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Could it be worms?

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by lamNervousNellie, Jun 20, 2011.

  1. lamNervousNellie

    lamNervousNellie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2011
    Mishawaka, Indiana
    I recently brought home 9 more birds to add to my flock (yipee!) and I noticed when I got them home that some of their tails are droopy.. Otherwise they are acting fine, still eating and drinking normally. As a precaution I always quarentine new birds for a while to observe them before introducing them to the rest of my flock. I'm having trouble finding helpful information about droopy tails with no other signs or symptoms. Could this be atttributed to worms? If so, is the DE I sprinkle in the feed going to take care of this or do I need to get an actual dewormer? I did notice that a few of the birds seem to be slightly smaller than I would expect them to be at 3 months, but most of the birds are breeds I've never had before (GLW, SLW, Light Brahmas, Ameracauna, BR) so maybe I'm just unfamiliar with their growth rates? Two of them are RIRs & they seem to be the same size as my 3 month old RIR/Red star mix birds. Any input is greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.

    ETA: I forgot to mention that the woman I got them from had recently clipped their wings.. and although I've never done it myself, I have a feeling she didn't do it correctly. It appears as though she just lifted the wing and cut straight across the longer feathers [​IMG] Could this have an effect on their behavior and possibly cause the droopy tails?
     
    Last edited: Jun 20, 2011
  2. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Dec 5, 2010
    Hi IamNervousNellie,

    Droopy tails can be worms but I've also noticed birds often go through a phase of lowered tail posture... It's never been anything wrong (at least so far). I've seen it happen around the 14-20 week mark in some breeds.

    Much more important are the droppings, whether or not there's a mucky bottom, and the weight of the bird. Having said that, heavy breeds like wyandottes can be slow to develop. However they shouldn't feel positively bony and should have some meat around the keelbone (the narrow bone that goes down the chest). If they're undersized *and* thin, then it may be worms, or may be that they were raised on a poor diet.

    It won't hurt to worm them at the start. But if you're committed to organic you could try adding extra protein and see if they start to grow a little better (remember too to use new ground frequently, e.g. via a tractor, if you want to stay organic... Chickens kept on the same ground over and over will always accumulate parasites).

    best wishes,
    Erica

    PS The wing clipping won't affect tail posture, and it sounds like it was done correctly (as long as it was only done on one wing per bird?). Normally just the long flight feathers are cut off so you can't see the clipped area when the wing is folded.
     
  3. lamNervousNellie

    lamNervousNellie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 24, 2011
    Mishawaka, Indiana
    Erica, thanks so much for your response. Their poo is looking normal from what I can tell so i'll just keep an on them for other symptoms, but it may just be a droopy tail stage theyre going through. As for the de-wormer, what do you recommend? Unfortunately, I think she clipped both wings of the birds, and I can tell on some of them; meaning that it looks like she cut the tips off of some of the shorter feathers [​IMG] I'm assuming that these won't grow back until a molt?
     

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