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Muscle Wasting Causes?

Discussion in 'Geese' started by wafflechicken, Sep 25, 2012.

  1. wafflechicken

    wafflechicken Out Of The Brooder

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    So I have a flock of 5 American Buff geese... ok I HAD 5 now I have 4.

    One goose seemed to have a broken wing - this happened about the same time I lost a few chickens to arial predators so i just assumed it was an injury and taped the wing. Then the other wing started to droop so I figured maybe it was an old/played out goose.

    But when I culled it and butchered it there was literally no meat on it. I mean to the point that I was surprised that it was even still able to walk around.

    My other birds don't seem to have the squinty eye that one did and seem to be getting around fine but now I'm paranoid and thinking that maybe they're underweight, too.

    I called a couple of vets (I thought it might be worms but worming via the waterer doesn't work for me here - they're loose and too many water sources and too many different sizes of birds to get the dose right anyway giving wormer that way, so I called looking for options on oral pastes or topical options) and one said that they had never heard of worms in birds and that you never really needed to worm them - which seemed really, um, let's go with that he did say that he didn't know that much about birds though they were a livestock vet. Another vet (mine for my pets - she sees geese though) said that she didn't really know of anything that would cause muscle wasting in geese like I saw.

    While it was alive the goose ate, tried to groom and really was STARVING. When I culled it, the crop was empty, when I hung it upside down some yellow/green water came out its mouth (and that's all that was in the crop, though the intestines were full of green matter/grass?). Aside from worms I can't think of anything that would cause a goose that was ravenous and eating (forage as well as flock raiser tossed out twice a day) to 1) have an empty crop and 2) have absolutely no muscle on it - I mean really I couldn't even make stock from the carcass that's how bad that poor thing was. I feel awful. I thought it was a bum wing, it was that it had no shoulder muscles to hold them up anymore. I suck.

    I think I've given a bit scattershot information but hopefully it's enough to have someone tell me if the rest of my various birds might be in danger or if it was just a sickly, old goose.

    If you need more info, please tell me what you need. I wasn't sure whether to post this in the chicken diseases thread or in the goose thread. I opted for here since... it's a goose. Though there are other birds that could be subject to whatever happened here.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    How old was this goose? and so sorry for your loss.
     
  3. wafflechicken

    wafflechicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you - I'm not entirely sure. I was told the flock was between 3 and 5 years but how accurate that is, I don't know.
     
  4. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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    I wish I had some answers for you, but 3-5 yrs is not old for a goose considering they can live up to 30-50 yrs. did you check the intestines for worms? I have only had geese for 5 yrs and there are much more knowledgeable folks on here that have had them longer than I so hopefully you'll get some feed back and be able to get some answers. I know a Necropsy would have helped but I also know thats not always feasable either. As far as the rest of your flock just keep an eye on them is all I can say.
     
  5. wafflechicken

    wafflechicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks Miss Lydia. I didn't check the intestines as I didn't really think of worms until that night in bed or the next morning and by then it had been disposed of. I thought that 5 years was pretty young for a goose but I wasn't sure if I was mislead on the ages (though it would clearly have to be by a LOT for it to be an old goose)

    So far the rest seem to be bright-eyed and not too ravenous but I still have that paranoid "gosh, do they feel/look light?" probably mostly because I don't know really what caused the other one to go so badly.
     
  6. kimberly35042

    kimberly35042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You say the geese are on "forage" -- is this good quality mixed grass/clover or what? Were all of the geese healthy when you bought them and how long have you had them? Sounds to me like others were not letting it get the flockraiser "tossed out twice a day". Is that like a handful, a cup, a plastic scoop or what?

    Also, don't guess. Take a fecal sample to the vet and have it tested. I have a flock of round 15 sebastopols and took random samples and mushed together in a ziplok baggie. Guess what?? They didn't have any parasites so I didn't need to worm them.

    I probably spoil mine a little too much but they do have good grass (couple acres of it) and a 1 acre pond to forage on. In addition they get (i'm guessing here) 3/4 cup oats each per day as well as watermelon, lettuce, tomatoes and whatever else is growing in the garden. they will knock each other out of the way for treats, but they are not "ravenous" about oats and pick at them before heading back out to graze.

