Rapidly declining flock

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by laceylou, May 16, 2017.

  1. laceylou

    laceylou Out Of The Brooder

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    We had 9 hens, all around 2.5 years old. We've had three die within a month of each other. The first one was visibly ill/off when I first noticed. She was hunched over, ruffled feathers, floppy comb, sour crop, greenish/white poop covered bottom feathers, and VERY swollen abdomen. After looking here, I came to the peritonitis conclusion. She died within 4 days of me noticing her being ill. 5-6 days later, her best buddy chicken started showing the exact, same symptoms. After further research, I decided to drain her belly and vomit her (I know it's risky, but...)Tons came up. She also died within 6 days of first noticing symptoms. 7 days after her death another one... exact same cycle. Died within several days. Now, we have 4th one that is acting totally fine, but I noticed a poopy bottom and her belly is full....All that have died are the same, Golden Sex-Links from Atwoods. We also have two EE and one Salmon Faverolle. I did speak with a chicken vet over the phone as a courtesy provided by our local county extension service. He was thinking peritonitis, ascites, or heart failure. But I don't understand how they're dying so close together. I haven't noticed any signs or worms in their poop and gave them wormer just incase. I'm just at a complete loss. These hens are like pets and I've scoured the internet for answers. I have yet been able to locate a local poultry vet here...any idea or suggestions would be greatly welcomed.
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Sorry for your losses.

    Ascites is a symptom of disease and/or organ failure and could be caused by many different things, including something contagious.

    Best bet is too open one up and take a look, or find a lab that will do a complete necropsy-some states will do it for free or it could cost up to a couple hundred bucks. Ask your extension office, surprised the vet didn't mention it.

    Only one type of worm would be easily visible in poops, need a fecal float from a reputable to know if and how much of a worm load may be present, and what kind so you know the proper effective treatment. Don't think worms would cause ascites, but maybe.

    High production birds often die of reproductive issues, cancer, internal laying, etc.
     
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  3. laceylou

    laceylou Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you so much. I'll will inquire about a necropsy. I forgot to add that I would very frequently find soft shelled eggs that were broken in the nesting box from one or all of those hens. So far, the eggs now have all been normal. It's so sad to watch them pass....I feel just helpless except to provide comfort.
     
  4. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    Very wierd. Are they eating something which could've poisoned them?
    I am so sorry for your losses. I agree about the necropsy. Call your State extension service and see who they recommend. What State Re you in?
    Best,
    Karen
     
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  5. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Let It Snow Premium Member

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    Certain times of the year are more stressful, like spring, with fluctuating temperatures, and rain which can encourage diseases, and stress birds which can exasperated underlying problems. I personally have had 2 sick birds in the last month, one older, and one younger. Odds are I will probably get one in the fall too.

    Migrating birds also carry and spread diseases, and they are moving in both spring and fall, many carry stuff and can infect chickens, or at least stress their immune systems.
     
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  6. laceylou

    laceylou Out Of The Brooder

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    I can't imagine that they have. The vet also mentioned salt toxicity, but they eat just regular layer pellets and some veggie/fruit scraps occasionally.
     
  7. laceylou

    laceylou Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 21, 2014
    We definitely have a lot of birds. Thank you so much!
     
  8. laceylou

    laceylou Out Of The Brooder

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    I am in Arkansas. They eat just regular layer pellets and the occasional veggie/fruit scraps. I would hope not, but it is a very odd thing. Thank you so much!
     
  9. 3riverschick

    3riverschick Poultry Lit Chaser

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    Hi here's what I want you to do go over to the website http://www.World poultry.net
    Select : the fourth edition of poultry world is now online.
    Scroll down the pi of a hand holding a chicken. Click on orange colored term "gut health". Look at all the diseases on the page that pops up. maybe you will find an answer.
    Best,
    Karen
     
    laceylou likes this.
  10. laceylou

    laceylou Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you. I will check that out.
     

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