Puzzle - Please help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by pookieslw, May 24, 2010.

  1. pookieslw

    pookieslw Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2010
    Hi -

    I have a story to tell and need advice as to what happened and if it will affect the rest of my flock, or how long until I know?

    I am a new chicken owner. Brand new chicken housing. No chickens at property ever (I'm really pretty certain). Chickens are in a coop with pine shavings and brooder lamp. Regular chick starter/grower 20%.

    Day 0 (4/20) Received hatchery order - 26 Buff Orpington chicks plus a free rare exotic - vaccinated for Marek's and Cocci. Lose free rare exotic plus two Orps first day - delivery was late.

    Day 1 Purchased 1 Aracuna plus two bantams for "pets" from local breeder - she does not vaccinate and feeds medicated feed. They are all few day old chicks. Side note: I have girls ages 10 and 11 who are helping with the chickens - they are aware all Orps are eventually destined for the stew pot - thus I have allowed separate "pets" - the free rare exotic was going to be the single "pet" so we got these for replacement - more than one for insurance.

    Day 19 One bantam noticed standing around under light a lot, brought inside and TLC'd, Did a LOT of head twitching, didn't eat or drink much but saw no other issues. Chirped a LOT - brought in other bantam for company. At this point it was smaller than the other bantam, but a different breed - failure to thrive?

    Day 21 Bantam dies
    Day 25 Purchased 1 more Aracuna and another bantam. from same local person. Aracuna is more feathered than our Orps, seller thinks still about a month old. Both seem healthy.

    Day 26 Aracuna not doing well, TLC'd inside, but seems to prefer being out with everyone else - goes back out within day. Perks up when we start them outside. Stands around a lot, seems weak, doesn't flap wings, loses balance. No respiratory problems. Can't seem to find a crop problem or any other problem. No poop problem. Over time, Aracuna gradually seems to improves. Moves around more, gradually more alert. Eating a lot and drinking. Last day saw a couple head shakes, but actually based on behavior thought was finally out of the woods.

    Day 27 Aracuna diesÂ…from ?

    All other chickens seem perfectly fine and happy...... Any ideas as to what happened? When can I be certain these chickens haven't infected anyone else - max incubation period for all illness?

    Obviously I'm not getting any more chickens from this local person. I would like to believe that she is not knowingly giving me sick birds, but 2/5 death rate from her stock does not inspire confidence. The daughter whose birds both died (a very gentle girl, I don't think she did anything unintentionally) does not want to try again right now - I am, of course, crushed that this keeps happening to her - she's being very mature about it.

    Thanks for ANY insight about the illness and the incubation period!

    Sara

    5/26 update - we may just be paranoid, but we think a couple other chicks are slow this morning - have to check again in a couple hours........
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2010
  2. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    I have no clue - maybe coccidiosis? Giving you a bump.
     
  3. pookieslw

    pookieslw Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2010
    Thank you for the bump!

    We have another chicken - one of the bantams (from the local breeder), that we are just not sure about today. Don't know if we are paranoid, or if it is really starting to fail. When you're watching just a few birds out of the flock more closely you start to think you see all sorts of things.....
     
  4. MotherJean

    MotherJean Chillin' With My Peeps

    Perhaps more information would help get you some advice...
    Where are you brooding these chicks?
    Are they spending any time outside on grass/soil?
    What are you feeding?
    Giving treats? If so, what and how much?
    Giving grit?
    Giving any supplements? (like vitamins or apple cider vinegar in water)
    Are you using DE (diatomaceous earth)? If so, can you confirm it is "food grade?"

    If all of these things check out, then one is left to suspect that the breeder may be the problem because she does not vaccinate.
     
  5. Southernbelle

    Southernbelle Gone Broody

    Mar 17, 2008
    Virginia
    If you contact the State vet, they will often do autopsies for free or a small fee. They will also test for diseases. It may help you get the answers you're looking for.
     
  6. pookieslw

    pookieslw Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2010
    They are brooding in a small chicken house, off the ground, with a red lamp (draft shield when they were little). They are now going outside during the day, but the bantam died well before they went out, and the Aracuna actually improved after she went outside - she was already sick before she went outside - she came from a dirt barn floor.

    They are eating TSC 20% starter/grower. We've been adding chick grit. They have occasional TSC scratch - but started after the bantam died.

    They had Quik Chick in their water for the first 10 days - two weeks. The bantam had it in her water when she came inside. Yes I measured correctly. I gave the Aracuna some infant drops. Both sick chicks got a little hard boiled egg yolk.

    The one we're not sure of I picked up last evening and she's still real plump, and eating, so I feel better. The two that died were VERY skinny.

    I told my girls that if we lose another one we're taking it for an autopsy. They were reluctant so far. If anyone knows how the system works in NY State, I would appreciate info!

    Thanks!
     
  7. pookieslw

    pookieslw Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2010
    Okay all,

    Since we have weight loss in the two that died, accompanied by ravenous hunger in the early stages, it must be something intestinal. Since all but one of the birds I got from the local breeder came straight from a brooder box in her house, I decided it wasn't worms. I'm gonna go with the cocci guess. I've just never seen bloody poop (or wormy poop). However, the local breeder birds, the ones that are dying, are the ones not vaccinated for cocci.

    I'll bring the three remaining local breeder birds in to the bathtub and treat them all for five days with amprolium (right?), and see if that helps the droopy one, and should keep the other two from developing it if they are susceptible.

    Is there any reason NOT to treat the two that look fine?

    Any comments (like No - don't do it?)?

    Also - I'm planning to restock my flock by letting my Orps brood. Are my new little chicks next spring going to just naturally have to develop resistance?

    Thanks!
     
  8. MotherJean

    MotherJean Chillin' With My Peeps

  9. Mandalina

    Mandalina Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 1, 2009
    Savannah,MO
    I would get a necropsy done if you lose any more.It deff sounds like a disease killing them, not something random. Sorry for your losses.
     
  10. pookieslw

    pookieslw Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 24, 2010
    Okay, I read about Marek's. I suppose it could be, though we never had paralysis, just droopiness. Sounds like we are going to have Marek's at some point anyways? Sounds like it's just everywhere. My daughter just said the Orps have always had blue eyes...?

    I noticed on Ideal's website that they do not even recommend Marek's vaccination for small flocks - so is it common or not?!?!

    I think since there is no treatment for Marek's, and everyone has already been exposed, I will just try treating the one for cocci (she doesn't seem worse this morning). My Orps did have the Marek's vaccine, but it also sounds like they could have exposed to the Marek's by our additions before the vaccine had time - but they survived? Or bad things will happen all summer......

    .....and I will cry because I did it to myself by buying pet birds for my girls.


    I think I will just watch and see....if the cocci treatment works I will be very relieved.
     

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