Dirty vents and deceased birds

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by hobbyhomesteader, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. hobbyhomesteader

    hobbyhomesteader Chirping

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    We've got (or had) 5 hens housed with 3 ducks. A couple of our hens have had chronic dirty vents and some diarrhea. They're housed in a huge outdoor pen (with coop inside) so it's not easy to tell who is laying or what poo looks like in great detail, but it's clear that 2 of them had diarrhea based on their matted feathers. None seem lethargic or otherwise sick that I can tell but those two were a bit skinny and not all were laying. We try very hard to provide fresh water daily via a drip irrigation system and gravity water feeder however the ducks are a real challenge to keeping water clean! Despite adjusting water situation, we found one of our hens dead in late April. Then we treated with Safeguard for worms just in case. Diarrhea in the second hen didn't completely resolve but didn't seem to progress...however we just found her dead this morning. The remaining 3 hens don't appear to have dirty vents but I'm very concerned they might have the same illness. Thoughts on whether this could be coccidiosis or bacterial or viral? I don't know of any poultry vets nearby, but could maybe send in a fecal sample. In the meantime I have Tylan50 on hand and am wondering if I should treat.

    EDIT: All of the feces in their coop beneath the roosting branch appears totally normal. They're fed a 21% start to finish feed.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2019
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

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    I think the problem is extremely unlikely to be coccidiosis at this age.
    I wouldn't treat with anything till you have a fecal sample read.
    Possibly bacterial or viral.
    Unless you find an avian vet with poultry experience, you may not get to the bottom of it.
    Since your bird just died, your best bet is to have a necropsy done at UC Davis if you really want to know for sure what killed it.


    California Animal Health & Food Safety Laboratory


    University of California, School of Veterinary Med

    620 West Health Science Drive

    Davis, California 95616

    Phone: 530-752-8709
     
    aart likes this.
  3. hobbyhomesteader

    hobbyhomesteader Chirping

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    Thanks, in fact I just talked with a colleague about submitting to CAHFS too. I didn't realize they offered a backyard poultry service! I'm going to take the carcass there on Monday and see what they determine. Can you elaborate on your thoughts about age and coccidiosis though? I thought it could effect birds of any age.
     
    aart likes this.
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Crossing the Road

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    Keep the bird refrigerated till the necropsy.
    Birds that have been on soil on the same property have been exposed to the species of coccidia on that property and have long since gained resistance to that species. If you move a bird to a different part of the country with a species they have yet to encounter, they could succumb to coccidiosis.
     
  5. hobbyhomesteader

    hobbyhomesteader Chirping

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    Update: Our CAHFS report came back with primary cause of death as salpingitis and fibrinous coelomitis which is essentially a reproductive issue leading to secondary infection and death. Very hard to diagnose! This is not a contagious condition though so I'm still unsure of what might've caused the death of our first bird.

    Interestingly, when I reported the death to our veterinarian before the CAHFS report, she recommended going ahead and treating the flock for coccidia just in case. I'm glad we waited until the report came in otherwise we'd be dealing with a lengthy and unnecessary egg withdrawal period!!

    Note that CAHFS accepts chicken carcasses from backyard flocks for assessment from all over California (you can ship them!) and it's only $25 for two necropsies with a full report which is a great deal!!
     
    aart and ChickenCanoe like this.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

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    The most common coccidiosis med(amprolium) does not require withdrawal....but would have a waste of time or at least money.
     
    Texas Kiki likes this.
  7. hobbyhomesteader

    hobbyhomesteader Chirping

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    Yup, you're right, amprolium would've been the right thing to get. However she was recommending Albon (sulfadimethoxine) because that's what she's familiar with in small animal veterinary practice (not a poultry vet like I said) which she said would need a 6 week withdrawal. I'm glad we didn't have to use anything because as you said, waste of time and money at the least!
     
    aart likes this.

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