need some knowledge

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by zemhilltopchickens, Oct 29, 2011.

  1. zemhilltopchickens

    zemhilltopchickens Hatching

    Oct 29, 2011
    Help, everything is going wrong, a little history of my multi problems- aquired chickens for 8weeks - 1yr. old 10 weeks ago. 24 total different types from swaps and individuals ( yes I NOW know stupid idea), problems are numerous, each time I think we are finally over something a new condition arises. To start my kids wants to chickens for 4 h projects, so this is haw we started ,2 chickens a seabright hen and rooster purchased from an indivual that stated he was changing to the goldens and no longer needed the silvers, so kids felt sorry for there poor living conditions which consisted of a 2x3 graveled pen with no house and food and water bowls empty ( and about 30 dogs chained or penned up all over the yard barking like mad. I did ask if they were healthy and why the hens wing feathers looked tea stained ,response was from the roo mounting her, seemed logical. I did notice chickens in a pen that were sneezing in a pen adjacent. So Brought home JAckson and Marie and made the a nice comfy area until their outdoor digs were complete. Then purchased 4 more chickens from an individual with upwards of to 150 free range (all NPIP), so go a dot,approx. 1 year ,a brown leghorn approx. 8 months old, blue spash maran and cuckoo maran both not laying yet to start laying in OCT./Novemeber. They all meet and no problems, then went to 2 swaps and pick up all the rest up to total 24 in all. They all live in a 8 x 1`2 shed with a 12 by 15 run and have free range access during the day, to a large farm with a couple of horse 10 cats and numerous cattle in a feeding operation right out there back door. So here is where it starts to turn sour in our storybook. About a month of them living happily together a few squacks here and there and getting 3 eggs a day, Only one from the little seabright hen on day 2 of her arrival, but doing research knew they only lay about 40-50 eggs a year so we felt like we were doing good. Then for the last month it has been a nightmare of illness. First a little brahma that was 14 weeks old and when purchased was missing tail feathers but prev. owner assured was getting picked on by older flock members and would come out of it once was less stressed but other bramha was full feathered and both appeared healthy except feather missing part. He showed up dead by feeder in coop her coop was empty and we just thought stress was to much, next day a diffent seabright hen dead in almost exact same spot, we checked all chickens day prior after finding dead one they were all eating and drinking ( we had a check list ), Some said oh probably worms, so got wormer and wormed all, and started on duramycin from the local farm supply store just to be on the safe side. 3 days later another brahma (the healthy one looked terrible over night so we moved her to a seperate area ( se was not a pullet that liked to picked up or have much human interaction but we kept pher alive for another 36 hours she rapidly when down hill and did not respond to meds, her eyes in the end were the infected gooey no real nasal drainage but did alot of the gasping for air and ruffled feather appearance. So I thought maybe should get some stronger anti biotics to keep on hand , Then our Roo was sick next AM not bad but upset about last 3 deaths so determined to save our dear Jackson, so in he moved to sick bay, Spoke with peter brown from first vet and followed his suggestions and with oxytet now in water and La200 and nasal flushing and eye cleaning and feeding him oatmeal and babyfood and various other thing he pulled through 2 weeks away from the girls but back to normal other than a slight sneeze. now most recently our black frizzle was dead in PM when came home from school and a Cochin has been seperated to the sick bay with her neck twisted up and won't eat doesn't seem to repond to meds afraid we are going to make her choke ehen trying to get her to eat. By this time I am in tears wonding how in the world We can have this bad of luck, being a nurse in school setting, I feel terrible for my kids that are losing their feathered friends quickly. Now the just told the roos eyes are yucky again Help losing my mind along with these chickens, I now realize we should not have mixed so many from various places and that people will lie to a child for $3 and tell them their chickens are healthy and explain away all the warning signs, So I will go bakc out and doctor our sick chickens, and pray from someone to give us some guidance. I need advice any at this point have tried to find some super smart chicken wrangler in out area but no luck, can't even find anyone that can point me towards a glimmer of hope. My nephews have had chickens for about 8 years and don't give my flock much hope but they also don't believe in saving the sick. I have sevral issues that kinda give me red flags now but feel like all disease in the chicken world mine have had some of the symptoms to. so here is a list of various symptoms our chickens have had maybe just one or a couple of the chickens showed these, sneezing, watery eyes, bubbling /foamy eyes, stuck shut eyes, oh roo lost his cock a doodle do for about 4 days, thea gasping for breath, now the twisted neck and when you get it straighten out she twists it right back under her left wing. There poos did have some worm activity but after the wansine have not seen any. I don't know if this matters or not but reading where some thing make them sick- we do have 10 cats with in side litter boxes that have been dumped out where we have seem chickens in, our cattle eat silage that the chickens could easily access, we were using straw as bedding that is about 20 years old, My sone cleans the coop just about every weekend. They have layer crumbles with DE, scratch grains and free range access to anything we have they really like wax begonias. I have managed to save 2 thus far but usally they are dead when we notice they are sick. We watch them eat daily and my kids hand feed about 17 of the 20 that are left except for the twisted neck one. We have felt for growths and found nothing. ANy help would be greatly appreciated. I am sure glad I am a people nurse and not a chicken nurse.

