I need support!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by babybird2003, Feb 18, 2016.

  1. babybird2003

    babybird2003 Out Of The Brooder

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    I am new to chickens. In April it will be a year of having them. I'm really discouraged. Last night I lost one of my favorite hens and about 6 weeks ago I lost another one of my hens. They both seemed to have different symptoms. The latest one to die seems like marek's or could be leukosis virus. I get really attached to my birds and in just devastated when one passes on. Chickens are supposed to be easy and relaxing but latkey all I do is stress about who will die next. I have some baby chicks and now I'm regretting getting them in the sadness that when they grow up I will just be sending them off to their death. My chickens get taken care of like goddess. I absolutely love them but now I'm thinking maybe I should keep doing it anymore. I'm really depressed and would love some feedback from people.
    Thanks.
     
  2. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Okay, this is more problem-solving than encouraging? You can submit the hen that died last night to the veterinary diagnostic lab for necropsy and know definitively the cause of death and whether or not you need to worry about the rest of your flock. If interested, the website for the one in Colorado is here: http://csu-cvmbs.colostate.edu/vdl/pathology/Pages/submitting-for-necropsy.aspx
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    I've been in your shoes with dying hens. The last one was a young cockerel who was my only chick ever to be hatched on premises, and when I sent took his body to the state lab, referenced above by Jen, I was informed he had lymphotic leucosis. His mother had died only months previously, but had managed to infect his egg and he was born with the disease. His liver weighed two pounds at the necropsy.

    I was depressed beyond words, as there's no cure, no treatment. It's highly contagious, and the cockerel had managed to thoroughly mate every hen in the flock before he died, so everyone was thoroughly exposed.

    Then dawg, our BYC member with a lot of vet experience came by my thread and said some comforting words, "LL is in practically every flock in the nation. However, apart from losing an occasional bird, most chickens develop resistance to the disease. "

    It's been two years, and I haven't lost any more chickens. I did start feeding the flock fermented feed about the same time I learned it was infected with LL, and they are all the picture of health today, even my oldest girls who are seven and eight years old!

    So, get the necropsy and learn what is killing the hens, then try to adjust to whatever you learn. Knowing is to be armed with knowledge and that can help you deal with whatever is going on.
     
  4. ChickenChaser9

    ChickenChaser9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hello Babybird2003,
    Please have your poultry Vaccinated for Marek's disease. It is EVERYWHERE. It is AIRBORNE. Marek's disease kills. There are a thousand articles about it online and it will decimate a flock. I know none of that is particularly comforting when you've lost someone you loved. We could all be better stewards but don't despair. Death is a part of the life cycle. It is often ugly and our grief is very real. That being said, you are doing yourself and the birds a real favor by caring for these creatures whom would otherwise have had an existence that was much worse than the one you provided for them or even no existence at all. It is better to have had a chance at life and had it cut short than to have never lived at all. My heart bleeds for your lost birds. Their death should at least be a life lesson for you to find out what you could do better next time.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. babybird2003

    babybird2003 Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for the comforting words. I took my hen to the vet and she said when she opened the hen up she was so full of tumors she had a hard time telling what organs were what. She doesn't think it's merak's or leukosis. She did take some samples and is sending them off to a lab for more testing. The vet says it will take about a week to get the results back. I will post when I know more.

    I believe in giving animals the best life they can. I chose them they didn't choose me.
    Thank you for the kind words.
     
  6. babybird2003

    babybird2003 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh yeah, forgot to mention. I only buy baby chicks that have been vaccinated for marek's. The vet just thinks she had cancer. The hen that died 6 weeks ago had peritonitis. The vet said she was born with that and it was cancer in her follicle that holds the egg yoke so when she opened her up there was just egg yoke everywhere.
     
  7. Jensownzoo

    Jensownzoo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Crud. Both Marek's and Avian Leukosis are tumor-causing viruses. I will be keeping you and your flock in my thoughts this week, hoping for good (non-contagious) results.
     
  8. babybird2003

    babybird2003 Out Of The Brooder

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    Well the vet came back and said it lymphatic cancer. So it could mean leukosis or merak's or just plain ole non transferable cancer. Not the answer I was hoping for.
     
  9. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    As a long term flock owner, I have gone through spells where one will loose a couple of birds in a relatively short time period, and then go a pretty long term without any losses.

    I love having a flock, but the birds in the flock, come and go. Chickens are not real long lived animals as a rule, any bird older than 3 years is an old bird. I know people post on here of very old birds, but that is rather an exception.

    This might not be the hobby for you.

    MrsK
     
  10. sabrina11

    sabrina11 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am sorry for your loss. Any person who loves their chickens will do exactly what you did! Whenever my chickens die I don't want anymore chickens but I always end up with more. I have had chickens for 8 years now and they normally all live to at least 7 years old do I'm really sad and disappointed when one passes away.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2016

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