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Help! My Hens Are Dying!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by gltrap54, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. gltrap54

    gltrap54 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've recently lost one of my 6 golden comet hens (2.5 yo) & now it appears another hen is demonstrating the same symptoms...... They seem to slowly (ie, over a period of 2-3 weeks) grow weaker, with very little appetite, hunker down, & shake their heads a lot. I don't know how else to describe her condition There's no signs of external issues & I have been adding Duramycin 10 to their water since the first hen died about two weeks ago. The hen in question is slowly getting worse. I doubt she has much time as she is barely standing today. ...
     
  2. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

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    Look in her mouth. Do you see anything?? Has she ever been wormed??
     
  3. gltrap54

    gltrap54 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What should I be looking for in her mouth? None of my hens have ever been wormed, but wouldn't I see worms in their poo?
     
  4. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

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    Sores and yes most of the time you would see worms in their poop, but they can still have worms without you seeing them.
     
  5. gltrap54

    gltrap54 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Her mouth looks fine........ Started them as day old chicks in March 2010 & have yet to see any sign of worms. Can their eggs be eaten while they're being wormed?
     
  6. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

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    There is usually a withdrawal period.
     
  7. DayOldChicksNY

    DayOldChicksNY Out Of The Brooder

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    Parasites are one of the biggest pests for the backyard flock raiser. Know who you're up against and what they look like so that you can treat them! Hope this helps you.

    Worms:

    Cecal Worms
    Carried By: Beetles, Earwigs, Grasshoppers
    Symptoms: Can cause no symptoms or can cause weight loss and weakness
    What they do: Cecal worms invade the ceca, the blind pouches attached to the intestines. They rarely cause serious problems though they are the most common worm.

    Ascarids or Large Roundworms
    Carried By: None
    Symptoms: Pale head, droopiness, weight loss, diarrhea, and death
    What they do: Roundworms invade the intestines, attaching to the intestinal wall and preventing the body's absorption of essential nutrients by taking it all for themselves. Chickens usually become resistant by three months.

    Capillary Worms
    Carried By: Earthworm
    Symptoms: Droopiness, weight loss, diarrhea, death
    What they do: These are hairlike worms that invade the crop and upper intestine. If your chicken sits with its head drawn in, it likely has capillary worms.

    Gapeworms
    Carried By: Earthworms, Slugs, Snails
    Symptoms: Gasping, coughing, head shaking, death from asphyxiation in young birds
    What they do: These are red, fork-shaped worms that attach themselves to the windpipe and can cause breathing trouble and throat irritation.

    Cestodes or Tapeworms
    Carried By: Ant, Beetle, Earthworm, Slug, Snail, Termite
    Symptoms: Weakness, slow growth, weight loss, death
    What they do: These long, ribbonlike worms attach to the intestine and absorb nutrients. They infect large numbers of birds, but are rarely fatal.

    Flukes or Trematodes
    Carried By: Dragonfly, Mayfly
    Symptoms: None
    What they do: These leaf shaped worms attach themselves to the inside of the body or beneath the skin. They are prolific in swampy, unsanitary areas.
    All worms can be treated by de-worming. If you suspect your birds have worms, as a vet to run a fecal sample to determine which worms are present and which medication is right to treat with.

    Mites:

    Red Mites
    What they look like: Small grey specks crawling on your chicken at night. They turn red after their bodies are full of chicken blood.
    Treatment: Control red mites by cleaning your coop thoroughly, dusting your birds, and dusting every possible crack and crevice with an insecticide.

    Northern Fowl Mites
    What they look like: Small grey specks that crawl over nesting boxes, eggs and birds during the day. They also cause scabbing around the vent and are more prevalent in the cooler months.
    Treatment: These mites procreate quickly, so dust everything with an improve insecticide. Keep your birds dusted and pay special attention to any cracks or crevices where they could be hiding out.
    Scaly Leg Mites
    What they look like: These little guys burrow under the scales of your chickens' legs. You won't know they're there until the chicken shows symptoms of lost scales and stiff legged walking.
    Treatment: These are slow spreading and can be controlled by brushing the legs of your birds with a mixture of kerosene and linseed oil, one part to two parts, once a month.

