My hens are dying, vets says 2.5 years is old? true

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by tammye, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. Go to my BYC page. the 2nd page there are some tables of signs and symptoms that may help. If the hens smell really bad then going by the other signs I would guess enteritis. I doubt it is worms because of sudden onset with too many birds at once. I'll say im sorry first....but I'll be blunt. You best bet right now is to cull all others that have had contact with the sick ones. When you have a sudden death issue of more than two hens like this you are usually asking for trouble and taking a lot of risk in trying to fight it. There is more than one disease that could cause this that is also transmittable to you and your family / other animals.
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2012
  2. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    Try to find a vet that knows more about chickens. They're in the prime of their life right now. They have some type of health problem. Can you have one necropsied, to find out what the problem is? Maybe try your local extension agent or the state vet for help and information.
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Quote:Well, he'd be amazed at my 3, 4, 5 and 6 yr old hens, then, who are all healthy, most of them still laying. He's just wrong, sorry. Now, a three year old hatchery hen is, in effect, older than a three year old good breeder stock hen with better overall genetics, sure, but succumb to diseases more readily? I would disagree.
  4. Pele

    Pele Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 25, 2011
    Yes, that vet very obviously has no training in chickens. I wish that he/she would have just admitted it, and not tried to make stuff up. Not very helpful to you.

    Chickens can live 10+ years. Most don't make it to that age because hens slow down in laying, and people eat them and replace them with new birds. It is no more natural for a hen to die at 2 years of age than it is for a 20 to 30 year old human to die. There can be a health problem in that individual, but it isn't the norm.

    Make sure you check the rest of your flock for worms/parasites of any sort, and treat them asap so you don't lose any more hens. Also, do not contact that vet again for chicken advise. He/she chose to flat out make stuff up rather than to direct you to a credible resource.
  5. chicken grandma

    chicken grandma Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 1, 2008
    west michigan
    Quote:When my hen had those symptoms she had pneumonia. The thirst and watery diarrhea are key.
    The air sacs go way down in the abdomen so when those get infected the stools are watery.
    There was no cure for the type of pneumonia my hen had. My whole flock was infected and had to be culled. My hen was 2.5 years when this occurred.
    The vet said that it was infectious and could come from wild birds or even have been passed from mom to chick in the egg. They can carry respiratory problems a long time and when it gets cold break out in the symptoms. My hen had never been sick before this.

    You could try an antibiotic that is pennicillan related. Those work best for pneumonia. One is Duraband. Or amoxicillan if you can get that. Good luck and don't feel gulity. It's not your fault.
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    chicken grandma, your vet was talking about something else, not pneumonia, then. That is not passed through the egg to chicks. Pneumonia is not contagious. You cannot "catch" pneumonia from wild birds or any other birds. He must mean CRD/mycoplasmosis, which makes them carriers and does pass down.

    Tylan is the preferred antibiotic for respiratory illness or LA-200, but that doesn't keep them from being carriers and infecting others, even if you think they are recovered. Best to euthanize them, disinfect and start over, IMO.
  7. tammye

    tammye Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 22, 2010
    Thank you all for your replies. This is so hard because there are some many different opinions. This vet is a farm vet and does have experience with chickens. He thinks it may be Marke's disease, but nothing has been confirmed with testing, he said because of their age, he did not think doing anything "extreme" was wise. My girls are getting this watery diarrhea suddenly, then they get weak and tired, very thirsty, but not willing to eat their feed, will take treats, but not much. One seems to be getting sick each month. I looked up cocci and am wondering if that may be it, I ordered that medication, I guess it is worth a try. These hens are spoiled, I keep there house clean, they get greens every day and are allowed to free range everyday, except in the winter, they have had a very happy life, but this long slow end is killing me as much as them. Did not expect this to happen. I guess if I do this again I have to NOT love them, not name them, ect.. They have been worth the memories, I never would have known how much fun chickens could be, but now they are breaking my heart, like all pets do in the end.Thanks so much to you all.
  8. 1muttsfan

    1muttsfan Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 26, 2011
    Upper Peninsula Michigan
    I think Grandma's birds were diagnosed with E Coli diarhea - bacterial
  9. NovaAman

    NovaAman Overrun With Chickens

    Quote:No, she meant exactly what she said. MSU vet did all the work on her hen, then the 2 other pullets that she had gotten to keep the original hen company. E. coli bacteria that contiued to stay in the system causing continuous pneumonia reaccurances.
    Last edited: Jan 5, 2012
  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Quote:No idea, but not pneumonia, for sure.

    Novaman, guess I'm confused then. Thought she said the vet said pneumonia was passed down through the egg to the chick. [​IMG] Maybe I misread her post somehow.

    Tammy, no leg issues? Not sure why he'd think Mareks, then. Odd. Sometimes, though, chicken diseases can be mysterious without actual testing. I'm sorry for your trouble, but I doubt their age has anything to do with it. Two years old is not old.

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