How can I save my hens?


In the Brooder
Jun 1, 2021
Hi there. I have been keeping chickens for over a decade and have been having a huge string of bad luck recently. Most of my girls I get as day olds and raise. When they are old ebough, they go out with the main flock. I currently have 11 hens and 4 chicks who are 11 weeks old (seems likely to soon be 3). They live in aarge outdoor fenced space where they are safe from predators and the chicks live indoors, soon to move into a small seperate pen outdoors. All of them are vaccinated against Marracks.

I brought point of lay hens about 8 months ago and one had respitory problems after a week, whilst still in isolation. We got some antibiotics and she got better. Another week past and unfortunetly her symptoms returned and she didn't make it. The other two remined in good health and eventually their quarantine ended and they joined the main flock. One of the other girla unfortunetly had her butt pecked wuite badly- we suspect she had a prolapse that started it (another thing thats been happening more recently then ever before!). Initially on antibiotics and anti inflammatories she seemed better but then went off her food completely and last away. The 3rd chicken remains in hood health!
We had another hen from our exsisting flock more recently get sick, becoming rounded and slow with no interest in food. I took her to the vet and they said she that physically they could find nothing wrong (they had no clue why she was unwell) and so they gave me anti-biotics in the hope it would help. Unfortunetly, she also did not recover.
My chicks (who are indoors and we are very careful with biosecurity) sneezed a lot when only 4-5 weeks old and had rattling breathing, so i took them all the vets. They never went off their food and water and were fine in themselves. They examined them and weren't sure so we got yet another course of antibiotics. Their breathing improved but they didn't really stop sneezing. This thought did eventually lessen on its own. They are now 11 weeks and one of the bantam chicks is now very unwell. She closes her eyes a lot (one especially seems a little swollen) and spends most of the time sleeping. It came on gradually, so gradually we didn't think much of it at first as she was always very quiet. We took her to the vet and they couldn't identify anything physically wrong beyond the swollen eyes and lethagy. She was concerned that it might be mycoplasma but suggested antibiotics and worming just to be sure. They felt there was no ppint in seperating them, as they would likely all have it regardless even that they have always been together. She isn't making any improvements and we feel she is unlikely to make it. The others all seem fine at this point.
We also noticed this afternoon that one of our girls seemed off and not interestes in her food. I went to count them and put them to bed this evening and a completely different chicken was on her back dead! This chicken had been to the vet a month or so ago for respitory problems but after antibiotics made a full recovery and had been completely fine that afternoon.

I'm feeling a little cursed at the moment. I felt all these were seperate illnesses but now i'm concerned maybe some are the same. I have tried vitamins in the water and all their food is medicated against coccidiosis. We love our girls, as most we have raised from chicks. If there is anything else we can try to improve their health I'm willing to try it! Especially for the little ones.
Sorry for your run of luck. If I was in your shoes I'd contact the state veterinarian and necropsy the dead hen.

Do not use vitamins while treating for coccidiosis, it will make the treatment less effective. Medicated feed will give a more "preventive" dose. I'm not an expert, this doesn't sound like cocci to me. If you do suspect coccidiosis, Corid as the only additive to water and as the only water source is recommended and worked well for my chicks.

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