    I am absolutely no expert and only knows what works in my flock. Hopefully others will join in before you lose any more.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  7. wafflechicken

    wafflechicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks Kimberly, you're right I guess I wasn't clear on some things.

    I have 7 acres mixed grass/marshland/ponds/woods with lots of undergrowth (grassy and woody). The "lawn" is probably only about one acre.

    I toss out probably 1/2 to 3/4 a 3 quart scoop of flock raiser twice a day (morning and evening) to the 5 geese and 6 turkeys (the chickens get a feeder in their coop at night so while they glom onto the first scatter they generally lose interest and go forage and scratch in the morning, in the evening I just drop the feeder down for them and they all run into the coop). Maybe that's not enough? I know I'll need to up it soon, as winter approaches. There's also hay bales broken around but they don't seem to want anything to do with it while there's legitimate living green stuff around. This is all in addition to whatever isn't what I want to eat in the garden or whatever got a little too withered (not rotten, just a little softer than I'd like) in the crisper drawer that I toss out to them.

    The other geese and turkeys actually look pretty good. We called the one I culled "The Old-Eyed Goose" - I'm new to geese and, in retrospect maybe that should have been a giveaway - but it was getting around and eating and grooming and whatnot ... ok that's all excuses. I clearly, obviously missed something and it's totally my fault.

    So far the other geese seem bright-eyed and active, the turkeys are the same, the chickens have all stopped laying (or hiding them from me but maybe that's more a daylight issue - I'm not providing supplemental light right now) I'm just paranoid now. I clearly did a disservice to that goose and now every little thing I notice makes me scared. I don't want to make the same mistake with the rest of the birds.

    Edit: Also that's a good point about getting things tested. I thought I'd have to get some sort of "individual goose poo bag" thing. But I suppose if I bring a bag up of what they leave on the front porch (they like to sleep under the porch light I leave on for them) then I suppose that should be telling. If one has something they all will eventually, right?
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  8. kimberly35042

    kimberly35042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    WOW...Sounds like they have it pretty good! I don't take anything for granted anymore when giving advice. I didn't mean to seem offensive, but have learned the hard way not to assume anything.

    Mine won't touch hay so I overseed the lawn with rye and oats for winter grazing. But I'm in Alabama with mild winters and it grows really well here in the cooler temps.

    Yep -- I collected my "samples" from the cement driveway -- REALLY GUYS????? The idea came from Vicky aka Cottage Rose and it works really well so you only get charged for one sample!

    Sounds like the problem was limited to that one bird, but the only other thing I could suggest is "if" another one passes, take to lab for a necropsy. Good luck with your geese -- they are a LOT of fun. Can you post pics?
     
  9. wafflechicken

    wafflechicken Out Of The Brooder

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    Oh gosh you weren't offensive at all. Clearly I did something wrong here and I'm new to much of this. I appreciated your advice and your very reasonable request for more information. I'm sure I did something wrong for that goose out of ignorance, I'm just trying not to repeat my ignorance with the rest.

    Mine are fussy about the hay, too. Glad that mine aren't the only idiots that want to .... evacuate on pavement. Jerks. (I actually love my geese but they can be/are total jerks - I suspect it's a goose trait) That's brilliant on mashing up the sidewalk/patio piles. I'll do that and get it to a vet this week - I just didn't want to have to take the whole flock into the vet. I love them and want them to be healthy and happy but (and this may make me a jerk) they're not pets...

    You may be right that it was just that one bird (it had the "old eyes" when I got it), I'll try to post some pics of "The Mob" (as we call them) soon.

    thanks to everyone who chimed in (side note, I can see full crops on the side-necks of all the remaining geese - they're greedy but they're full)
     
  10. kimberly35042

    kimberly35042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ah...but you didn't handraise your guys! I struggle with pets vs. farm animals, but they will clearly tell you that they are better than the chickens any day. ASK THEM....they will tell you.

    I'm not sure I can fully believe you though if you let them sleep on your porch with a nightlight! [​IMG]
    That is too sweet!
     

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