Green Diarhhea and multiple deaths

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by tenderkat, Oct 6, 2011.

  1. tenderkat

    tenderkat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Can someone please guess on what might be occuring with my girls? They turned two in March, and I have lost three since then.

    Basically, egg production was great until the middle of last summer. Then, I started getting alot of soft-shelled eggs and general poor production. I was feeding them different layer feed, along with oyster shell, some kitchen scraps and a bit of scratch now and then.

    Their symptoms were gradual (months), but it went like this: Chronic green diarrhea, lack of luster, increasing emaciation, eventual death. Two of them had abdominal ascites, one of which was very severe.

    In March, as their decline was becoming more apparent, I wormed them and began to treat the coop for lice and mites frequently. I also tried putting garlic and ACV in their water along with some vitamin/electolytes. I fed them a yogurt mash, and tried upping their protein.

    I did not give them any antibiotics, because I was not sure what I would need to get or where to get it from. None of our local feed stores carry any, and the closest vet that has experience is almost two hours away and very expensive (apparently pultry health is a specialty). I did not do any type of autopsies on them, because I honestly was not sure what I would be looking for or how to go about it. I probably should have. The poultry vet said that she would do a necropsy, but I needed to get the body their within a day. This was impossible because of my schedule and her distance away from me.

    I have three girls left out of my original six, and they seem to be in acceptable health. I am worried that they will become ill as well, or are carriers of something weird like LL. I would like increase my flock next spring, but I need to make sure that I'm not bringing any more chickens into an environment that is 'sick'. I'm just wondering if I should go ahead and treat my remaining chickens with some type of antibiotic just to be safe?

    Any advice or ideas is greatly appreciated.
     
  2. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

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    What breed of chickens do you own? If they are a sexlink or production egg layer I have heard they have a short life span.

    Green poop could mean liver damage and /or not drinking enough water. Of course if they also have diarhea they could be getting dehydrated. Did the worming help.?
     
  3. goldeneggtees

    goldeneggtees Fluffy Butt Nut

    Mar 11, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    Hi, green poop can be a sign of lead poisoning. I've had trouble with high lead content in my hens. None of mine died as a result, their levels were never high enough but it's something to consider. Chickens love all kinds of small particles they pick up on the ground. Could it be they are getting old paint chips off one of your coops/barns or buildings?
     
  4. tenderkat

    tenderkat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Two of the girl's that died were RIR. Another one was a BR, but she was always the runt and somewhat emaciated all along. She is also the one that did not have any sign of ascites. They always have plenty of water, so I don't dehydration is an issue. And their poops were not always liquidy, sometimes it was firm but still green.

    I have been thinking that it might be prudent to have the soil tested in their run? No chance of lead from their coop, but possibly in the soil?
     
  5. leadwolf1

    leadwolf1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just a suggestion...if another dies, have a necropsy done. This might be the only way you will ever know for sure. Good luck!
     
  6. tenderkat

    tenderkat Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oops, forgot to respond to the worming question. I honestly have no idea if the worming 'helped', although I'm sure it didn't hurt. I wormed in April/May, and it was their first worming ever. It definitely did NOT make the green poop go away, and three of them still died AFTER worming.

    For the remaining three, I will worm them twice a year as a preventative more than anything. Initially when I first decided to get chickens I had planned on never treating them with anything 'conventional'. I had tried some more natural wormers and treatments, but when they did not improve the condition of my flock I realized that I needed to pull out the big guns.
     
  7. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

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    I am not sure of the regularity, but I think every tenth poop is a cecal poop which is diarhea-like and super stinky. That is normal behavior. I hope you can find out what is wrong. So sorry [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2011
  8. goldeneggtees

    goldeneggtees Fluffy Butt Nut

    Mar 11, 2009
    Long Island, NY
    I believe the poop would be very bright green, almost toxic looking if a hen had lead poisoning. Below is an interesting article that provides some insight on urban chicken keeping. It makes alot of sense. I know because it almost happened to my family.

    http://www.portlandtribune.com/opinion/story_2nd.php?story_id=123801660877902600

    Here is my BYC link to my story…

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=530367

    And here is more info I copied from a website…

    Lead poisoning remains a serious problem in this country - primarily with wild birds and waterfowl, but can be a hazard for the free-range backyard flock or birds confined to an old coop with lead paint. Three primary sources of lead are lead shot or bullets used in hunting or target practice, lead weights from fishing lines, and lead paint chips. Chickens are more tolerant, but can die from lead poisoning as well. Lead that is consumed typically remains in the gizzard and gets ground and released into the system slowly, so many lead poisoning cases are of a chronic nature. Lameness, paralysis, weakness, wasting, and watery green diarrhea can be symptoms. However, sometimes ducks and geese can die from lead poisoning while still in good flesh, which results in an inaccurate diagnosis. Many state labs can test tissues from dead birds to confirm metal or chemical compound toxicity.
     
  9. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:Ascites and abnormal poops really sounds like a liver issue, which in this case could be infectious, parasitic or toxic. It could be as simple as a tiny glob of mold in the bottom of your feed bin. Could be toxic soil, could be a liver parasite or could be an infectious disease. I would find the state pathologist and consider culling a bird and shipping it to the pathologist for necropsy, unless you have a death that you can send. Sounds like you need to get to the bottom of it ASAP.
    In the meantime, change your brand of feed, clean out the feed bins and wateres. Might consider moving the coop and doing the soil test.
     
  10. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

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    I am wondering if you could post a picture of the poop.


    Another thought I had is that if you are giving vitamins and electrolytes to your birds, that can change the poop greenish colored for about a week after you discontinue use.
     

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