Flock Dying Over the Course of A Year

Edexter

In the Brooder
8 Years
Apr 4, 2011
25
0
24
What am I doing wrong?

Over the course of a year, my approximately three year old reds have been dying and now it's starting in on my two year old sex links and easter eggers.

One hen at a time, they become lethargic, secluded, carry themselves hunched up, runny stools, lose color in their comb/faces and lose significant weight. Over a period of time, that hen passes away and then a few months or so later the same thing happens to another hen.

The first few times we just thought that maybe it was just their time; that they had just gotten old because that's what people were telling us. But that just doesn't settle right with me.

Now, over the course of a year we've lost 4 girls to seemingly the same thing and we currently have TWO that are dying. I think we will need to put them down today as they are emaciated and do not seem to be getting better. But I still need to figure out what I am doing wrong!


We keep our small flock in a very large coop on wood shavings. (Switching to sand this year)
They drink from nipple waterers. (Starting to add ACV this year)
Every now and then we provide electrolytes.
Free choice layer pellets.
Free choice grit and oyster shells.
Some nest boxes have hay while others have shredded paper for nesting material.
Nest boxes and coop get sprayed down the Flock Protector every few days.
Once a year we treat with Wazine, then Ivermectin and this year we also treated with Corid in case we had Coccidiosis. (We will start worming at least twice a year starting this year.)
A couple times a year we dust the girls and we also spray them with Flock Protector.
I've never found mites or lice on the chickens or coop and never seen any worms or blood in poo.
They are fenced in electric poultry netting and are moved to different coops/pens during the year. They are not free ranging due to the high percentage of predators here.
We don't have any material in their pens, just the dirt and grass.
They are fed scratch probably too liberally.
We also have 4 ducks that live with them.
I've tried separating the sick chickens and providing highly nutritious soft diets.
They don't appear to be egg bound; shouldn't I feel it in their abdomen or when I reach in with my finger?

Is this just what happens? Are they getting "old"? Or is it just my lack of knowledge that's killing them? I feel like a failure and it's costing them their lives :-(
 

vonchick

In the Brooder
9 Years
Aug 6, 2010
72
3
41
Madison, Florida
Try a more effective wormer. Wazine gets only roumdworm, ivermectin is not effective. Safeguard or Valbazen, retreat in 10 days. Search treads for correct dosages.

My vet had said wazine was all we needed, and I lost a few birds before learning from BYC and worming my flock with safeguard. The symptoms you describe are the same as those displayed by hens of mine that died.
 

Edexter

In the Brooder
8 Years
Apr 4, 2011
25
0
24
Thank you for your advice. I'll be headed to the store and try that asap.

Can you see the worms in their poo without using a microscope? I'm under the impression you can? I've poked some poo around with a stick.
 

vonchick

In the Brooder
9 Years
Aug 6, 2010
72
3
41
Madison, Florida
When I was new to keeping chickens and had never wormed them, I saw one roundworm. That was when I called my vet and was told wazine got rid of worms in chickens. After using the wazine at regular intervals for a year, the hens looked bad again - no worms were visible. I gave one more dose of wazine while researching other wormers, and one of my 2 year old hens passed three or four huge piles of roundworms. I realized she couldn't have built up such a load of worms if she'd taken in the prior year's wazine treatments. And this is a problem with putting medicine in their water - you can't be sure they drink it. That hen died, the damage from the load of roundworms she'd been carrying must have been extensive. I never saw evidence of any other kinds of worms in their poop, but from the way my birds perked up after getting the safeguard, they certainly must have had them!
 

cafarmgirl

Crowing
10 Years
Mar 24, 2009
5,523
583
327
California, central valley
Thank you for your advice. I'll be headed to the store and try that asap.

Can you see the worms in their poo without using a microscope? I'm under the impression you can? I've poked some poo around with a stick.
You may only see worms in their poop when they have a very heavy infestation. I agree with vonchick...switch to Valbazen or Safeguard, or better yet, rotate between the two. Very effective and very safe wormers.
 

Edexter

In the Brooder
8 Years
Apr 4, 2011
25
0
24
I bought some Safe Guard.

I started with Wazine for 24 hours and then about 10 days later I applied Ivermectin to each of the chickens on the 16th of this month.

That was 13 days ago.

Can giving Safe Guard today count as the second dose or have too many days gone by since being given the Ivermectin?

Or do you believe the Ivermectin was not effective enough and I should dose with Safe Guard for a second time after another 10 days?
 

vonchick

In the Brooder
9 Years
Aug 6, 2010
72
3
41
Madison, Florida
From what I've read, ivermectin kills mites but is pretty much useless against worms. So the safeguard would need to be given twice, 10 days apart, to do the job.
 

Edexter

In the Brooder
8 Years
Apr 4, 2011
25
0
24
Anything to put an end to this!

Thanks for your help Vonchick.
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium member
9 Years
Apr 3, 2011
50,671
41,063
1,202
southern Ohio
I'm glad you treated them for coccidiosis this year because I was wondering if that could have been a problem since you have different age birds. Hopefully you will see a difference after worming, and I would give them a second treatment of safeguard. Do your electrolytes have a probiotic in them? A good poultry vitamin/probiotic 2-3 days a week would be beneficial to them for intestinal health. ACV in the water really does nothing--if you use it, I would only use it occasionally.
 
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