Not sure what is going on.

hinsey

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 21, 2013
7
1
9
Western PA
I " inherited" 11 three year old chickens with the purchase of our house a five months ago..So i very new at this. They had always been in a coop/ run. once the weather improved I slowly began letting them roam about in a small section of the yard. About two months ago I noticed one of them constantly twitching its head. Frankly with it being in mid winter when we bought the place my interactions with them had been a few minutes a day with feeding and egg collection i was not sure if it had been missed and even happening all along. Otherwise they all seemed fine. But I checked for mites, lice...saw none, and gave the coop a big cleaning. Head twitching continued and spread. ( All are doing it now to some degree). Then two weeks ago I noticed one chicken stretching its neck while opening its beak. Otherwise she was fine. (Egg production began to decrease by 3-4 eggs weekly over last 2 weeks as well.) The next day the same chicken came out of the coop and appeared fine. Within a few minutes it started the gasping again and in a few minutes sputtered about and died. I checked the throat for any sign of gapeworm and saw none.

I then purchased vet rx and noticed while treating the others that a few had raspy sound. Another chicken was observed opening the beak as the other chicken had before she died. In the last two days i have observed diharrea....very smelly. Today I found one, that had not shown any symptoms other than the head shaking, dead.

I am new at this and really am just learning about the individual chickens since the weather has been nice enough to enjoy them. I have read tons online but nothing seems to fit quite right. No blood in stool, no worms, no discharge from eyes or nose. There are several things that come close. I cannot find any vet that specializes in chickens in my area. I called my dogs vet but they did not have any recommendations.

The chickens have not been exposed to any new chickens or even anyone else that has been around other chickens. We do feed wild birds so it is inevitable that their droppings are around where our chickens are.

I am thinking infectious bronchitis, or Avian Encephalomyelitis, or still gapeworm...but they are guesses. But as i said the symptoms dont quite fit or are absent of some symptoms. My neighbor was formerly a large production chicken farmer and mentioned coccidiosis but no bloody stools are evident. The very stinky diahhrea just started two days ago.

Ideas anyone.
 

JesBarthel

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 1, 2013
158
14
93
Lake Disston, FL
I'm leaning toward bronchitis. Another member gave me the link to a chart that maps out symptoms with common poultry illness, and I can't recommend it enough! The chart is at the bottom of the page, but the top tells you all about each disease, how it's contracted, and how to treat it :)

http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044
 

hinsey

Hatching
6 Years
Apr 21, 2013
7
1
9
Western PA
Thanks..I actually had found that chart. IB meets some but there is no discharge/
and the head shaking is not indicated. But it could be. I
 

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