Few chickens losing weight but acting normal.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SupraMom, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. SupraMom

    SupraMom New Egg

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    Jan 15, 2013
    Florida
    First I'll give you some history, we are in central Florida on the west coast, I started with 4 rhode island reds and 2 bardrocks and had no problems, my brother gave me a rooster still didn't have any real problems, lost 1 bardrock to a predator so I built a more secure coop, had one rhode island red that was smaller and kept getting a dirty bottom, my husband cleaned her bottom in the process plucked out her bottom feathers which was a year ago and still haven't grown back. She has lost weight but still acts normal I had one other rhode island red that was small to begin with that was picked on that started staying in the coop by herself, she got very thin so I put her in our original smaller coop and she's been in there for about two months, she has grown her feathers back and put weight on but is scared to come out of the small coop. When the other birds go near the small coop where she's at they seem to want to fight I now have three or four other chickens that have lost a lot of weight too, thought they might have worms so I dewormed them naturally using DE and apple cider vinegar with the mother. They had mites so we dusted them with DE and kept checking them, took about three weeks and no more mites. I took pictures and videos of everything.

    I don't really know that much about chickens, my father is from the Netherlands and grew up on a farm, he says that I just worry too much and they never really did anything to or for their chickens and they were just fine. I'm going to post up as much info as I have so you have a good picture of what I'm dealing with to see if I'm doing something wrong.

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    This is what I feed them plus fresh vegetables and they free range everyday through the yard

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    Original small coop that we use as a sick house

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    This is the first chicken that lost weight and was found sitting by herself in the bottom of the coop, she was really thin and had no feathers on her back, this is her still in the small coop after two months

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    This is the main coop which the floor is made of pet sand, which is raked out regularly

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    Back side of the coop where the roost is

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    Poop drawers which are cleaned regularly

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    Nesting boxes

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    Nesting boxes opened

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    Inside coop of roost, plastic panels for winter

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    Feed under roost area

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    Chicken run area with perches

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    Different view of roost

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    Rhode island red, very thin and ruffled feathers, eats drinks and poops normal and lays eggs

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    Bardrock ruffled and getting thin

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    Bottom feathers haven't grown back, been a year

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    Mr. Rooster

    Any advice would be very helpful, thank you.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

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    If they have worms, DE and ACV won't cure them. Some people worm on a schedule but I wouldn't, however, unless you know they have worms. You can take fresh stool to an avian vet and have them checked.
    Again, if lice or mites are present I would go straight for the 5% Sevin dust rather than the DE. I use DE to keep crawlies at bay but if they already have them you need something stronger.
    I suspect they may be kept from the feed by the more aggressive birds. I would put two containers of feed and 2 waterers on opposite sides of the pen.
     
  3. SupraMom

    SupraMom New Egg

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    Jan 15, 2013
    Florida
    Thank you for your reply, we don't have an avian vet near us, is there other ways of knowing if your birds have worms? When I found the mites I went out a picked up the 7 dust, but I was afraid to use it, I think the DE got rid of them, I covered them repeatedly in it and spread it over the whole floor of the coop, I didn't let them out for a few days and saw that they were dust bathing in the DE, after about three weeks I didn't see anymore mites and they stopped messing with their feathers I'm checking them every few days and haven't really seen any mites.
    I do have two young austalopes (thats probably not how you spell that) that are fairly large that I have seen pick on the other chickens, I've never seen them keep the other chickens away from the food but I don't watch them 24/7. I will put out another feeder at the other end, I already have 6 waterer in there for them.
     
  4. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Idaho/Utah
    Internal fungal infections can cause birds to lose weight even when eating well. I don't know how likely it may be that your birds have been exposed to mold their systems may not be handling well.
    There is a page on this on my site linked in my sig, if the info might be helpful.
     
  5. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

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    I would go ahead and worm them. It wont hurt them even if they dont have worms.
     
  6. SpeckledHills

    SpeckledHills Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Idaho/Utah
    p.s. It looks like you have put together a lovely chicken set-up & have given them a lot of good care. [​IMG]
     
  7. SupraMom

    SupraMom New Egg

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    Jan 15, 2013
    Florida
    Speckledhills, thank you for the link with the information on internal fungal infections, it was very informative.
    Willowbranchfarm, I went to our local feed store for something to de-worm chickens, they didn't have anything, what do you use?
     
  8. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

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  9. JerseyGiantfolk

    JerseyGiantfolk Overrun With Chickens

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    I know that Florida can get pretty humid. If condensation have gathered in the feed bag/bin and dampens the food, mold will start to grow.

    Your hens could also have ruffled backs if they are the roosters "favorite"

    Valbazen has had very good remarks... better than Wazine17.

    Treatment for Valbazen:

    One half cc/ml for standard size chickens, one quarter cc/ml for bantams You can use an oral syringe to squirt it down their throats, or you can inject it into a small piece of bread and give each chicken a piece of bread. Don't eat the eggs for 2 weeks.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013
  10. SupraMom

    SupraMom New Egg

    8
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    Jan 15, 2013
    Florida
    I went to a second feed store looking for something for de-worming chickens and they also had nothing. Is there a place I can order Valbazan online?

    I keep the chicken feed indoors in the air conditioning, so it should be ok, I do have a lot of trees in the back where the coop is I guess there could be moldy things out there idk.
    I did put another feeder at the other end of the coop.
    I feel like a bad chicken parent, I really do love these little ones, I guess the longer I have them the more i'll learn.

    I originally got my chickens so i could have fresh eggs but after seeing how each one has her own personality, how could anyone not fall in love with them.
     

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