Loosing my little cochin hen with the same thing that killed my roo.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cochin gal, Jun 2, 2011.

  1. cochin gal

    cochin gal Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 7, 2007
    I lost my beloved Goober, a beautiful little Buff Brahma with a huge mass in his abdomen.
    Now my favorite little house cochin with the same. She eats but has lost so much weight she's just bones.
    To loose 2 within a month is too much. These little chicks are my dear pets, this is just killing me.[​IMG]

    The vet said the fed is probably what has killed them. Too much scratch and not enough variety of foods.
    I got the chickens from show people and they are the ones that told me to feed the scratch as a major part of there feed.
    These chickens are only 4 and 5yrs.

    What do you all think?
     
  2. mljohnson05

    mljohnson05 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 16, 2011
    Missouri
    Seeing how your other bird had a tumor, have you thought about Marek's?
    They will have weight loss along with hese other signs..many dye before you even realize what is going on
    Now, with Mareks, most birds (if they are to get it ) will catch it between 5-25 weeks of age. The most common type are eye, visceral (tumor producing), and nerve.
    The nerve version is known by some Fanciers as 'down in the leg', and symptoms range from slight to severe paralysis in the wings, legs, or neck, and usually results in death from trampling by other chickens, and/or the inability to get to food and water. There can be 'transient' paralysis that disappears after a few days, such as a dropped wing that suddenly corrects itself. In the eye version, you'll detect an irregularly shaped pupil, cloudy eye ('gray eye'), or sensitivity to light. It can result in blindness. The visceral version should be considered when a bird is just generally 'wasting'.
    Mareks is extremely contagious but does not spread vertically (to the egg). Youngsters should develop a natural immunity (called 'age resistance'), by the time they're five months old. This is one of the reasons it is important to raise your youngsters separately from your oldsters. The older birds that have encountered Mareks and have managed to survive are carriers. New birds coming in from other flocks are always potential carriers.
    Cutaneous form: Enlarged reddened feather follicles and white bumps on the skin that form
    brown crusty scabs.
    Neural form: Characterized by one, all, or none of the following symptoms -
    • Progressive paralysis, usually of the leg or wing, a typical leg-paralysis victim will
    have one leg extended forward and one leg extended back. A swelling of the sciatic
    nerve is the cause.
    • Weight loss
    • Labored breathing
    • Diarrhea
    • Starvation and death due to an inability to reach feed and water and to trampling by pen mates.
    • Cutaneous (skin form)
    • Neural (nerve form)
    • Ocular (eye form)
    • Visceral (internal-organ form)
    Ocular form:
    • Gray eye color
    • Misshapen iris
    • Weight loss
    • Blindness
    • Death
    Visceral Form: Tumors on internal organs including heart, ovary, liver and lung.


    Sorry about your little ones, and I hope you figure it out soon. There is no way to know if it really was Marek's unless you have an autopsey done. Best wishes

    --laura--
     
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Apr 15, 2009
    Only 4 and 5 years? That's a pretty respectable age for chickens. I am sorry you are going through this. I wish you had found BYC before now. Chicken scratch is a terrible diet for chickens. It is fatty with very few actual nutrients in it. It is not appropriate as a long term dietary solution. Unfortunately, you were given bad information, and lacking any other info thought it was sound. Not your fault. It happens.

    Chickens' diets should be comprised of a commercial feed pellet or a carefully selected, balanced, mixture of grains that is researched and all inclusive to poultry needs. Commercial feeds are designed to meet the needs of most poultry, but some folks choose to mix their own feed which is much more complicated. It's a matter of personal choice which you decide to do, but the vast majority of poultry keepers simply use commercial feeds. Scratch should only be given in very small amounts as a treat.

    Here is a list of poultry treats that are OK. Variety is the spice of life, and it also adds nutrients that may be lacking in your birds' diets.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2593-Treats_Chart

    I am sorry that this info is likely too late to save your birds, but you obviously love your birds, so maybe you have room in your heart for future birds? A balanced diet goes a long way towards longevity in these silly and simple creatures.

    I am glad you found BYC. Again, sorry for the situation you are in. Good luck in the future.
     
  4. cochin gal

    cochin gal Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 7, 2007
    Thanks for the info. I still have a white cochin hen.
    Your right I love chickens (I have the crazy for chickys disease)
    so I will probably get more when Im ready. 2 in 1 month is traumatic.

    How long do your chickens live on average?
    What do you feed your chickens?
     
  5. cochin gal

    cochin gal Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 7, 2007
    Quote:
     
  6. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Quote:Chickens can live 10-15 years, but that is rare. I started seeing much slowing down after the age of 4. I feed mine layer pellets, but they also free-range and get any leftovers that I have in the fridge. At times I switch out the layer pellets for grower pellets to increase the flock's protein intake (times of molt). When I do that I make sure to get extra oyster shell to up their calcium intake as well.

    I hope this helps. Good luck.
     
  7. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    Show people being that uneducated is practically a crime. Feed store people all too often give the same bad advice. Back in the mid-90s when the first 2 chickens showed up in my life out of nowhere (and they were 2 lovely nice roos) a feed store owner and himself a keeper of chickens folk told me the same thing. I believed him. Bad. And sad. Luckily for those birds I found them a home in 4 months time, because winter was fierce and I had no chicken accomodations at the time....but even that was too long on a candy diet and I'm sure compromised them somewhat.
    JJ
     
  8. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    p.s. My roo BJ is easily 9 years old now, maybe 10. [​IMG] Females tend to have more problems. BJ's girl buddy Ellie is about 5 now, and going strong. Prior lady birds didn't make it quite that far, sadly, due to internal laying or other female troubles - so sad.

    I used to buy game bird maintenance for BJ and layer feed for BJ's lady friend but all have preferred game bird and so the 50 pound bags of layer were ending up uneaten. So now I just offer game bird maintenance but always with oyster shell available 24/7. Plus all manner of healthy treats (mealworms [have a little meal worm farm], sunflower seeds, fruits, veggies...etc), Avia Charge 2000 in water.....
     
  9. Black Cochin Bantams

    Black Cochin Bantams Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 24, 2010
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    I can't believe anyone of knowledge would recommend scratch as a major part of the diet. Most scratch grain mixes I have seen are under 10% protein(some as low as 7%) which is too low. I never use scratch. Feed a poultry feed of 16% minimum protein(I use 18%). I raise Cochins and feed commercial feed only. If I give them a treat as scratch it is dry cat food. I do that because of the high protein content. I only throw out 5-6 pieces of cat food per bird and only twice weekly . Can make loose stools if overfed. Good luck.
     
  10. Grand-hen-ma

    Grand-hen-ma Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 25, 2010
    Hudson Florida
    I give only a handful of scratch on a weekend day, once a week. I use that as a treat, along with cooked rice, egg and cheese, left overs and fruit. I've never heard of the cat food treat but it makes sense with the high protien. I will try some with my girls today and see how they like it.

    Good luck
     

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