Help! Chickens dying!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickenlover237, Feb 3, 2014.

  1. chickenlover237

    chickenlover237 Chillin' With My Peeps

    This has happened to 4 chickens, they begin behaving oddly in the beginning of the day, sometimes I don't notice it until about mid-day, they begin stumbling, having trouble walking, and have extremely sudden lost a lot of weight, through the day they start eating less, and laying down a lot, when it gets severe they stop walking and keep trying to sleep. The last one that died she refused to eat, all she wanted to do was sleep, eventually she died, though she died after a lot of obvious suffering, difficulty breathing and rather violent spasms. The first two that died I had thought they were malnutritioned because the other chickens didn't let them eat much, and they had begun these symptoms a few days before I found them, it looked like they had just fallen over and died when getting up that morning. Besides the ones that died i've had three chickens who keep lapsing into these symptoms but being just fine after some warmth, food, and sugared water, but the ones that died refused water and food. None of them are breathing oddly, they aren't egg bound, I checked for that, not constipated, I just can't figure out whats wrong. Before these deaths I had 14 chickens, i'm down to 10 now. I'm in florida so we only had a short cold spell, and during that time they had light and heat in their coop. I've had chickens for two years now and never had anything like this happen, I don't understand it and i'd really like not to lose any others. The ones that have died were a bantam brahma cockrel, at around 5 months old, had not crowed yet, (he was always very odd though). A game hen, approximately 2 years, (we got her from a friend who didn't want their chickens anymore). And two Austrolorp hens, both gotten with the game hen. I got the game hen with her sister, who has a beak deformity, and four austrolorps, at the time I had a mystery cockrel, the brahma cockrel, a Bantam cochin pullet, two leghorn pullets, two adult red hens, one adult mix hen, and an adult austrolorp.

    Please help, i'd like to get this issue solved quickly so I can do something about it, I really don't want to lose anymore of my chickens, they're like family to me.

    Thanks in advance.
     
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2014
  2. HS Pye

    HS Pye Chillin' With My Peeps

    386
    11
    83
    Sep 13, 2013
    Texas
    Hi,

    Did you check for worms, mites, or lice? Are they paralyzed anywhere? Hope they get better!

    HS Pye
     
  3. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Have your chickens been wormed? Check them for lice, too. Wanting to sleep all of the time makes me wonder about coccidios......
     
  4. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,368
    71
    221
    Sep 10, 2007
    BC Canada
    You could be dealing with Mareks disease. When you have another death, send it of for a necropsy.
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

    30,546
    4,911
    541
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I would also worry about Mareks disease. Did they have the vaccine? Botulism is another disease that can cause some of the symptoms you have described. It is caused by eating rotted vegetation or an animal carcass among other things. Sometimes it can happen fast, and death occurs from paralysis, or they may live if the amount eaten is small. Necropsy of a dead chicken by your state vet could tell you what your are dealing with. Here is some info: http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/19/botulism
    http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf
     
  6. chickenlover237

    chickenlover237 Chillin' With My Peeps

    I know they don't have worms, and far as I know they have been vaccinated for mareks, but reading the description of Botulism and its causes I think it might be that, they have a kiddy pool in the coop that they drink out of, and often they like to eat the scum and other things left in the bottom, thank you everyone who has replied, hopefully I can get the issue resolved quickly.
     
  7. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Just curious as to how you know they don't have worms?
     
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    58,929
    16,440
    801
    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    Unless you have wormed them with an appropriate amount of a proper wormer you can't say that they don't have worms. Lol, I'm going to scream if one more person says " they don't have worms because I don't see worms in their poop" or "because I feed them DE, pumpkin seeds or ACV". [​IMG]

    From what I have read, botulism kills very fast and your birds die thin, which means they have been sick for longer than you think, so I seriously doubt it's botulism.

    -Kathy
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member Project Manager

    58,929
    16,440
    801
    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
  10. pwand

    pwand Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,368
    71
    221
    Sep 10, 2007
    BC Canada
    Here is a picture of worms my chicken had are thought to be cecal worms. These were not much bigger than about a 1/2 inch. There is no way to see these in their poop. This was by accident I came across these worms as my chicken was sick and I was putting her poop in the toilet.

    [​IMG].
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by