Should I be worried?

TJAnonymous

Crowing
Feb 29, 2020
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Central Arkansas
About 2 weeks ago I noticed 2 of my Blue Andalusians were looking a little peaked. Their combs were very pale and flopped over to the side. They are both only a year old. They haven't been laying recently but I wasn't too concerned because many of my girls have stopped or slowed down because of winter. As a precaution though, I gave them some Safeguard dewormer and put some Corid in the water.

Sadly, one of these girls passed away unexpectedly on Sunday. I went in the coop to feed and she was dead on the floor.

Of course, this made me concerned for the other one. Her comb is still pale and flopped over. I brought her inside and put her in an infirmary crate to keep an eye on her for a few days. This time, I put Corid in her water but I also treated her with Pour-on Ivermectin.

I'm not sure what else to do for her or if she is even sick? I'm just assuming since her comb is so pale and floppy. She is very skittish by nature so keeping her in the crate is really stressing her out. She keeps throwing herself at the bars so I covered it with a blanket to try to calm her down.

I looked at all my girls closely tonight and there are several buff Orpingtons and RIRs who also have pale combs right now. Everyone seems to be eating decently and no one seems particularly lethargic. Is it possible for them to get pale combs in winter without them being sick?
 

TJAnonymous

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Feb 29, 2020
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I'm so sorry. Are they molting?
Some of them have molted recently but I'm not sure about this Blue Andalusian. She is a Splash and I feel like maybe she did molt because she is incredibly spotted now. I'm almost certain she didn't look like this earlier in the year. She was more white than she is currently... But with nearly 50 birds, I don't remember which ones have or have not molted...
 

Yardmom

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May 3, 2018
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If hens are not laying their combs will be pale. Most birds over a year don't lay after molting until the days start getting longer. Obviously the dead bird is not normal. I would watch to make sure there are no other issues, but it may have been something wrong with the individual bird and not with the whole flock.
 

Eggcessive

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I'd be very relieved if that's all it is... I'm just worried since the other one died unexpectedly and they both looked similar with the pale, floppy combs
Is a vet an option? Whenever you lose a chicken, most state vets will do a necropsy to help find a cause of death. Reproductive problems, crop disorders, worms, coccidiosis, or mites should be considered.
 

Aunt Angus

Crossing the Road
Jul 16, 2018
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I'm so sorry that you lost one of your Andalusians...

I'd refrain from treating her with any more medications unless you can pin down an exact ailment.

I'd start by withholding food and checking her crop in the morning. And how is her poop?
 

TJAnonymous

Crowing
Feb 29, 2020
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Central Arkansas
Is a vet an option? Whenever you lose a chicken, most state vets will do a necropsy to help find a cause of death. Reproductive problems, crop disorders, worms, coccidiosis, or mites should be considered.
I would have loved to get a necropsy but it just wasn't possible. I'd have to take the body to Little Rock (an hour away) and make sure they are actually taking animals at this time. They weren't earlier this spring because of COVID but I think they've opened up again. However I've been swamped with work and can't get away for 2 - 2.5 hrs to go until at least after Christmas. I didn't feel confident that it wouldn't decompose so I allowed my DH to burn the body.

However, if more birds start dropping, I will find a way to do it.
 

TJAnonymous

Crowing
Feb 29, 2020
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Central Arkansas
I'm so sorry that you lost one of your Andalusians...

I'd refrain from treating her with any more medications unless you can pin down an exact ailment.

I'd start by withholding food and checking her crop in the morning. And how is her poop?
She pooped the moment I put her in the crate on a puppy pad. Her pooped looked pretty normal. Maybe a little dry, if anything. It was too dark to check her poop more closely for any worms. I'd like to do that tomorrow.

I've never found any worms in our girls poop. But I have 2 goats who share the run with the girls. The goats do not go inside the coop. They have their own house although the chickens DO go inside the goat house all the time. Anyway, goats are notorious for worms so I imagine they have to have been exposed at some time. I also have horses but I do a rotational worming schedule for them every other month.
 

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