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dying birds-help diagnose PLEASE!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Alphagamchick, Feb 20, 2008.

  1. Alphagamchick

    Alphagamchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2007
    MI
    Hope someone can help me to diagnose this. I live in Michigan so it has been extremely cold here this winter. On those very cold nights I have two lights in the coop to keep the temp above 20 degrees-which may be neither here nor there regarding our problem. I go out to the coop at least twice a day to give fresh water because it freezes. Yesterday, I did not notice anything amiss with any of the birds. Today I went out there and two of my banty roosters were very sick. Both were droopy, had swollen faces, large black patches on their combs/wattles/faces. Their poor little eyes are nearly swollen shut. They don't seem to be have difficulty breathing but maybe I just can't tell. They are in the house now, so they are warm. It's so sad. I really don't think they will make it through the night. I feel so bad. I have treated the rest of the flock with terramycin and tried to get the two roos to drink. I have spent the last two hours researching diseases. I'm thinking cholera,infectious bronchitis, coryza. This just seemed to come on overnight. When I went out this morning I did not notice that these two were in trouble.
    I read some info on cholera which said it can be transmitted by opposums and rats. Our coop is like a fortress! It is a chain link fence, covered overtop by chickenwire so the hawks can't get in. Along the perimeter we have chickenwire along the ground with big slate blocks all along the bottom of the fence, hopefully to deter anything from digging under. We have one little section that is not covered in chickenwire and wouldn't you know we have had two oppossums INSIDE the coop this winter. They were little guys and per their tracks, they could squeeze in through the chainlink. We trapped both of them, plus one outside the fence. Also, one night I saw a little field mouse running out of the fence. Could they have gotten cholera from the oppossum???
    I'm afraid to go out there in the morning!. I hope don't find anymore infected birds. What do you think? Can anyone help to diagnose? And what about treatment? Thank you so much.
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Sorry I don't know how to help here. Might want to find an avian specialist in the area or contact a local extension office to find out who can get the right testing done. If it is a virus, antibiotics won't do anything for them, so let's hope it is something treatable.
     
  3. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    Are the black patches dried blood? Could they have been fighting? I had to seperate 2 today because one was putting the smack down on the other.
     
  4. therealsilkiechick

    therealsilkiechick ShowGirl Queen

    Jul 18, 2007
    Northwestern, pa
    u are doing the right thing u are treating them. u may not see resaults for a few days after antibiotic starts. it sounds to me like frostbite, conjunctivitis(cold) and/or sinusitis(sinus infection). please post a pic so we can see how bad they are and incase there might be more wrong and keep them on antibiotic for 10 days. make sure it is 4tsp per 1 gal of water the table on the back of packet is confuseing.
    silkie
     
  5. sammi

    sammi Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    could be frostbite
    could be they were fighting as KristenH suggested.

    see if the "black" will wash off.
    clean with saline or warm lightly soapy water and treat with neosporin.
    if this appears to be the problem..maybe some extra protein will help with healing.

    if symptoms of sinus infection or other respiratory illness:

    Tylan 200 or 50 injectable..can be found at most farm/feed stores in the LIVESTOCK antibiotic section.
    35mg/kg
    smallest syringes you can find with 25 gauge needles.
    for banties..best to do a SQ shot (skin shot)..back of neck..pinch up skin..
    or pinched skin at meaty part of breast away from the crop or bone..
    use alcohol swab to disinfect, and wet feathers to clear a spot.

    about how much do they weigh?

    not sure if there is a sickness going around..that terramycin will be enough..
    you might want to look for Ery-mycin (erythromycin/gallimycin) instead.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2008
  6. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    And if it does spread, and spread fast, and it wasn't just the two roos beating each other up because it's winter, try to find out what it is before dosing them up with antibiotics of all kinds. If it is viral, antibiotics will not do anything other than help make more resistant strains of bacteria that we can't get antibiotics to work for anymore.
     
  7. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 11, 2007
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    Can you post a pic of the black on the faces? It really sounds like a bad case of frost bite or fighting to me too. Both can weaken them terribly. Warming them up may help to encourage eating/drinking altho frost bite is very painful. How is the moisture in your coop? Even with a heat lamp to take the chill off the air, they can get frost bite from too much exposure to moisture in a cold environment.

    I also don't think anyone should be on antibiotics yet, since you do not know what you are dealing with. It just builds resistence and will make them less likely to work when you really need them.

    Jody
     
  8. Alphagamchick

    Alphagamchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2007
    MI
    Hi all,

    Thank all of you for the quick replies!! Chicken people are the best. I was pretty certain those two little boys were going to go to chicken heaven that night. But when I went to check on them in the morning they were crowing!! Black, swollen faces and closed eyes and all. It has been a few days now. I was able to put their beaks in water to get them to drink. The black cochin is in better shape and he is now willing to eat on his own. After digesting all of your advice and questions, and the boys have had some time to rest/heal, I think some of you may be right. It looks like they are victims of a brutal beating and maybe some frostbite. The whole thing seems really bizarre to me though. I had chickens as a teenager but this is my first flock as an adult-all will be a year old this spring. The roos will sometimes have a 5 second sparring match but never have I seen anyone get bloody like this. I don't know if they were fighting with each other or if they are victims of one of the standard roos or hens. And if there is frostbite involved, why now? We have gone through far worse this winter than the weather we had that day. They do have some comb tip frostbite-not enough vaseline application- but this black is spotty all over their faces. I'm thinking fight now because the swelling has gone down on their faces. I don't get why this would happen out of the clear blue. Stress from winter? We're all sick of it here in Michigan. Anyone ever had this happen to them before?
     
  9. hinkjc

    hinkjc Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Jan 11, 2007
    PA
    After reading your new post, I would agree that it was an all out battle. That can happen for a couple reasons...primarily stress or the lower status roo is ready to move up and decides it's time to take the top spot on the pecking order.

    I just had this very battle with my two araucana roos a couple weeks ago and I think they would have killed each other if dh wouldn't have stepped in and reminded them both that HE is top roo around here. They went through the battle for 2 days on and off and now nothing..it's like it never happened and they're back to the way they were. These boys have lived together since they were baby chicks as well, so I was shocked to see them go through this but it does happen. Good luck with your boys and I'm glad to hear they are healing up.

    Jody
     
  10. Alphagamchick

    Alphagamchick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 26, 2007
    MI
    Thanks Jody,

    Both boys are recouping in the basement. I put some warm compresses on the M. Fleur's(SP?) eye yesterday and was able to get one open. Worked on the other last night but it is still sealed closed. Will try again today. I don't want to bother him too much. He was so pathetic when I found him. Fed and watered all in the morn. Went out around 4 that day to collect the eggs and he was standing there in the middle of the pen, head down, wind blowing and 20something degrees, and he wasn't moving. I immediately knew something was wrong. Usually the flock will run to the door, thinking a treat was in store for them. I picked him up and was shocked. Poor baby. Funny though, this is the roo you couldn't turn your back on!!! I think they are both going to be fine with a bit more TLC. I'll be afraid to put them back in with the flock though. I'll have to check posts for the best way to release them.
     

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