Hens are dying. Why?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Here Chicky, Nov 15, 2014.

  1. Here Chicky

    Here Chicky New Egg

    4
    1
    9
    Nov 15, 2014
    I have 9 buff orphangtons, and 3 polish hens. Some of the buffs are up to five or six years old. Last spring a friend wanted to start a small flock so I purchased 5 orphangtons from the hatchery I have used for several years, had them vaccinated for Mereks and raised them till they were 6 weeks old or so and sent them home with them. About 2 weeks ago they decided backyard chickens were not for them and asked if I would take them back. They were very healthy looking. I didn't think anything about it and did. My hens set out on the pecking order but within a few days they were part of the flock. Unfortunately, 2 days ago I found 2 of my older hens very sick and both have died. They were extremely skinny, eyes were almost closed, legs were weak and couldn't hold themselves up, and they were all fluffed up. First, is it possible that the new girls brought in some kind of disease even though I raised them on my farm for almost 2 month? Second, should we quit eating the eggs until we know? Any help would be appreciated.
     
  2. Ol Grey Mare

    Ol Grey Mare One egg shy of a full carton. ..... Premium Member

    17,230
    5,716
    501
    Mar 9, 2014
    Oregon
    My Coop
    Sorry about your losses.
    Yes, it is entirely possible (and quite likely) that the new birds have brought something in with them. Having been raised at your place for a time has nothing to do with them carrying something back in with them once they had left your property and lived elsewhere. This is why quarantining any new birds is so important.
    There is no reason to stop eating the eggs at this point as the likely diseases involved are not something that would pass from the bird and infect you through the eggs.
    Was there any discharge from any part of the affected birds?
     
  3. Here Chicky

    Here Chicky New Egg

    4
    1
    9
    Nov 15, 2014
    No. They were molting but several of them are. That started before the other ones arrived. The rest seem to be very active where these two just simply sat down and couldn't get up.
     
  4. Here Chicky

    Here Chicky New Egg

    4
    1
    9
    Nov 15, 2014
    It's obviously too late to quarantine them now. Plus, I don't really have the facilities to do that. I am probably going to have to let this play out and see what happens. I hate to lose all my girls to stupidity!
     
  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    The new birds could easily have brought along a strain of cocci that was new to your birds and therefore they were/are not resistant to. That is about the only thing I know of that results in multiple kills that fast. True that they can also have brought along other diseases however you generally will see symptoms longer then only a couple of days, especially respiratory diseases.

    The same can be said for the new birds being exposed now at your place. Either watch them very carefully for more birds showing signs or just go ahead and put all of them on a course of Corid.

    If your older birds that died were very thin then you also need to consider parasites. Have they ever been dewormed? Parasites will weaken birds until they simply just die. If they were already weakened from a heavy worm load then they would be even more likely to easily succumb to a case of coccidiosis.
     
  6. Here Chicky

    Here Chicky New Egg

    4
    1
    9
    Nov 15, 2014
    I didn't think about parasites. Whether that is the cause or not it brings up a good point that I need to get that done! So far, none of the other hens are showing any kind of stress. I am praying that those two were just the grandmas of the flock and just simply were at the end of their life cycle. Maybe the sudden turn of weather and the really cold nights were more than they could take. The Lord set up nature to take care of itself. I need to put my trust in that. (But, be a good steward by taking care of the animals that have been put in my path). Thanks for everyone's advice.
     
    1 person likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by