Please help, not sure what the problem is...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by TheYLWFlock, Sep 14, 2018.

  1. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

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    Hi
    Sorry to hear it is Marek's but definitely better to know and taking the steps you have already taken and plan to take will help limit the effect on your flock. I like that you are planning more run space for them for winter. Cutting back on high carbohydrate treats like scratch, corn or bread is a good idea. Providing them with access to fresh greens and surplus fruit whenever possible is a good idea and as Wyorp Rock suggests a vitamin supplement once a fortnight would not be a bad idea.
    As regards wormers, I'm of the opinion that you don't want to be pumping chemicals into their bodies if they don't need them as that can stress their internal system. Was there any mention of internal or external parasites on the necropsy report. If this is your first flock and chickens have nor recently been kept on the same ground, then they may not be at risk of a high worm burden at this stage. Rather than routinely worm, you might want to send off a combined flock sample to the same lab as did the necropsy, for a faecal float test. That will give you an indication of whether your flock have a worm or coccidia load that needs treating..... Marek's can cause secondary infections like coccidiosis overload, due to the immune suppressive nature of the virus. The faecal float will not usually identify tapeworms though so you need to be vigilant when you are cleaning up poop for tapeworm segments. Tapeworms are less common than roundworms or cecal worms but it is importand to know what you are looking for..... ie tiny white or cream coloured organisms like grains of rice that move slowly. If you research tapeworms in chicken poop I'm sure you will find videos of what to look for. Some climates will lend themselves more to worms than others. In 5 years of keeping chickens I have yet to worm my flocks. I have seen the odd roundworm in poop and found a couple during necropsies (maybe 5 in total in 5 years), but it is my belief that a low level of worms is to be expected and it is only when their system gets out of balance that an infestation gets out of hand. Many people disagree with me and routinely worm their flock and feel than any level or internal parasites is not to be tolerated and will always result in an infestation if not treated and that may be the case in some climates, but my preference is to be vigilant and have poop samples tested once or twice a year and only treat if necessary..... I operate the same system for my horses and have found from the results that routine worming is not necessary for me. You will need to make up your own mind as to which route you want to take.

    Something that I think can be beneficial with chickens in general but Marek's flocks in particular, is fermented feed. It is easy to do and provides them with more easily digestible food and keeps their gut bacteria healthy. I'm also a fan of a little raw apple cider vinegar in their water. I also think that deep litter floors, in the run at least, provide them with a healthier environment.

    Other than that, it is just a question of playing the waiting game to see if/when you have another outbreak.
    Good luck!
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    Thank you for posting the necropsy report. That is one of the most easy to read reports that I have seen posted. So sorry that it was the dreaded Mareks. As far as worming, it probably is a good time of year for it, but they didn’t find any worms on Daisy, unless they will be in further reports. They are some safer wormers, such as fenbendazole (SafeGuard, Panacur) and albendazole (Valbazen) which are good to use. Fluebenvet is one that is available in the UK to put in the feed that is safe to use. I would try to use one of those if you want to worm, or you could wait until later. You have been one of the most mature people I have seen dealing with something like this. If you can get some probiotics, I would use those twice a week on the whole flock, since they can help with gut health and overall immunity. I hope the rest of the chickens stay healthy.
     
  3. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Egg Pusher

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    Thanks for posting the results.
    Feed a complete feed and limited treats and keep them as stress free as possible. I would have fecals done before worming.
     
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  4. TheYLWFlock

    TheYLWFlock Crowing

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    Me too! Mareks really sucks, and I feel bad for people that have been dealing with having Mareks in their flock for years! I’m going to start giving them only fresh vegetables and fruits for treats. Do you recommend any certain vitamin supplement?
    I think that that is a good opinion to have, why put chemicals into a body that doesn’t need them? There was no report of any parasites or things like that in the necropsy, and yes, this is our first flock of chickens. I usually check any poop I clean up and check for worms, but I have never seen a sign of them. I’m glad to know that I don’t need to worm them!
    Fermented feed, interesting. I have never tried it before. Now I can easily look up how, but my question is, do you feed this to them full time, or do they eat just dry food as well? Currently I have their food in a feeder in their run full time, is that the same with fermented feed, or do you have special feeding times to feed them?
    I can easily do the ACV, we gave it to them in heir water when they were chicks. How would you do a deep litter floor in a coop or run? I have read a bit about it but it seems so confusing!
    Thank you so much for all of your help!
    No problem! I figure that you guys can hel me more if I post it, haha. I wonder why this one is so easy to read? Do you mean in terms of not being blurry, or ability to understand? I don’t think that they will be doing anymore reports, since the one from last night said: FINAL REPORT. Thank you for the list of workers, I will keep those names on hand if I end up needing them! As for probiotics, are there any brands that you recommend, or do I just go to the farm store and ask for chicken probiotics? I hope that the chickens stay healthy too! Thanks for all f your help!
    No problem! I have heard a lot about limiting treats, so no more treats for the flock! Just fresh and healthy greens!
    Thanks!


