I'm stumped and lost and I am seriously thinking about culling my whole flock. Please help.

TBaltis1013

Chirping
Dec 6, 2019
38
147
69
San Antonio, TX
In February I had a flock of around 100 chickens. Mixed flock of bantams and standards, all different ages, except youngsters were kept in a large grow out pen. My white silkie bantam was due to hatch and only 3 eggs developed. I had her separated and in the house so she wouldn't get picked on, a little setup in the brooder. I purchased 5 chicks from a feed store to slip under her to raise along with the 3 that hatched. She took all 5 chicks, like the good mama she is. All 5 of those died, no explanation. I contacted the feed store, wondering if anyone else had any issues, as I've raised a good number of birds and never had fatalities like that. The other 3 that hatched were perfectly fine and still are. The feed store response was that they would ask around and if other customers had had issues they'd let me know. I assume no one else had issues, because I didn't hear from them again.
I slipped several tsc chicks under Blizzard after the 5 passed and I made sure the other 3 were doing well. After a week or so I moved them to their own freshly cleaned and sanitized grow out pen, near my runs so Blizzard and her young wouldn't be stressed out by trying to put her back with the flock right away, and as the babies grew they could all see each other and the flock could get acquainted with the young. Around that time we had a ton of rain and a pullet became ill, then 2-3 days later died. A week or so later another one. Honestly I've lost so many at this point I can't even remember the order. After the 2nd passed I treated the flock with corrid, thinking coccidia for sure. After the 3rd passed I called the vet closest to me and requested a fecal be done; they don't see or treat poultry but they said they'd do a fecal- it came back clean. After I lost 2 more I contacted the state vet about a necropsy. At that time the flock had gotten stick tight fleas and I was treating with a spray and poultry dust while I was waiting for elector PSP to arrive.
Vet recommended treating the stick tight fleas, thinking that was likely the culprit and if I treated the bugs and they still kept dying I'd know for sure it wasn't the issue. {since I already treated for coccidia).
Symptoms have been- lethargy, puffed up feathers, some will eat and drink still a little and some won't. Decreased egg production in my layers. There wasn't any bloody stools, but the other symptoms made me think coccidia. The state vet had said symptoms could be the fleas, but because they started dying before the fleas I felt like that wasn't quite right. They deteriorate pretty quickly. Seemingly no matter what I do; vitamins and electrolytes, nutridrench, liquid vitamin b, liquid poultry cell, scrambled eggs. They get more and more lethargic and don't want to even walk, then bam, dead. Some of them seem to perk up a little before dying though. It sucks, because every single time I can't help but let my hopes rise.
After I treated with elector PSP by dipping them, then stripped and cleaned the coop and run and sprayed with permethrin and sprinkled poultry dust in the nesting boxes within 2-3 days the stick tight fleas were gone.
After another 2 didn't make it I finally found a local vet to see one of my roosters who was sick.
She treated with a steroid, an antibiotic and b12. She was assuming respiratory because there was a bit of nasal discharge. But she wasn't sure it was viral or bacterial. She thought the best route was treating anyway and going from there. If he didn't make it necropsy would be the next step. He recovered. I asked for antibiotics to treat the flock but she said she/we can't treat that way. Gotta be an as needed treatment. It cost just over $100, and I just can't afford to spend $100 for every bird when we don't even know what the illness actually is, or if he even recovered from the meds or if he would have recovered on his own.
So I picked up la 200 and started injecting ones as they got sick. It seems to buy them a couple extra days, but always ends up in death. I also tried dosing it in the sick chickens water. Same results. So I kinda gave up using it.
Continued vitamins and electrolytes in water, nutridrench in sick chickens food for the ones who are eating, syringe for when they're not.
Also, I sanitize with oxine. Regularly. I clean the coop and runs at least twice a week.
Also, my property is all sand. Like I live at the beach with no water. I hate it, as I've learned bugs thrive in it. Fleas, mites, lice, you name it. The coop and runs are large and I free range regularly. I did stop for awhile when they started getting sick thinking they were getting into something that was killing them, but that didn't seem to stop the illness so I recently started free ranging again.
Some started to get very thin very quickly before dying, and I started seeing yellowish foamy stool. So a few more birds didn't make it and I drove 4 hours to have 3 birds on ice necropsied. A 6 month old EE pullet, a 10 month old bantam pullet and a 10 day old chick. 3 deaths within 24 hours. And the EE seemed perfectly healthy the day before! She showed NO symptoms. She died from asphyxiation- a corn kernel from the scratch lodged in her throat. However, she had signs inside consistent with mareks and the state vet said she would have passed in the next couple months from it. No worms found though.
The bantam had round worms and thread worms overload. No mareks signs though, although she was probably carrying the virus. The chick "just didn't thrive, and sometimes that happens with chicks."
3 deaths in 24 hours, none with the same symptoms. Sigh.
So I treated with ivermectin, topical. During which I found lice on some of the chickens. And they've started having really dirty bottoms.
After a few days and watching the chickens closely they were still having yellow foamy stools and still itching like crazy. The ivermectin didn't do anything to treat the lice {which, it's supposed to} aaannnnd I'm assuming probably nothing to treat the worms even though it's supposed to. So, I again dipped in elector PSP and cleaned out and treated the coop and runs and nesting boxes.
Then I used safe guard to deworm, although I just did a pea sized amount in the mouth and I've learned that that probably wasn't enough for dosing, and a lot have diarrhea.
And they're still itching like crazy, and even though I've been checking and checking for lice I don't think they're gone.
And now there's DEFINITELY respiratory issues, as most are sneezing and have clogged noses and NOW eye issues- that's the most recent symptom/ problem. So I've been using vetRX and ointment on their eyes that doesn't seem to be helping much.
It's so much. All these ailments one after another and I still don't actually know what started all of this or what exactly is causing them to drop like flies despite my best efforts/ meds.
My oldest girls, a year and a half old, 8 sex links, have all thus far survived it all.
I have lost a couple 1 year olds though.
I feed purina layena, flock raiser and chick starter depending on the group I'm feeding. No way it got moldy, they go through it too fast to get moldy. I have 2 brooders, 3 other pens for ones I wanted to breed when we get past all this- some of which were separated pretty recently and seem to be hanging in better since separating from the main flock, a young chicken "Hospital ward" for the "teens", and an adult sick chicken pen for when I start seeing symptoms to separate. Although today I gave up on separation as the majority of the main flock are sneezing and wheezing and have crusty noses and eyes at this point, and a lot now have dirty bottoms from diarrhea. Main flock has a 5 gallon waterer and a 7 gallon- cleaned almost daily with oxine. 2 big feeders, emptied and cleaned with oxine and air dried every time it gets dirty in any way. I don't feed them on the ground, I have tons of extra dishes for when they have watermelon or cantaloupe or treats and stick with fruit on the hottest days as a treat. Scratch every now and again. They get veggie scraps and only every now and again leftovers.