    Tics
    What they look like: Tic appearance can vary by region. Most tics are pea-sized when hungry and various colors of brown.
    Treatment: Keep chickens away from areas where tics generally reside. Keep roosting boxes off the ground, keep tall grass trimmed down and avoid having your coop near trees.
    Chickens that are tormented frequently by mites may refuse to go into their coop at night or become restless at bedtime because they are anticipating a painful night. Consider lining nesting boxes with tobacco leaves and using cedar chips for nesting. You can also give ivermectin to birds that are not meat or egg birds. This will make them unappealing from the inside out.

    Lice
    Lice are an all around nuisance that may stop laying and cause your birds to pull out their feathers. You can see them crawling on the birds, find their eggs at the base of feathers and see scabbing around the vent from where they have been chewing on the skin. Treat all your birds if you spot lice on one as it spreads quickly. Repeat the treatment twice, every seven days, to kill any eggs that hatch between treatments.

    Fleas
    Sticktight fleas are the most common and though easy to remove on a bird are more difficult to get out of housing. Apply a flea salve to the face of the bird, and remove all bedding. Heavily dust the coop and repeat every two or three days over the course of a two week period.
     
  8. willowbranchfarm

    willowbranchfarm Chicken Boots

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    Here is an article I wrote on worming and worms.

    Worms and Worming
    [​IMG]

    Chickens and worms can actually get along together peacefully. Under good management, they can live together without any problems. Through gradual exposure chickens can build up a resistance to most parasites. When chickens have a problem with worms it’s usually because of stress or disease. Chickens with a bad worm infestation become thin because of the worms interfering with food absorption. Some worms don’t invade the digestive tract but the respiratory system causing breathing problems. This can be confused with other respiratory problems. Other worms invade other parts of the body like the eyes, windpipe, crop, stomach, etc. When you have a worm infestation it is not to be taken lightly and should be treated ASAP. Here are some types of worms that could be causing your chickens problems.

    [​IMG]


    FlatWorms
    Flatworms come in two groups, ribbon shaped tapeworms (cestodes) and leaf shaped flukes (trematodes).
    Tapeworms: There 8 species of tapeworms that infect chickens. Most are host specific meaning ones that infect chickens won’t infect dogs. These parasites lodge themselves in the intestinal tract, but each species prefers different parts of the intestine. Most of these worms can be seen with the naked eye, only a few require a microscope. The smallest tapeworm is the deadliest. Symptoms include dull feathers, slow movement, emacation, breathing difficulty, paralysis, and death. Most common symptoms are decreased egg laying and weight loss. All tapeworms require an intermediate host; slug, ant, etc. Caged birds are more likely to get worms due to flys.
    [​IMG]
    (Above) Tapeworm
    Flukes: Flukes are rarely serious except in poor conditions. There four different species that infect chickens and they each live in a different place in the chickens body, the eye, skin, oviduct, or lower excretory system. The oviduct fluke causes swelling which could make it rupture causing death. Symptoms include droopiness, weight loss, chalky white droppings, reduced egg production, soft shelled eggs, and finding fluke encased in an egg. The skin fluke forms 1/6 to ¼ and inch cysts under the skin, usually near the vent. These cysts contain 2 flukes and attract flies. This could lead to fatal bacterial infections. Chickens suffer from depressed appetite and have trouble walking. The treatment is surgically removing the flukes.

    Roundworms
    Large Roundworm: This is one of the most common worms. This worm is around the same size as a pencil lead and grows as long as 41/2 inches. These parasites live in the intestines and will occasionally migrate into the cloaca and get trapped inside a newly forming egg. I wouldn’t want to see that. If you are hatching an egg that has a worm inside it, you will be able to see when candling. Females can lay up to 5,000 eggs they take 10 days or more to Embryonate. They will then survive in the soil up to a year or longer. They are then picked up by a chicken from dropping, soil, feed, or water. Older birds are more resistant to these worms then younger birds. Symptoms include pale head, droopiness, weight loss or slow growth, emaciation, and diarrhea. In very severe infestation, the intestines become plugged with worms and cause death. A not so bad roundworm infestation and a disease together (like coccidiosis or infectious bronchitis) can cause death.
    [​IMG] (Left and Below) Roundworms.
    [​IMG]



    Capillary Worm: There six types of capillary worms and they look white and are hair like. Most can’t be seen with our eyes. These usually lodge themselves in the crop, ceca, or intestines. In bad infestation they may be found in the throat or mouth. Symptoms are pale head, poor appetite, droopiness, weakness, emaciation, and sometimes diarrhea. These worms are most likely to occur in built-up litter.

