Lost another chicken

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Toddrick, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 28, 2014
    Indiana
    I feel like a failure as a chicken daddy at the moment. I've lost two chickens in the last month.

    Some history...
    A month ago my Barred Rock, Barbie, went free ranging in the afternoon, and we never saw her again. We figured it was most likely a predator, so I set a trap outside the coup in case they came back for more. About a week ago I caught an opossum, so I thought that was the culprit. Maybe it was, or maybe she just wandered off, laid down and died. We'll likely never know. That's the risk of free ranging.

    Well today we opened the coup, and our Buff Orpington, Buffy, just laid there and didn't move. Thought she was just dust bathing, but no. So I picked her up, and inspected her. No bulge in crop or anywhere else. (She had laid an egg today). I got her to drink about 20cc's of water from a straw, containing about 150mg of Amoxicillan. I made up a separate cage for her, let her rest, and came back to find her dead within hours. Yesterday she was completely normal, and begging for bread treats. I didn't know there was an illness that could kill so suddenly, but if there is, then that could be what happened to my other bird maybe.

    So my questions are: 1) Should I proactively put Amoxicillan/FishMox, in the water of the remaining birds, or is there a better antibiotic? 2) Could worms be to blame? 3) In general, what should I do going forward? Should I dissect her to check for worms or an impacted egg just to set my mind at ease?
     
  2. HumbleHen207

    HumbleHen207 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 16, 2013
    Maine
    Dont feel bad, this happens to everyone at some point when they own birds! Some times they just die, something goes wrong internally and there is nothing you can do about it. There is no way to tell exactly what happened unless you have a necropsy done. Most states offer a necropsy program for a small fee. If you are really curious this is what I would recommend. If you feel the need to put your birds on an antibiotic I would recommend Duramycin, or any other brand of Tetracycline antibiotic. It is a good multi purpose antibiotic that is cheap and easy to come by.
    Best of luck, keep me posted if you figure out what caused her demise!
     
  3. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 28, 2014
    Indiana
    My best guess at this point is poisoning of the last one or maybe both. About a month ago I noticed mouse droppings and mice getting into their feed, so I put mouse poison pellets in the corners of the garage and outbuilding (none outside). I did find one dead mouse in the driveway, and I've heard they tend to go outside to die when poisoned. So my guess is they found a dead mouse and ate it. It may be no coincidence that my most dominant hens were the runs to die if they ran off with the "prize" and didn't share it with the others.

    I wouldn't think it enough poison to kill a bird 20x the size of a mouse, but maybe birds are more sensitive to strychnine (Edit: it is actually Diphacinone). Does anyone else think this is possible, or have heard of it? Maybe I'm grasping, but it seems odd for my most healthy bird to drop dead in one day. Or maybe it isn't odd, but it seems suspicious to me. To be safer in the future I will just employ old fashioned mouse traps with cheese.
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2014

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