First timers with sick chickens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by adventureben, Oct 29, 2010.

  1. adventureben

    adventureben Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2010
    A few weeks ago we got our first chickens (4) from a seller on Craigslist. About a week later the youngest of the flock, about six weeks, died from a lice infestation I wasn't told about. I treated the rest with Sevin and they all seemed fine. This morning I found another one dead. It looks like her feathers were matted together and it looks like she had some bare patches under her wings. This afternoon I noticed that another has a swollen eye. After closer inspection I noticed some matted feathers as well.

    Is the Mareks... or something else? Is there any treatment other than a vaccination (Which I doubt they got). I removed and changed all the bedding and rinsed out the coop with a diluted bleach solution. Unfortunately we live in the city and I can't find a vet / feed store that sells poultry medication nearby. Is there any hope for this bird?... or are we just not mean to be chicken people.

    Pictures are attached and any help is appreciated

    1. The infected eye
    [​IMG]

    2. the other eye for comparison
    [​IMG]

    3. The matted wing feathers and bare patches
    [​IMG]
     
  2. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    Don't give up on chickens, first of all. You can do it.

    First, are you sure that lice infestation is what killed the first one?

    Second, matted feathers may be a sign of nothing at all, but i think we need more details. Need to figure out why they're matted. It looks like they're simply getting wet for some reason.

    About the bare patches under the wings, i wouldn't consider that completely abnormal. At this age, they're still feathering some.

    The second one you found dead - how long have you had them at this point? At their age and considering that they're new to your home, i would consider whether it might be coccidiosis. The one with the swollen eye might simply have been pecked by another chicken. You can get an antibiotic ointment (that i can never seem to remember the name of) from the feed store.
     
  3. ChicknCharm

    ChicknCharm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 25, 2009
    Alpine
    Hello:
    We have been working with a black Minorca hen with a very similar looking eye. On Monday, my daughter brought her in and one side of her face, around the eye was very swollen, wet, gooey, and stinky. I looked the symptoms up here, and of course, was freaked out about infectuous coryza (sp?). That can hurt an entire flock, so off to the vet we went (after bleaching everything in sight). Vet said a secondary infection from allergy-dust exposure. He gave her a shot of an antibiotic, told us to isolate her so we know which eggs are hers and do not eat them. So, since Monday we have been washing both eyes with Saline solution (human contact lens stuff, got it at the grocery, I just squirt it in each eye and wipe with tp), and then we goop her eyes completely with neosporin (the plain ointment, do not use anything with pain killer-relief stuff in it). Today she looks almost completely normal. She also had a runny nose with the nasty eye. Vet said whatever was puffing up her face, was draining through the nostrils. We did the saline/neosporin twice a day, morning and night.

    The shot the vet gave her was something like linocin? linocyn? Sorry, cannot remember exactly, but he just had it in the drawer, so it must be a "normal" vet med.

    Our hen also had matted feathers, it was from her rubbing her nose and eyes on her feathers, the goop stuck to the feathers. It was even matted on her back where she tucks in her head to snooze. I used the saline to wipe most of it off when I was treating the eye.

    Also, in the pages and pages I read here, it seems Sulmet and Tylan 50 are used for respiratory problems. We can't find either at our local feed store. You may want to post a question with those two antibiotics mentioned, it is outside of my experience.

    Lastly, on lice and mites....we purchased the food grade diatemeacous (sp) earth. It is beneficial for your garden and your birds, it is not a poison, but kills mites and lice. We mix it with our litter in the coop...put it where they like to dust bathe all around our yard/garden. We also put it in their food as it eliminates internal parasites (or at least reduces them). l like the stuff and found some positive posts about it here. It also provides extra calcium for the hens.

    AND... I just read that cutting up a clove of garlic and pretty much stuffing it into their gullet helps. This with cranassure, cranberry softgel capsules. Search for those things on here, there are several threads about each and both combined.

    Good luck, I hope she pulls through.
     
  4. adventureben

    adventureben Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 26, 2010
    I'm not really sure of anything, seeing as we're new at this. We got the chickens about 3 weeks ago. I think they ranged in age from what I'm guessing is about 6-8 weeks to almost fully mature. They stayed inside for a week under a light and have spent the last 2 weeks outside in the newly constructed 6x8 coop. The interior of the coop is pine shavings and I cover it with DE weekly, the run is earth with a covering of wheat straw. I noticed the lice infestation a day or two after putting them outside. My wife noticed the smallest, the auracana laying down and when I picked her up she was crawling with lice. We treated them all with poultry dust, brought the sick one inside and gave her pedialyte by hand. She died that night.

    The other three looked fine until a few days ago when our cookoo marans started looking lathargic. She would try to sleep outside in a hole, her eye was closed, and her feathers were stuck together and crusty. Especially where she would keep her head tucked in. I brought the heat light out for her, put out some more pedialyte, but the next morning she too was dead.

    Thats when I noticed the 3rd bird with a sticky eye. She was still very active and lively but I isolated her. Shes been inside for a day now. I've been giving her yougurt/egg yolk, pedialyte, and putting on antibiotic eye ointment we had for our dog. This morning she is still alive but isn't eating well and seems to spend all her time with her head tucked in. her feathers which are also looking considerably worse.

    I'm headed to the feed store this morning for some cocci meds and antibiotics. Hopefully she'll start to show some improvement soon. We dont want a 75% mortality rate for chickens we've had less than a month.

    Thanks again for all the suggestions and encouragement
     
  5. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    I didn't realize that this was the third bird with a sticky eye. I would personally be very very suspicious of a contagious problem going on here. I would also strongly recommend keeping the last dead bird's body (refrigerate in a plastic bag) for a necropsy and contact your state vet and see what their process is to get that done.

    I am very very sorry to say this. I know how hard it is and how high your hopes are when you're just starting out, but if you have a contagious "sticky eye" followed by mortality, it's important that you start considering whether this flock needs to be culled.

    This is the perfect time line for them to have cocci problems if they're going to, but the sticky eye has nothing in the world to do with that. And from your description of the matted feathers, i think the sticky eye is possibly very leaky.

    Have you seen any nasal discharge?

    I'm very sorry you're having this trouble. [​IMG]

    ETA: To encourage you, if these chicks have a contagious disease, they almost certainly contracted it before they came to live with you, and the previous owners probably had no idea since they hadn't started showing signs yet. You did nothing wrong. That said, in the future, you will understand why it is so important to quarantine new birds if you are adding them to an existing healthy flock. You simply can't know what they might be carrying until it has a chance to develop. Also, please be sure you don't add any new chickens to your flock until you find out what this is and solve it. This may also include disinfecting their quarters, etc.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2010

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