Help! Used old composting wood chips in run and how hens sick

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jank3103, Mar 21, 2017.

  1. jank3103

    jank3103 New Egg

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    Mar 18, 2017
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    Hi, I recently dug out all the yucky mud and straw and poo that was in my chickens run and put in about 6 inch deep of wood chips that had been in a pile in my garden for about a year. They had composted down to a lovely consistency. I also sprinkled liberally with sanitiser/ disinfectant. They loved it! This was about 2 weeks ago and now I have noticed that 2 or 3 of my hens seem to have the symptoms of aspergillosis. Gaping, snoring, lethargic and sleeping a lot. I put poultry tonic in their drink every day now and hope to see an improvement but I am worried that I may have caused this by putting in the wood chips. Is there anything I can do to purify the wood Chips? Or do I need to shovel it all out and start again? They were almost knee deep in mud over the winter and I was laying straw down on top of the mud again and again but that made it smelly when the mud and poo seeped through. Not very hygienic. I'm learning the hard way with my birds but I love them so much. I have 19 hens and 2 ducks in a fairly big enclosure, it took me all day to muck it out and lay the chips. I thought I was improving their living quarters. Any advice greatly received. Thank you. In the nest boxes I use left over hay from my horses.....could that be it? There is ventilation in the henhouse and not had this problem before so guessing it's the woodchips and spores?
     
  2. Louise Waffles

    Louise Waffles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What sanitizer/disinfectant did you use?
     
  3. jank3103

    jank3103 New Egg

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    Mar 18, 2017
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    Ground Sanitising Powder especially for chicken runs and hen houses. I use it in the nest boxes too.
     
  4. jank3103

    jank3103 New Egg

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    Mar 18, 2017
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    My chickens have also been under a bit of stress because as well as adding the wood chips, I have introduced some new birds to the flock and I've read that this can also exacerbate symptoms.
     
  5. jank3103

    jank3103 New Egg

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    Mar 18, 2017
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    I'm wondering now if it is gape worm. When I was digging out the straw in some places I turned over the earth and they were enjoying a feast of earthworms! I'm going to worm them again just to rule that out. I've also noticed a few of my hens sneezing too so perhaps I should try antibiotics? egg production has gone right down, sick hens are definitely not laying. They get excited and eat and scratch for treats when I come to the coup but soon will be back sitting quietly with eyes closed and feathers ruffled. They haven't got worse overnight which I suppose is a good thing.
     
  6. Louise Waffles

    Louise Waffles Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you take a fecal sample to a vet?
    Where did the new birds come from?
    If you had a lot of mud and muck, it could be cocci. I had a cocci outbreak due to a drainage problem. I got a fecal sample read by the vet and was given a prescription by a vet, and until I could move my chickens, had to keep mucking out straw and replacing it with fresh. It's a 25x 35 run, so a lot of work, but necessary.
    There are people on BYC that know way more than me, and maybe they can help more. Really, it could be a whole lot of things....Even if you can't find a vet who will see chickens, they will usually do fecal float test.
    I'm so sorry about your chickens, I know it's stressful and frustrating when you do all that work and then they get sick, and it's so sad to lose them and not know why. :(
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  7. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I agree with @Louise Waffles taking fecal sample to your vet for testing of cocci and worms is a good idea.

    The new birds that you added to your flock - when were they introduced? Do any of the new birds have the symptoms you describe?

    It's very possible that they could have Asperigillous as well. Wood chips can contain molds/mildew and symptoms can come fairly quickly.
    Without testing, there is no way to know what the culprit is.
    Try to keep them hydrated and add some poultry vitamins to their water.

    Personally I would remove all the new chips that you put in - I know that's a lot of work[​IMG]
    Let us know how they are doing.
     
  8. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Sorry you are having troubles. Got a little ways through your post and it brought this thread to mind...

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1129854/dying-chickens

    Sadly we all learn some things the hard way. Wish I had answers to help.

    Doubt it's the hay in the boxes. Sounds like you might just have got the perfect storm with extra stressors and all. Hang in there! And if you do lose one consider getting a necropsy done.

    [​IMG]
     

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