New to chickens, most died. Input, please?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chans Farm, Feb 23, 2014.

  1. Chans Farm

    Chans Farm Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 23, 2014
    Battambang, Cambodia
    Hi all,

    First, I am an American who lives in Cambodia. My wife has a small farm about 30 km outside town. Until fairly recently, within the past 30 days I would say, we had ducks, chickens, cows, dogs, cats, and grew rice. Since then, the chickens died - well, most of them anyway. I have been trying to determine what could have killed all but two chicks.



    If it were bird flue that killed the chickens, I figured it would have transferred to the ducks, killing them as well. Wouldn't that hold true? Well, it didn't. I also figured it would have killed all of the chickens. It didn't do that either. Two of the chicks lived, while all the rest of the flock died.



    Here are the before photos of the chickens:
    All chickens in the next six (6) images have died, with the exception of two (2) chicks.
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    Ducks on the farm:
    These ducks (white in color) we still have. All are fine.
    [​IMG]




    The ducks in the images below, have since been sold.
    All are still fine with their new owner.
    [​IMG]



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    Here are the after images (The chicks we have left):
    [​IMG]



    [​IMG]




    Does anyone have an idea as to what may have killed the chickens on our farm? The only thing I know, is what the family told me. We were not present at the time. That is, the chickens came in contact with a neighbor's chickens and got sick shortly after. The neighbor's chickens died as well.



    The family let them free range from property to property. That is a common thing here in Cambodia.



    For the record, when I replace the chicks / chickens, I will NOT let my birds free range.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Were there any other symptoms before they died? Did they all die within a short period of time?
    If it was a disease, your chicks should be resistant to whatever it was and are valuable for that trait. Try to use them to breed future birds.
    It could also have been poisoning or botulism since they range over a large area.
    The following is the online pdf version of Gail Damerow's Chicken Health Handbook. You might find what you're looking for there.
    http://library.uniteddiversity.coop/Food/Chickens/The Chicken Health Handbook Complete.pdf
    Pages 147-165 will be helpful.



    On a side note, my daughter is in Laos and headed to Cambodia next week. She's over in the 4000 islands area of the Mekong.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
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  3. Chans Farm

    Chans Farm Out Of The Brooder

    45
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    Feb 23, 2014
    Battambang, Cambodia
    Hi CC,

    I know one was showing signs of illness. The family contacted us and let us know when that happened. I probably should have told them to take that one and separate it from the rest, but I didn't. Like I said, I am really new at this.

    I hope we can use these as breeders.

    One thing that gets me is, we went looking for "replacement" chicks soon after. (Still haven't purchased any.) The ones we found are, apparently, different from these. They are (maybe?) hybrids? They come from Thailand. From what the farm supply guy told us, those chicks cannot touch ground. They are very susceptible to disease? I never heard that before. The ones we had, obviously from the photos, were fine on the ground. :scratch head:

    =======

    We are in Battambang. What part of the country will your daughter visit?
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    I'm not sure yet because she doesn't have electricity, internet or phone in the 4000 island area.
    She'll call when she gets to Cambodia so I'll let you know.

    The little I know about poultry in SE Asia is that there's a big push by big multi-national companies to sell their stock there and supplant the local stock that is resistant to the local diseases. The chicks hatched in the US by companies like hy-line aren't able to handle those things.

    I would shop around local markets and try to get birds there.
     
  5. Chans Farm

    Chans Farm Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 23, 2014
    Battambang, Cambodia
    Ya know. It's funny you mentioned that. One dealer tells us we can buy birds from him. He is here in Battambang. His birds are imported from Thailand, and I guess, are some sort of hybrid - that can't walk on the ground! (What kind of chicken is that?!) Anyway, they sell them for 3,500r (Riel) each, which is .875c US, each. Less than a dollar doesn't sound too bad. Of course, having chickens that can never walk on the ground? Takes a bit of getting used to, for me.
     
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Could be something like this.

    http://www.hyline.com/
    http://www.worldpoultry.net/Layers/...tional-invests-in-Indian-egg-market-1291731W/

    This is how they're intended to be raised.

    http://beatricedailysun.com/news/lo...cle_1d479e0f-3f0c-5bed-bd22-8dc0e7d68f2c.html

    In Cambodia, commercial enterprises own 10% of all chickens within 1% of all the flocks. They want a much larger percentage.
    http://www.fao.org/docs/eims/upload/251052/aj202e00.pdf Check pages 507-509.

    Personally I would still opt for free range over close confinement. When birds are in close confinement they need lots of vaccinations and meds to prevent disease. Small disperse flocks don't.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
  7. Chans Farm

    Chans Farm Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 23, 2014
    Battambang, Cambodia
    Thank you very much for the links. You are quite resourceful.

    There were other incidents in country, where chickens died in large quantities. They do not exercise eradication and control on a level shown in the pdf that you gave me.

    I don't really understand a lot of this concerning chickens. But, I do know chicks brought over from Thailand are not quarantined for any length of time. They get one to two days old chicks here. Not sure if any are exported from Cambodia to Thailand. (I am much closer to Thailand, geographically, than I am to Vietnam. So, most of them would come from Thailand, than Laos or Vietnam, I would imagine.) Of course, with the governments as corrupt as they are in SE Asia, it would not be difficult to get chickens across borders in any direction.

    As I have always said, in _____________ (fill in the blank with Cambodia, Thailand, Laos, Burma, Vietnam, or Philippines) the definition of illegal is a sick bird.

    I have been told that I should expect to lose as much as 60% of my flock before adulthood. That really puts a hamper on trying to build up a small business, if true.
    I would have thought it would be the opposite. Chickens kept away from other animals would have a better chance of survival, since they are not exposed to other creatures that could transmit viruses to them?

    I'm definitely confused, at this point.
     
  8. Chans Farm

    Chans Farm Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 23, 2014
    Battambang, Cambodia
    When I posted, it was a quote from you, including links you had provided. My post, however, was moderated due to the links being attached. Rather than to try to remember exactly how I worded it, I will just wait for a staff member to approve my previous post.

    Thanks for the information, though.


    Well, that was quick. :D
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    The stress and unnatural conditions in close confinement make the birds more susceptible and all breathing the same air where things like AI (which mutates readily) can run through a flock in no time.

    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/articles/261/unintended-consequences-of-confined-animal-facilities

    I would think you could drive around some local villages and find free ranging flocks. If the birds look healthy, stop and ask to buy some chicks. When you get them home quarantine them a little while. Chicks are much less likely to carry anything. Start them on a probiotic at an early age.
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2014
  10. Chans Farm

    Chans Farm Out Of The Brooder

    45
    1
    34
    Feb 23, 2014
    Battambang, Cambodia
    Finding free ranging birds here is not a problem, for sure. Most everyone has them. I will have to see if I can find out what the Khmer (Kam-eye) translation is for probiotic. One thing I haven't found here yet, is a farm veterinarian who can speak English. This is a major issue for me, even having a wife who is a native speaker.

    I will visit that link, now.

    I really appreciate your assistance in this thread, CC.
     

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