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Dark tarry stool

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by hmbrown05, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. hmbrown05

    hmbrown05 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 4, 2014
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    Approximately 2 weeks ago I started noticing odd droppings in the hen house. They were very dark and tarry. All of the birds were acting fine and I was able to appreciate that everyone was eating and laying like normal. Fecal float was negative for any parasites so I have been monitoring with little success in finding the offending hen, though still consistently finding the same type of stool when I turn then out for the day and aroud the yard. Yesterday I noticed one hen hanging out in the coop on the roost at an unusual time of day and she has stayed away from the flock today so I am assuming she is the one who is ill. She hasn't laid in days, but has never been a frequent layer (she is one of my broodies/mommas). Any ideas on the cause? Everyone else is BAR [​IMG]. Will catch her and separate her this evening at roost time, but don't know what else to do. Probiotics and electrolytes in the water for sure...
     
  2. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    It could be coccidia, worms, or bacterial. Internal layers often get taken out by E.coli infections as a secondary problem.Cecal droppings are often "dark and tarry". Supplementing probiotic soluble powder like Probios or Fastrack in the water once a week is a good practice. Vitamins-electrolytes 3 days a week in drinkers is too. Cephalexin is a very effective antibiotic against most bacterial infections:
    http://www.revivalanimal.com/Fish-Flex.html?feed=BingShopping
    If you can get it from a vet, you might have better quality. What age and what breed is that sick hen? When was the last time you treated for Cocci or dewormed them?
     
  3. hmbrown05

    hmbrown05 Out Of The Brooder

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    They were treated for coccidia in November when a new rooster brought a strain they haen't seen before. I work as a vet tech-fecals have all been negative. They are approximately a year old and have never been wormed other than with corid because floats have been negative. The hen is an EE sold as an americauna, been otherwise healthy and usually lays every 2-3 days. Nothing new recently in the flock either...
     
  4. hmbrown05

    hmbrown05 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 4, 2014
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    What would be the doseage for the cephalexin? I have some 500mg capsule..
     
  5. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    For the Cephalexin, I wouldn't give more than 100-125mg to a 6 lb bird, once a day for 5-7 days. I remember an avian vet giving me 250 mg 2 x a day for a bird. Too much and too hard on the intestinal tract.

    After 5 months of wet weather and stress caused by weather, coccidiosis isn't unrealistic to treat for. Fecals are not 100% accurate as you know, and generally a few are required within a day or two of each other. Intestinal worm eggs gone undetected, can blossom into full grown problems. I'd deworm with Albendazole give some vitamins-electrolytes and probiotics for a day or two, then run a regiment of Amprolium in drinkers for 5-7 days, then follow up with a day or two of poultry vitamin-probiotic powder in drinkers. On the 10th day since your first worming, deworm again.

    Lots of folks think only Turkeys get Histomoniasis (black head) but chickens can get that protozoa passed to them since they can get cecal worms too. http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/poultry/histomoniasis/overview_of_histomoniasis_in_poultry.html

    Cecal worms are difficult to see without bright light and excellent eyesight. Since you are a vet tech, you should have access to a number of remedies for these problems. Without doing culture and sensitivity tests, much of this is a game of troubleshooting based upon symptoms. It can be tricky.
     
  6. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

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    I thought I'd correct the above statement. Dosage recommended for Cephalexin is 100 mg/kg (1 kg = 2.2 lbs) every 4 hrs according to Avian medicine: Principles and Applications. That means a 5-6 lb chicken can receive 250 mg 2x a day 12 hours apart. Effective against staph and E.coli strains.
     

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