on a couple of the bantams for a day or so, but they they all got used to each other and it seemed ok.

    We got the two hens from a friendly farmer around the corner from our house. All of his hens were (and still are) healthy. While he has a lot of hens and some of them are outside and free range, these two were from his coop and were not part of the free ranging group. I put these two hens in with the chicks on Friday (5 days before the orpington got sick). I kept them in their crate to keep them separate from the chicks so they could get to know each other before I let them out completely. Monday I let them out. Wednesday morning the orpington got sick and she died Wednesday night. She had bloody diarrhea. At least one other bird has bloody diarrhea now, though I am not 100% sure which one. I suspect it is the other 16wk old hen, but she is eating and drinking and does not appear ill as of the am. Three of my bantams seemed low energy this am and I isolated them. I started them all on Duramycin last night.

    Here are the answers to the basic questions:

    1) What type of bird , age and weight.
    orpington, 16wk, bloody diarrhea, tired, no respiratory symptoms at all
    NH red, 16wks, suspect bloody diarrhea, but seems to be eating and drinking and walking around
    3 4-5 week old bantams, tired and huddling together even though other birds around them are active and peeping, isolated this am, *I think* still eating and drinking
    everyone else seems ok

    2) What is the behavior, exactly.
    see above

    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms?
    I did not check the chickens on Tuesday night, my husband did. He did not observe anything out of the ordinary, but he's not really into the chickens, so I don't know if he would have noticed any changes. I noticed the buff was not well Wednesday am and she died Wednesday pm. I found two spots of bloody diarrhea from another chicken (not sure which one this am).

    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms?
    yes, though not nearly as bad as of this am

    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.
    one bantam has a swollen foot and she is limping. I asked at the Agway, they suspect bumblefoot. Her foot has been swollen for about 5 days. She is now isolated though she wasn't isolated until this am (she is one of the 3 bantams that seemed tired and huddling)

    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
    I am wondering if some bricks that I put in the coop are to blame. They were bricks that had been in our backyard for about 5 years or so? I'm not sure. For a while anyway. The only part of the coop that we had not built yet was a drippings board underneath the roosts. So I had used the bricks to raise the food and water above all of the bedding and put a few bricks around the food and water so the smaller chicks could get to it. This combined with the stress of moving and being introduced to new chickens (though I thought I did this the best way possible).

    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
    See above.

    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
    like a small spot of water with a little brown and red in the middle

    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
    Started duramycin last night in water, but I think I need one of the sulfas for cocci from what I've been reading. What do you think?

    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?
    If my whole flock is going to be affected, I probably should take something to the vet. I would like to treat as much on my own as possible, though.

    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
    Will try to get a picture of the bumble foot shortly. There are not obvious scratches or wounds. Does not appear broken. Just one leg is swollen.

    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use
    pine shavings, starting the composting method. Every day I try to turn the top over and spread a new layer on top.
     
  2. nurse_turtle

    nurse_turtle Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Research Cocci in poultry.
     
  3. AZBootsie

    AZBootsie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My Coop
    I would guess Cocci or Worms. There are lots of thread here on Coccidiosis, you could try a search. Corrid or Sulmet, I believe are the reccomended drugs for cocci. Mabye someone with experience in using them will chime in.

    Keep us updated. Sending healing vibes from AZ.
     
  4. Ksane

    Ksane Overrun With Chickens

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    Run to the feed store or tractor supply store ASAP and get Sulmet or Corid. It sounds just like coccidia. Older birds can be carriers and show no signs and expose other birds who've never been exposed to it and those birds can get sick and easily die. Research chicken diseases and you'll find there's many things that older birds can carry that can kill your youngwr birds. Always quarrantine, worm, examine, etc new birds for several weeks *away from your own birds. I was incredibly lucky before I started quarrantining.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  5. williamsl77

    williamsl77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I did quarantine for more than a week before I introduced the birds. It was an older bird that died and the other older bird that I think might be sick. I'm not sure if the younger birds are getting sick or not, but I'm separating any that looks suspicious.

    I bought the sulfa drug at my farm store for coccidosis and am starting it asap. Should I discontinue the duramycin? Should I add probiotics? I'm keeping my 1 and 3 year old away from the chickens for now, but should I be worried about my kids with this?

    I have been reading everything I can get my hands on for the last 24 hours, which is why I was coming around to thinking it was cocci/coccidosis. I'm really hoping to hear from people who have experience with chickens and know more than I do.

    Thanks!!
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2011
  6. Ksane

    Ksane Overrun With Chickens

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    I'm not sure about the rest but just quarrantining without deworming (different dewormers for different worms) and checking for mites or lice doesn't do any good. If you don't deworm, etc then the parasites will still be alive 2 wks later to infect your own chickens.
    Your kids are safe if it's coccidia but DO physically turn the bird over and closely look at their vents (not just their backs) for lice or mites. Just as a rule if I had little kids I'd park a container of GermX right by the chickens. Make it a habit for the kids to use it before they leave. That's with any animal.
     
  7. williamsl77

    williamsl77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, we have been coming inside to wash our hands (immediately after visiting the chickens). I think I will put something directly in the coop. If it isn't coccidosis, are there other things I should worry about around my kids??

    Thanks.
     
  8. williamsl77

    williamsl77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just looked at the pictures of normal and not normal poo on this website... the hens' poo did not have that much frank blood in it. It was more like a small streak. Could it still coccidiosis?!

    Whatever it was, it was fast. So far no other chickens appear sick. I took the chicken that died to the NH Diagnostic Vet, so we should have preliminary results tomorrow and definite results by Monday (though that's a long time to wait if something infectious is moving through the flock).

    Will keep you posted!
     
  9. OwlLover

    OwlLover Alaskan Wanderer

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    Yep. I've lost 10 golden laced polish pullets from it, with only a few small streaks of blood in their poop. Needless to say they came from a feedstore that was NASTY and was dangerous biological wise for both birds and humans.

    Anyways, since your seeing blood in the poop, they're in the late stages of coccidia, and since you've already lost one, you've probably only got a few hours left to treat them. Go up to a tractor supply or somethingand get some corid or amprolium. Even if no one else seems sick, symptoms take a while to surface in chickens. I'm sorry you lost a chick already. [​IMG]
     
  10. williamsl77

    williamsl77 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I'm feeling even more sure that it is coccidiosis. 8( I have a few more very tired chickens and one that while not really tired, is not walking well. The coop smells a bit like diarrhea. I keep throwing down fresh litter every time I walk in. Wondering if I should scrub down the whole coop now? And where would I put the chickens if I did? Or should I just get through the next few days and then scrub it down? Would it stress them out to move them out while I scrubbed it?

    I started them on the sulfadimethoxine (this is what our feed store had for coccidiosis) this morning. Guessing a bit on the dose. Hope it works. I put some in their water and then I put some of their water in some mash and the ones that aren't acting sick loved it. The sick ones didn't show much interest. I tried to convince them. We'll see what we have in the morning.

    Rough start to chickens. I stopped the Duramycin as I think the sulfa drug is going to be a tough enough drug for the chickens. They only got one dose of that.

    Anything else I should do at this point?

    Thanks.
     

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