Help! What's going on with my two chickens?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Lone Peep, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. Lone Peep

    Lone Peep New Egg

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    I walked into my coop today to feed and water my chickens, as usual, but I noticed two of my favorites was acting really off. They were fine yesterday at 6:00 PM and both were acting like they usually should, but today they were really off.

    One of my serama roosters (He is a size B serama that is 2-3 years old) wasn't active much at all and just stood there staring at me while he was fluffed up. I did understand that he was sick, so I put him in one of the quarantine pens. I gave him a drop of Tylan orally and put (can't remember what the medication was called but it is yellow powder) into his water. I usually do this when ever they felt off, but then while in the pen, he was eating and drinking fine. He was still somewhat talkative when ever the other chickens screeched about a predator nearby (which was actually just me throwing a few feathers in the air to see what they would do), but other than that he was quiet and did tuck his head under his wing when he got done eating/drinking. He is always talkative and tends to get on my shoulder everywhere I go. So I really would hate to lose him!

    The other one is my hen, and this I have never saw before so it is making me freaky at the moment. Birchy is a size B serama that is about a year old or a few months older than a year. She usually is the one to beat up my hand so I love to aggravate her before giving her a few mealworms to go back on her good side. Today, she had her eyes closed and hardly opened them unless I pushed her. By then, she would almost act like she was top heavy and lost her balance. I felt her butt area to check if she was egg bound or something, but I didn't feel anything. She was decent on weight, not too fat nor skinny as I could just barely feel the keel bone. Her left leg did feel stiff, so I rubbed it to see if she some how broke her leg, but I didn't feel any breaks. I checked her crop and she was empty. Either way, I put her in a different quarantine pen and did the same thing that I did to Sheldon (The rooster that I am worried about as well). I made sure that the two were able to see each other to hopefully get my hen to eat. I did get her to eat a few mouthfuls of food and drank some of the medicated water. I have no clue what this is nor where this came from.

    The only ideas I have that could of caused these two illnesses is from the bedding in the coop and the water. I only get to clean my coop's bedding once during the spring and once before winter comes. Sometimes if it is really bad (though, it only happened when I had ducks), I would clean it out every season. Right now, I am waiting for the weather to clear up over here so I can clean up my barn. Now the water I am much more fluent on cleaning. Every Saturday I clean all the water dishes so that it doesn't grow algae and make my chickens really sick. Last weekend I was unable to because of school and activities I am in. I did not have time to clean the dishes. Today I did clean them up and felt them before washing them. The dish that the two were drinking out of (as well as many other birds as I let all of my seramas out in the middle of the coop while my D'uccles, Modern Games, and Plymouth Rocks are in separate pens so no one gets hurt) was not too slimy compared to the smaller dishes.

    So my question is, what is going on with my two seramas, how can I treat it, and how can I prevent it?
     
  2. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    You need to tell us where you're located. Is it spring or fall? Has the weather been warm and wet? Do your chickens have access to compost where rotten fruit and vegetables are discarded?

    Has their feed been allowed to spill onto the ground? Is it composting in litter under wet conditions? Have you checked their feeders and your feed bags to see if there is any mold?

    They seem to have a bacterial infection from the symptoms. Give them both a full round of antibiotics, a broad spectrum type. The improvement will be very fast.

    I'm not a vet, but I've had sick chickens with symptoms similar and they responded to antibiotic treatment.
     
  3. 8rand0

    8rand0 Just Hatched

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    Get a bottle of Nutri-Drench costs about 3$ and some change. Get a Medicine syringe with a plastic nipple on it and a piece of fish tank/air tubing and cut into a 2" length. Put it on the syringe's nipple. Draw in 1cc of Nutri-Drench for every 3lbs of bird into the syringe. Draw in same amount of water as nutri-drench to help absorb. Hold the chicken like a football, but gently. Gently ease the tube into their mouth and slowly in feed the mixture, not all in one go, slowly, like 1cc a gulp. I had to do this for my egg-bound hen. Read that this will help in a multitude of diseases/disorders. Hope it helps you.

    Also, You can add a lil Gatorade or similar to their water, as they will absorb the electrolytes just as we do
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2017
  4. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi, welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    Sorry your birds aren't feeling well.

    My dishes get algae all the time and it has never made anyone sick.

    Even though they are older, cocci is still a possibility. What is your weather like?

    I don't understand why treat with tylan which is a broad spectrum antibiotic if what you are treating for might be viral and antibiotics are just being over used with out cause? [​IMG] It won't help a cold or any other viral infection. But only those that are bacterial in nature. I just prefer to know what I'm treating for instead of creating antibiotic resistant super strains and wasting my money on meds that don't work...

