Mysterious Illness

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by JadedPhoenix, Feb 4, 2014.

  1. JadedPhoenix

    JadedPhoenix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a 15 month old EE hen who has come down with a mysterious illness. She is one of five hens but she is the only one exhibiting these behaviors. She is very weak and will flop over on her side when she tries to walk. Three days ago I went out to the run and found her lying on her side in the mud and to be honest, I thought she was dead at first. I picked her up put her in a small separate coop that has a enclosed pen underneath it so if she had anything contagious she wouldn't give it to the others. Also so she wouldn't get pecked at.

    She feels feather-light but haven't been able to compare her to the others since none of my hens have ever been cuddle bugs. They will come right to my feet while feeding but they don't like to be picked up. Anyway, the ill hen doesn't even put up a normal fuss over being picked up past a half-hearted squawk once.

    Her droppings all seem normal and I haven't felt an egg that may be stuck (she hasn't lain an egg since about November) so I'm not sure what may be wrong. I've had to make up a pallet with pine shavings in the small run since she is too weak to get up and down the ramp and I was afraid that she'd fall out of the top part of the coop in her condition.

    Today, I was out feeding the hens some lettuce and since she was walking SLIGHTLY better, I let her out while I was there so she could be with her friends for just a little while but after about five minutes, maybe less, she wobbled back into her pen where her pallet is. She got wore out just that fast. She is eating well and will even eat out of my hand now.

    Any idea what might be the problem? I hate that its happening, especially now since I've just completed a bigger run. The others are enjoying the 22' by 40' run after spending their entire lives in a small 15' diameter trampoline as their run. My Blizzard, though, is just too sick to join in.
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
  2. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Has she been wormed and checked for lice and mites?
     
  3. Bocktobery 10

    Bocktobery 10 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mareks disease? Have you looked up any information on that? Just a guess, though. Sorry I can't be of more help.

    Best wishes for you and your hen!
     
  4. JadedPhoenix

    JadedPhoenix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I couldn't see evidence of lice or mites and I put liquid wormer in the water (Can't remember the name of the brand) every other week. I've never had any issues with them. None of the other chickens appear to be sick.
     
  5. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    Probably Wazine which only gets roundworms. Chickens get lots of worms that can cause a chicken to become very sick.
     
  6. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Was she vaccinated for Marek's?

    -Kathy
     
  7. JadedPhoenix

    JadedPhoenix Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes. Plus, at her age, is it common for it to suddenly strike? From what I've read up on it, it strikes chicks 40 weeks and under.

    As for the worms, why would only one hen get sick? How would I know that is what it is if her fecal matter looks normal?
     
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    I just lost a 2-3 year old rooster to Marek's. And I hate to break it to ya, but if she's thin this didn't suddenly strike. Fowl are very good at hiding illness and often we don't notice until it's too late. [​IMG]

    Regarding worms... I can't afford to take a chicken to the vet if it starts looking iffy, so I have developed a debugging system designed to rule stuff out. This is what I do:

    • Thorough exam which includes a cloacal exam, checking crop, looking in eyes, mouth, throat, etc.
    • Bring into warm room.
    • Dust for mites and lice even if I cannot see them.
    • Weigh daily.
    • Worm with Safeguard at 50mg/kg unless they look like they're about to drop dead.
    • Inspect poop.
    • Depending on what poop looks like I might treat for coccidiosis, bacteria, yeast or blackhead.
    • If losing weight and/or not eating, tube feed.

    Worms are easy to treat, and by worming with a proper wormer like Safeguard or Valbazen you can rule out worms unless they have done irreparable damage to the digestive tract.

    Right now she needs to be in a 80-85 degree room with access to food and water and you need to inspect *all* of her poop.

    -Kathy
     
    Last edited: Feb 4, 2014
  9. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    X2 Kathy on your system! I follow the same rule,check them from top to bottom. I also check my birds everyday(usually in the evening) for crop issues,poop,feet/legs,weight,combs/wattles,etc. I have a small flock of 10,so checking them daily is no problem,plus mine all like to be held even my roosters(especially my big orpington roosters,they love attention)
     
  10. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

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    Another thing I've learned to do is watch the flock from a distance, this is when they let their guard down and it makes it easier to spot them acting abnormally.

    -Kathy
     

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