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Lethargic Goose ... emergency

Discussion in 'Geese' started by Ebarnes-21, Jan 3, 2016.

  1. Ebarnes-21

    Ebarnes-21 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2015
    (my apologies for the double post, I put this in emergencies but have no responses so trying in Geese)

    I have 6 young geese, 4 months old approximately. One is now sick.

    Symptoms are sluggishness, lethargy, tripping over a little too easily, etc, no appetite (she is still drinking though) her droppings are few and small, but one has been thinnish and greyish, and one black tarry, the third 3rd poop is larger, (perhaps 7cc) thicker (consistency of custard), very dark green almost black, with whitish grey swirls. All poops stink.

    She has an extremely light body weight, I couldn't believe it when I picked her up, I think her feathers and bone should weigh more!:-(

    Sluggishness was first noticed yesterday, when she wasn't with the flock, but when approached she rejoined the flock and perked up, and we offered her some feed and she ate well and seemed Ok.

    This morning however she presented herself at the gate, with the above symptoms.

    As she is obviously in an emergency, I jumped to bring her in and worm her without delay, in case that is the trouble. I used an ivermectin injection, calculated by body weight. That was now 1.5 hours ago.

    I also tried to give her an iron tonic/molasses mix in a syringe, as that is what I would do for a goat like this for energy boost and anemia, but although I got 2.5 ml into her beak drop by drop I believe she spat almost all of it out.

    After that I took a fecal sample and checked it under the microscope as I would for a goat, and found no eggs at all. It was only the tiniest sample so may not have had much anyway, and I don't even know if poultry worm eggs might be much smaller, and not detectable on 100x magnification, I don't know.

    What could be wrong? What should I do?

    We have her in a basket inside for company. Poor little girl is so pitiful, she climbs onto my lap and puts her head under my 'wing' ...



    FYI, the environment is as follows:
    They have the run of an orchard of approximately 1/4 acre. When they were young we were feeding them grain, however once they went out in the orchard they have been eating so much grass they're simply not hungry for it and we stopped as we were basically feeding sparrows. They have been self-sufficient on grass for about 6 weeks now.

    The orchard is obviously clean, as these young geese have only been in there a couple of months, it is still knee deep or more in grass. However, they sleep in the same corner all the time, so even though they have a huge clean orchard the poop is piling up there. But they don't eat or stay there.

    Their water is a bit tricky ... they will walk in, and swim, and poop in it, so fresh water becomes dirty again pretty fast. As such I tip the pool right out and start from scratch every few days.

    There have never been geese on this land before, but there have been chickens and ducks at times, last time was 2 years ago.
     
  2. Carrosaur

    Carrosaur Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nashville, TN
    Sounds a lot like my problems I've had with geese and compacted/blocked/etc crops. Do they get enough grit? Are you providing it or are they getting it out of the ground?

    Usually if it was some type of sickness the rest of the flock would be acting strange.

    Feel her crop, how does it feel? If it feels harder than soft then massage it for five minutes and then give the young goose warm water. Do this at least three times. Also take her off of grass, keep her in the garage or basement or where ever, this also should be done in case she is sick, don't want it spreading. Post up a picture of her, if it IS a compacted/blocked crop it will be large and bulging, almost like she's lopsided towards the front.

    I have had about three geese with these symptoms, even the "cuddling" up to you. Also if there is a veterinarian in your area, is it possible to go to them or call them?
     
  3. Carrosaur

    Carrosaur Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You should really mow their grass too, geese get compacted crops from eating grass that is too long and not getting enough grit!

    I'm sure Ms L will reply with some helpful tips too
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2016
  4. Ebarnes-21

    Ebarnes-21 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2015
    No bulging crop, totally empty in fact. I've had crop bind in chickens (note, do not feed too many boiled meat scraps to chickens!) and she doesn't show those signs.

