My ee roo is dying?

No more empty nest!

In the Brooder
9 Years
Sep 17, 2010
Western Pennsylvania
What would cause a chicken to lose so much weight? I suspect parasites but don't know what to do, we are diligent about keeping vinegar in their water but over the last year I have lost 4 hens and now my roo is lying on the floor of the coop. He has been eating and drinking like crazy and even this morining when I found him on the floor he is eating and drinking, I picked him up and he is nothing but feather and bones just like the others I lost. I am beside myself, he is my favorite. I just don't get it, none of the others seem to be losing weight, it happens one at a time. I read cayenne is a treatment for parasites so I am going to mix some with his feed but does anyone have any other suggestions? They all eat oatmeal and layer feed as well as all kinds of fruits and veges on a daily basis. I gave him gatorade this morning when I found him which he drank a lot of as well as oatmeal and layer feed.
I'm not sure but I would do emergency intervention at this point. I have a very sick chick that is totally emaciated. She is on that special diet you get in a can at vet's offices. I was tube feeding her yesterday, syringe feeding her today. I gave her raw garlic in yogurt yesterday and will repeat periodically.

When I took my chick to the vet yesterday, he didn't even bother to test for anything. Once he saw how emaciated she was, he said the most important thing was to gain weight. He gives her a poor prognosis but I'm doing everything I can. I give the canned food, thinned with water, and also give her the yogurt. I think the active probiotics in yogurt can ONLY help.

There really is no time to wait with your roo. He needs intervention right away. Get him eating well. Can you keep him in your house? Observe him, pamper him, and give him a good quality diet to get the weight back on. I'm give 6cc's of food every 2 hours like clockwork. My chick is already showing signs of improvement.

Oh, your roo may also have a vitamin deficiency. Get some good vitamins. Search this site but I do polyvisol, E and selenium.

You are giving apple cider vinegar, raw and organic, and NOT plain vinegar, correct?
Thank you both for your responses, I lost my roo, it was just too late, he did make it a couple more days and I was hopeful, I did not know the vinegar had to be organic and raw, yes I was using apple cider, I also discoverd DE during this and will be using it to keep my others parasite free. I was super sorry to lose him since he was so docile, he did not seem to get the aggressiveness some roos get, (guess maybe his health was a factor) I never suspected till it was too late, everyone pick up your chickens to see if they are plump!!!!
I can't tell you how many threads I have read where ppl use DE as a mite/lice treatment.... It's USELESS when it comes to that! Use ivermectin pour on for cattle or poutry dust with permetherin in it. Ivermectin pour on is great because not only will it get rid of external critters but also deworms them as well. I treat my whole flock with iver on every 3 months and never have issues anymore. I am sorry for your loss
I would definately think about treating the rest of your birds asap to avoid any more losses.

I use DE in my coop to help with odor and drying of the poop, thats about all its good for. Keeps the flies down too.
Dear NoMo,

I'm sorry you lost your roo. I know it is hard to loose birds that you love. I suggest that you not wait until you start to loose another before you take action. There is something going on that is causing your birds to die and it is up to you to stop it. Start with the everyday upkeep issues. Make sure their diet is as it should be starting with providing free access to a well balanced commercial feed (starter, flock raiser, or layer.) Go with the higher protein percentage in the appropriate type for your birds. Make sure that there is plenty of fresh water (nothing added, yet) available at all times. Supplement with greens fed as a treat or they can get them on their own if they free range in a organic yard or pasture. Make sure they aren't exposed to any chemicals in the area that are toxic to them. Take special care to keep out all rat/mouse poisons, lawn treatments, herbicides, auto chemicals, etc. These are the first steps. If you are suspicious of the outside environment, keep them up so that you can control what they get (as long as your coop and run are big enough and secure.) There are many, many people who do only these things, and have no problems at all. Next, buy a good wormer (do your research, I use ivermec) but starting with Wazine might be a good idea. Next, look for and treat any external parasites that you find. DE is good for prevention, but the jury is still out on whether it is a cure or not, I wouldn't count on that. Dusting with Sevin powder gets most any type of ticks, mites or lice, and can be added to the dust bath, just don't overdo it! Once you have done all of this, if (and that is a big if!) you are still having problems, you can start looking at other causes like disease or other internal issues. Good Luck to you...and remember we are here if you need help.

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