Illness after moving flock

HuskerHens18

Crowing
Mar 11, 2018
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Chickenlandia
This year has not been a nice year for my chickens or property. From decaying wood to predation, I do not have a safe winter home for my birds. I found a farrowing house for hogs on a property a mile from me that was left unused for a decade. I power washed it out and got it all ready for chickens and moved them over. They really like it. There's lots of room, and the temp in there is really nice. It has stayed above freezing so far,(its been 7°F outside!) But I do have water de-icers just in case. It is an insulated building, but there are two fans right above chicken level that go straight outside. There is a grate over it, nothing can get through. I have flocks separated with white dividers. They can't see or touch each other. The floor is a "deck". Its got holes for the poop to fall through.

The chickens have been in there for 3 weeks with no trouble. Today I went inside and noticed several chickens don't look like they're thriving. It's hard to explain, but its definitely noticeable.

Their weight is great, they feel awesome.
No mites.
Poop looks normal.
No coughing or sneezing.
No runny noses.
They're eating and drinking.

A few's tails are drooped.
A couple are carrying themselves lower than usual if that makes sense.
A couple are laying down a lot.
One was breathing a bit deeper than the rest, but there is no rasp or gasping of any kind.
Nobody has laid any eggs whatsoever, not the pullets or elderly.
Ages range from 1 year to 8 years.
Its affected both hens and roosters.

If I stop and watch them for awhile, one will be walking normal and all of a sudden stop and droop like they hurt, and then immediately go back to normal chicken stuff.

What frustrates me is when I go to catch the sick looking ones they suddenly have all the energy in the world, perk up, and run and fly and squawk like regular healthy chickens. Tails pop up, they carry themselves right. They'll stay normal until I walk away.
I was thinking that the stress from moving environments so suddenly triggered an illness? I put nutri drench in the waters. My next thought was maybe they need an antibiotic? That's what Tylan50 is right? I'd have to go buy some, mine is old.

Hopefully I didn't miss any information. I did not worm anybody this year, but I'm not seeing the usual signs like I have in the past.
 

ChickenCanoe

Crossing the Road
9 Years
Nov 23, 2010
29,361
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St. Louis, MO
So what is the ventilation like? How many birds and how much square footage of floor space?
So you are considering administering an antibiotic without knowing what is ailing your birds?

Here is your state diagnostic lab.
University of Nebraska Veterinary Diagnostic Center 4040 East Campus Loop North Lincoln, Nebraska 68583-0907 Phone: 402-472-1434
 

25chickens

Songster
Nov 19, 2019
336
1,106
176
NW New Jersey
Quite the stressful year for you :hugs. Maybe the chickens are just stressed because it is a new environment? Sometimes chickens don't lay until they feel safe and get used to a place. How is that frizzle hen doing, the one that recovered? How's her eye doing?
 

HuskerHens18

Crowing
Mar 11, 2018
2,155
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Chickenlandia
So what is the ventilation like? How many birds and how much square footage of floor space?
So you are considering administering an antibiotic without knowing what is ailing your birds?

Here is your state diagnostic lab.
University of Nebraska Veterinary Diagnostic Center 4040 East Campus Loop North Lincoln, Nebraska 68583-0907 Phone: 402-472-1434
It's the two fans. They're holes in the wall about a foot across each. I don't run them though. I'm not even sure they work.
There's 19 on each side, both pens run roughly 6x60. Its definitely not perfect, but it is literally the only option I have.

There's really not much else I can do. I'd rather medicate them pointlessly than do nothing and watch them die, but that's why I'm posting it here first to see if someone else has experienced something similar. I'm hoping for suggestions on what I can give them.

Quite the stressful year for you :hugs. Maybe the chickens are just stressed because it is a new environment? Sometimes chickens don't lay until they feel safe and get used to a place. How is that frizzle hen doing, the one that recovered? How's her eye doing?
:hugs That is what I was thinking, I just don't want to ignore it for too long and let it turn into something bad. The frizzle hen is great! I forgot to update her thread today. I caught her eating and drinking all by herself today without assistance. Her one eye still wont stay open, but she will peek out of it for a half second before closing it again. Things are looking up for her! :)
 

