Help with Diagnosis

Southern Ground

In the Brooder
6 Years
May 8, 2013
22
0
22
DFW, Texas
I just lost my third Hen to "Disease" and could use some help with Diagnosis, Treatment, and Prevention.

We lost the first around Thanksgiving, the second was 3 weeks ago, and the latest died last night.

All three hens, the first two were White Laced Red Cornish and the latest was an Easter-Egger were daily layers,all about 1 year +/- . They are fine one day, running around the yard or coop and are then found listless and lethargic the next day-unable to stand, and pass away overnight; There seems to be about a 36 hour window from first signs (To us) of illness to death. I do remove them from the coop and isolate them with food water and a heat lamp when I find them. The one that died last night was perkier when I checked on her around midnight, but this morning she was dead.

They show no outward signs of disease-No discharge from Eyes, Mouth, or Vent, No discoloration of comb.

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated!

SG
 

Eggcessive

Enabler
Premium member
8 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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It is hard to tell sometimes without knowing more details. Do they free range near places where they could find a decaying animal or fish carcass, or near composting vegetation? Have you wormed them, and with what? Did they have a Mareks vaccine? Any mites or lice on the skin? Coccidiosis can affect older chickens if they are exposed to a new strain from another chicken or if they are on new ground. I recenty had a hen die within a day and a half of noticing her ill--she apparently died of a gizzard impaction from eating sunflower seeds. If you have another loss, I would urge you to get a necropsy done by your state vet or Dept. of Agriculture on a refrigerated, not frozen body. You can also call them and ask questions about diseases in your area. Here is a link to finding that info: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_dis_spec/poultry/states/texas.pdf
 
Last edited:

Southern Ground

In the Brooder
6 Years
May 8, 2013
22
0
22
DFW, Texas
It is hard to tell sometimes without knowing more details. Do they free range near places where they could find a decaying animal or fish carcass, or near composting vegetation? Have you wormed them, and with what? Did they have a Mareks vaccine? Any mites or lice on the skin? Coccidiosis can affect older chickens if they are exposed to a new strain from another chicken or if they are on new ground. I recenty had a hen die within a day and a half of noticing her ill--she apparently died of a gizzard impaction from eating sunflower seeds. If you have another loss, I would urge you to get a necropsy done by your state vet or Dept. of Agriculture on a refrigerated, not frozen body. You can also call them and ask questions about diseases in your area. Here is a link to finding that info: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/animal_dis_spec/poultry/states/texas.pdf
Thanks for the Response. They do free range several times during the week and have access to the compost pile, but there would not be any meat/flesh in there. I have not wormed them, but don't notice any signs of an infestation. We do have mites that we attempt to keep at bay with Wood ash, however I wouldn't say that the chickens who have passed seem to show any signs of Mite issues. I bought them from tractor supply and am not aware of their Marek's status. I have refrigerated this bird and will contact the Ag extension to see if they will do a Necropsy. Thanks again for the response!

SG
 

Southern Ground

In the Brooder
6 Years
May 8, 2013
22
0
22
DFW, Texas
Every state has a different charge for necropsies, and some like California are free. Tractor Supply usually does not sell vaccinated birds due to the extra cost. Here is a thread with instructions on shipping a bird for necropsy: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/799747/how-to-send-a-bird-for-a-necropsy-pictures
Excellent information! I have sent a message to the Texas A&M extension office and will just keep the bird Refrigerated until I hear from them on Monday.

All the best!

SG
 

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