Help!! Hens going from totally fine to dead quickly!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by KrystalRose, Nov 27, 2014.

  1. KrystalRose

    KrystalRose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Please help, I have had 2 hens die and a third who I am trying to keep from dying!

    Hen 1: Fine in the morning, acting normal with everyone else, found dead in the afternoon, I autopsied her and found no worms, no mites or lice, no nothing, looked like a totally normal healthy bird.

    Hen 2: Had trouble walking for a couple days, I was giving her extra vitamins, extra protein, immune support. We had a rough rooster and I was thinking he threw her back out or damaged her back. She seemed mentally totally fine, just had trouble walking well, but was still able to walk and was hanging out with the other birds. Eating and drinking on her own. Then found her dead on the 3rd morning.

    Hen 3: Was totally fine this morning, this afternoon I found her laying down, fluffed out, breathing with her mouth open and unable to walk. I checked her, she isn't egg bound as far as I can tell, she doesn't have any mites/lice, her eyes and nose are clear. Her crop feels normal. I gave her a direct couple drop dose of Corrid followed by some water to wash it down. She is barely swallowing what I am giving her. I put her in a quarantine tote in a warmer room with food and water.

    History: I got all of them vaccinated for Mariks and Cocci from the hatchery, they have never been wormed but I have autopsied a couple now recently and have found no trace of worms, nor have I seen any signs in their poop. No bloody stool as far as I can see. I give them water via water nipples so it is always clean water. They are in a large enclosed pen, so they haven't gotten into anything weird. They are eating good organic layer feed, with optional grit and oyster shells.

    What should I do? I don't want to loose this girl, and I don't want to keep finding mystery dead girls!!!!! What can kill this many girls this quickly? By the way all my other hens are acting totally normal. And the rough rooster was separated yesterday morning so it wasn't him this time.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    How old are your hens? How long has this been happening? Vaccinations are not 100% foolproof. Could the sick chickens have been kept from food and water by the aggressive rooster? Are they drinking well from the nipple system, and is it thawed in the winter weather? If you lose another hen, I would refrigerate her body (not freeze,) and send it to the state vet's office for a necropsy. Here is a link for your state vet: http://www.usaha.org/Portals/6/StateAnimalHealthOfficials.pdf
     
  3. KrystalRose

    KrystalRose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My hens are all 25 weeks old. This has been happening for the past week. My roosters weren't keeping the hens from food or water, they were just really rough when mating. They have been using the nipple system successfully for the past couple months, and the water has not froze yet, we have it circulating and have a fish tank heater in the water tank. Do they charge for the necropsy? If so how much? I am hoping to not loose this girl, she is still hanging in there, barely. She is pretty much laying there panting. I am giving her the Corid mix water by syringe into her esophagus every half hour or so to keep her hydrated. She fights me a little on that, so I am taking that as she still has some fight left in her. Its going to be a long night.

    I cleaned out the entire inside and outside of the coop and run and put down fresh straw. Hopefully that will get rid of most the whatever it is. I am debating on treating the rest of the flock, maybe with corid. But does this sound like Cocci or does it sound like something else? Like I said from the couple recent autopsies I have done, I haven't seen any worms at all. I have 17 birds in the coop so it is hard to know what poo is hers. But I didn't see any bloody poo during my coop cleaning process. She is isolated now so if she is able to void again I will be able to see what she is doing.
     
  4. KrystalRose

    KrystalRose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I might add that I usually check on the girls every morning and evening and check their food and water and their general health each time. Their coop gets cleaned out every 3 weeks.

    In my chicken first aid kit I have Vet RX that says its for respiratory problems, I have Corid for Cocci, I have NutriDrench for quick vitamins. In my cattle first aid kit I have pour on Ivermectin for worming, not sure if that's a good option for chickens. Which if any should I give to the rest of the flock? I really want to keep this from happening again. Does anyone have suspicions of what is causing this sudden onset? I can go to the store and get something else if you recommend something I don't have.
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    Yes there usually is a charge for necropsies, but some states such as California offer them for free for the first couple of birds per year. You will need to contact the vet's office here http://www.usaha.org/Portals/6/StateAnimalHealthOfficials.pdf
    to find out how much, and what is needed to ship the chicken's body. I would say that coccidiosis may be a problem since you have had 3 birds sick within a week and 2 have died. Symptoms of cocci can be lethargy, weakness, standing puffed up or hunched, poor appetite, and diarrhea, with or without blood. The other possibility that comes to mind would be a toxin of some sort, such as botulism or lead/chemical poisoning. Botulism comes from eating a toxin produced by decaying animal carcasses or plants, such as when they are buried or underwater without air. I hope the Corid starts to help if it is cocci, and here is a link to read about botulism: http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/19/botulism
     
  6. KrystalRose

    KrystalRose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Ok well I guess I will treat the whole lot of them for cocci with the corid. The only downside is not being able to eat the eggs for a while, but at least it might prevent more problems. I looked at the botulism, it sounds like a possibility but I don't know where they would have gotten that. Like I said they are in a completely enclosed coop and run. The run even has a tarp over the top to help with the winter weather, so I doubt any foreign bird droppings would have gotten in there. My only other guess is that I have been giving them pumpkins, one a weekend. They are my own homegrown pumpkins, no pesticides, kept in my cooler to keep them fresh. I check the pumpkins over to make sure they are in good shape before I give them to them. But I guess as a further precaution, I will quit giving them the pumpkins, just in case. And like I said I raked and cleaned out the entire coop and run tonight in case anything was in the bedding.

    Anything else I can do?
     
  7. KrystalRose

    KrystalRose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    She is still with us, though not doing much other than resting. Her breathing is less forced and less hyperventilating and more relaxed. I am going to let her rest but check on her during the night. Her new name will be Lucky Lucy if she is still with us by morning! I have already set out Corid treatment for the rest of my girls for them to get by morning when they are up and about. At least now that I have a couple cows I can justify buying the Corid in the gallon jug.
     
  8. KrystalRose

    KrystalRose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Since I cannot eat their eggs during their treatment, is it ok to scramble them up and feed them back to them for some added protein?
     
  9. KrystalRose

    KrystalRose Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Finley, WA
    She is still alive and starting to really fight me with her head when I give her water, not a big fan of me putting the syringe into her throat to get past the esophagus. I gave her about 5cc water, 1cc NutriDrench, and a couple more concentrate drops of Corid for breakfast. I keep giving her a 3cc syringe of treated water every hour or so to keep her hydrated. Not sure how much water to give but I figured it was enough for her since she isn't moving. Somehow she managed to lay an egg last night?? Not sure how since she is barely moving. But we can officially rule out being egg bound!
     
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

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    The eggs are fine to eat since there is no egg withdrawal time with Corid. I believe the dosage of NutriDrench for Poultry is 3 drops maximum. Too bad you had to buy the big jug of Corid--there is a small bottle and a packet of powder that are much less expensive. You can give 2 drops of the undiluted Corid twice a day orally.The cocci vaccine vaccinates for the worst 4 or 5 strains, but there are 9 or more strains that affect chickens. I've never had problems with feeding pumpkins--mine have about 10 that they are carving right now. I have found mold inside of one once, so that could be a problem if you see any black.
     

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