Wyorp Rock

Enabler
Sep 20, 2015
27,137
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Southern N.C. Mountains
The chickens have been in there for 3 weeks with no trouble. Today I went inside and noticed several chickens don't look like they're thriving. It's hard to explain, but its definitely noticeable.
The floor is a "deck". Its got holes for the poop to fall through.
It has stayed above freezing so far,(its been 7°F outside!) But I do have water de-icers just in case. It is an insulated building, but there are two fans right above chicken level that go straight outside. There is a grate over it, nothing can get through. I have flocks separated with white dividers.
A few's tails are drooped.
A couple are carrying themselves lower than usual if that makes sense.
A couple are laying down a lot.
One was breathing a bit deeper than the rest, but there is no rasp or gasping of any kind.
Nobody has laid any eggs whatsoever, not the pullets or elderly.
Ages range from 1 year to 8 years.
Its affected both hens and roosters.
If I stop and watch them for awhile, one will be walking normal and all of a sudden stop and droop like they hurt, and then immediately go back to normal chicken stuff.
I first noticed the rooster shaking his head constantly. Now the other ones in that hen house are doing it. The smaller ones were in a brooder box in our house for 4 and 6 weeks. My daughter brought her favorite Cemani out to the chicken area (1 acre) twice. Now all the younger ones are doing it :/
I’ve read for a bit and found out it’s mites? Sprayed everyone and everything with permethrin and DE in the sand flooring and dust bin. It’s been three days and two treatments later, they’re still shaking their heads.
It's the two fans. They're holes in the wall about a foot across each. I don't run them though. I'm not even sure they work.
Can you post some photos of the housing, poop and chickens?

If possible, get a fecal float to check for Coccidiosis and worms.

How much light do they have?
The ventilation question is a good one and should be re-visited. Ventilation is very important (photos would be nice)

What are you feeding?
 

BigBlueHen53

Fragile, Beautiful, Strong
Premium member
Mar 5, 2019
3,594
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SE Missouri, USA
Are the two fans directly opposite each other, or are they on the same wall? So I'm wondering if air flows through them, in one and out the other? If not, you don't really have good ventilation. The air needs to flow THROUGH the building for proper ventilation. Does it do that? Thanks.
 

DobieLover

Easily distracted by chickens
Premium member
Jul 23, 2018
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97,487
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Apalachin, NY
My Coop
My Coop
I agree that there may be an insufficient amount of ventilation. You wrote that it has remained above freezing in the building but the outdoor temp has gone down to 7F. This, to me, indicates a lack of ventilation. The ventilation is far more important than warmth.
You did not mention what litter you are using for them and how you are removing waste. Are they being overcome with stale, ammonia laden air?
Please post some pictures of their current enclosure, the ventilation and some of the "off" birds.
 

HuskerHens18

Crowing
Mar 11, 2018
2,155
4,928
377
Chickenlandia
Thanks for all the replies! Itll take me a bit to respond.

Pictures will have to be later, I don't have any right now. I haven't gone over yet today, I woke up feeling very sick.

Okay the fans are on the same wall, the east one if that matters. I can try to run them if you think it will help? Or would that stir up stuff and worsen the situation? I'm unsure they work, I have a lot of power being used already. Unfortunately there isn't much I can do, like I said this building is the only one I can use and it's not even mine. The owner was kind enough to let me use it for free over winter. There were several very bad storms last year, one coop's wall was torn off in a bad wind storm, it had to be demolished. The other one got flooded in spring floods and is full of debris and the floor is ruined. The last one is the worst winter coop, literally ever. The roof is full of holes I can't reach, its tin so it deducts a good 10° from the outer temp. The door fell off and when I put on my run's roof, it settled in the mud and sunk below the doorframe so i cant get a new one on until spring :hit this year has just been a disaster. I nearly just gave away my chickens because I felt I was awful at providing good housing. Clearly I'm not wrong. I'm at a loss on what to do... I feel terrible.

There are lights on 24/7, they're pretty dim, but you can still see.

There is no litter, it's the deck. Poop falls into poop pans and I can scoop it out with a long handled hoe. A power washer is easiest, but not realistic when it's this cold. There is no smell, I have bad asthma and have troubles breathing easily in coops. I haven't had any issues breathing in this building and I spend 2-3 hours in there daily.

They are all fed flock raiser, I have 2 ducks so its easier to just give them all the same food. Its available at all times, I never let the feeders run empty.
 

HuskerHens18

Crowing
Mar 11, 2018
2,155
4,928
377
Chickenlandia
20200105_140108.jpg
I did take a photo yesterday, but this is the only one. I was far away and had to zoom in. This is my 8 year old Ancona. She is usually a slim bodied, long legged ball of energy. Now she's low to the ground and droopy. You can also kind of see the deck flooring. The green part is coated so their feet don't freeze. It covers most of the pen but there are a few sections that are just metal.
 
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