    I agree that you know your birds well enough to know when something is off. That's awesome! [​IMG] Now you need to look for the deeper symptoms, which is one reason you shouldn't treat before paying attention is you don't wanna mask the real symptoms with something else... how does the poo look, any sneezing?

    I can see @azygous has a different experience than me that says treat with antibiotics now... [​IMG]

    But I gave what is only my opinion and am here to learn just like everyone else! [​IMG] I have suffered no serious illness or death from natural cause in my flock in 6 years... so ya, lot's of learning to do still because I am SURE it's just a matter of time.

    Wish I could be more help... but you've come to the right place where lots of people are willing to share their experiences and that doesn't make one wrong, just different. And we are ALL here to help each other! [​IMG]
     
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  5. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Whoah, slow your roll...

    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    What you are suggesting is a step you would take on a bird that was suffering major dehydration and hadn't eaten or drank for a couple days. Those birds aren't at deaths' door step yet.

    Maybe put some Nutri drench in their water is a good suggestion. [​IMG]
     
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  6. Lone Peep

    Lone Peep New Egg

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    Thanks for the welcomes!

    Where I am at, it is almost spring but our weather has been strange lately. One day it is in the 60's and the next day it is snowing with high winds. Yesterday was a rainy day at about 50 degrees and today is just windy and chilly outside. At this time of night, it's in the 30's but earlier today when I did chores it was around the 40-50 degrees. My chickens do not go outside with the weather acting up, so they stay inside all day with the heater running at 55 degrees. My chickens do get scraps of food which we put in a bowl for them to get into before we take it out at night to keep any mice from deciding that the coop is a nice place to stay. The feed bowls I use lets them scratch, so yes some does get on the ground but the rest is taken out in a bucket where I throw it in the trash can. I do not check the feed bags for any mold, but when I dump it out into the feed box where I store the feed, I don't get any clumps.

    I shall get them on antibiotics and I shall check at my local store if they have any Nutri-Drench. Hopefully they have it!

    I usually follow what I heard around shows and what breeders have told me to use at shows. A few people I am good friends with always say to use tylan for sickness and then let nature take its course. It's kind of an automatic thing for me anymore when I see a bird get sick, and it usually works if it's a minor sickness or eye infection of some sorts.

    I do need to pay attention to poop, which I shall pay attention to now. The rooster did sneeze once when I was moving him to the quarantine area, but I didn't see either of them poop. So that leaves a huge gap, sorry about that :/

    The main reason I am freaking out was when I was reading on why my hen was acting that way, I came across Marek's disease with someone saying how their chicken had a stiff leg. Back of my mind was screaming that my hen could have this disease, so I got myself an account here to get some help. I apologize for freaking out, I just don't want to lose my birds or even my entire flock.
     
  7. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I've learned over the years to distinguish between viral and bacterial infection in my own flock. Generally, viral infections come on gradually, whereas with bacterial infections, come on suddenly. I have to warn that this is an extremely intuitional thing, coming from knowing each individual's normal patterns of behavior as well as you would a human family member you've lived with all their life.

    In ten years, I've learned what it looks like when a chicken has ingested poison, has a chronic virus, botulism poisoning, impacted and sour crops, a thorn in a foot, and problem passing an egg. Talk about a learning curve. I've lost more patients than I've saved. If you keep chickens for long enough, you will probably get to see many of the different ways chickens can sicken and die. It's a real adventure, to say the least.

    But as well as I know my own flock individuals, I do not have the same knowledge of yours. I don't know them well enough to give a diagnosis. I do not recommend lightly the use of antibiotics, but from the description, this condition had a sudden onset. It's been my experience that quick use of an antibiotic can both save the chicken's life and help rule out some viral diseases. But not always. Some viral diseases cause low resistance to bacterial infections which the antibiotic cures but the chicken still carries the virus.

    Too many of us live in rural areas where the only vets are large animal vets and they know zero about chickens. Ironically, the avian vets seem to be in the cities. So we need to become our own vet.

    BYC is like a multi-volume medical library. People coming here are getting the knowledge and experience of thousands of different chicken keepers, very few of us with all the answers, but plenty of information for a sharp person to be able to use to make their own decisions for their sick and injured chickens.
     
  8. Lone Peep

    Lone Peep New Egg

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    Thanks everyone for helping me, but seems like I worried too much.