    1Crazylady with 1 husband,3kids, 10 house cats with free range access, 2 silver seabrights,2 golden seabright, 4 cochins, 3 easter eggers, 1 brown leghorn, 2 marans, 1 dot, 1 frizzle, 2 silkies, 1 d'uccle, 2 horses , and cattle
  2. ChicKat

    ChicKat Crowing Premium Member


    Welcome to the formum. so sorry to hear about all that you and the kids are going through, and sorry to hear about your losses.

    If there is a way to isolate any bird that is sick, that may help prevent the spread of anything that the sick bird may have.

    If I were you, one thing I would do is get the old hay away from them. Not sure what condition it is in, but sometimes old hay can be pretty dusty and pulverized around here. Chickens do have a tendency to get respiratory problems. Start with clean hay/bedding and clean water. You can get 'wood shavings' at a feed store and at Tractor supply co. Keep the chickens away from the cat litter boxes and anything that could promote illness-- I don't know about begonias, but some plants can be bad for your birds.

    You may not be all the way through the woods yet. If any more die, then take the chicken for a necropsy. Talk to your county agent, hopefully they would help. Maybe the nephews that have been keeping chickens for 8-years could come by and see if there is anything that indicates a problem that will require that you depopulate some of your chickens.

    Is anyone in 4-H that your kids are dealing with available, or anyone that has chicken expertise that a 4-H advisor could contact??

    It sounds like you did save your rooster. Maybe contact 'the chicken doctor' again....and tell him about some of your chicken's other symptoms.

    If you have some way to do it, separate the ones that you see that are ill away from the ones that aren't affected, and try to keep the healthy ones healthy.

    Although you feel that some people purposefully sold your children sick chickens, it could be that the sellers didn't know. or that the chickens did pick up illness duing transport, at a swap, from wild birds or even from the soil on your land.

    Wazine-17 will kill some worms - roundworms, but other worms can plague chickens. You may want to review some of the worming posts in this formum. The Wazine will eliminate live roundworms, but needs to be given again. or better-yet a full-spectrum wormer needs to be given to them about 10 days after the wazine to kill off larvae that hatched from the eggs.

    You came to the right place, because BYChickens Forum has tons and tons of information. If you can save your flock or some of your flock that will also be a learning experience for the kids. You are dealing with so much, it probably seems overwhelming. Get the wells ones away from the sick ones as soon as you can. Hopefully you will be able to contact someone locally who can give you direct help. Just think if you turned around the health of your sick rooster, you may be able to save other chickens in your flock that are sick. Good luck with your chickens. Hopefully there will be some other forum members that will jump in and give you some good ideas to help remedy the situation.
  3. OvertheHenHouse

    OvertheHenHouse Songster

    Sep 12, 2011
    San Diego
    First of all, welcome! You're in the right place. Second of all, take a big breath and acknowledge the efforts that you've taken and what you've gone through. This is a nightmarish situation, but you're still there, still plugging, still trying for answers. Good for you!
    Chickat has given great advice so here's a X2 to everything posted. With regard to the worms, I wanted to add specific info I just got yesterday off of a worming thread. Wazine does only kill roundworms. Here's what Dawg wrote in that thread that should give you some specific information:
    Forget the wazine from now on and just use valbazen (treats all kinds of worms chickens get including tape worms and flukes). When you get the valbazen, dose them orally 1/2cc for standards and 1/4cc for smaller birds. Redose them again in 10 days to kill larva hatched from eggs. There's a 24 day withdrawal from start to finish (do not eat eggs or process the meat during this time).
    Dawg's advice was NOT to put it in water - it just dilutes the med and you can't be sure whether the chickens are getting the correct dosage. Also, someone was worried it would go down the wrong pipe and here's a response from that post to that concern: That's a good thing to be aware of, and I have seen a bird die of this when an inexperienced owner shot it down the wrong side. The crop is on the right side if the bird is facing forward with you. Feel it? This is on YOUR LEFT if you face the bird. Feel the crop with each dose so you confirm which side the correct pipe is on.
    I hope this helps - good luck -
  4. zemhilltopchickens

