MYSTERY ILLNESS just took a third hen today

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Bonnienonnie, Dec 3, 2012.

  1. Bonnienonnie

    Bonnienonnie Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 17, 2012

    We bought 8 baby chicks (barred and white rocks) April 1st. All went great till about 2 months ago, when out of the blue I found a white rock one morning, dead on the roost floor, for no apparent reason.

    Several months went by, then about 3 weeks ago I noticed a barred rock, the queen of the coop, didn't rush to the veggies being offered, and later didn't go into the roost for the night. I separated her, gave her pedialite and baby bird food by dropper - loved that bird :( - she died about 5 days later. Never did eat or drink on her own. I think she had a temperature - it was about 107, but I don't really know what normal is for hens. No sign of being egg bound.

    Then yesterday I noticed my best, biggest white rock squatting in the lower corner of the coop when all the others were going upstairs. Picked her up, put her in the roost on a perch - she stayed briefly, then went and hunched in the corner, so separated her for the night. Her temp was to the top of the thermometer - 108+. Not egg bound. Tried last night and this morning to syringe colloidal silver and water - she would not open her beak at all. She died at 9AM.

    Now I'm totally paranoid for the rest of my girls, but don't know what's killing them.

    The main symptoms seem to be anorexia and weakness, and I guess fever - I'm not sure what normal is, though. Whatever it is comes on suddenly. It is not hot - and no panting.

    They eat organic layer feed (Cornerstone organics),
    Twice daily they get produce which we get free from the grocery - it is out of date, but I'm careful to remove mold, etc.
    I put vinegar in their water and DE in their organic feed.
    The coop is plenty big enough. Dirt floor (the coop is over part of our septic tank and they do dig in the dirt - my husband wonders if their could be any contamination...) If so, what should we do?
    We change the layer of hay on the dirt about every 1-2 weeks.

    Would greatly appreciate any input!
    Thanks so much!
  2. Eggsoteric

    Eggsoteric Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 25, 2010
    Lice/Mites? Worms, perhaps? I would suggest using something other than DE (such as valbazen or safeguard liquid wormer for goats) to de-worm your chickens. ACV given in plastic water dishes vs. metal? Not sure if the placement of the coop would have anything to do with the mystery illness or not (interesting thought though). I hope you get some answers soon. If you lose another, I would suggest having a necropsy done if you have those services available to you.
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2012
  3. arcy liger

    arcy liger Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 6, 2012
    just check the temperature of every chick every day (at morning ,noon , night) and for the abnormal one's just separate them and give them a bath (normal water) And give them them medicine( panadol , brufen , dispren ) . it will work and just keep us updated.....

    Good Luck....[​IMG] [​IMG]
  4. Bonnienonnie

    Bonnienonnie Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 17, 2012
    Thanks so much for your suggestions. I have not found evidence of worms/mites/lice in any of our birds, thankfully. The ACV is in plastic containers. I think I WILL get a necropsy done if there is another occurrence. All the affected hens were from one batch of day old chicks we bought from our feed store 8 months ago. Since then 5 other older hens were given to us - buff orpingtons. They are all still fine. A chicken expert friend suggested it could be Marek's disease, assuming they were not vaccinated.
  5. Bonnienonnie

    Bonnienonnie Out Of The Brooder

    Apr 17, 2012
    Wow - that would be so labor intensive to take temps of all 8 girls three times a day!! But I'll do it if that would help prevent another occurrence.
    The only medicines I have are wazine for worms, tylan 50, ivermectin and colloidal silver. Not knowing what is causing the problem makes me hesitant to give any medicine except the colloidal silver..... how do you decide which to use when the symptoms are so vague?
    Thanks so much for answering! I'll keep posting updates.
    This forum is sooooo helpful. I've learned so much on it.

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