PLEASE HELP - Two Down In One Night!!! UPDATE-DIAGNOSIS in first post

tulie13

Songster
10 Years
Feb 12, 2009
641
11
143
NW Florida
I came home from a 3-day trip last night and my husband told me that the chicken with the swollen eye had seemed to be doing better. See this post: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=249426 The redness around her eye is better, looks more like normal chicken skin, but still swollen. Crusts up, but saline rinse and antibiotic ointment seem to be keeping it from getting stuck shut any more.

But he also mentioned that some of the chickens had been "napping" in the run on Tuesday and Wednesday. I went out to see them and it was getting dark, so they were pretty "settled". But I could tell there was something strange - several were perched on an OUTSIDE roost (in the run, not in the coop) and one was standing/sleeping on the ground under the roost. They all looked sort of "droopy", but that's hard to evaluate when they are headed to bed. I checked on them after dark, and they were still there, they had not headed in to the coop and apparently slept on the run perch.

When we went into the coop this morning, several were still hanging around the outside roost, and I could see some bloody/mucous-containing poo (yes I poked at it). My husband was out there with me, I also was "disciplining" a rooster, and he went into the coop to see how things were in there. He said, "Honey, drop the rooster..."
I turned around and saw what he was looking at - a dead hen under the coop roost. Then we turned around and there was another over by the nesting boxes.
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Two in one night! When we picked one of them up, she was slightly warm still, and when she was moved/compressed some yellowish bubbly snot came out of her nostrils. I could not sense a particular odor other than sort of musty/damp smell.

I need some advice, please. Here are some of the particulars/changes:

Feed recently changed from Country Acres to Nutrena (both layer formulas), right before I left town. Also added a sand/DE dust box with FOOD GRADE DE (it actually says it is a feed additive on the bag). Also put down a bit of pine shavings under their roost and sprinkled a little Stall-Dry in it so hubby would not have to worry about cleaning poo for 3 days hopefully, and I could do it when I got back from my trip.

We have just gotten through a LONG spell of wet weather, and our run drainage isn't the best. So they did slog around in some mud for a bit, but they could always go into the more dry coop. (Edited to add: also just had a cool front come through, temperatures dropped Monday night, it was cooler on Tuesday and Wednesday than it has been around here in a long time. We are in NW Florida, so it's not "cold" but it got chilly at night those nights, probably in the low 60's.) OH - and all chickens are approx 6-1/2 months old.

With the wet weather immediately preceding this, and the bloody poo, I'm thinking Cocci, but that does not explain the yellow snot - that is obviously respiratory. I AM worried that someone may be MESSING WITH our chickens, because we found a piece of paper in the run that looks like part of a package of something, but it doesn't match ANYTHING we use or have used around the chickens.
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I have some Sulmet on hand, also vitamins/electrolytes, and I have a packet of Aureomycin (Chlorotetracycline). Can I put BOTH Sulmet and the Aureomycin in the water at the same time? And should I? Or do I need a different antibiotic for respiratory illness? And can I/should I put the vitamin/electrolyte in there, too? It has some probiotics which I know would end up being worthless, but the vitamin part should help...

PLEASE HELP, hey threehorses, Glenda, anyone... HELP!!!!
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UPDATE-DIAGNOSIS: Well after I lost the two, called the FL State Vet, he talked me through doing a necroscopy. Checked for Fowl Pox/Wet Pox - no lesions in the mouth or throat (was checking for this because some of my hens had black spots on their combs probably mosquito bites/Dry Pox). Found TWO types of Coccidiosis based on the area of the intestines and the severity - Eimeria Necatrix (which is a very nasty one) and Eimeria Tenella (also very nasty and deadly, sometimes called "cecal coccidiosis"). Additionally, based on the intestinal hemmorhaging, he believes I also have some Clostridium infection, probably secondary due to the severe coccidiosis. I'll post again later on why we (the vet and I) think possibly they suddenly got this - they are 6 months old, were fed medicated chick starter, but now SUDDENLY have 2 strains of severe infection...
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And the antibiotic he recommends for the Clostridium is Bacitracin, Neomycin, or soluble (not injectable) penicillin, which NOBODY around here carries - I've been on the phone for 2 hours calling everywhere I can think of.