    Today it was in the 30's, so when I got back from my school, I checked on the two. Sheldon is acting like himself and even tried to get out of the pen. He was still sneezing, so I am still gave him antibiotics. The hen must of been egg bound as she had a really thin shelled egg in her pen. She did get her crankiness back though lol.. I am going to leave her in there for one more day just incase. I don't understand how she got egg bound as she does get oyster shells, Prince layer feed crumbles, sun flower seeds, and scraps of food at times. What can cause a chicken to become egg bound as this is the first time this happened to me.

    Thanks again, and I will remember what you all said with the tips!
     
  9. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Yes, knowing your flock helps a lot! And by paying attention makes it easy to tell when something is off with any of your animals. I spend hours every day with my animals. Following your gut is often the best thing to do. I ALWAYS regret it when I don't.

    That's great that you have enough experience with your flock to recognize the difference in some issues so well! Experience (to me) is the mother of ALL teachers. [​IMG] I've never treated for viral or bacterial infections yet, so still lot's to learn on my part. Today I get to learn how to take care of a sprained knee on my goat. [​IMG]

    I do live in a very rural area, luckily with an avian vet. But that doesn't cover the cost still, so I have learned how to run fecal samples as well as many other things. [​IMG] Essentially we are our own vet. And BYC is a great place for learning with so many helpful and kind people willing to share their many different ways of doing things. [​IMG]
    30's is not too low for chickens and your extra heat might even be hindering them adjusting to the outside weather as well as increasing you chance for Cocci. The weather has been very crazy for us as well this year. I live in the PNW where we get 65+ inches of rain per year, and on the coast where windy is often the norm.

    Does your flock not go out when weather acts up by choice or because you don't open the door? Let them out... my flock is out all the time even in drizzle, by choice. If it get's too much they head back to shelter, no big deal. They LOVE getting the worms and other bugs that come to the surface during that time! People even let their birds roam in the snow. Some birds don't mind and others do. But they are wearing down jackets. And when they lay on their feet are essentially covered in a mummy bag type sleeping thing. The problem with frost bite comes if you don't have enough ventilation in your coop and the moisture in there freezes on their combs causing frost bite. Even those in minus 20 degrees don't heat their coop. And the heat itself could be fire hazard. As well as if it is in the form of a light is very likely disrupting their sleep pattern and can cause their laying to burn out sooner as well as possible shorter life expectancy.

    I'm not sure that your hen was egg bound. What makes you sure? I'm still learning here, so it isn't a sarcastic question. [​IMG]

    Glad they seem to be doing better!
     
  10. Lone Peep

    Lone Peep New Egg

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    That is true, 30 degrees is really nice for chickens. Bad part with seramas though is that they can't survive in that type of weather. I lost a few when I originally started with seramas as I didn't know even the 40's would make them drop (This was before I got a new coop). I thought they could handle the weather like my standard cochins at the time, but I learned my lesson pretty quickly. My egg layers like to come out when I open the door to get the horse's feed, so I don't mind them going out but the seramas and modern games scatter when the blast hits them! Lol. I don't think I ever had Cocci ever happen before.. But I don't how to look for it, so I might of encountered it or not..

    When it is snowing, I leave the door closed, or if we have strong winds during really cold weather. During warmer weather, I let them out/chase them out of the coop. When it is lightly raining in warmer weather with no wind, they stay outside and get into the mud and harass the horses. If it is windy/cold/heavily raining, they tend to stay inside or go to the side of the coop that protects them from the weather. My seramas love 70+ degree weather and would go almost anywhere in the yard except past our driveway. They hate to go past the driveway because a hawk got a few of them when I was busy inside my house. Once it starts getting colder, 60-70's, that is where some stay outside and some stay inside. The smaller ones tend to stay inside while the larger ones went outside for a hour or two then came back inside. Below 60 is where they stay inside, even if I have the door open. About two weeks ago it was 57 degree weather and I chased everyone outside and I turn my back a second to pick up some branches just to find almost all of my seramas scurrying inside and wanting nothing to do with the wet ground.

    Well, I am not 100% sure, it has been the first time I encountered it to be honest, but I kind of just put two pieces together. For my hen to be sick one night then turn around and lay a mushy egg while perfectly fine. Plus, I never saw a chicken act that way before in my life. I saw gapping worm, small illnesses (kind of like the common flu sickness), and eye infections but never one with loss of balance while not eating or drinking. Today she was off beating up the cockerals in the coop and was taking a dust bath right after I let her out (I watched her for an hour to be sure she was okay). So I have a feeling it could be just her being egg bound. I could be wrong, so I can not help much sorry! And I did not find your question sarcastic at all :)
     

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