Hens getting sick, losing appetites and dying - wormer ineffective - management of worm damage

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Svalur, Oct 25, 2016.

  1. Svalur

    Svalur Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 5, 2014
    Hi everyone,
    I lost two hens to the same symptoms, then two more got sick. They would look listless then gradually deteriorate until they were not eating. I was regularly worming using the usual poultry brands which you add to water. I made a mash with the correct amount of wormer mixed in, because they ate this immediately and finished it, whereas they refused to drink the water with added wormer. Because I was worming regularly, I did not think worms could be a possible cause of the illness. Two more of my hens, Beryl and Dotty, had become very sick and were close to dying. On advice of the lady I buy my chickens from, I gave them Avitrol Plus worming pills, and within an hour or two they had perked up. They made a complete recovery. I would urge anybody with sick hens to give these pills a go. I am using them intead of my old wormer now, as it was obviously completely ineffective. I believe it could be because it is difficult to administer the correct amount to each hen when added to food or water. In tablet form, you know that each hen is getting the correct amount.
    I do have a question. I believe that Beryl and Dotty have worm damage. Although they initially recovered, they both go through bouts of getting sick - different from the original illness. During these episodes, they still have an appetite but become very weak, and tucked up with tails down. It looks as if their tummies hurt. The tummies feel bloated when I pick them up. Obviously they had very big worm loads before. Could the damage from the worms be causing digestive problems? If this is the case, how can I manage the problem?
    Thanks everyone!
  2. goalaimethic

    goalaimethic Just Hatched

    Aug 19, 2016
    Suddenly becoming sick after getting better could be a sign of many things.
    It could be that they're eating poisonous plants that have recently grown within their reach and it's affecting their digestion. Even though the first bout of sickness might be different than the following, they might be eating lesser amounts, getting sick, and then eating more later which is repeating their odd health pattern.
    Their feed might be tainted with something, possibly in how it's stored, but problems could show up in batch of grains or crumble during manufacturing and processing in the factory, or even contamination while en route to the store. Food recalls due to sickness caused by food one illness or chemical contamination aren't isolated to only human foods. The long term after effects of food poisoning could be causing this.
    They may have some kind of internal mess up because of the worms, but a bacterial issue can't be totally ruled out. Their water could be invisibly swarming with microbes. It might not even be worms, it could be another form of parasite. Possibly ticks, or another kind of insect that is causing health problems that disappear and reappear. The increase and/or decrease in parasites on them can cause different reactions.
    Or it could even be a viral issue that they're fighting. Diseases can spread relatively easily in flock animals. It's very possible migrating birds have made a quick stop in the area and left some contagions that chickens are susceptible to. Diseases go through processes. Stages, where they show some signs and symptoms that change over time.
    Other causes could be yeast fermenting their food within them causing them to not only get drunk, but also have gas buildup. Chickens can't burp. This could be happening at varying levels causing their health to wax and wane.
    The hens may even be exhibiting clear signs of medication overdose. This is their body's reponse to the metabolic breakdown of the drug. They could even be allergic to the new medication and this is their allergic reaction.
    The best thing to increase their chance of returning to normal health would be to bring them to a nearby vet to figure out the exact cause and provide the proper treatment. It could actually be effects from worms, but there's an entire world of possibilities for something as odd as this.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2016
  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Chicken Obsessed

    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    I'm glad that your girls are doing well. But you may want to investigate any underlying illness. While worms can cause problems like you describe, bacterial infections, cocci or some other illness like internal laying/reproductive disorders may be involved as well.

    Read up on the active ingredient(s) of Avitrol Plus worming pills and you may come up with a reason why they responded positively for you.

    Having a fecal sample tested by a vet for confirmation of worms is always a good idea.

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