    Thank you all for your advice and help you have given me! You are really awesome people! And sorry for all of the questions I ask, I’m still new to all of this![/QUOTE]
     
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  5. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Egg Pusher

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    I feed only fermented feed to my flock and I am able to feed it out three times per day.
    Fermented feed can not be feed in traditional gravity feeders. I use glass bowls.
    Some people put out enough feed per day first thing in the morning to last one day.
     
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  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Free Ranging

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    I have a gravity feeder hung up with dry layers pellets in it available throughout the day but I give them a pan of fermented feed in the morning that they polish off in about 10 mins. It's like a treat to them, so I hope they never find out it is just boring old pellets that have been soaked in water and left to bubble for a day or two....ssh! I serve it up in an old frying pan and they peck it clean. It gets a quick scrub out each night with rainwater from the water butt and hung up to dry ready for the next day.
    They get grass mowings and beet spinach and dandelions from the garden.
    Deep litter isn't that complicated but does take practise to perfect. It is a case of trial and error and climate has a bearing on that. Basically you are looking to add lots of organic mulch to their run to keep the soil from getting packed down and faeces laden. The organic material helps keep the soil aerated and improves the rate of breakdown of poop due to the good bacteria it promotes. It basically becomes a compost heap that the chickens can scratch through..... I'm still learning what works best and I occasionally go in with a garden fork and turn it over which gets them very excited because it reveals all the worms and grubs. At this time of year, collecting dead leaves is a good idea. I sweep up the leaves that collect in the gutter at the side of the roads in my village and bag them up and use some now and some later. Grass mowings need to be layered with brown mulch like wood shavings, tree and hedge clippings which have been chipped, shredded cardboard etc. If you know anyone with horses or you have horses yourself, a wheelbarrow load of muck from the stable tipped into the run every few weeks is good. It really is a case of try it and see. In a wet climate/season with an uncovered run it can be quite challenging to get it to work right but then any run surface in a wet climate will struggle.
     
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  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    Probios is a brand of probiotics found in some feed stores. Gro2Max and Bene-Bac Plus are found online. There are a lot of brands for various animals. I use a dollop of plain yogurt mixed into feed with water for many birds. The yogurt I use has 4 different sources of cultures. Twice a week is good. Many feeds nowadays have probiotics, but not sure how good those are if just one culture.
     
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  8. TheYLWFlock

    TheYLWFlock Crowing

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    Awesome thanks! What amount per bird should I put into it?

    Sounds good! I guess that I’ll keep their normal food in there, but how much per bird should I give for the fermented feed in the morning?

    Ok, it sounds a bit complicated, but doable. I’ll try to cover the run so that the rain can’t get in, the run is partially covered, but I will try to cover the other half too. So basically I rake up the soil in the run, add a layer of dry grass, maybe some wood shavings and and then dry leaves on top. I’m not sure if I should start since it’s been so rainy lately and our winters are pretty wet, but maybe I can start in the spring? What do you think?

    Thank you! I will look for these when I’m at the farm store next time.
     
  9. Texas Kiki

    Texas Kiki Egg Pusher

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    On average a chicken will eat about 1/4 pound of feed per day.
    How many chickens do you have?
     
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    I tried fermented feed for 7-8 months one year. I would not bother with it again. In warm climates, it is a mess, burning up the grass and getting slung everywhere, and I worried a bit about spoilage. In freezing temperatures it is frozen, and the 5 gallon buckets have to be kept inside to keep from freezing.

    I switched back to dry feed, and on many days I will mix a flat pan of pellets with a lot of water to make a mash. They eat all of it, and the pans are washed out. Recently here we had a member who had a necropsy done and the state vet claimed the fermented feed caused the death. I would never go back to fermented food. When people use it I don’t like to talk them out of it, but I did not see any change in my chickens or in the amount they ate. It just made a huge mess, and I think some of my hens overate.
     

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