Flock slowly being wiped out - possibly mareks??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by KirstieJG, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. KirstieJG

    KirstieJG Chillin' With My Peeps

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    probiotic baby milk is an excellent idea too thank you. Please keep them coming. I have checked her faeces for worms several times but cannot see anything moving or anything worm like at all its just the dark colour that is worrying. I have also started on the peanut butter and honey with cod liver oil and edvening primrose oil. She has just eaten a full teaspoon of this and drunk some water. She is still very weak but I think she is coping better today and hopefully she is over the worst but its still touch and go.
     
  2. umarson

    umarson Chillin' With My Peeps

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    dewoeming depends on the age of your chicken, it might not be worms and you can only see the larger worms with your eyes. google for dark brown poo, check the image search
     
  3. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

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    Pleased to hear she is looking a little brighter and eating. Your previous description suggested that they were hunched and not interested in food or maybe it's just the way I read it.. I wonder if your friend just doesn't realise they are sick until it's too late and they are then beyond recovery. Chickens are well known for hiding illness until they are too weak to sustain the act. You have to have a sharp eye to spot the signs before it's too late and maybe your friend doesn't have that instinctive awareness of flock dynamics that indicates a possible problem.

    Mites live in the coop and only crawl onto the chickens at night to suck their blood and then retreat into the cracks and crevices of the coop during the day, so you wouldn't expect to see them on the chickens unless you lift them down off the roost at night and check them over with a torch. Or you can go into the coop during the day with adustpan and brush and brush the joints and crevices at the ends of the roosts onto the dustpan and then tip the sweepings onto a sheet of white paper. Lice on the other hand, do live on chickens but they don't suck their blood, so more of an irritation than a really serious health concern. Usually lice will build up on a chicken that is sick though, so they can be an indication of other health problems, in my opinion.

    I have to say that your friend is taking a big risk painting the coop with petrol because it is so very volatile. She could go up in a fireball if a spark was to occur whilst she is doing it and a spark can be produced by something as innocuous and common place as a mobile phone. Using petrol might kill mites (I don't know) but unless you are doing it regularly, it will not prevent them from building up again and not worth risking your life for the sake of a few pounds!. I really would urge your friend not to continue this practice for her own safely. I have a cousin who nearly lost half her face when petrol vapour ignited.

    As the previous poster said, worms are not always visible in poop... it depends on the type of worm . You can get a sample kit and send off a faecal sample to a lab to get a worm egg count done or go through the vets to have it done which will probably be more expensive. I have them done for my horses rather than routinely worm them and the lab I use (Westgate laboratories) now also does chicken samples. You can usually pick up testing kits from the feed store or send off for them. The number of worm eggs in the sample is indicative of the number of adult worms in the digestive tract.
    Worms will cause anaemia either by stealing the nutrients from the chickens digestive system and effectively starving the chicken or causing internal bleeding where they have been attached to the intestinal wall.

    Keeping my fingers crossed you can save this chicken. Do practice bio security though as it could still be Marek's and it's not worth being complacent.

    Regards

    Barbara
     
  4. KirstieJG

    KirstieJG Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, I will look into sending a fecal sample for worms, I have to go to work now so it will be tomorrow. I really hope it is 'just' that and that we can treat the flock. Believe me I expressed how horrified that she uses petrol as I couldnt quite believe it myself but she is a very stubborn lady indeed. She does have the best of intentions for her chickens I am sure and I am doing what I can for her and the birds as most of the victims have come from my small breeding program and I just dont like feeling responsible for all those deaths. I am keeping this poor hen well away from my birds and I have asked Rudi to let me know as soon as she suspects any further illness in her now very small flock.

    Please keep your fingers crossed! She is a little fighter.
     
  5. KirstieJG

    KirstieJG Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quick update, I have just ordered a kit to test for worms and cocci. online here: http://www.chickenvet.co.uk/ its 22 pounds and that includes the lab fee. No idea how long it takes.
     
