Finding an avian Vet? Very sick chick, hope not but may need to cull flock?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Oldtymegal, Oct 2, 2015.

  1. Oldtymegal

    Oldtymegal Out Of The Brooder

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    I live in a relatively large city (Jacksonville, FL) & all the Vets I have phoned do not treat chickens. I was referred to an exotic bird Vet across town that the receptionist said they usually didn't do chickens & plus sounded pretty pricey. Any of the Flock Masters in this area, who do you use?? Surely there must be a farm Vet somewhere around here. Also I think I am dealing with a respiratory infection & read where birds are sent for necropsy to determine the problem. Anybody know who that would be for this area? None of this was in my plans for a backyard coop! If I have to cull my chickens I read on a thread that you can give them Benadryl adult dose to put them to sleep before culling. Has anyone heard of this & how would I do it? I have lost 2 out of 6 chicks between 3 wks & 10 wks old & #3 is dying. I've treated 3 times for coccidia (sulmet X1, Corid X2) so I feel that isn't it. #3 chick rattles, wet sounding breathing, pale, listless, shaking head weird. Onset seemed sudden, head shaking started first & I thought was possibly mites & I treated. Wet sounding breathing & listless last 2 days. I have started Tylan 50 injection from TS but she doesn't look like she will make it to the second dose. I would like to find a Vet in this area for the chicks that still seem asymptomatic if this one doesn't make it.
     
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    You seem to be having a lot of troubles, most vets don't treat chickens, it's not cost effective, and most things chickens come down with are either fatal or the chicken can get over it. Traditionally chickens are culled for disease and not treated to build a strong flock. I'm probably not one to help because we practice culling for those who can't get over whatever they have.

    It's unusual for young ones to get sick, especially from respiratory issues, it doesn't help to try too many things, and I'm not sure what a vet would do for those that are still healthy. Best to evaluate your set up and see if there's a reason for your troubles, you said you are in Florida, is it too wet or humid, or too hot, not enough air circulation, things like that can cause problems, or are your chicks being stressed.

    I wish I had some better answers, hopefully someone who recognises your symptoms will answer your questions, good luck, and sorry for not being more helpful.
     
  3. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    I totally agree. Its not (in my humble opinion) worth the expense of necropsies and vets bills. Also, by the time you get the results, whatever your chickens have died from will surely have infected the others by now!

    Personally, i would cull them, give your coop the best cleanout possible and wait for a couple of months before getting any more chickens.

    Not sure about the method for pre-culling. I find two pairs of hands and a sharp knife is as good as anything - less than one second and its over.

    Sorry for not being able to offer some positive advice.

    All the best in whatever you decide
    CT
     
  4. Oldtymegal

    Oldtymegal Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for your response. It has been hot, humid, rain almost daily for most of the summer. In fact last night was the first cool night (low 70's) & oddly enough seemed to be stressful for this chick. I'm sure the weather hasn't helped. Their coop has a small screened window about 12 X6 inches & they usually are faced in front of it on their roost at night. Does this seem like adequate ventilation? It has been very hard keeping the little coop dry with all the rain. During the day they have a 8 X 15 ft fenced in area & I use a yard tractor periodically. I am just perplexed why these chicks have had so many problems. I am new at this ( about 6 mos) & appreciate any advise.
     
  5. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Monkey Business Premium Member

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    Maybe adding another window on the opposite side of the coop to the existing one is worth considering as ventilation relies on a through-flow of air (i.e. a place for fresh air to get in, and another for stale out to be pushed out). Bearing in mind where you live, you may wish to put windows on all sides of the coop as you can always cover some of them during the cooler season.

    Hope this helps and good luck

    CT
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    I usually try to keep my chicks somewhere dry warm and not too drafty, especially at night, perhaps they aren't being ventilated correctly, sounds more like a draft which could be stressful, there should be wind blowing directly on them at night.

    Is it too warm to be providing a heat source, the three weeks old one probably still need it. Weather changes can stress chicks, so can be kept on wet ground. Those small coops are not very proper sometimes for keeping chickens well, it does sound like your set up is a bit off and needs tweaking.

    Are you just keeping them all in the coop, are they separated, are you providing heat, are the three weeks with the 10 weeks, how big is your coop, just some questions to maybe help you get things straightened out a bit, once you get these things right chicken keeping is pretty easy.
     
  7. MrsBachbach

    MrsBachbach Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, I will tell you this. You said you had chicks between 3wks and 10 wks. Are they all together? Outside? Are you providing a heat source for chicks that are 7 wks and younger? Because chicks are rarely all feathered in before that time. They get cold and stressed and sick if they don't have a heat lamp to get under to get warm. And you say it is damp also. Double whammy. Their coop should have some type of heat lamp that comes on in cool weather and at night for them to stay warm and dry. Chicks need 95 degree heat for first week of life and it drops by 5 degrees each week there after until they are fully feathered in, which is usually 7 or 8 weeks. Temps get up in the day so the heat lamp woulld not be necessary(they can get too hot also) unless it's cloudy and damp. But night temps are killer for the little ones. With no mama to get under to keep warm, all their energy has been spent trying to stay warm. It is only natural they have no resistance left to fight off any illness.
    First thing I would do is get them in a warm place, like 80 degrees. Just a regular 75 watt bulb suspended over them would help. The old type, not the new type bulbs. Then see if you can get some VetRx and read the instructions for that and try that on them along with what you are already doing. Try to see if they are drinking. May have to use a dropper to encourage them to stay hydrated if they are not drinking. That's about all you can do. Keep them warm and dry and tempt them to eat and drink and hope they recover.

    One other thing I forgot to mention. When you have such a large variation in age, what can happen and often does, is the older chicks will keep the younger chicks from eating. The older chicks get first dibs on anything you put out and some will even peck the younger ones when they go near the feeder. Well, after getting pecked a few times, the younger chicks will just avoid the feeders and start pecking whatever they can find on the ground. So, the younger ones could be malnourished which will also lead to stress and illness.
     
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2015
  8. Oldtymegal

    Oldtymegal Out Of The Brooder

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    Sorry for not being clear. The chicks are all 10 wks old now. Just meant the first to die was at 3 wks of age. The next to die at 8 wks of age. I moved them from the inside brooder to an outside coop at 5 wks of age. Hope this clarifies. I will definitely look at the ventilation issue.
     
  9. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    Ventilation is usually up higher, and not near the roosts, there should be good air exchange without a draft, good luck.
     
  10. MrsBachbach

    MrsBachbach Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok. Now I understand. Did you treat them with the Corid for five full days? You say you have been having wet weather and it is hard to keep their coop and run dry. Chicks can catch cocci more than once, especially if you are in wet weather conditions. They don't all come down with it at the same time.
    If it is hot and humid, you could be having fungal problems. That can cause respiratory problems. Make sure their feed isn't molding in the feeders. We had hot and humid conditions this year also and I was shocked at how fast spilled feed molded. Three days. Make sure water is always fresh and there isn't a poop buildup in the coop (ammonia) as that can cause respiratory problems also. Maybe some vit/minerals in their water would help them out during times of stress. I would go ahead and keep trying the tylan and try that VetRX. If you have a dog crate I would put the sick chick in there in a warm dry place. Chickens don't show their sickness until the very end (they hide it so they won't be picked on) so when you notice, they are far along in their illness. Separation for rest and treatment would be best right now.
     

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