Help! Second Dead Buff Orpington -- UPDATE GOOD NEWS!!!!


9 Years
Apr 2, 2010
Wilds of Montana
I lost another one of my 4 to 5 month old buff orpingtons. I found her this morning dead partially on the heat mat. The heat mat wasn't blisteringly hot and I've used it with small chicks, so I know it's safe. I have one BO that is looking ill with ruffled feathers, diarrhea and is drinking a lot of water.

I called the local USDA office and the vet seemed to think it was probably coccidia and maybe other internal parasites. So, I separated the sick BO and put her under a heat lamp. I gave her chick feed with coccidistat and water spiked with natural salt (full of electrolytes) and sugar as well as wazine.

The other birds in the pen are healthy and laying eggs. No one except the younger BOs seem affected by all this, but to be sure, I gave them all wazine too. I may separate the other BO and the BO mix and feed them chick food as well.

I'm bummed because I really wanted to keep BOs as a main breed. What else can I do? Should I do?
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Wazine is not the treatment for coccidia. Sulmet or Corid is. Wazine treats worms, and they are unlikely at that age to have many worms.
No. Corid is the same stuff as what is usually in medicated feed, amprolium, but a much higher concentration. When they get enough cocci that they look sick, they have a LOT, and even treating them may not be enough.

There are several strains of cocci. One drug treats some strains, the other treats others. Ideally your bird should be tested for which one, and which drug it needs. Otherwise, it's a shot in the dark which one you choose first. Medicated feed is intended to suppress the cocci somewhat, not treat a sick bird.

And it is best to treat the whole flock.
4 - 5 months old? Why the heating pad? I had a friend that lost 7 of 12 chicks from a heating pad. The vet said it caused dehydration and other things (I can't remember). I dunno if that could contribute to your problem, but thought you may like to know this.

If it is cocci, I would get Corid quickly. Often times the amprolium in the medicated feed is just not enough. Use 5cc Corid per gallon of water for 5 days. If the Corid doesn't work there is another (not Sulmet) that I can not recall the name of just now. I can look it up .....

ETA: Ya know, at this age it would be unlikely to be cocci, I would think. What about worms, mites, lice? Have you considered that? At this age is when I do my first initial worming. Maybe you could give that a try. ???
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Wouldn't the chick feed with coccidistat work?

it helps but does not offer 100% protection, chicks can still get cocci while on the medicated feed. Once they have it you must treat it with antibiotics or the bird will die, the chick starter is not enough
Well, she looks a little better. She's been drinking a ton of water and ate the chick food. I went to the feed store and picked up corid and electrolytes, because corid was all they had.

I'll switch her back over to the normal feed tonight and give her water laced with corid and electrolytes. The wormer won't hurt since the vet told me to do that.

Hopefully, she'll pull through. As I said, she looks better, so I'm hoping that she's better. How long do you use the corid? 7 days?
The vet suggested worms, so as a precaution I wormed them with wazine today. The heating pad isn't actually a heating pad, but more a very low temp heater that dogs lay on and keeps the ground comfortable (you could lay on it and not get burned). I've used it on birds before. The reason I used it was because we went from 50F at night to 28F at night and the BOs were all acting cold. When I found the first dead bird, she was nowhere near the pad and had actually been between the fence and a crate that was supposed to serve as a nest, but the BOs seemed to like it. I removed the crate and put the pad there. Everyone was fine. Yesterday, a BO was acting chilled. This morning, I found her dead.

Despite all the food I'm pushing into them, she was thin. Hence the deworming suggestion. I've bought corid and mixed it up with electrolytes and will give it to her tonight and keep her watered for five days with it. The bird who is sick seems very thirsty and does have diarrhea. What's a pain is that I'm flying out tomorrow for a SFF convention, so DH will have to take care of them.

As for mites and lice -- I see no nits on my birds and no problems with their feathers or skin. They've been really healthy until the weather turned cold. Then -- boom! Two die.
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