Two more look like they are about to go, I will probably lose more before this is over. And of course I need to leave town Monday...
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tulie13

Songster
10 Years
Feb 12, 2009
641
11
143
NW Florida
Thanks - since I haven't heard back from anyone yet, and I'm burning daylight (prime chicken eating/drinking hours) I went ahead and dosed their water with Sulmet and Aureomycin, plus the vitamins/electrolytes. That is their only water source as of now (turned off flow to automatic waterer).

I was just out at the coop to put the treated water in, and they all just look like CRAP!
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They were sort of standing/sitting around. Most of the time when I go out there they come a-running.
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Will also be trying to prompt them to eat a "treat" mix with yogurt and pellets mashed in, plus some Kickin' Chicken supplement.

Any feedback on if this is a bad idea, or a good idea, is still welcome - I will be checking back regularly!!! THANKS
 

chickenlittleton

In the Brooder
10 Years
Apr 25, 2009
19
0
22
Littleton, Colorado
Oh Geez......my heart goes to you and your husband. I read your previous post before you went out of town. I don't know anything about what's going on with your girls, as I'm new to raising hens and learning things by trial and error. Just wanted to offer my sympathy. It appears you had the problem before you went out of town and before you changed their feed. I too use DE and if you've been using it for awhile I wouldn't suspect that either. Maybe something is leaching up in the mud (chemicals, weed-killer, radon, ?) perhaps a soil test could shed some light? Anyway, hang in there! I'll keep watching to see what you turn up with.
 

robin416

Songster
12 Years
Feb 6, 2007
2,056
20
203
Take one of the drugs out. You could make things worse with two disparate drugs.

At this point I strongly suggest you get a necropsy done. Whatever this is could very well decimate your entire flock before you know it.

Tear in to the coop, clean it spotless. There is a small possibility that all the rain has caused some other issues.
 

tulie13

Songster
10 Years
Feb 12, 2009
641
11
143
NW Florida
Quote:
I did manage to get in touch with our State Agricultural Extension office - University of Florida in Gainesville - and the vet there (Gary Butcher) said it was OK to mix the two. I don't have anyone anywhere near where I am that can do the necroscopy, but I'm going to do an amateur version to at least see if there is coccidiosis. He talked me through how to look for it, particularly the kind that seems to be most prevalent/around here (Eimeria Tenella) - page 100 of The Chicken Health Handbook by Gail Damerow diagrams where I need to look on the ceca, and he described to me what it would look/feel like. Sent him pics of the poo, too.
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Nice guy - very helpful and willing to take the time with you!
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I'll post what I find (or don't find). THANKS again - now to do some coop cleaning, too...
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tulie13

Songster
10 Years
Feb 12, 2009
641
11
143
NW Florida
Bump for update - see the bottom of the first post - I have a diagnosis...
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Unfortunately can't find part of the treatment and chickens are starting to drop...
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Cetawin

Chicken Beader
11 Years
Mar 20, 2008
13,752
137
333
NW Kentucky
Oh I am so sorry to hear this...keep doing what Mr. Butcher advises. Try contacting one of the larger cattle or dairy farms for the soluble pen, they should be able to direct you on where to order it at a minimum. Most feed stores can order that stuff for you but you will have to break it down for "chicken" size because it will be cattle strength.

Good luck with them and I hope you can heal up your girls.
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tulie13

Songster
10 Years
Feb 12, 2009
641
11
143
NW Florida
Thanks - I just injected them all with my injectable Penicillin, Double Sulmet in their water (took out the Aureomycin). Corid should arrive shortly and will add that into water. Ordering some soluble Penicillin from Jeffers. Of course, I have to leave town again Monday...
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mypicklebird

Songster
11 Years
Aug 8, 2008
1,234
19
151
Sonoma Co, CA
A large animal veterinarian will likely have these things, and you might try calling them. They may want to see a chicken to make prescribing something legal. Oral penicillin capsules can be compounded into a suspension to be given orally to each chicken- penicillin is readily available at large and small animal vets, possibly the feed store, and also at human pharmacies with a prescription (vets can call into human pharmacies). Neomyin is used in humans, and also could be obtained from a human pharmacy with a prescription. If you can get a local vet involved- they can have things overnighted from their drug suppliers, or call into a human/compounding pharmacy to get what you need.



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