meat birds dying slowly- purple comb and skin

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by arcticworks, Jul 1, 2010.

  1. arcticworks

    arcticworks Hatching

    Jun 30, 2010
    Fairbanks Alaska
    I have 30 cornish cross mixed with 5 laying hen chicks (buff orpington and americanas)--all about 7 weeks old at this point.

    2) What is the behavior, exactly.they start out a little lethargic, then their combs and skin turn slightly purple, getting more purple with time, they have a slight increase in breathing rate, but not overly labored, then they get weak and end up dead (at this point I am killing the sick ones to prevent more spread as none seem to be recovering.)
    3) How long has the bird been exhibiting symptoms? Started with 2 birds about 2 weeks ago, seem to have one or two coming down with symptoms every 5 days or so-- I have lost 7 birds so far
    4) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma. no
    5) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
    6) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all. they are drinking fine and seem to be eating well, but slightly less than normal
    7) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc. poop has been normal on all except one dead one early on had a bit of blood around vent
    8) What has been the treatment you have administered so far? no meds, extra cleaning of pen, isolation of sick looking birds, vitamins in water
    9 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet? I am more interested in keeping the rest of my birds healthy as opposed to healing the sick ones
    10) If you have a picture of the wound or condition, please post it. It may help.I will try and send a picture if I get another sick bird
    11) Describe the housing/bedding in use They are in an open air lean to shelter with a fenced yard. They have access to free range during the day. They interact with a flock of laying hens (mixed breeds) while free ranging--the laying hens seem fine. Their bedding is spruce shavings--changed every 1-2 days. I did have a waterer leaking, so an area of the pen was more moist than usual, but this problem has been resolved for a week or so.

    Any ideas/ suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
  2. hunterjumper999

    hunterjumper999 Songster

    Dec 26, 2008
    Box Springs
    purple says to me a lack of oxygen....

    Can you get some vet RX at the feedstore ? Add it to the water, it is not a 'medication' so any survivors can be eaten.... that said- I have no other suggestions really except to wish you goodluck!
  3. NurseELB

    NurseELB Songster

    Oct 16, 2008
    Lacey, WA
    That sounds like congestive heart failure. There is a thread on here somewhere where a lady kept her Cornish X for a pet, and gives it an aspirin in the water every day. I'll look for the thread and post it if I find it.
  4. MotherJean

    MotherJean Songster

    If your main concern is protecting your remaining birds, I would suggest you arrange to have a necropsy done on one of the ailing birds so that you can get a definitive answer on what disease you're facing. What I find most concerning is your description: "... their combs and skin turn slightly purple, getting more purple with time..." I hate to say it, but this type of cyanosis is identified as a symptom of Avian Influenza. From the Cornell University Vet College website:
    "...areas of nonfeathered skin such as the wattles and combs, are commonly cyanotic and have dark areas, caused by ecchymotic hemorrhages and necrotic foci...."

    Please don't misunderstand, I'm not saying this is what is wrong with your birds, and I certainly hope it isn't. I only point out the possibility to impress upon you that you could be facing something quite serious and it would be best for you and your birds to get a professional diagnosis via necropsy.

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