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Dark poop on adult chicken, then dies w/in days

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by CindyB, Sep 3, 2008.

  1. CindyB

    CindyB In the Brooder

    Sep 3, 2008
    Princeville, Illinois
    Hope someone can figure this out. I have lost a rooster, hen and a turkey. Chickens are 5 months old and the turkey was 3 months. The hen and rooster started with poop smeared on their feathers (at the butt area). Then it gets worse and worse. But still eat and drink normally. Then they just lay around. Probably dehydration from diarrhea. Then death. All this happens in about 4 to 5 days. The turkey didn't have the poop problem. It started out with a limp then it went into very limited use of its legs. Then died. The turkey roams free with the guineas and the chickens are penned up.

    My husband thinks its the feed. The place where our feed comes from started packaging it different about 4 weeks ago. When we opened up that first bag, it had a very strong smell. I can't describe the smell but it was like feed smell but 5 times stronger. I'm sensitive to mold and I don't believe it was mold. The next bag still smelled but not as bad. Then I got another bag today and it smelled normal. The chickens are the only ones that get this feed. Everything else gets a game bird feed. The rep from the feed company is going to analyze the feed from one of our bags to see if the feed is the cause. Hopefully we'll find out soon.

    I just went out to feed the chickens and there was another hen that has poop stuck to her back end just like the others. I saw her eat and drink and she is very quick. I tried to catch her to see if I could try to wash it off. I'll try later.

    Any ideas?


  2. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    Hi! Sorry you're having these problems. Feed can contain other contaminants than mold. I'd feed them ALL the Gamebird formula (purina?) until you can get the Purina flock maintenance, just give free choice oyster shell to pullets for calcium - roos don't tolerate layena well (if you want to keep them alive for a long time-if you're going to eat them no problem).

    You don't mention the breed of turkey that died (Broad Breasted or Heritage?). The turkey could well of succumbed to something completely different. If the other free rangers start exhibiting signs of lethargy/diarrhea/death then the feed can probably be ruled out as the chook's problem. Do the chooks and the T's/G's share a common fence or ever range together?

    Seperate (isolate) all those chooks exhibiting symptoms. Clean out all feeders thoroughly (disinfect). Call a local vet and take in a fecal sample from one of the sick chooks. Not all vets do chook work, but they all do poop and it's pretty cheap (our vet charges $12.00).

    Good Luck!
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2008

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