gurgling cough, leg paralysis.... UPDATE! CAUSE Found!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Mrs.Puff, Nov 3, 2009.

  1. Mrs.Puff

    Mrs.Puff Songster

    Apr 16, 2008
    Southern Iowa
    Yesterday I came home to find one of my standard sized EE's (purchased as a chick from feed store, who gets them from Welp's in Iowa) slumped in a corner under the porch. She was already laying earlier this summer, but quit a month or so ago, and never started again. One leg was obviously paralyzed, and when she was moved around, she coughed a lot and hacked out some spittle. I placed her in a dog crate, and she flopped over on her side. She would not drink, and kept her head hunched down and eyes closed. Her eyes did look a little funny, like sunken back in the head, one more than the other. This morning she was dead.
    I am unfortunately worried that I have Marek's in my flock, but I haven't quite determined this for sure. The symptoms also sound like Newcastle's possibly. I have not opened up this bird yet to see if she has any tumors. She did not have diarrhea, and never pooped at all the whole night, and there was no poop under her when I found her. A few days ago I noticed she did not come off the roost to eat, but when I took her down, she acted normal. Does anyone know if Welp's vaccinates for Marek's? I had a young banty roo that I culled a couple months ago b/c it had the jiggles and shakes and fell over all the time, and a younger one exactly the same feathering color was starting to do the same. Both were culled. Several of my birds sneeze occasionally, this squeaky noise, which they tend to do when they are eating or drinking. Anyone have any ideas? I have all different ages and types of chickens, mixed, EE's, a polish, japanese bantams, etc. Old ladies all the way down to a fuzzy youngun'.
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2009
  2. Mrs.Puff

    Mrs.Puff Songster

    Apr 16, 2008
    Southern Iowa
    Anyone have any thoughts at all on this?
  3. bargain

    bargain Love God, Hubby & farm

    Apr 13, 2008
    Bowdon, GA
    Are you near a state run lab where you can take the body of the recently deceased bird? (If yes, find out what day/days they are open and put the body in the refrigerator in a sealed bag)

    Sounds like you have some sort of respiratory illness spreading.

    Did you pay for Marek's vaccine? Most hatcheries ask about vaccination and you pay extra for it.

    I'm sorry for your losses and hope you get a handle on the sneezing issues.

    I'll try to find a chart for you that might help you on this.

    Have a blessed day.
  4. Mrs.Puff

    Mrs.Puff Songster

    Apr 16, 2008
    Southern Iowa
    I got it figured out. I called the Extension poultry doc up in Ames. When I got home from work that day, I did a dissection of the poor gal, and her entire inside membranes, those surrounding the heart and all organs, were covered in a white deposit of some kind. The Doc said this chicken died of visceral gout, a disease caused by kidney failure. The white stuff was the urine building up in the bird's system. He said it could have been caused by me feeding layer chow too early, and the young bird was unable to process the extra calcium, which built up in the kidneys and eventually shut them down. The paralysis was due to the swelling of the kidneys, which pressed on the nerve in the back.

    So let that be a warning to everyone! Keep those gals on low calcium chow til they are ready to lay. My flock now gets a mixture of 3 parts "flock raiser" to one part "layena" and oyster shell in a separate pan. I have 30 chickens, and only 3 are laying right now, so they get enough calcium from the feed and the oyster.

    I'm glad it wasn't marek's!
  5. onthespot

    onthespot Deluxe Dozens

    Mar 29, 2008
    Riverside/Norco, CA
    Thanks for the info. I have mixed age flock and free fed the starter and layer figuring they could tell the difference and eat what they needed. I did not do a necropsy, but you described the pullet that died suddenly to a tee. I will pull the layer feed, or make it harder to get to. The one that tipped over was the second least desireable bird in the flock, so I'm glad the others are alive so far to give me time to fix things before any more die. It was too hard to get this one little group hatched to lose them to an easily corrected feeding problem like this. THANK you!
  6. Mrs.Puff

    Mrs.Puff Songster

    Apr 16, 2008
    Southern Iowa
    I have the same problems with the mixed ages running all around. Since I have banties and standards, those durned little buggers can get into practically any kind of creep feeder I can come up with and the adults snarf that medicated feed. I really wish we had a better selection of feeds in my area. You'd think in Iowa we'd have something to choose from. In my rural area, seriously half my neighbors have chickens. I can hear crowing all over the place now.
  7. vyshtia

    vyshtia Songster

    Sep 1, 2009
    Norco, CA
    Wow - good to know!!! Sorry about your loss, but thank you for sharing so we can learn from it!
  8. shay20

    shay20 Shay's Flock of Fun

    Jul 31, 2008
    in the wild, Mass
    wow thank you so much for the info.
    sorry you lost her.
    we feed ours med chick starter until they are 4 months old.
  9. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    [​IMG] for you and your girl.

    Great that you have an answer plus that you shared. I only feed Flock Raiser - from hatch to the end. I also offer oyster shells free choice. With the flock raiser, I do not have to worry who is eating and it covers everyone - geese, ducks, chickens (plus all the wild birds I seem to be "helping").
  10. huntersmoon

    huntersmoon In the Brooder

    Apr 26, 2008
    I too lost a hen suddenly and sent her to the state lab for a necropsy. They found visceral gout. From what I've found, it can be caused by excess calcium, but also some other factors as well: hard water with a high salt content, low vitamin A, feed higher than 30% in protein, dehydration, and feeding sodium bicarbonate to improve egg shell quality. I found a good list of remedies at avianweb, including such diuretics as devil's claw, aloe detox, giving filtered water, increasing dark greens in feed. I'll be adding some steamed sweet potatoes and carrots to my feed to increase their vitamin A, and will give them some purple cabbage to help flush their systems.

    I hope this is helpful,

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