Help with diagnosing chicken’s illness


May 25, 2020
A month ago a purchased my first four hens at four months old. They are some sort of mix, brown in color. Three of them have developed well and are laying fairly regularly, one actually laid the day I brought them home. However, I believe one of the hens was sick from the beginning and died yesterday. The sick hen had a pale pink wattle and comb that never developed fully. About a week after buying the hens I noticed one of them, probably the pale combed one, pooped basically undigested feed, which progressed to diarrhea. One week ago she started to look lethargic so I quarantined her. I tried yogurt, garlic, apple cider vinegar in the water, but I fear it was too late. I read somewhere that the pale comb could be anemia caused by mites or fleas, so I tried to inspect her two days ago. At this point she was pooping clear fluid and when I handled her the same seemed to come out of her mouth. I also noticed labored breathing, or gurgling when she was resting. I’m wondering if anyone knows what this was, and whether I can expect my other three hens to catch this illness. They seem to be ok, despite sharing the same coop and run for three weeks. Also, should there be any concern of chicken-human illness transmission?
Many thanks.
Most chicken illnesses are not transmitted to humans, except for salmonella and others from handling droppings without washing your hands. Sorry for your loss. When you lose a chicken, the best way to know what was wrong is to get a necropsy vpby your state vet. She may have had enteritis, but hard to know for sure. It might be good to give your other 3 a week of coccidiosis treatment with Corid. Dosage is 2 tsp of the liquid, or 1.5 tsp of the powder per gallon of water for 5-7 days. Or you could watch them for any lethargy, diarrhea, standing around puffed up, or not eating. Coccidiosis can be a problem with new birds coming onto new soil. Enteritis is an intestinal infection, and frequently, there may be underlying coccidiosis. Hopefully your remaining birds will be fine.
Many thanks for your reply. I too considered coccidosis, but I didn’t see any blood in the droppings. I odered Corid, as this seems quite common and will be good to have anyway. I also, thought it may have been enteritis, but from what I read the symptoms didn’t quite fit either. I firmly believe it’s not anything I did, as inspection of the photos from their first day with me shows that hen clearly was “off” with respect to comb/wattle color and development, compared to the other three that are the same age. I’ll be monitoring the remaining three closely. Thanks again.

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