Help!!! Chickens are getting sick and dying no matter what I do!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by 63sportsman, Nov 22, 2010.

  1. 63sportsman

    63sportsman Out Of The Brooder

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    First, some history. My girlfriend purchased 6 chicks back in March from Tractor Supply. Out of these we ended up with 4 Hens and 2 Roosters. In July my sister purchased 5 Seabright and 5 Silkie chicks from Efowl.
    The first indication of a possible problem began about 6 weeks ago. One of my large hens that had just started laying in the past couple of weeks prior, began displaying mal-nutrition symptoms. After just one day after noticing this she began to lose balance and could not walk. She died within 48 hours of showing the first symptom. I had found 2 soft shelled eggs in the coupe the 2 previous days to her death. After doing a lot of research on this forum I guessed that she had died from possible peritonitis? Everything was fine since until last week one of the Silkies began to show signs of lack of balance. I brought her inside and her eyes were swollen and 1 was cloudy. After separating her she has seemed to recover thus far. One week after the Silkie, I have a Silkie that cannot stand up on his feet, he just kind of limps around on the back of his legs. Now 2 days ago I found a seabright hen dead in the coupe that had showed no signs of sickness. I also noticed that my large rooster was carrying one wing low, and dismissed it as maybe he had been fighting with one of the seabright roosters over the dead hen . Now my large rooster is losing his balance. I cannot find any signs of lice, mites, or worms. I have given the large rooster a wormer just in case and have started him on electrolytes. I have ruled out Marek’s because all of these chicks were supposed to be vaccinated. Now I am wondering, because all signs are pointing to Marek’s?
    I hate to lose my rooster (lost my other one to a dog), but am really looking for opinions and suggestions at this point.

    What else can I do?

    I find this site very helpful and greatly appreciate any help that everybody’s experience can provide.
    Thanks again,
    Shaun
     
  2. Lesa

    Lesa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am sorry you are having all these troubles. What are you feeding your birds?
     
  3. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I was thinking the same thing
     
  4. 63sportsman

    63sportsman Out Of The Brooder

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    Dumor Layer pellets from Tractor Supply. I also give them a treat of scratch a couple of times a week. They also free range durring the day.
    Thanks,
    Shaun
     
  5. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No mold anywhere, right? Have you checked the feed? Are you giving them oyster shell? Sorry for the questions, but I am no experts, I swear by vitamins and electrolytes, I had the same thing happened and the rooster seemed to be OK after a few days - there was a leak in the coop and he found some wet, moldy feed that I didn't know was there in the coop
     
  6. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

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    My Coop
    I say switch your feed, even if it seems all right. I found that some of our feed had gotten wet prior to shipping, and the feed store called to tell me some other folks had come in because they found tiny bits of mold in theirs. I hadn't found any, and we went through it- none visible...but I'd lost a ton of chicks without any reason.

    Get a different type, a different manufacturer. That will eliminate chances of it being from the same batch- remember when the dog & cat food had melamine? It took a long time to figure it out, and you'll KNOW it's not that.

    Do look around and see if they're getting into compost or something breaking down somewhere. Are your neighbors all in favor of your birds? Sometimes the cause is not what we think.

    I'm sorry for your losses. [​IMG]
     
  7. 63sportsman

    63sportsman Out Of The Brooder

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    No mold in the food that I can find. I only have 1, 5 gallon feeder so the food is freshen about once a week. I have a water system in my coupe with nipples. It is built with a drain so that I can refresh the water regularly. I took the water system apart today and did not notice anything like slime or buildup in it. I cleaned the system with a diluted bleach solution, rinsed with fresh water and the added a little more that normal apple cider vinegar when I refilled it.
    I did notice that last week when it was below freezing a couple of nights, the end of the nipples would freeze a bit and drip a little water on to the shavings, but not enough to consern me yet. (this will be fixed before winter really set in).
     
  8. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

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    Sounds like mareks and there is nothing you can do but vaccinate incoming chicks in the future.
     
  9. 63sportsman

    63sportsman Out Of The Brooder

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    I have some Laylena crumbles. I will change out the feed with that and see if that makes a difference. The reason that I have discounted the feed is that the first chicken that died was on crumbles. The latest batch have been on pellets, and are at the end of a #50 bag. They have been on the pellets for 4 weeks. The reason that I switched to pellets was to minimize the waste. They were throwing the crumbles all over the floor. They do not seem to do this with the pellets. Also this seems to be some what random. It is not affecting all the chickens in the coupe at once. My 3 hens seem to be really healthy and are laying every day even with the lessening day light.
    Going out to change feed now.
    Thanks, Shaun
     
  10. easttxchick

    easttxchick Lone Star Call Ducks

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    pips&peeps :

    Sounds like mareks and there is nothing you can do but vaccinate incoming chicks in the future.

    While I'm no expert, Marek's was my first thought, as well. I sure hope it's something much easier to treat.
    Good luck to you.​
     

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