losing chickens 1-2/week

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mjsjr, Jul 25, 2014.

  1. mjsjr

    mjsjr In the Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Mar 27, 2014
    Over the past few weeks, I have been losing birds. Most are young (between 18 and 24 weeks - almost ready to lay). The pattern has been the same. I find a bird in the coop that is VERY lethargic, it won't eat or drink and by the end of the day it is dead. There doesn't seem to be any gradual decline. I am with the birds every day and would notice if one was going down. This happens fast.

    My egg production has also been down - don't know if that is symptomatic of the problem. I would think that a bacterial infection or virus would move through the flock more quickly and affect more birds. This is just a bird here and then a bird there - but they are starting to add up.

    I have started to suspect worms and will deworm tomorrow. Any other insight would be appreciated.

    Mike
     
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    23,660
    1,457
    406
    Jul 24, 2013
    Worms might be the problem, but I would also check for external parasites. Look under the feathers for moving black specks (mites), clusters of white things (lice eggs), or slow-moving yellowish blobs (lice). If you find any, treat by dusting the birds and coop with Sevin dust, poultry dust, or another mite/lice product.

    The only other thing I can think of is that they are getting poisoned. Is their any way they could be eating mice/rat poison, or consuming rotting animal material? Botulism poisoning is common when chickens eat moldy/rotting things, so I would check their feed and the surrounding area.
     
  3. mjsjr

    mjsjr In the Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Mar 27, 2014
    I have checked for lice/ectoparasites and haven't found any. That was my first inclination in fact. It is unlikely that they are encountering poison - we don't use any on our farm. However, we did only recently move it (<1 year). It could be possible that there is something residual in the soil of the coops, but there wouldn't be a lot I can do about that.

    There feed stays dry and there isn't any mold there.

    I am planning on dusting the coops with diatomaceous earth to interrupt any lifecycles/kill eggs/larva etc.

    I had a problem with a hawk, so they have been kept confined and they are still dropping one at a time (not getting into any poisons outside of the coop). That is what made me think it was a parasite.
     
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    Have you tried treating for coccidiosis? I'd want to at least be ruling it out.

    Edited to add: Just noted in your last post you said you'd recently moved to a new place. That equals a VERY high chance of coccidiosis. It's very, very easy for your birds to come into contact with a strain of cocci that they are not immune too. Some will do ok but others may get a full blown case of coccidiosis, especially the younger birds. I'd run a course of Corid asap. There is nothing you can do about the cocci in the soil but once your birds have had contact they will develop resistence to what's in their environment, it's just a matter of preventing a full blown case of it while they are in the process, or treating it if it happens.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

    36,207
    13,014
    761
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    X2.
    New soil can expose them to a new strain of coccidida that they weren't immune to. I would try getting them back outside too, because they are less likely to eat droppings containing the cocci. Also worm them with SafeGuard liquid goat wormer or Valbazen, rather than Wazine since it only gets round worms.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
  6. mjsjr

    mjsjr In the Brooder

    17
    0
    22
    Mar 27, 2014
    Thanks all for the insights (cocci and Safeguard/Valbazen). I will get on both immediately!

    Another couple of quick questions:

    1. Corid is intended for cows/calves - I assume then that: no eating eggs while they are on it (5 day treatment) and use the same mixing formulas as for calves.

    2. Safeguard and Valbazen are also for livestock. I would guess that the same holds true for them as well - yes?

    Are these assumptions correct?

    Mike
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
  7. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    I would do the Corid treatment first since, if it is coccidiosis, you don't have time on your side. Then worm them after that treatment is done.
     
  8. X3 The Corid dose,if it's the powder, is 1 and 1/2 tsp per gallon, give no other water source, so they have to drink the treated water. For dosing of both the Corid and Safeguard, ( the Safeguard is best used orally and not in the water ) casportpony and her dosing chart's. She has figured out the dosing for most of our off label treatments. Huge shout out and thank you to casportpony for that!!!!

    Wishing you the best in this!
     
  9. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General

    71,253
    53,162
    1,532
    Jun 24, 2012
    SF Bay Area
    My Coop
    The Corid (amprolium) sold in the US is labeled for cattle, but the FDA says this:
    FDA recommendations:
    http://www.accessdata.fda.gov/scripts/animaldrugsatfda/details.cfm?dn=013-149
    "Chickens
    Indications: For the treatment of coccidiosis.
    Amount: Administer at the 0.012 percent level in drinking water as soon as coccidiosis is diagnosed and continue for 3 to 5 days (in severe outbreaks, give amprolium at the 0.024 percent level); continue with 0.006 percent amprolium-medicated water for an additional 1 to 2 weeks."


    Dosing info here:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/818879/updated-corid-and-amprol-amprolium-dosing

    In Canada, amprolium sold as Amprol and is labeled for chickens. No withdrawal when using Corid or Amprol.

    FWIW, I have used Corid and Safeguard together quite a few times. Safeguard dose I currently use is .2ml-.5ml per 2.2 pounds (20mg-50mg/kg) orally 5 days in a row. Paste or liquid, I use the same amount.

    Safeguard is used in cats, dogs, reptiles horses, cows, goats, sheep, camelids, etc. Using it in poultry is considered "off label" and there is a withdrawal period, two weeks maybe?

    -Kathy
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2014
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

    36,207
    13,014
    761
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    The Corid is the same as cattle, but the dosage is 2 tsp of liquid Corid (or 1.5 tsp of powder) per gallon of water for 5 days. There is no egg withdrawal for Corid. The SafeGuard or Valbazen are 1/2 ml of either once, and repeat in 10 days. Egg withdrawal is 14 days after last dose. The wormer dosage for 5 days that Casportpony gave is to treat the more serious worms such as capillaria or gapeworms. Most people just use the dosage I have listed for routine worming, unless they have those other worms which can be diagnosed by a vet.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: