I need help! Dying flock

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by GHens10, Jan 13, 2014.

  1. GHens10

    GHens10 New Egg

    Jan 13, 2014
    Hi everyone, I really need some help. I've done all the research in the world and I can't figure out what's wrong with my hens.

    Almost a year and a half ago our first hen out of seven died. She was 2 or 3 years old. The first thing I noticed was that she was a little more slow-going and she'd often just stand in one place when her flock was roaming and eating. Then she seemed to be egg bound and spent a lot of time in her laying box. Eventually she couldn't hold her head up and I brought her inside in a shoebox, hand-feeding her food and water. That evening she seemed to have passed some egg out of her and we thought she was getting better. I kept her in my room that night and when I checked on her in the night, there was a clear substance coming out of her nose and mouth. At around five o'clock in the morning she seemed to have a seizure and died. The span of when I first noticed something was wrong to her death was a few weeks.
    Our second death was that spring, the same thing happened to our barred rock and she died while I was at summer camp. The third was a much-loved hen who experienced the same lethargy, weakness, and death. The fourth, Phoebe, was a few minutes ago. She started showing symptoms a few weeks ago, when she seemed tired and not her lively, talkative self.
    Note: The chickens had all stopped laying eggs before Phoebe got sick, so I gave them freshly bought oyster shells and we started getting an egg every day or so. Before Phoebe got sick all egg laying stopped.
    Then I went out and I held some food for her, she went to peck in and vomited (what looked like water) on my glove. (Then continued eating.) I noticed she hadn't been extending her neck like all the other chickens do when I come out to see them. She died in the corner of the coop with her head tucked under her wing.

    There are three hens left in our flock: a beautiful, shy Wyandotte, a sweet, fat Buff Orpington, and a skinny old beloved Rhode Island Red mix. I would really be sad if I lost anymore, though I'm afraid that's what will happen. I'm afraid our Buff has started to look sick and I am going to really sad if I loose her.

    I really need help because I want to keep what's left of my girls and if I don't do anything they will die off. They are not old. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Welcome to BYC. There are so many reasons a chicken can die, that you must narrow it down by ruling out certain things. Coccidiosis, worms, mites, crop problems, egg binding, egg yolk peritonitis or internal laying, and Mareks disease can all be problems in a flock. You can have a chicken necropsy done by the state vet or dept. of agriculture to look for a cause of death. Vets can usually test a poo sample of a sick chicken to tell you if there is coccidiosis, worms, or some bad bacteria. The easiest way to try to help is to wait till your chickens go into roost in the evening, and once a week go pick one up and examine it all over--the crop, how the vent looks, look all over and around the vent for lice or mites at the base of the feathers, or any droppings stuck to the feathers. . Start worming them at least twice a year with fenbendazole (Safeguard) or Valbazen. Feed them a good 16% layer feed, and limit any snacks to 10% of their intake. Sorry for your losses.
  3. matheny00

    matheny00 New Egg

    Jan 13, 2014
    I do not raise chickens yet but am looking forward to it I am sorry to hear your situation is there any chance this is poison related possible snail bait or incecticid that you or a neighbor uses and the chickens come in contact with it?
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    I agree with Egg. Go around at night and feel their keel (breastbone) and see if they are wasting. My guess would be Marek's if they are wasting away .
  5. GHens10

    GHens10 New Egg

    Jan 13, 2014
    Thanks so much for the adviceā€“I'll look into these things and see if they fit. I appreciate it.

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