Molting, dander/dandruff, listlessness, decreased eating and drinking, no eggs

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Debbk, Oct 23, 2014.

  1. Debbk

    Debbk New Egg

    5
    1
    9
    Oct 23, 2014
    This is my first post to BYC. Thank goodness we have such an excellent resource!

    We have had four chickens for a year and a half. They are in a tractor at night, free roaming during the day. A month ago two went missing within a week of each other. They never came back at night and we've found no evidence of foul play ( :) Pun intended!).
    Since then, the two Australorps have stopped laying, are listless, don't eat, drink, peck much, are molting and seem to have a lot of dander/dandruff. We make sure they have fresh water, food, and a clean tractor. When I let them out the hide, seemingly all day, under a Hosta.

    Are they just 'old' chickens or is there something else going on. We thought at first they witnessed the demise of one of our Bantams, but it seems that after a month they'd be over it. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!!!
     
  2. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    17,687
    505
    461
    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Hi, they are probably in a molt.
     
  3. Debbk

    Debbk New Egg

    5
    1
    9
    Oct 23, 2014
    That would be wonderful! How long does that usually last? I don't remember it taking so long before.
     
  4. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,251
    89
    138
    Sep 28, 2014
    Indiana
    They may have worms. The other two may have wandered off to hide under a bush, and died. The remaining may be very weak. I suspect, after weeks of contemplation, that this is what happened to two of my birds. If they are molting and low on egg production anyways, it would be a good time to do a dewormer, like Valbazen.

    Your situation is almost identical to mine, except after one of mine went missing, I saw one of mine die a couple weeks later (it hid under the hastas, then up and died). My other two birds were not showing any signs of illness, but I dewormed them just in case. My birds are also 1.5yrs old, which is certainly far from geriatric.

    Just FYI - the other thing that could have harmed my birds was mouse poison. Chickens love to eat mice, and this is the season when the mice come indoors. Once mice are dying of poison pellets they tend to head outdoors (probably also to hide under a bush, natures hospice), where they may get eaten. I'm using all regular mouse traps now, and no new poison bate.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
  5. Debbk

    Debbk New Egg

    5
    1
    9
    Oct 23, 2014
    Is there an easy way to tell if they have worms? And where would I buy Valbazen?
    This is our first flock and the first 'issue' we've had with them. Thanks for all the help! :)
     
  6. Toddrick

    Toddrick Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,251
    89
    138
    Sep 28, 2014
    Indiana
    I don't think Tractor Supply carries Valbazen, but it is the one everyone recommends as the most broad spectrum de-wormer. I ordered it from Amazon. And while I was waiting on it to arrive, I got Wazine from TSC, and put that in their water. So after about ten days of Wazine I dosed them with Valbazen directly.

    The best way to tell if they have worms is to check their poo. Gather a fresh poo into a jar, add water, shake it up, and hold it up to a bright light. You might be able to see them on the ground with the naked eye if it is bad. Alternatively, just take a fresh poo to the vet and have them analyze it for you.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2014
  7. Debbk

    Debbk New Egg

    5
    1
    9
    Oct 23, 2014
    Oh dear! Having chickens can be "fun"! LOL! There is so much to learn...
    I just now saw the rest of your first post about your chickens and the mouse poison, We will keep that in mind.
    Guess I'll be checking poo tomorrow am!
     
  8. Debbk

    Debbk New Egg

    5
    1
    9
    Oct 23, 2014
    I'm happy to report that my girls appear to be fine this morning!!! They were eager to get out of the tractor and are happily foraging now. They are also making their cute content sounds. I don't know what changed, but these are not the same chicken we had last night! :)
    Thanks for your help!
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    17,687
    505
    461
    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by