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have a sick chickenwith a purple comb? Here's why!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by Bird-Brain101, Jul 3, 2016.

  1. Bird-Brain101

    Bird-Brain101 Out Of The Brooder

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    Hi everybody, I know that some chickens get sick, with no obvious cause, well, our flock certainly have. Our hens have been getting sick, with purple combs, standing still, and closing their eyes with very limited movement. Here's why. I have recently learned that when chickens eat too much clover, it acts as a blood thinner, and will create internal bleeding and creates bloating, leading to death or illness. The same affects will occur with sheep. How to prevent it? Well, you can't stop it, if you want your hens to free range, but if needed you can limit the amount of grass your hens have access to, or only let them range in the afternoon, limiting the time they have to free range. Remember to keep your hens healthy and certainly happy.
    - Birdbrain101
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. jennyf

    jennyf Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yikes! Do you know how much is too much? There's no clover in our run, just grass, but my kids like to pick clover and poke it through the fence for them.
     
  3. Folly's place

    Folly's place Overrun With Chickens

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    Clover is a wonderful plant as part of normal pasture, and not a problem for chickens, unless maybe as a huge part of their diet. Sick birds with purple combs can have serious disease, but it's very unlikely to be clover toxicity in a normal free range environment. Mary
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    The OP is actually correct here in that too much clover in a chicken's diet can cause the blood to thin. It can also cause gastro intestinal issues as well. I am not sure how much clover would need to be eaten however for this to happen. Usually chickens know when to quit or avoid certain foods. However, just the same, I wouldn't let them gorge on clover daily.

    It shouldn't take too long after staying away from blood thinners for the effects to wear off. If the combs are still purple 7 to 10 days later, there is obviously something else going on.
     
  5. Bird-Brain101

    Bird-Brain101 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sorry, I have no idea how much is too much, but it does take quite a bit to make a chicken ill. It also depends on the clover itself, the clover plant is actually very healthy for a chicken but what causes the sickness is when it accumulates a fungi causing a substance in clover called Coumarin to react and thin the blood and cause internal hemorrhaging. My best recommendation is to try to keep the clover away from the hens, to prevent any possible illness source.

    Best wishes, Birdbrain101
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2016
  6. ilovechickens7

    ilovechickens7 Out Of The Brooder

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    Wow, you sure know a lot about clover and chickens. :) Thanks for the tips.
     
  7. Bird-Brain101

    Bird-Brain101 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks :) like your pic.
     
  8. Cindy in PA

    Cindy in PA Overrun With Chickens

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    Had chickens eat clover from my mostly clover yard for 23 years & never once had a problem. Where did you get this info?? I am sure there is something to it, but sounds far fetched to me. I have given my chickens quarts of clover picked by hand & never had a problem. Let chickens be chickens. Don't know why so many on here have so many problems. Quit overthinking it.
     
  9. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

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    Here is an article about the dangers of too much clover....

    http://www.fresheggsdaily.com/2013/03/the-down-and-dirty-on-feeding-clover-to.html
     
  10. jlashaw

    jlashaw Out Of The Brooder

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    When my chickens showed these same exact symptoms, I believed they were not getting enough oxygen due to either parasites or a respiratory issue. I immediately started them on acidified copper sulfate for 7 days then wormed them. The purple combs cleared up on day 3 of CS. Hope this helps.
     

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