new member struggling with chicken health

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by rmithuna, Nov 23, 2011.

  1. rmithuna

    rmithuna New Egg

    Nov 23, 2011
    My name is Rafael. I am a new member from the central Arizona highlands (Prescott). I have a flock of 15 assorted hens and one chicken of unknown sex. My wife insisted on picking him/her up at the farmer's market last summer and I'm afraid he brought more than his luggage with him. He and one of our orpington hens have gone into a serious decline loosing weight until I can feel no breast muscle. They have had persistent diarrhea, leg weakness, lack of co-ordination, conjunctivitis. They have been on Baytril for 10 days, Tylan for 5 days. They got peppier after treatment but just won't gain weight. The He/She seems to have trouble seeing where he is pecking. he eats frantically, after all, he is starving. He prefers to eat live insects, meat (Suet), spaghetti, but doesn't seem to eat layer mash. The orpington will eat anything, constantly. She may be gaining weight but has stalled at the moment.I keep food before them constantly. We have no vet experienced with poultry here so our small animal vet is just shooting in the dark (unsuccessfully, expensively). I hate to just cull them, they are two of the sweetest birds and are trying so hard to get well. I'm thinking of trying a sulfa drug as a last resort. They have no body fat so they are living in my shop since the weather turned cold. This just seems to have no resolution beyond terminating them.

    I would sure appreciate some input on this.
  2. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    Have you checked for worms? If they have an infestation it doesn't seem to matter how much they eat....they just don't thrive.
  3. Tracydr

    Tracydr Chillin' With My Peeps

    Welcome! Please stop by our AZ thread. I have a bunch of ideas that may help.i suspect a combination of worms and malnutrition may have weakened them. I would finish up the antibiotics and start some vitamins. Building up their nutrition and good bacteria will be the most important thing, plus worming them, although you may want them to be a little stronger before hitting them with chemical wormers.
    Can you get some kefir grains and start making kefir to give them? It's the easiest way to get them good probiotics, easy and cheap. I could even ship you some grains to start, or if you come down to Mesa you could pick them up.
    Add some baby vitamins without iron. To their water. Also, Bragg's apple cider vinegar can help. I'd get them on a high protein feed like flock raiser for now and add daily dark green veggies or alfalfa pellets/hay, plus some squash or pumpkin. Pumpkin and squash guts/seeds and pepper seeds can be a natural wormer which could be a gentle way to start, then in a few weeks maybe worm with a chemical wormer like wazine or valbezen.
    There's also a good chance your roo and hen have Marek's disease, in which case, you may be better off just culling them, unfortunately. I'd still work on the nutrition and worming the rest of the flock as Marek's seems to hit when the immune system is suppressed,sort of like human shingles or cold sores. It's a cancer caused by a herpes virus and can dwell in the chicken's system until a time when their immunity is down, then all of sudden hit and take them out.
    Again, you'll find tons of help on our AZ thread and lots of fun there, too.
    Last edited: Nov 23, 2011
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Welcome to BYC. I recommend that you worm them with either Safeguard liquid goat wormer or Valbazen liquid cattle/sheep wormer. Also visually inspect them for lice/mites, if they have them... treat them with sevin dust. Give them scrambled eggs mixed with buttermilk in their feed to make a mash and let them eat it, including after worming for about a week. Then reworm them again 10 days after the initial worming. Then continue feeding sceambled egg, buttermilk, feed mixture for another week.
  5. CheerioLounge

    CheerioLounge Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 10, 2011
    California High Desert
    [​IMG] from Twentynine Palms in the California high desert! As you can see you'll find a lot of friendly and knowledgeable folks here who are always ready to help!! Enjoy!
  6. hcppam

    hcppam Chillin' With My Peeps

    Quote:All good advice, from all.
    [​IMG] Hello, from the Big Bear mountains of Ca. Glad you found us. [​IMG] [​IMG]
  7. kidcody

    kidcody Overrun With Chickens

    [​IMG] [​IMG] from Washington state glad you joined us!
    I'm glad you are getting some very helpful information that should help out the one who is not well!
  8. M@M@2four

    [email protected]@2four Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2008
    Sounds like worms! You need to worm them(and your whole flock) with Ivermectin. You can buy this at Tractor Supply or any feed store. It's for horses and goats. I buy the past kind in a tube(costs about $3-$4) and just give them each a small bit(about the size of a pea). Continue to feed them food high in protein, give treats like grapes, apples, etc. Good luck!
  9. jtbrown

    jtbrown Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 30, 2011
    Southeastern Ohio
    Good luck, sorry this is the way you came to us, but lots of good advice! [​IMG]
  10. GoldenSparrow

    GoldenSparrow Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 11, 2011
    [​IMG] from Cape cod!

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