    I'm thinking it is worms, she's looking a little better right now ... she's in a basket in my kitchen ... she's slept most of the day, an hour or so ago she preened, and did a bigger and firmer poop, now she's taken a nibble at her food, not hugely, but she's eaten perhaps a tablespoon of milky mash. She's moving a little more in her basket and talking.

    I'm hoping this is real improvement, not a minor fluctuation. If so it is parasites. If she continues to get better I'll drench them all tomorrow.

    She is one week younger than the others, and from an inbred bloodline which the others are not. She's a pilgrim from a local bloodline, original pair sourced some 30 years ago and the whole neighborhood grew from that everyone has a pair only, and usually from the same clutch, the others are from a 50-goose flock much further away.

    I mention this because, if she was a goat, (more my field of expertise), I would say that because she is so inbred, she is likely to have a much lower immunity than the others and show problems first.



    I don't think it is her problem, but query, long grass could become an issue? I never dreamed it might be, the parent birds I got the eggs from are just running wild all over a farm.

    The orchard is mostly seed stalk, which they don't eat, they're nibbling the blade grass underneath and the flowers on top, and mostly choosing to eat from the shorter areas outwards, slowly clearing the orchard. I was sort of hoping they would keep the orchard mowed in fact ... (its been about 7 years since last time the whole thing was scrubcut).
     
  5. Carrosaur

    Carrosaur Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes long grass can definitely become an issue (if they choose to eat it). Before I knew any better I let the geese have all the grass without mowing it, 2/3 of my first ones died because of their crops. I took my third one off of grass for a few weeks and she recovered, now I mow the grass once a week.
     
  6. Ebarnes-21

    Ebarnes-21 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2015
    Darn there's an issue I'll have to look into. I watched them for crop bind when they were tiny and first going on the lawn, and kept them on short grass, but once they grew up I thought they were Ok. I might have to work on that ... mowing is more difficult than you'd believe, I don't have a mower, we 'mow' the lawn once a year with the cows, and the orchard only gets a few patches scrubcut out of it if we need to feed the horses. (it takes over a week working 6 hours a day to scrubcut and remove the whole area ... we did it once for compost).

    I wonder how the geese would get on with a goat helper or two? They would help get it down to level ...

    Little Pilly is eating again down there. I'm watching her from upstairs, she's been nibbling away for the last 10 minutes.
    I can't fit both her food and water very well in her basket at the same time so when she wants a drink she looks over the corner at the bowl and I rush downstairs and hold it for her.
    I've left them both in right now and she's using both, but I hope she doesn't try and sit down, there's no room. Its a big basket, but she's a big little goose.
     
  7. Carrosaur

    Carrosaur Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My last goose Pear slept in a cage at night in my room and almost every morning I would wake up with him sitting on his water bowl! They just don't care!

    I have a big flock of geese (16 birds total) on my grandmothers farm and they keep the area around the pond very short, and there's also llamas and a few donkeys and four horses to help out
     
  8. Ebarnes-21

    Ebarnes-21 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2015
    If she keeps getting better and it turns out to have been worms, what is the process for retreatment in poultry?

    If it was a goat or sheep this sick from worms, I would treat again tomorrow, treat the others, and then in a week, and again in another two weeks.
    I would support her convalescence with hand feeding and iron/molasses tonic for the anemia until she was strong, and then feed her up to her normal body weight.

    Would this schedule be as appropriate for geese as it is for mammals?
     
  9. Ebarnes-21

    Ebarnes-21 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2015
    Ah I missed your post before posting. I'm thinking I'll bring a couple of goats up to help with that grass situation. I hope neither species takes offense.

    I think once it's down the geese will (in maturity at any rate) graze the area quite well, at least most of the year. Perhaps not completely in seeding time. But then, in future years, there will be new goslings during that time too.
     
  10. Ebarnes-21

    Ebarnes-21 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 20, 2015
    I'm logging off for a while. Time to feed the chickens and rabbits, milk the goats etc.

    I must also re-arrange my goose ... she is in fact standing in her water with her rear positioned alarming over the food bowl (Please don't Pilly!!)
     

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