    zemhilltopchickens Hatching

    Oct 29, 2011
    Thanks to all for the words of encouragement , the sick ones have been kept apart from them the others, and 2 have been able to return the flock, so total lost to date is 5, so 19 left to keep alive ( yikes!!!), we have contacted the neighbors and are getting fresh straw, we use wood shavings in the nesting boxes and under the roost bars. We are racking our brains on what has gone on. Scary thing they want me to be the 4-h poultry leader I said I don't think I am a currently a good choice. I will continue to try and find a veteran chicken keeper in my area. Most of the old ones around here, go by theory of they either liver or die and only give electrolytes when birds look droopy. My nephews come by daily and help us try and figure this out. the only thing the have noted is the crops were empty and the eye issues , we have checked down their throats the say looks normal, no parasites noted in feathers, no horribly abnormal droppings around coop. They did say some didn't have the white caps. I am contacting one of my uncles that raise exotic birds like parrots and see who his area answer guy is when things go wrong.
    I am hoping that my luck is changing dead today and all are out happily foraging the farm. My dad is a great resource for meds and conditions of animals, growing up at home we had cats, dogs, pigs, goats, sheep, horses, cattle, llamas, pheasants, and quail. All of the people we know that have chickens do the 18month to 2 year rotation and very rarely introduce any new comers. My nephews are a great help and they are their own teachers on what they know. Our local 4-H leaders are trying to help me find someone with a large knowledge base. [​IMG] have contacted our local university with no response, our ag teacher at the school I work at is not poultry person, she is also contacting some other ag teachers to see if any one has poultry knowledge.
    I will continue to read and do research. And watch my chickens like a hawk!

    1Crazylady with 1 husband,3kids, 10 house cats with free range access, 2 silver seabrights,2 golden seabright, 4 cochins, 3 easter eggers, 1 brown leghorn, 2 marans, 1 dot, 1 frizzle, 2 silkies, 1 d'uccle, 2 horses , and cattle:D
  5. ChicKat

    ChicKat Crowing Premium Member


    wow, that sounds encouraging.

    I understand that the oldsters didn't 'bother' to doctor chickens...they were considered pretty cheap livestock and as you said---either they live or they die, and there are plenty where those came from.

    I can also see how they would like to have you be the chicken expert---because you have already seen a lot in a short time.

    Hopefully the worst is past, and the future is bright for your flock!
  6. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Contact your state lab and get a necropsy done on the next bird that turns up dead. You need to know what you are dealing with and whether you should try to salvage this flock. Some respiratory diseases can be treated, but render the afflicted birds carriers for life. This means you will never be able to bring in new birds without them getting ill. That also means that you shouldn't ever expose any other birds to your flock like in a show setting.

    Good luck and sorry for your woes. A sick flock is a heavy burden to have to carry.
  7. flowerchild59

    flowerchild59 Songster

    Apr 25, 2010
    Southern IL
    First of all, welcome to the forums. We all help each other out here, and sometimes, we learn from others and from mistakes we have made. Here is a link to some of my mistakes and ways I resolved them:
    andy BTW, you don't have to wait til a bird dies to take them to the state lab. I took in two live birds to be necropsied to find out what was wrong in my flock.
    Your vet should be able to tell you on how to contact the state lab or just do a google to research it yourself.
    Ps, I am a people nurse too. I find this chicken stuff challenging and I read all the time. I want to be as knowlegable as possible.
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2011
  8. chickengrl

    chickengrl Songster

    Sep 30, 2010
    Northern Virginia
    Quote:X2 also search respiratory ilness on here and you will find lots of information. Most folks would not keep the sick birds because they will infect others. It's best to find out what killed the birds. Unfortunately, you could have several illnesses since the birds came from different places. And sadly, yes people are more than willing to sell you a sick bird to make $3. It's horrible and you are not the first person to go through this. To find the state lab, just google for instance Virginia state veterinarian and you should get a number. Good luck!

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