Hi, New here! I think my chickens are dying!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MamaE, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. MamaE

    MamaE New Egg

    Mar 21, 2012
    Hi, I am new here and in search of some help! Hopefully I will familiarize myself a little more at another time.

    Here's the gist of it. We were given 4 laying hens. I added two hens (a French Maran and a Delaware) successfully to the flock. This was last September. Last month, my husband wanted to add 4 more and we bought them and kept them in a separate coop for a couple of weeks when my husband decided he was too impatient to keep them quarantined for at least 30 days.

    He kept them in the coop at night but let them out to forrage with our existing flock.

    A week or two later (on Saturday), I had a French Maran drop dead. She basically looked like she was having trouble breathing and I thought she was sleeping! But when I looked at her closer, it was clear there was something wrong. Then she went into spasms and just died. Her comb was purple but I thought this had to do with her dying. This hen never laid a single egg as far as I know. I never saw any "chocolate" colored eggs. So I thought *maybe* there was a chance that may have had something to do with it. Maybe she had some sort of abnormality.

    Today my daughter (5) noticed another hen "sleeping" and acting funny. I went out there and sure enough, her eyes are closed. She has these long crusty strings coming from her beak and when I looked closer, she looks like she may be foaming at her beak. I have a banty that has been very broody the past week or so and this sickly looking hen is perched up in the nest with the banty. When I looked at the banty, she looks OK at the beak but her comb is loosing color and almost purple as well as completely flopped over.

    I don't know what to do! This is our first chicken experience... I hope you can at least advise me on whether or not I can "save" them. If I should just quarantine the sick ones, etc. What kind of housing would they need in the mean time... yady yadda yadda. I am afraid my whole flock is going to die.

    I've contacted a local farmer who raises both broilers and chickens for eggs. I'm waiting to hear back from her in regards to a possible vet who can help.
    Last edited: Mar 21, 2012
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Welcome to BYC. You were right wanting to keep the new ones quarantined for 30 days.
    Start with the basics first; check them for lice/mites, worms in poop indicates a worm infestation, also the color of the poop could possibly indicate a problem...especially green/yellow poop. I dont think eggbound applies here. The "long crusty strings" and "foaming" you described have me concerned that it might be a respiratory disease. Respiratory diseases are contagious and will spread through your flock. For now, I'd quarantine the sick birds as far away from the others as best as you can. Change your clothing and wash your hands thoroughly after handling the sick birds. Some diseases can be transmitted in that manner. It might be best to have one of the dead birds sent for a necropsy. You can contact your county extension agent or state department of agriculture to find out how to go about doing this. It might not cost anything or there may be a fee.
  3. MamaE

    MamaE New Egg

    Mar 21, 2012
    thank you!

    OK, so I haven't had the chance to check my "new" flock's poop in their coop (I was outside trying to build a structure for my sick one) but where my sick hen was perched, there was some definite green poop!

    I think my local feed store is closed but I did add some ACV to the water figuring it couldn't hurt much. I'll have to get to the store tomorrow. I have separated her. I didn't put my banty (who was sitting with her) in with her because she doesn't appear to be as weak... I don't know. I just didn't want to risk her getting sick if she wasn't already. I am trying to clean the coop out before it gets dark. Is there anything in particular that I need to clean or spray it with?

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