New from Australia


In the Brooder
5 Years
Apr 12, 2014
Hi, I'm from Australia and I'm a relatively new chicken keeper. I got my first chickens back in December.

I had 4 chickens - all about 7-8 months old - and I am very sad at the moment as one of them, Clucky, died suddenly yesterday. My dog's vet was just over for a house call when I found her. She had a look and found that she was very thin (I hadn't realised as it was all hidden under her feathers) and her vent was dirty, and there was nothing in her crops. Up to the day before yesterday she was up and about, and seemed to be eating and drinking normally that I didn't think she was sick. I found her lying on her side yesterday morning and was worried, but I woke her up and soon she was up and about and eating again, so I thought she might've had an off morning. When I came home in the afternoon, she was dead.

Now I'm freaking out about my 3 other chickens. I have 2 GLW and 1 Light Sussex. The Sussex seems to be of good weight and healthy. I found one of the GLW's having diarrhea this afternoon, and it made me really worried. I couldn't tell the 2 apart, so I took both to the vets this evening. There was no diarrhea in the transport box though, and we only found a small solid poop.

The vet said they were thin, which was weird as they had access to food all day, but they looked bright. Their vents were clear. In short, they're not in a great condition (cos of their weight) but they didn't look sick.

He gave them meds for coccidiosis just in case, and also told me to worm them again. I give them moxidectin pour-on every 3 months (last time was early March) but I just gave them more last night.

Would anyone here know what's happened to Clucky, and why my 2 other girls are skinny?

I don't free range them but they have access to good quality high protein layer pellet and water all day, and I also give them vegetables and fruits.

One of the GLW, Ginger, used to lay almost every day but she's stopped for over a month now. I'm not sure the other one, Lemon, has ever started laying yet. Nugget the Sussex seems ok at the moment although she's stopped laying for a while, after she got broody, but it could just be a seasonal thing as apparently most chickens have stopped laying here in Australia this time of year.

I've been finding more feathers than usual from the GLW's too but they don't look bald at all, and it is also apparently moulting season here.

Any help would be appreciated on what I should look out for, and advice on what I should do/feed them? I'm very worried that they're going to die on me too. :( :(


Welcome to BYC!

I am so sorry about Clucky. I know how hard it is to lose them.
I think you took them to a good vet because these are the things that I would think could cause the death....either worms or coccidiosis. Both of these health issues will cause them to lose weight and also have diarrhea. I would go ahead and use the cocci meds as they are fairly easy on the bird and only kill the cocci. This is a great possibility they do have cocci. Then I would also worm them after the cocci meds are done. Worms will starve the birds to death.

These two things are the most common ailments in chickens, other than egg laying issues. But egg laying problems won't cause them all to be thin at once. I would follow your vets advice and I think they will all recover well.

After all these meds are done, I would get them on some probiotics to help rebuild their immune system and help them gain weight. If these is molting season in your territory, I would also add some cooked ground turkey or ground beef a couple times a week to help with weight loss, good feather regrowth and the added fat will keep them warm and add oils to the skin.

Good luck with your babies. I hope they all recover soon.
Thanks TwoCrows, that's very encouraging!

Do you think moxidectin pour-on is a good wormer? Or is there something better that I should give them?

I gave them raw minced lamb this morning and they all went crazy over it, but I might cook it first tomorrow. I also gave them some plain yogurt, and I'm wondering if either of those things could've given them diarrhea?

I wasn't so sure about cocci as they didn't have bloody diarrhea but I'm glad I've now got meds for them anyway.

I will keep you posted on their progress. Fingers crossed.
Sometimes there is no blood with cocci. But diarrhea is very common with it. I would consider the cocci meds first as they just may have cocci. Don't worm them at the same time however, one med at a time.

I have never used any pour ons for worming, so I can't really tell you. You know, you might want to chat with others in Australia as to what medications you guys find best to use. I would bet what we use over here in the US is completely different over in your country. So here is the Australia thread and maybe someone can tell you if this pour on will do the trick..

Good luck with your babies!! I hope you can get down to the bottom of this and get them healed up soon! :)
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Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Sorry about Clucky, hope you other hens are well. TwoCrows gave you some good advice. Do you know what the protein % is of the feed you are using? Maybe just switch feed to something else, in case they either really aren't eating it because they don't like it as well as they could or it just doesn't agree with them, some birds just do better on some foods. How much in the way of fruits and vegetables are you giving, those tend to be pretty low protein and if they are really pigging out on them they could be lower total than you think.
Hi sleepalot

It sounds like we're both dealing with the same problem. I've got to take my dog to the vet tommorow, while I'm there I'll ask about our problem. Hopefully we'll both get to the bottom of this.

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