Rescued Silkies - Covered in lice, toe nail fungus

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MilesFluffybutt, May 10, 2019.

  1. MilesFluffybutt

    MilesFluffybutt Songster

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    Hello, BYC Community.

    Earlier this week I assisted in the rescue of four Silkie hens who were living in absolutely deplorable conditions. The coop was disgusting - no lights, no heating, no ventilation, no windows, leaking roof, rotted floor caked with inches of nasty bedding and waste - fecal, spoiled/moldy food.

    I wish we could have rescued the remaining chickens, but the owner had sold them with the coop. I should have taken photos of the coop because I am absolutely astounded that someone would buy it.

    It's almost like once the owner decided she was done, she shut the coop door and forgot about them. I don't advocate violence, but some people need to be punched in the throat. How the heck can anyone do that?!

    These girls were just caked from head to toe in waste. It took two days of scrubbing to remove much of the filth.

    I expected a host of respiratory issues, but so far, all we've found is a mild case of lice, some toe nail and underweight issues. One is scarily skeletal and the other three could stand to put on a little bit of weight. The skeletal one is the bottom of the pecking order so if food is scarce then the other girls would likely keep her from eating. We are working on fattening them all up. Suggestions on food would be welcomed.

    So, we're treating the lice with Ivermectin pour-on. We haven't seen any signs of worms, but thought it'd be good to treat just in case. We were going to do baths as well, but the weather hasn't been very nice so we didn't want to risk making them sick. Can anyone reading this tell me if we need to do a second round of Ivermectin? I've read that some people do and other don't. We have treated the coop with DE because none of the local stores had a poultry dust. It's on order and we'll dust it when it's in.

    Regarding the toe nail issues, all of the hens are missing a couple of toe nails. One hen has no toe nails on one foot and only two on the other. I suspect their toe nails fell off after they were damaged and/or grew too long. I'm not seeing any signs of infection, but I doubt standing in their own waste for months helped. So I wondering if there's anything we can do to help their feet/toe nails. Should we remove them? Let them fall off naturally? Post-scrubbing photos attached.

    Thank you all for reading this incredibly long post.

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  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    They may have suffered frostbite on their toe tips, which can be very common in northern climates in Jan-Feb. especially if their toes get wet inside the coop.That may have been due to water spills or soiled beeding. Losing toenails happens with toe frostbite.
     
  3. SurferchickinSB

    SurferchickinSB Crowing

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    People can be horrible when it comes to animals! Thank God you rescued them!
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    Keeping them on a balanced brand name chicken layer or all flock feed would be good for 90% of their diet. The all flock might be better for the first month, just to get the protein level up. Cooked egg, occasional tuna or chopped liver can be good for treats. Adding water to a separate pan of feed can be very attractive to most chickens. There you can add small amounts of plain yogurt or buttermilk for probiotics. Glad that you rescued these silkies, and I hope they thrive in your care.
     
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
  5. micstrachan

    micstrachan Free Ranging

    I’m so glad you rescued these sweet lovelies and took them home. I would do a high quality grower feed and possibly protein treats, as suggested by Eggcessive.
     
  6. MilesFluffybutt

    MilesFluffybutt Songster

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    The hens are with my rescue partner so she's doing all the leg work on this one. I believe she has them on a 50/50 mix of Purina Layena and a Feather Fixer. I can drop off a bag of All Flock if you think that's better than what they're currently being fed.

    I know she is feeding them scrambled eggs as a treat. They're a bit skittish so she's using high-value and healthy treats to get them comfortable with being handled and around people.

    I'll let her know about the yogurt mash for probiotics. I left a stack of Sav-a-Chic Electrolyte and Probiotic packets for my rescue partner to mix with their water.

    We'll keep an eye on the toe nails. I didn't think there was much we could do, but it never hurts to ask.

    Thank you so much for your help! I really appreciate it.

    My rescue partner is going to try to figure out who the buyer is so she can warn them about the lice and other issues. She doesn't suspect the owner will tell the buyers.
     
    anderstr196 likes this.
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Enabler

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    Sounds like you have it covered. The feed they have plus the high protein treats is good if they are laying. Layer is usually 16%, and the feather fixer may be a little higher in protein. The all flock is usually 20%.
     
    MilesFluffybutt and anderstr196 like this.
  8. Rels

    Rels In the Brooder

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    Poor silkies! I would think that rubbing vaseline into their feet would be good measure in case there are any scaly leg mites present.
    I think you asked a valid question. When should Ivermectin be used again? Ivermectin is such a loaded topic on here. I too rescued silkies a couple years ago that were in great condition other than lice. We used Ivermectin and never had an issue again but I never picked up a regime of the product. Should it be used every six months preventatively or more aggressively when dealing with an infestation?
    Does anyone have any recommendations?
     
    MilesFluffybutt likes this.
  9. Sea Wolf

    Sea Wolf Songster

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    My birds got some type of mite. I bought a bottle of permethrin concentrate and diluted it. You can find it where the horse stuff is. There is a dilution on the instructions for poultry dipping. I made up a 5 gallon bucket of the stuff and they all got dunked. Do this and make sure the whole bird is wet. Let them dry. It will kill the lice, mites on them now as well as any eggs that hatch later. It will be good for quite a while and it will not hurt the birds. If you think it is too cold out for them to get wet, put them in a dog kennel after getting dipped and bring them inside until they dry.
     
    MilesFluffybutt likes this.
  10. MilesFluffybutt

    MilesFluffybutt Songster

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    I have used Gordon's Permethrin 10 once before to treat my coops after a mite outbreak, but the smell, even diluted, was too much for me. If the Ivermetericin doesn't do the trick I will suggest it to my rescue partner. Maybe she and her husband could dunk'em.

    I've read on other forums and in other threads that most people treat a second round in 10-14 days to kill any newly hatched creepy crawlies. I think we're going to end up doing that.
     
    Rels and Eggcessive like this.

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