Happy and healthy one day, dead the next. What's going on?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Jeffrey56, Feb 10, 2014.

  1. Jeffrey56

    Jeffrey56 New Egg

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    Feb 10, 2014
    Good afternoon,
    We have about 40 chickens, which are about 9 months old. We've been keeping them indoors (about 200 sq. ft) since the snow fell, back in November. They receive some heat, at least enough to keep the water from freezing. Within the last few days, without any warning, one chicken died. We removed it from the others right away. This morning, another was not looking so good, so out she came. She has gotten worse and I'm afraid she'll die soon. No outward signs of sickness observed until they either die or have become extremely lethargic. They seem happy and normal one day and dead the next. I did check your FAQ's and the illness listings on your site. Nothing really describes our problem. Any ideas?
     
  2. Double Laced

    Double Laced Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi there.

    Have you got any other symptoms, like sneezing etc? or are they just lethargic

    are they laying ok.? eating ok?

    How many hours light are they getting?

    Do you keep them on sawdust, if they are eating it, it can cause impaction which can kill.

    If they are isolated it is unlikely they have caught anything.

    Neil
     
  3. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    Do they seemed puffed up,ruffled feathers, lethargic, and very sleepy? If so you could be dealing with coccidosis. With coccidosis bloody stool may or MAY NOT be present. Depending on the strain. If the symptoms sound similar to this and their is no other outward symptoms (mucus,wheezing, coughing, sneezing ect. ) then I might suspect coccidosis. You can treat coccidosis with Amprollium brand names are Corid and Amprol. It kills all strains of the cocci. Take a look online at the symptoms of cocci and keeping in mind bloody stool does NOT have to always be present for them to be infected. And compare to the symptoms your seeing in your birds.if it's similar I might consider treating with Amprollium or Corid,or Amprol. (it's the same medication under different names) coccidosis can affect older birds as well if they somehow got in contact with a new strain they are not yet immune to. It's just a possibility. Have you noticed ANY other symptoms in the birds? Any subtle changes? How is their stool? Color and consistency? Do you hear any wheeze even the slightest when listening to them? Is there ANY thing else you can think of that might be a clue as to what is going on? Anything at all ?
     
  4. Jeffrey56

    Jeffrey56 New Egg

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    Feb 10, 2014
    Thanks Neil for the quick reply. The chickens receive natural light. Day light lengths are running about 9.5 hours in N.E. Wisconsin. Earlier this winter, they were receiving much less. From the 40 chickens, we usually get between 25 and 30 eggs a day. All are in good shape. I haven't noticed any sneezing or difficulty with breathing. Their bedding is straw (if they leave it alone) and we've not cleaned out the pen for about 2 months. We understood from an old chicken farmer, it's best to leave their poop as it helps to keep their area warmer. We don't really have a source for sawdust. We have been feeding them commercial chicken food and supplementing it with a little cracked corn (to help raise body temperature) a cabbage once in awhile (suspended on binder twine, which the birds seem to eat/play with - would the twine be something to worry about?), bread and bread crumbs from a local bakery (mostly organic) and oyster shell grit. Unfortunately some chickens have taken to eating some of the eggs. We've tried to break them of that; gathering eggs more often and putting mustard on any damaged eggs as a deterrent (haven't used mustard in several weeks now).
    This morning's chicken is still eating and drinking, but not moving much. We also heard of giving them olive oil - any thoughts?
    Jeff
     
  5. Jeffrey56

    Jeffrey56 New Egg

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    Feb 10, 2014
    Good afternoon "Crazy",
    Other than being lethargic, they look rather normal. All else seems normal. Being new to this group, I'm not sure what you are able to see, so here's what I wrote to another responder:
    The chickens receive natural light. Day light lengths are running about 9.5 hours in N.E. Wisconsin. Earlier this winter, they were receiving much less. From the 40 chickens, we usually get between 25 and 30 eggs a day. All are in good shape. I haven't noticed any sneezing or difficulty with breathing. Their bedding is straw (if they leave it alone) and we've not cleaned out the pen for about 2 months. We understood from an old chicken farmer, it's best to leave their poop as it helps to keep their area warmer. We don't really have a source for sawdust. We have been feeding them commercial chicken food and supplementing it with a little cracked corn (to help raise body temperature - added to this response: haven't had any for about 10 days now) a cabbage once in awhile (suspended on binder twine, which the birds seem to eat/play with - would the twine be something to worry about?), bread and bread crumbs from a local bakery (mostly organic) and oyster shell grit. Unfortunately some chickens have taken to eating some of the eggs. We've tried to break them of that; gathering eggs more often and putting mustard on any damaged eggs as a deterrent (haven't used mustard in several weeks now).
    This morning's chicken is still eating and drinking, but not moving much. We also heard of giving them olive oil - any thoughts?
    Here's a couple of things I forgot to mention in response to the other person: the sick chicken's poop looks normal (at least ordinary as far as we've seen in the past), kind of a watery greenish brown. All the chickens were raised together from eggs and we haven't had any others introduced to the flock.
    Jeff
     
  6. Jeffrey56

    Jeffrey56 New Egg

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    Feb 10, 2014
    Update on chickens. Over the course of a couple of days we lost 2 chickens to "something". Since the 10th, we've not seen anymore problems. All survivors are doing rather well. My guess is the 2 which died, probably were suffering from a bad giblet... The rest of the chickens are counting the days until they can get back outside, run around and chase bugs.
    Thanks!
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Straw can become wet and moldy easily. Coccidiosis could be a problem. Symptoms are lethargy, sitting puffed up, poor appetite, diarrhea (occasionally with blood), and just looking sick. Treatment is Corid (amprollium) liquid 2 tsp (or powder 1 1/2 tsp) per gallon of water for 5 days. I would rake up the straw and put down pine shavings from the feed store. They will keep things dryer with occasional stirring. Aspergillosis from mold can also cause problems with chickens.
     
  8. Jeffrey56

    Jeffrey56 New Egg

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    Feb 10, 2014
    Hi Eggcessive,
    You might have the solution. I'll check with other symptoms soon, to see if the chickens exhibit any of those too. The only thing is, they don't seem to be fluffed up at all, at least anymore the the rest of the flock. Is Corrid available fairly easily or is that something only a vet can supply?
    For now, the rest of the chickens look just fine. Egg production hasn't slowed. I just gathered 33 eggs today from 40 birds.
    Thanks,
    Jeff
     

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