Head Shaking Then Quickly Dead

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ChickenBoPeep, Mar 1, 2014.

  1. ChickenBoPeep

    ChickenBoPeep New Egg

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    I was looking over the internet and can't find what I am looking for. Seen a couple of things but felt I need more info and found something on here but like I said wasn't exactly what I was seeking.
    OK here is the problem. Yesterday I went out and there was a young pullet dead, 7 week old, mix. A couple hours later another 7 week old. I go to one of my inside areas. An almost 3 month old, dead. The 7 week olds I separated and another 2 died this morning (All 7 week olds were in one area)
    Now the almost 3 month old was in an area that had 4 in it. All but one is left in that area. After the first 3 (they all dropped pretty close to one another, timing wise) I started paying attention. They all have been shaking their heads. Like a twitch.
    They haven't been anywhere around each other but yes as good of hygiene as I like to keep I maybe passed a germ? I don't know.
    We purchased Tylan and administered but even after administering one of the 3 month olds dropped and the last one in that pen is now shaking his head.
    I am distraught. I try to keep it super clean, always fresh water and food. Just am mourning their loss and worried about all my other chickens.
    Can anyone help or has some advice. Please :(
     
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Aside from head shaking, did you notice their heads up in the air gasping or honking? Were they eating or drinking anything at the time? Mold or fungus or clumps in their feed?
     
  3. ChickenBoPeep

    ChickenBoPeep New Egg

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    It's really weird. Eating drinking then the head starts twitching/shaking, they will lay down and are dead in no time.
    We treated the two that were left with Tylan and it must have been to late for one because she started then died but the last one started with the head thing and is still alive. Last of the bunch.
    No gasping for breath or honking No mold or fungus in food. I change it very often and clean their shavings often too. Its just real weird, never seen anything like it. Droppings are normal, no discharges anywhere. I am just stumped. Where do I go to get a necropsy done? I think it would be worth it to know if it can drop 7 birds in a matter of a day and there is nothing online about it. Also do you know how much one will cost?
     
  4. Sarevan

    Sarevan Chillin' With My Peeps

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  5. ChickenBoPeep

    ChickenBoPeep New Egg

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    Thank you so much for that link. I will go check it out.
     
  6. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    Where do you live? Some states offer low/"free" necropsy (you usually have to pay to ship the bird to them if you are not local to the lab). Some states do not. A vet can also do this, but they would need to be an avian vet that is familiar with chickens for it to be worth the money it would cost. The link above is a very good starting point.
    Put the birds that you want tested into refrigeration. Don't freeze them or leave them out! I know it's weird to pop them in the fridge, but you will get the best necropsy results this way.

    You are right in that it is VERY worth it to know what killed 7 of your birds within a day!
    This sounds neurological, as if they have been exposed to a toxin and it's killing them quickly. Do you have any birds left? How are they doing?
    Have your birds had any access at all to free range, where they might have found a carcass, or rotting vegetation, or maggots, etc?
    What are you feeding them, specifically (brand name, etc)? Have you changed anything at all, water source, water containers, anything?
    I hate to suggest it but there is no chance that they accidentally got into something toxic, right? No chance that a neighbor poisoned them? (I know that's sort of a weird thing to ask, but I have seen people on here with some pretty crummy neighbors before!)
     
  7. ChickenBoPeep

    ChickenBoPeep New Egg

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    I am in Western KY. I will be contacting my local state Vet's office here in the next hour.
    I do have one left out of one of the sets that received the Tylan at the same time as the one who last died, he started to show symptoms and for now he is OK. We are treating with Tylan for the next 3 days (5 days total). Another set in the same room but was exposed to the last set (I tried to place the same breed in together to get them use to one another but the slight age difference, for now, it didn't work, but that set started to show symptoms so immediately treated and moved to another brooder so I could AGAIN clean and sanitize their old and all are still alive, it just seems like if you catch it early enough and provide a new environment it helps.
    It's just really weird because the mixes, the first 4 to die, were outside, then after they died, the one pen inside started showing signs and 3 of 4 died. There is only one common factor as of right now (besides myself coming into contact with them, BUT I come into contact with all) The mixes were hatched with a lone hatch of some eggs I got online. So they grew up together but my mixes grow faster and have already feathered out so I places the lone hatch into the second sets to die. But this is maybe a little less then 2 weeks before they show symptoms and within 24 hours(was less) die.
    There is no chance of poison as one set was outside and the other inside and there are more outside, these 4 were young and stuck together. Not changes water source, straight from the tap, everyone is getting, I did switch to a different feed I heard was better for chicks but once again, everyone is getting. It's Purina Start and Grow medicated chick feed. For some of the older I give a little sweet feed and corn kernels .
    I can relate about crummy neighbors, we have had our fair share in the past but new ones are in there and there is no chance they could have got to what I have inside.
    If I do figure this mystery out I will be sure to post it so I can help someone else but right now administering Tylan soon is seeming to make symptoms disappear and taking out of the old environment.
    It just stumps me. Ever since I got into chickens one of my biggest worries out of all the things they could get is Coincides. So I change bedding about twice a week, more if they spill their water. I empty and refill water every time it gets shavings in it. Sanitize their water and food containers when I do bedding changes. Only pick out the shavings in food when it just happens but if its been that way for a while or has gotten wet or feces in it I discard and get them more.
    It's kind of early and I am tired so if anything I said is confusing or doesn't make sense just let me know, ask, or any more ideas let me know.
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    If the chickens were both inside and outside, and couldn't get botulism or poisoned as Nambroth suggested, I would suspect the feed. I have seen several cases people on BYC who have lost many in their flocks from something wrong with their feed. Aflatoxin posioning, aspergillosis due to mold, and possible omittance of certain ingredients or contamination of the feed would be my concern. Whethter you agree or not, I would throw out the feed--I would get another bag or brand to use just until I figured out what went wrong. A breeder I know in Arkansas last year unwittingly killed some of his pullets after running a new water line to his coop. The glue he used to seal the pipes was toxic (unknowingly), and he didn't flush the lines, so he lost all of the chickens in that coop.
     
  9. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

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    I would also be very suspicious of the feed if it is the only thing commonly shared between all the birds that have died. I hope the necropsy can give you some answers.
     
  10. ChickenBoPeep

    ChickenBoPeep New Egg

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    Sorry I never got back to anyone. I actually fell ill myself.
    So KY had a pretty bad storm hit and I couldn't get out to do anything with the dead birds so an actual diagnoses was never got but with whatever it was if caught early on and treated with Tylan orally for a few days it can be helped. I gave orally and treated everyone in the immediate area of the sick birds. No more symptoms and everyone seems fine. I will update this if need be to help others. Thanks for everyone's response on this thread, I appreciate it.
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2014

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