Please help me diagnose *updated in 1st post & added video*

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by marlene, Dec 14, 2011.

  1. marlene

    marlene Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2011
    A bit of history first in case it helps with diagnoses.
    My flock consisted of 2 rir that i've had for a year and a half and some chicks that i've been hatching since the summer. Back in october i bought 2 point of lay blue marans from a reputable farm as i wanted a few more hens for eggs and i liked the idea of the dark eggs.
    Last week saturday i quarantined 1 of my marans as i had noticed that for 24 hours previous she had been hiding a sleeping a lot and she had a slight limp on her right leg, i thought it was best to put her in the crate to let her rest up.
    She seemed no better by sunday, she had not eaten and was not drinking either so i bought her in the house to keep a closer eye on her. She sat puffed up, very quiet and just slept, by lunch time sunday she had died.
    Apart from the limping and hiding on friday i did not notice any other signs of any thing being wrong with her beforehand, on closer examination on saturday i noticed her comb was like powdery dry (Whitesh) in some areas and her comb also seemed to be almost black in other areas, definately not pox as it was not spot like, it was more like very small areas of the skin were turning black.
    Since sunday i have been keeping a close eye on my other birds and today i was upset to see the other marans acting not right.
    She seems to be doing some thing strange with her neck, she seems to be pulling her head up high and then its like she wiggles it and drops her head back down, she has just kept repeating this on and off all day. I tried to catch her to give her a good check over but she just kept running every time i went near her. I am almost sure i saw a tiny patch of black on her comb, can't be completely sure as she isn't letting me get close enough to check properly.
    Apart from this she seems normal, eating, ranging, active and alert. I will welcome any ideas as to what i might be dealing with as i do not want to lose her or any of my flock if it is some thing contagious that i can treat.

    She is eating very well, maybe too much?, drinking and still laying almost every day. My concer is the thing she is doing with her neck/head, to make it clearer as it is hard to explain and to hopefully get a better diagnosis i have included a video that i took of her this evening. Best to watch the video till the end as its more clear to see what she is doing near the end of the video, the video is a little dark as i took it this evening but clear enough to see what she is doing.
    Also i started all my chickens on flubenvet wormer today, just in case its worms.
    PS Her crop does seem large, if it is impacted crop would she keep eating so well as she is? I think you can see on the video her crop looks large.

    Last edited: Dec 17, 2011
  2. chkn

    chkn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 27, 2010
    Almost seems like you've got a couple different things going on. One dead fairly quickly and another acting strangely but still thriving. I suppose the first could be parasites, botulism, moldy food and the second, merek's, something stuck in the throat, gapeworms, a vitamin deficiency. If the first one hadn't been eating well for a week or two, maybe sour crop or a blockage. Any blood in stools, etc?
  3. marlene

    marlene Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2011
    The 1st one was fine up till thursday and eating well up till then, and dead by sunday, it was very quick. Up intil then she had been perfectly fine.
    The second one is eating and behaving normally except for the strange thing she is doing with her head/neck.
    I will keep an eye out for her poop tomorrow, the 1st ones poop was fine right up till the end.
  4. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    The head neck thing could just be her grinding up food... or she could have something stuck in her croup... massage it and see what the croup feels like. Take a listen to her lungs, put your ear under her wing and listen for any crackles or wheezing. The other hen could have died from worms.. they drag a bird down, and birds are good at hiding illness. They cause paleness in comb and wattles, depression and weakness.... It's hard to really tell with out seeing her.
  5. marlene

    marlene Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2011
    Updated on the 1st page- original post
  6. marlene

    marlene Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2011
    No one out there that can help me?
  7. speralta

    speralta New Egg

    Feb 12, 2011
    I don't see anything unusual in the video. If you are having trouble getting close enough for a physical inspection, just wait to do it until she settles down for the night and then do a gentle external physical examination.
  8. BlazeJester

    BlazeJester Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2011
    Midway, GA
    Did you quarantine these birds before introducing them to your flock? Did you worm them during quarantine?

    Look for worming posts by Dawg53. The effective wormers he recommends are all for mammalian livestock (they do not make wormer specifically for poultry): Valbazen, SafeGuard, Ivermec and Wazine. The first three treat most worms, while Wazine only treats roundworm. If you look for Jim's posts you will get the jist of how you should go about worming. Be absolutely sure to re-worm in 10 days.

    It sounds like she *might* have gapeworm (I recommend searching YouTube, there are a couple very sad but very informative videos). I believe Valbazen kills gapeworm but I'm not certain of that. I bought Valbazen from a fellow BYC member in my area since the bottles they sell are huge and expensive and I only have 6 birds. It's worth asking around.

    Worms can cause a limp (weird - I still haven't figured that one out) and would make a bird eat more because less of the nutrients are going to the bird. Usually people report feed conversion improvement after worming, even if they never see worms in the stool before or after.

    It would be best if you still had the other bird to do a necropsy, opening her up to see if anything looked inflamed or if you could find signs of worms. If the living hen has gapeworm, you may be able to see it in her throat. You can open her beak by pulling down on her wattles and shine a flashlight, looking for a red worm attached to the esophagus.

    It certainly sounds like you should not be doing business with that farm again, and I would ask them if they've had problems with parasites or illness recently. If they have people buying birds from them frequently they may not think to contact everyone, but they may be honest with you if they've had trouble with their birds recently.
  9. Michigan Transplant

    Michigan Transplant Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 7, 2010
    Marionville, MO
    Sorry to but into this conversation but I have problems with a chicken as well.
    Went out this morning and all seemed fine. Just went out and had one chicken sitting in a corner and noticed when she got up that she was limping on her right leg. Caught her and she seems fine but she is having running stools and it is still on her butt feathers and smells. I have been having one chicken a month act strange and then withing a week or so they are dead. They eat and drink and go for any treats so not sure what the problem is. I have had these 14 for almost 10 months. They are all fine and then one will get sick and die, then three weeks later another one gets sick and dies. This has happened to the last 4 that have died. I quarantine the sick one as soon as I notice them but I don't know what I should be doing for them. ANY suggestions? Do I need to worm them or what would you suggest? PLEASE HELP ME. THANK YOU.
  10. marlene

    marlene Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 17, 2011
    Thanks for the replies.
    I did quarantine the 2 new hens for a month before they was introduced to my other hens and every thing has been fine with them mixing together for the last 4 weeks since the new ones came out of quaratine.
    This all started suddenly last week, when i noticed 1 of the new hens was a bit off i quarantined her straight away but unfortunatelly she was dead less than 48 hours later.
    It was Dawg53 that advised me to get flubenvet 1%, after i asked on here what is best to use for worming here in uk. I have purchased this wormer and i have started treatment today.
    The farm i bought my pullets from has a very good reputation, they are open to the public and have very strict guidelines they follow, but i know even then things are possible so i do intend to speak to the management there next time i go to collect feed for my hens.
    I no longer have the pullet that died and as much as i would of liked to open her up to try and figure out what happened, i really could not of performed an necrospy on her, really do not have the stomach for that.
    I did manage to catch the other hen yesterday and check her over, she appeared ok from what i could tell, i also tried to check in her throat but she kept her tongue on the roof of her mouth, i tried looking quite a few times but she just kept shacking me off.
    So did you see the head/neck thing she keeps doing on the video? my other hens don't do this nor did she till this week.

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