  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

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    My horse worm egg count samples are done incredibly quickly and I've had texted results the day after I sent them off quite frequently, which I think is amazing service. Not sure how long the cocci testing would take but I would expect it to be no less than a week and probably just a couple of days. Will be interested to hear about the results so keep us posted please..
     
  7. KirstieJG

    KirstieJG Chillin' With My Peeps

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    well, the pooh is in the post!

    I was worried about her last night, for the first time she wasnt interested in the food and kept falling asleep in my arms. I really thought she would be gone when I checked on her this morning but she is still holding on.

    She has eaten two egg cups of yoghurt conncoctions today so far and i will feed her more tonight. She still isnt able to support herself and she still flops onto her left side. She does kick her legs but cant maintain a normal stance and cant coordinate herself to walk. She is very floppy and jerks her legs when I go to pick her up, she seems to have strength when she pushes with her legs but its just for an instant.

    I spoke with Rudi again today and she confirmed that she didnt in fact change the water very often in the summer because the rain was filling the bucket up enough. She has promised to change the water daily from now on regardless of the weather, poor lady she feels awful. I cant be too judgemental as i know that I have left the same water for a few days before now, I guess that i have been lucky.
     
  8. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

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    I change the water every day, scrub out the drinker and put a tablespoon of Apple cider vinegar in the fresh water but my chickens free range during the day and I often see them drinking from the filthiest puddles and they don't suffer problems from it, so I'm really not convinced that changing the water every day is as important as we might think. That said, new chickens and young birds that have not been brought up in that environment will be much more at risk from different strains of bacteria and parasites that their immune system has not previously been exposed to, so it is probably more important to be scrupulous in those circumstances. It would explain why your chicks thrive on your premises where they were raised but not at your friend's.

    It might be worth rigging up a chicken sling for this hen to support her in a more upright position. They can be made as simply as putting an appropriately sized cardboard box inside an old t shirt and cutting 3 holes in the t shirt covering the open end of the box for the hens legs to go through and one for her vent to allow poop to drop through. You can also make holes for food and water dishes that can be held in place within reach of her with cable ties through the cardboard. It is easier to keep them clean like this as they are not lying soiling themselves and if you get it just right, you can have them so that their feet just touch the ground which gives them the opportunity to put some weight on them if they wish or just hang.

    Hope that last night was the low point and she is on the upward climb now. Good to hear that she has eaten so much this morning.
     
  9. KirstieJG

    KirstieJG Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you @rebrascora for the sling idea and i will try that when she is a little stronger, she likes to be held that way but at the moment doesnt have the strength or coordination in her neck to control her head movements very well. I notice this morning that she is trying to stand and actually can support herself for several seconds, this is a massive improvement even from yesterday. I bought pregnacare vitamins as they seem to have more different vitamins and selenium and other minerals? in so she had those yesterday evening too. Her pooh seems lighter in colour too. When Im posted the pooh I paid for next day so they should recieve it in the lab by 1pm today. fingers crossed I get a result back today.

    I normally make my own birds mash twice weekly and put cider vinegar and honey in it, the other content varies but its usually oats, mash pellets obvs and fish or veg stock bits.
     
  10. chickengeorgeto

    chickengeorgeto Overrun With Chickens

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    From reading the above post I would suggest that the owner is dealing with Botulism. Botulism is not a disease that one can "catch" but rather botulism comes from eating food already poisoned by the toxin produced by the botulism bacteria. Chickens who forage in garden compost piles are at danger of becoming poisoned by botulism toxin. The reason is because the Botulism Bacteria can only survive and multiply in the absence of oxygen. This is why the botulism bacteria is called anaerobic. This is also why poorly canned food can be deadly because it was processed only long enough to expel the air or oxygen but not hot enough to kill the Botulism spores present in every bite of raw vegetables that you eat. This creates a play ground for Botulism to grow and multiply in. The botulism bacteria toxin when ingested causes symptoms like you described.
     
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2016

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