Completely new to chickens & two are sick, please help.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MyDivineComedy, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. MyDivineComedy

    MyDivineComedy New Egg

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    Hello, I am 100% new to chickens so please forgive my ignorance. Recently (two weeks ago) I became the "godparent" if you will of 10 hens and 3 roosters from some friends of ours whose daughter moved away and they no longer wished to have her animals there as they travel a lot-I also took in two fainting goats who live with the chickens if that's pertinent? They have had these chickens for quite some time 5+ years and they raised all but three from chicks. They brought their coop and everything with them so they haven't been introduced to anything new. I have never had chickens here before so no old chicken diseases around either. They arrived right before it got cold and snowed a foot so they haven't even been outside on our ground! The only thing different would be our water and it is fine for us and all my other animals to drink. Would just be a change is all. We had a week of real cold -40C and lots of wind and snow right after they got here. They do have a heat lamp and a window for ventilation but they got cooped up all of a sudden and although it is kept clean they are a bit dusty and with the extreme cold. I noticed them to be a little sneezy, but nothing else so I thought it was just maybe weather/dust sneezes. They have been laying good I have got 4 dozen eggs in the 2 weeks they have been here, I think that’s pretty good?? My issue is that two of them have come down with something in the last two days. The first one to be obviously sick I found yesterday morning when I went out for morning chores and she was face down, wing out on the floor in the shavings, looking very dead but still breathing. Her eyes were nearly closed and she was I assumed on her way out. I scooped her up and took her into my heated tack room and tucked her in and let her be, figuring I had to put her down some how...she would not or could not sit up on her own and just flopped on her little face listlessly with eyes closed. I had a lot of company yesterday so I didn't get back out to her till late afternoon and she seemed to be holding her head up a bit now so I tried her on some water or food, but she would take nothing. I decided to let her be and see what morning brought. Well this morning she was definitely sitting up better and her eyes were brighter and open, she would still not drink but she did peck at and eat a little bit of sweet feed I tempted her with. I noticed this morning though that her little knob on the top of her head and around her eyes is red...(she is one of those white poofy chickens with the black face and blue cheeks so I know this is not normal as there are two others like her and they don't have that & she didn't either till now. Anyways, I carried on out to the coop and discovered another hen, suspiciously nestled on the floor but she did get up and carried on her business as I changed water, collected eggs and such but I had the "feeling". I had to be away all day today and tonight when I went out sure enough the other hen is still hunchy, tail down and just not quite right. Somewhat lethargic but she is still eating and drinking. I had done a whole bunch of reading last night and so tonight when I had time I picked them both up and checked them over good and I guess they have diarrhea, as they have messy bums. No blood though as far as I can see and it is just kind of runny, really smelly and somewhat white. Hen number two is a gold hen with black feathers around her neck and fuzzy feet, I did leave her with the others tonight as I figure they have all been together already anyway but I will take her out in the morning. Hen #1 was able to stand on her own tonight and pecked at some food, interacted with the cat a little but still would not take water. She did have a poo that looked a little more normal (for what ever I know about normal chicken poo), but she just sits and doesn’t have the energy to move out of it either. I cleaned her a bit and gave her all nice fresh bedding. I have some ocytetracycline liquid I could try in their water if they drink...hen #1 won't though so how do you medicate a chicken then?? I am worried about the others too as they are quite a bunch of pets, I want to try and do what I can for them. I know when our friends brought them, she mentioned they had lost a few recently and not to be worried if more died or to be prepared to find them that way and to have to "do away" with them. I don't want to just do that if there is something better I can do! LOL I guess this is why everyone in the country gives me or brings me stray or unwanted critters....mammals I know pretty well. Birds are totally new! I am sorry this is so long but I tried to get any info out that may be important. Thanks so much for any and all advice as to what this may be and why and what to do about it [​IMG]
     
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Can you break it up into paragraphs for me?

    *trying to read*

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  3. MyDivineComedy

    MyDivineComedy New Egg

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    umm...I tried to edit, didn't seem to want to let me. Sorry! What do I have to do?
     
  4. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Quote:Hmmmm...sometimes when I try to edit my BYC page it won't let me either. If you want to try again, all I know is to click edit on your first post, then try to hit enter a few times to make spaces in there.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. Luvroos

    Luvroos Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm so sorry to hear that you are going through this with these chickens. Since I have not had them that long myself and don't know as much as I'd like to I really can't help you but, maybe others can tell you what might be best for them.
     
  6. MyDivineComedy

    MyDivineComedy New Egg

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    Quote:
     
  7. MyDivineComedy

    MyDivineComedy New Egg

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    There I quoted me and was able to do it LOL
     
  8. Chicken.Lytle

    Chicken.Lytle Chillin' With My Peeps

    You said a mouthful.

    Water change may be part of it. Water chemistry and bacteria are local. Temperature drop may be a contributing factor. Transportation stress may be a factor.

    My chickens had fowl pox once. Two others in the flock had a chicken version of the common cold. In both cases I gave supporting treatment .
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  9. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    [​IMG]

    Ok, I think I got most of it. Like the others said it's A LOT easier if you do paragraphs--don't have to be proper, just break it up so eyes don't cross. I think I need readers anyhow, but lets not go there.

    What are you feeding them (any changes), what are you using for bedding, and are they freeranging or confined to a pen? Cocci is possible though it's not usually something you see in older birds. In your case though since they've moved to new ground and may have been exposed to a varient that is new to them (doesn't matter that no other chickens have lived there) which along with their age (5?) and the stress of the move with possible the stress of coming out of or going into molt makes me think it's a possibility.

    For now you can practice good supportive care--Warm dry place, seperate anybody that's being pecked on, high value treat food such as scrambled eggs to temp their appetite and give them a boost.


    ETA:

    Copy/paste the questions from this link into your post and answer as many as you can-- https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=3569

    Here's
    a link to the "poop page" it might help you get an idea what is going on-- http://www.chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php?topic=17568.0
     
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2010
  10. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Ok, so what I got from your info is that the chickens turned sneezy and one near death...

    But the previous owners had had some deaths recently.

    Hmmm....it sounds like a respiratory disease. Some of these chicken respiratory diseases just come and go from a flock and you never get rid of them completely.

    I don't have any experience with respiratory disease in chickens, but I have some really good bookmarked sites for you to look at if you want to....

    This website has diagnosis charts at the bottom that may be useful: (sneezing is there, for example)
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044

    to check for abnormal poo
    http://chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php?topic=17568.0

    This website talks about coryza
    http://www.shagbarkbantams.com/page22.htm

    and infectious bronchitis
    http://www.shagbarkbantams.com/ib.htm

    I don't know what the diagnosis is---I am just trying to be helpful.

    Once they stop drinking they are really on the way out. You HAVE to get some liquid into her beak. I dip the beaks of hens that won't drink, just like you would show a new chick how to drink.

    Some on this message board have been successful using a dropper to get some liquid into the side of the mouth of chickens- just be careful so they don't aspirate. As far as antibiotics go, I hope the first website will help you decide if you think it is a treatable disease. I don't have the experience to tell you.

    I hope your flock gets better soon! If the respiratory disease spreads through the flock- seen or unseen, be aware that for some of these diseases, the surviving chickens are carriers. Then they can pass the disease to your new chickens (or if you give chickens away- to the flock of the recipient).

    Some folks end up culling whole flocks. But I don't know if your problem is that serious, or even what it is. Just be aware that if you never find out what it was, and you introduce new chickens, it may crop up again. Or when the old hens' immune systems are down when they are molting, it may come back, if it is chronic.

    I hope you get a lot of help on here.

    [​IMG]
     

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