    Crop Worm: These are easily confused with the crop worms. They invade the crop and sometimes esophagus. These worms look like threads and have an indirect life cycle. Unless they get out of hand these worms aren’t a big problem. Signs of bad infection are droopiness, weakness, and lack of activity, reduced appetite, and thickening of the crop wall. These can be controlled by controlling beetles and cockroaches.

    Cecal Worm: The cecal worm is the most common worm in North America. It infects the chicken’s ceca and carry’s blackhead which most chickens are immune to. Thankfully cecal worms don’t seriously your birds health. These worms are slender, white, and ½ inch long. They have a direct cycle. Phenothiazine is the approved method of treatment.

    Stomach Worm: These worms invade the proventriculus, causing anemia, emaciation, diarrhea, and in severe infestations, death. This worm is a bright red in color. The elongated ones are males, the roundish ones are females. They have an indirect life cycle involving grasshoppers and cockroaches.

    Eye Worm: The eye worm is prevalent in the southern United States, Hawaii, and the Philippines as well as other subtropical areas. It is a small, white worm that lodges itself in the corner of a chicken’s eye. The eye becomes swollen, inflamed, and watery, impairing the chickens vision. The eyelids may stick together and the eye may become cloudy and eventually be destroyed. The chicken will scratch at its eye trying to relieve irritation. Eye worms have an indirect cycle. Worm eggs deposited in the eye pass into the tear duct, are swallowed by the chicken and expelled in droppings and are eaten by cockroaches. When the chicken eats the infected cockroach the worm larvae migrate up the esophagus to the mouth, through the tear duct, and into the eye. Wild birds are also affected by eye worms and could spread them to your chickens. Here is how to remove eye worms.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bWQ4c-NJm4w

    [​IMG]
    (Above) Eye Worm
    Gapeworm: This worm buries its head in the lining of the chicken’s windpipe or other part of the respiratory system, causing “the gapes” (Pictured below). It gets its name because of the yawning or gasping for air chickens do when infected by this worm. These worms can be seen with our eyes and are also called “red worms” or “forked worms” each blood red female has a somewhat paler male permanently attached to it forming the letter Y. These worms can cause considerable losses in free-ranged flocks, particularly those associated with adult turkeys. Its more harmful in younger birds, older birds are more resistant. Chickens cough up eggs, swallow them, and then poop them out. Symptoms include yawning, grunting, gasping, sneezing, coughing, choking, loss of energy, loss of appetite, weakness, emacation, closed eyes, head shaking, frequent throwing of head forward with mouth open to gasp for air, and convulsive shaking of the head (to try and dislodge worms from windpipe). Gapeworms multiply rapidy, eventually suffocating the bird.

    [​IMG]
    (Above) Classic movement of a chicken with gape worm.

    Thorny-Headed Worm: This worm is most common in Asia then in North America. It invades a chicken’s intestine, causing anemia and weakness. It is cylindrical in shape. It can be identified by its tubular sucking appendage, or proboscis, sporting curved hooks or spines. These worms have an indirect cycle. There hosts include snakes, lizards, and a variety of arthropods.

    Worms in eggs: This is very rare but not unheard of. This is most common when your chicken has a very bad roundworm infestation.
    [​IMG]





    Worming
    There are a few different treatments for worms. Some treat multiple worms and some only treat a few.

    Wazine: This only treats roundworms. One ounce per gallon of water. Make Wazine water their only source of water for 24 hours. Withdrawal period is 14 days.
    Prohibit Solution: This treats roundworms, capillaria, and cecal worms.
    Valbazen: This treats roundworms, capillaria, cecal, and tapworms.
    Synanthic: treats roundworms, capillaria, and cecal.
    Cattle –Safe Guard: treats roundworms, capillaria, and cecal.
    Ivermectin: treats roundworms, capillaria, and cecal.

    If you look up these wormers on Backyardchickens.com you will find the dosage and withdrawal period.

    If you have any question please ask.
    WillowBranchFarm
     
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  9. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Sorry for your losses. You should get a necropsy done on the next one. If you live in the USA, you should be able to get one done for free or a small fee.
     
  10. gltrap54

    gltrap54 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Reviving this thread to report I've lost a second of my 6 hens to the same (apparently) illness......... I've tried antibiotics & worming to no avail... These two hens seemed to slowly waste away & sat with their necks pulled in, supposedly a sign of capillary worms...... My other hens appear healthy, but I need to get a handle on whatever this stuff is. Having the dead hens posted really isn't an option for me.......
     

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