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Hi everyone I just started with chickens a few month back and now I ran into a problem with a SICK C

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Huehnerei, Oct 29, 2012.

  1. Huehnerei

    Huehnerei Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 28, 2012
    I have a sick chicken! Her name is Duck and she is a Rhode Island Red. She has been kind of skinny from the start when I got her at 8 weeks. She looked and sounded kind of like a cross between a chicken and a duck - thats how she got her name.

    She is now 24 weeks old and not laying yet (the other two are). A couple of days ago I noticed that Duck is grooming a lot. (She kind of reminded me of a dog having fleas) so I picked her up and checked her. I could not find anything suspicious but I noticed that she is way to skinny. So I tried to coax some extra food in her. All three of them are very picky eaters.(They were on Scratch and Peck layer feed). After checking them for parasites I have to say that they all could use more weight. I watched them eating for the rest of the day and I noticed that the where only pecking out what they liked and kicking the rest of the food out. So I think they did not get all the nutrition they needed. I then went and got them layer pellets - so the had to eat the whole thing - and now they are turning their noses up on that. They eat a few kernels and than go off to scratch in their run.

    But back to Duck. Yesterday, I noticed that she was kind of wobbly on her feet - almost as if she was loosing her balance. So I separated her from the other two and took her into the house. She ate a few pellets out of my hand but she seemed very week.
    I was afraid that she might die over night but she was awake this morning and she ate few more kernels but only the ones laying on the floor of the crate - she ignored her dish. After reading every possible site on the web yesterday I was worried that maybe I shouldn't have given her layer feed, since she is not laying yet. So this morning I went and got some more grower feed for her and some electrolytes and a wormer (Wazine). (After reading some of the threads and comparing the symptoms - I thought that maybe it could be worms - even so the droppings are normal). She really liked the electrolyte water and she also was eating more of the grower food (about 1/4 of her bowl without coaxing). She is still wobbly on her feet but seems to be more alert.

    So here are my questions:

    --- Could she (and maybe the others) have worms? Since they are not eating very well?
    ----Should I worm them - I thought I would do that tomorrow - but the bottl reads not to give it to weak birds - so maybe if Duck continues to eat better - I should wait a few days until she is stronger ?
    -----Should I worm the others too? (They do love to dig in the dirt and as far as I know have never been wormed)
    -----How can I get them to eat their layer pellets (Half Moon Feeds)
    -----And how come Duck is itching/scratching so much and there is nothing there (Checked even with a magnifying light)?


    If anybody has any suggestions or ideas - please let me know.

    Thanks a bunch
     
  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

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    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas and [​IMG]! Great to have you here but sorry to hear about Duck. Your post said you read a lot of threads but did you happen to post your concerns over in the Emergencies, Diseases, Injuries & Cures thread? I think more people with health expertise might be lurking around that thread and thus could give you more precise advice. It sounds like you are trying everything I would have thought of. I would certainly worm the other birds - nothing to lose. Not sure on Duck since she is weak. Wish I could offer you some great advice - sorry I can't. Best of luck to you and Duck!
     
  3. The Howards

    The Howards Chillin' With My Peeps

    [​IMG]and welcome from NC
     
  4. Huehnerei

    Huehnerei Out Of The Brooder

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    thanks - I realized that there was a section to post for emergencies after I posted this one. So I posted on there too.
    But thanks for letting me know.
     
  5. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I'd dust all the birds with Poultry Dust also, repeat in 7 days.

    Spray the coop with something too, and clean out bedding, repeat in 7 days. You can buy permethrin spray, poultry protector, (I use bleach sometimes but do be careful with it as ammonia and bleach together are lethal).

    I can never find bugs on the chickens when they have them...I find them on me, biting me after holding them. So I dust every 4 months.

    Weight loss, weakness, excessive preening can be mites/lice.

    It is good to worm them too but you can also take a stool sample to some vets and they can do a fecal float test for worms/coccidiosis for a small fee. False negatives are possible.

    In my experience when the chickens won't eat they have worms. BUT yes worming meds can kill weak chickens. And actually when they first get worms they can eat more. But when they feel really ill they slow way down from my experience.

    There are a lot of conditions that mimic the signs of worms/mites/lice. So it is hard to say what the problem is unless you get a stool sample tested (or if one dies, a necropsy).

    I worm my chickens every 6 months now, just to keep it away, LOL.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  6. Huehnerei

    Huehnerei Out Of The Brooder

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    thanks - so when do you think I should worm Duck? How long should I wait?

    And the weird thing is that the other two are not itching/scratching - why is that - do parasites prefer one bird over another?

    and what about the run - I have wood chips covering dirt ground - do I have to remove these?
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Well I have read on BYC that sometimes there is only one chicken with lice in the flock (that they can see the bugs on) so the bugs mostly are going to that one chicken. But then everyone says to treat all of them anyways.

    As far as worming your "Duck" girl, that is a judgement call that I don't want to make since it could kill her if she is so weak. It would be handy to check her poo for worms. The fact that her poo seems normal would make me want to give it a few days and treat for bugs first. Scrambled eggs are good emergency food for chickens to build them up some.

    With worms I have always noticed a change in the poo.

    Also please note that there are no wormers approved for egg layers. Only Wazine is approved for chickens and not egg layers. There are other wormers people use off-label too (checking with a vet is always a good idea). So tossing eggs for at least a couple of weeks is something that folks do.

    When in doubt you can search BYC or ask a vet - but if you use Wazine on your egg layers it is off-label.

    Honestly all the symptoms you are seeing could just be from mites (weight loss, weakness, lethargy).

    I would leave the wood chips in the run. But I'd clean out the bedding in the coop.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  8. Huehnerei

    Huehnerei Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok, that sounds like a plan than. I think I start with dusting first.
    The way she acts is really like a dog would with fleas. Just trying to bit them off. I just watched some info on you tube and they are saying that the mites only go on the birds at night - to feed - but they won't live/stay on the bird. Since Duck is not with the other chickens right now, but in a dog-crate in the house and still itching - I guess it might be lice?
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  9. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    There are two kinds of mites in chickens that are the most common (and there are others too), and then there are lice.

    The two main kinds of mites are the Northern Fowl Mite and the Red (Chicken) mite. The red mite lives in cracks and crevices of the coop and comes out at night to feed. You only see them if you go out at night and peer under the roosts etc.

    The NFM lives on the bird but is also found in bedding as it moves around.

    Lice do live on the bird and not so much in the bedding from what I have read (haven't dealt with lice, only mites).

    Here is a link:
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ig140

    If you google it be cautious as sevin dust, although effective, isn't labeled for chickens anymore (since 2009) but is still mentioned on many websites. It is against EPA law to use a pesticide inconsistent with its labeling. The Poultry Dust that I have seen at the feed store is permethrin.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  10. Huehnerei

    Huehnerei Out Of The Brooder

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    Ok, I did some more research and decided to go with food grade diatomaceous earth instead of the insecticide. ( I remember before we had frontline, boric acid powder did wonders for fleas - and it is also natural - it's a salt, so I am hoping DE will do the same. I dusted all the chicken, cleaned out the coop and the nest boxes and dusted everything in there too. The two other girls were not so happy when I started messing with them and their house. I tried to get it it all the nooks and corners. Hopefully this will help and get rid of whatever it is.

    here is a link http://www.richsoil.com/diatomaceous-earth.jsp
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012

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