Dieing Hens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MustangChick, Feb 29, 2016.

  1. MustangChick

    MustangChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 25, 2015
    Mustang, Ok
    We have (had) a very small flock. Six weeks ago, 1 of our hens got sick and about a week later, died. I had wormed her, fed her yogurt, buttermilk, scrambled eggs, anything I could possibly think of to entice her to eat...but she still died. Two weeks later, another one got sick. I took that one to the vet. The vet said she had peritonitis of unknown origin and drained 1/2 a pound of fluid from her abdomen, put her on antibiotics, and sent her home with me. $100 and a week later, she died anyway. This morning, a third one started acting oddly. I noticed that she had made quite a mess in the henhouse overnight with runny poo. Tonight, she died That quickly. What is going on?! That's 3 of our 5 hens. I know that someone is going to suggest I take this last one to get a necropsy. But the closest spot is an hour and a half away. They were all 3 different breeds, different ages (1 1/2 - 3 1/2 years), only signs were runny poo and loss of appetite with last one. She did NOT have any sign of peritinitis. I don't know about the first one - I didn't know to check. I just thought she felt bad because of being wormed. And, yes. We are seeing hookworms in their poo. These are 2 of the 3 that are gone.[​IMG]
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    You're right, someone IS going to suggest a necropsy. Do you want to know what is killing your chickens or do you want to keep guessing?
    I'm sorry you are having these problems but likely the same thing is killing them and you won't know without lab work.
    My poultry lab is a 3 hour drive one way but at today's gas prices, that's still cheaper than priority mailing the bird.

    With the perhaps 20 things that could kill quickly and cause diarrhea your last 2 birds will be gone before guesses will find the cause.

    Vets are expensive and finding a good avian vet with poultry experience is nearly impossible for most people.
    In a few states necropsies are free. A complete necropsy here is $85. To me, that and the 6 hour drive is cheap to find out exactly what is going on in the flocks.
     
  3. MustangChick

    MustangChick Out Of The Brooder

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    I was wondering about the cost...cheaper than the last vet visit:/ Do you know hoe to find out EXACTLY who does them in my state?
     
  4. coach723

    coach723 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 12, 2015
    North Florida
    X2!

    Also, you say you took her to a vet, and you see hookworms in their poo. Did the vet do a fecal float test? Have you wormed all of them?
    If one chicken has worms, they are going to spread around to all. And it's likely going to recur. Worm eggs live a REALLY long time in the environment. If you know you have worms, then I'd highly recommend that you put everyone on a regular worming schedule. I alternate between safeguard and valbazen, which will take care of just about all the possible worms, and my chickens are wormed every 3 months, due to my environment and climate. Some people can do every 6 months and that's enough. Worms, no matter what kind, do terrible things to the insides of a chicken. If you lose another bird I would highly recommend getting the necropsy done. And if you have not wormed everybody, then I would start doing that.
     
  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    I would if I knew what state you're in.
     
  6. MustangChick

    MustangChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Yes, she did a fecal, and sent home some wormer for all of them. We missed the date to re-worm by 3 days (surely it wasn't that?). We are in Oklahoma. Thanks in advance for the information!
     
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    Oklahoma Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory
    Oklahoma State Univ.,College of Vet. Med.
    Farm & Ridge Road
    Stillwater, Oklahoma 74078
    Phone: 405-744-6623 Fax 405-744-8612
     
  8. MustangChick

    MustangChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Mustang, Ok
    I DID contact my county extension office-thanks for the encouragement, ChickenCanoe. They came out that afternoon and picked her up to send her off for the necropsy (for free, I'm assuming). They were as concerned about me losing the birds as I was, although for different reasons (from a scientific standpoint). They will let me know when they determine cause of death. A load off my mind, since I have chicks in a brooder in the house which I will NOT integrate till I know what's going on. As an aside, I did hear from a friend who lives close by that she found one of her hens dead today. Perhaps something is going 'round out here...
     
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    That's great. I normally don't recommend raising chicks indoors but I think waiting to move them out is prudent.
     
  10. MustangChick

    MustangChick Out Of The Brooder

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    UPDATE: I got the results back from the county extension office (for anyone who might be curious). This is what the report said:
    The bird had Mycoplasmosis. Mycoplasma PCR testing was positive for both Mycoplasma gallisepticum and Mycoplasma synoviae, indicating a
    concurrent infection with the two pathogens. Additionally, the bird had a reproductive tract infection/ oophoritis resulting in yolk peritonitis.
    Gallibacterium anatis and Enterococcus cecorum, was isolated from the trachea of the bird. It could not be determined if the reproductive tract infection
    was a primary infection or secondary to the Mycoplasma infection, although secondary infections in birds with Mycoplasmosis are common.
    Mycoplasma are bacterial pathogens of birds, primarily infecting the upper respiratory tract. Mycoplasma synovia can also cause joint infections. The
    disease can be treated by antibiotics such as Flouroquinolones, Tiamulin, Tylan, Spectinomycin, or Gallimycin, but treatment rarely completely
    eliminates the bacteria from the flock. Due to latent infections in carrier birds which can continue to shed the bacteria, the disease often reoccurs during
    periods of stress. The disease can easily be spread to new birds added to the flock. Mycoplasma are sexually transmitted between the birds, and can
    be spread from the hen to the chicks by contamination of the shell surface. The disease is easily spread by fomites, such as shoes and equipment, and
    mechanical vectors such as migratory birds and mice. Antibiotic choice depends on the use of the birds, as certain antibiotics cannot be used in
    animals intended as a source of food.

    Now, my only question is whether to go ahead and treat the remaining two healthy chickens (and one healthy guinea) with one of the above antibiotics, even though they are showing no signs of illness. Or to just get rid of all of them and start over (very sad for me:( ).
     

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