dead chicken, worried about the rest of my flock

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by babyrabbitjones, Feb 10, 2012.

  1. babyrabbitjones

    babyrabbitjones Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 21, 2011
    Hi friends,
    I am troubled and hope that some of you more experienced chicken owners could give me some your opinions:
    I am a first time chicken owner (flock of 6) and one of my birds died suddenly the other day (now flock of 5). I am totally overwhelmed with information about what could have possibly afflicted her and caused her death.


    1) What type of bird , age and weight (does the chicken seem or feel lighter or thinner than the others.) she was a barred partridge rock, about 10 months old, she was the largest chicken in my flock, and it was possible she was actually a rooster or exhibiting rooster qualities like crowing.
    2) What is the behavior, exactly. she was laying on the coop floor in the morning, unable to stand and panting, i suspected worms b/c i have never wormed my birds and that seems fairly common, i brought her in the house in a carrier and gave her wazine water throughout the day, her health declined all day (couldn't stand, couldn't focus her eyes when they were open, panting) and she died later that evening.
    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? she starting acting ill around 7 am and died about 9 pm. she was acting normal in the previous days. however, about a month prior to this, i noticed the same bird having diarrhea and shaking her head funny, my feed store guy told me this was likely coccidiosis, and if that bird had it then they all had it, and i medicated the entire flock w/ sulmet and thought that took care of the problem.
    4) Are other birds exhibiting the same symptoms? no, and that's what i'm afraid of, she fell ill and died so suddenly. i can't tell if any of the others are afflicted with the same thing.
    5) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. none
    6) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation. i have noticed lately a lot of wild birds flying into the pen to eat scratch. perhaps they could have transmitted a disease to her? perhaps she never got rid of the coccidiosis (but i never saw any bloody diarrhea)? perhaps she could have even been egg-bound?
    7) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. i feed them a laying blend my local feed store mixes up, along with kitchen treats and scratch. i have never wormed, vaccinated, and done any other treatments to the birds besides the sulmet mentioned previously.
    8) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. semi-normal, slightly runny before she fell ill. when she was very sick in the carrier, she pooped and it was like water, in her final throes she pooped and it was liquid yellow.
    9) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? i gave her wazine water to attempt to hydrate her and treat for worms-if that's what was afflicting her. i should note i have been smooshing and examining all poop in the coop and pen like crazy and haven't actually seen any worm evidence.
    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?
    i was hoping to nurse her back to health. but alas...ideally a necropsy could have been done, but we were in shock after watching her flop about the laundry room and die, and buried her quickly.
    11) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.
    12) Describe the housing/bedding in use they are in a coop with a pen for them to run around in, i let them free range for a few hours every day or sometimes all day. i use straw as bedding. i live in eastern GA.

    My train of thought right now is,

    should i re-dose the flock with sulmet?
    should i dose the whole flock with wazine?
    i'd rather not do that if i can help it, i'm afraid of over-medicating them as well. i also hated wasting all those eggs while they were on the treatment. but i'd hate it more if more birds got sick.


    i have kept the rest of the chicken confined the pen, in case there is something she got into that sickened her.
    i have removed all bedding, disinfected the coop and waterer, and raked the coop and pen.
    i felt all the rest of the birds and they all feel fine to my inexperienced hands and are acting normally.
    normal poops in the coop today, although they do look lighter brown than usual.


    anybody care to tell me what you think i'm dealing with? or a recommended course of action to prevent further losses. thank you thank you thank you in advance....
     
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2012
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Sorry you lost your bird. Unfortunately there are about a bazillion possibilities as to what could have been the cause and in a situation like this where symptoms are vague only a necropsy will give you the answers you are looking for.

    As for the remainder of your flock, watch them carefully for any signs of illness. If you start seeing more ill birds you might consider taking one to an avian vet for diagnosis.

    I would also go ahead and worm the entire flock if I were you. Chickens get internal parasites just like dogs, cats, horses, goats, cows, you get the picture. Worms are very damaging to a chickens body, far more so then anything you will use to get rid of the worms. Their bodies can only handle so much infestation.

    Wazine will only remove round worms. If you are going to worm them use something like Valbazen that will get rid of pretty much everything. The dose is 1/2 cc for standard size hens, 1/4 cc for bantams. Repeat in 10 days to get any eggs that hatched in the meantime. Depending on your area you might deworm once or twice a year. In warmer, wetter regions some folks deworm quarterly.

    Good luck with your flock, hopefully this will have been an isolated problem with this particular bird and you won't loose any more.
     
  3. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    It sounds kind of like poisoning for your first hen. Did she get into anything with mold , fungus, or bacteria? Botulism, I know, gives them paralysis, then they die within 48 hours. Check around the area and see if there's anything. Check your scratch for mold and check your feed.
     
  4. babyrabbitjones

    babyrabbitjones Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 21, 2011
    thank you so much for responding....i appreciate your opinions very much....
    i'll certainly be worming them with the Valbazen, and keeping a close eye on the rest of the gals.

    now that i think about it, they have been hanging out by an old barn on our property a lot recently, i wonder if there's something around there that's harmful.
    i shall give it close investigation immediately......thanks so much again
     
  5. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Sometimes, alot of times, you will not know why. I hope the rest of the birds stay fine.
     
  6. babyrabbitjones

    babyrabbitjones Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 21, 2011
    good grief, i just came back from the old barn and there's some ancient hay/straw (i mean at least 10 years old from the previous owners) and i can tell where they have scratched up the ground all around that area......to be safe i'm going to confine the birds to their pen until i can get all that cleaned out of there. all the rest of them appear to be just fine and it's been since wednesday since they were over there. sigh.


    i feel like such a terrible chicken mother........thanks again for your help....
     
  7. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    spring hill, florida
    You're not a terrible chicken mother! Most of the time you don't know what's wrong till after the fact. We have all been there. Hope the rest of your chickens are fine.
     

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