Dramatic drop in egg production, one hen wheezing, died quickly

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Katydid2011, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yesterday one of my 7-month old SLW hens was lethargic and sleeping on the floor of the coop, something I've never seen her do before, but when the rest of the flock went out, she followed. She wasn't interested in treats but pecked around the pasture.

    It's been cold, near freezing, for several nights now and many of the girls are puffed up in the morning, trying to keep warm. They're slower moving than usual until it warms up in the late morning when they perk up again, and until two days ago they'd been laying 20+ eggs per day. Today, the SLW I mentioned was laying inert on the coop floor. She didn't even look at us when we picked her up. We could hear a slight rattle or wheeze when she breathed. Also, her rose comb and wattles had turned dark purple overnight.

    I isolated her and put her under a heat lamp, then tried to get electrolytes and vitamins into her as well as plain yogurt but without much success. Within 15 minutes she was dead. The other birds seem okay but I'm concerned because they only laid 6 eggs the day before yesterday, 8 yesterday, and only 13 so far today, and the lethargy in the morning is new (I thought related to the cold nights).

    Any ideas? I think the purple comb may have been from lack of oxygen rather than the cold. (?) And I think she may have had a rapid acting respiratory illness. I would appreciate input from anyone who has experience with something like this. Is there anything I can do to help the remaining flock? Any treatment I can offer if another hen or hens becomes ill. I'm not sure I'd even be able to catch it quickly enough and I'm out there several times a day, but I'd like to have SOMETHING I can try. Thank you in advance for any help you can offer!
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011
  2. Noobchick

    Noobchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not an expert (have only been doing this for 6 months) but from all my reading, it does sound like a respiratory illness
    I'm sorry I don't know much about how to treat it; I'm sure someone else does know on here. Just wanted to let you know someone was out here in cyber space.
     
  3. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you Noobchick. I appreciate your kindness.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011
  4. Noobchick

    Noobchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh Katydid, I'm so sorry for your loss. [​IMG] I'm Still hoping one of the more experienced people on here chimes in on this. Is a necropsy possible? I'm sure it'd be hard (and does cost money of course) but it may help provide some closure.

    So sorry.
     
  5. Ksane

    Ksane Overrun With Chickens

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    I think you're exactly right that it was one of the many respiratory diseases. My "chicken vet" said by the time a chicken starts showing signs in many cases it's too late no matter what you do (if it's a disease vs a physical problem such as egg bound). They're so stoic right up until the end.The respiratory diseases can hit them fast. Their air sacs can fill up with thick yucky stuff in literally 3 hrs and it's downhill from there.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2011
  6. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Thank you. She was special to me, a pullet I'd raised since hatching, and sweet and gorgeous to boot. I called our vet to see about getting a referral to a vet that cares for chickens and could perform a meaningful necropsy but they weren't able to provide one. I'm hoping and praying that the rest of the flock is okay but I suspect there will be more losses and it breaks my heart.
     
  7. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:She went downhill so fast... I still feel stunned. I can't figure out how it happened when we practice strict bio-security. [​IMG] If it's a respiratory problem we'll likely suffer more losses. As you said, they go downhill so fast... I fed the whole flock plain yogurt today for probiotics and I have electrolytes and vitamins in their water. The coop is secure - dry, no draft. I don't know what else I can do. I wish I knew of a preventative.
     

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