Do I cull the whole flock and just start over? My heart breaks even more just thinking about it.
Do I hit them today with another dip and round of proper dosing of safe guard and try the la 200 again and just hit them with everything? Do I start with the corrid again today and the dip and the safe guard, then wait until that's all done then hit them with the la 200?
Switch to a different antibiotic?
Do I treat one thing at a time? Spend all this money just to lose them to the mareks anyway? Find a different vet who might just give me enough meds to treat the whole flock for everything?
I feel so defeated. I'm so broken from losing all my babies. I'm down to maybe half the flock if I'm lucky.
 

TBaltis1013

Chirping
Dec 6, 2019
38
147
69
San Antonio, TX
*Blizzard is also still alive. Although she recently stopped walking, her knee pops when it is bent every time. And she seemed odd, like her toes were all spread and she kept tucking her head to her chest. She'd flap really hard and kind of scoot / drag herself like that to move around. I made her a hammock type seat with an old sheet in a kennel and hung food and water in front of her and add a little nutridrench to the food and she's lost quite a bit of weight but otherwise seems to be more alert now and isn't really tucking her head. She's eating and drinking and seems comfortable. Maybe the mareks? Idk, but she is eating and drinking and seems comfortable so I've kinda been playing it by ear.
 

TBaltis1013

Chirping
Dec 6, 2019
38
147
69
San Antonio, TX
This is the dose of corid I used, from the chicken chick website
 

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TBaltis1013

Chirping
Dec 6, 2019
38
147
69
San Antonio, TX
This is the dosing I used for la 200. Vetrx has been applied to combs. I tried applying to beaks as well, but it makes the sand stick to their nostrils so I stopped on the beak. I also tried a humidifier with a little oxine in it and it didn't seem to do anything to save them.

And I'm not sure if they're having eye issues because of respiratory illness, or they're scratching and accidently scratching their eyes. Some have swollen eyes though, so it seems more like an injury on some.
 

TBaltis1013

Chirping
Dec 6, 2019
38
147
69
San Antonio, TX
I'm not convinced that any one of these illnesses would be killing my flock this swiftly; fleas, worms, respiratory, lice, even mareks. 50ish chickens, ages 3 days up to a year old, in 3 months.
I was thinking mareks was the underlying cause, kind of laying in wait for other illnesses to weaken their immune systems and then maybe mareks combined with another illness is weakening them to the point of death. Then all these other things hit them it has been the combination of things that's been killing them. So I've been treating.

It just seems like it's to no avail. As soon as I feel like I might have one issue/parasite under control and on the right path so they can recover something else hits the flock. One thing right after another.

Is it the underlying issue of mareks? Even if I fix all the other issues, will my flock continue to be hit like this every time I turn around? Will I continue having casualties constantly? Will any survive?

I've spent money I don't really have trying to save them because I love them. I wish I could afford to take them ALL to the vet, because I would.
 

Punkybrewster

Crowing
Feb 23, 2018
1,601
3,597
346
Upstate sc
Feeling you need to cull the whole flock may be your best bet.

Youre just going around in circles with illness and secondary infections and will continue to do this until no bird is left.

Its a heartbreaking thing to have to do. I know. I had to cull my whole flock last week from bringing in MG carrier birds with no symptoms. It made all of my birds sick.

After culling, sanitize Coops, feeders, waterers, everything and let it all rest for a couple of months.

Then you can start over. Im sorry. I really am.
 

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