Sick 6 week old hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by djhphoto, Oct 3, 2012.

  1. djhphoto

    djhphoto New Egg

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    Oct 3, 2012
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    Thanks in advance to whomever may be able to help with this, I'm brand new, like only 2 weeks in, to having chickens!

    One of my Domoniques is seemingly quite sick and not sure what to do for her. She has a swollen area on the left side of her head, right around the eye, which she keeps closed most of the time. The down and feathers in that area are pretty much gone as well. She's quite sluggish and rests a lot, not a lot of movement at all. She shows some slow breathing with a lot of breast pumping. She will drink and eat small amounts but she's at least still doing that.

    I've treated her for mites with a dusting of powder, and also gave her some VetRX in case she's got an eye worm. The breeder I got my birds from doesn't vaccinate so I am feeding all of my birds a medicated chick food for now, also some regular chick food that is always available. I've also added DE to the feed and coop for them to scratch around in and get into their systems.

    With all of this does anyone have a clue what I may be doing wrong or what the chick may be suffering from? Again, thanks in advance for any help on this.
     
  2. soler

    soler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am really not sure what this is, and hopefully someone with more experience can weigh in.

    Meanwhile, could you give us a few more details, like the age of the chicken, and how long this has been going on? How are the other chickens?

    I would for sure add some vitamin/electrolytes to the water, and i would also check to see if there is any sign of trauma near the swelling. Is it possible she is being picked by the others and a cut has gotten infected? If you can isolate her, that would be a good idea.

    Make sure she eats. You might have to force her a bit. Offer her plain yogurt, some high quality wet cat canned food, mash her chick food with yogurt, and a touch of honey. etc etc. Makign sure she is eating enough will buy you extra time. Her crop should feel full at least once a day.
     
  3. djhphoto

    djhphoto New Egg

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    Oct 3, 2012
    Davidson, NC
    Hi, thanks for responding. She's 6 weeks old, and I've only noticed it the past 2-3 days.

    The rest of my flock are doing quite well and have none of the other symptoms she is displaying. I've watched them for a while and there seems to be no picking going on or any signs of trauma in the area. It's a little crusty to the touch, but no cuts or marks of any kind.

    I'll try the feeding you recommended and make sure she is getting enough food. She does seem to be quite smaller than the others, so not sure if she's just a little smaller or not getting her share of food. I'll keep an eye on her closely and look for that.
     
  4. soler

    soler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    it would be a good idea to use at least 2 feeders/waterers so everyone has access, in case she is at the bottom of the pecking order.

    It is also possible that one of the others pecked at her eye, and it swelled up.

    what about poops? are they normal/runny/green? any blood or small red bits in it? that would be a sign of cocci. which would be consistent with being sluggish, not moving, eating less etc. That also kills quite fast, and if she has it, they probably all have it. You can take a poop to the vet for testing (any vet will do it, will cost 25-30 dollars) and you'll have results within 24 hours, or you could buy Corid and just treat them all.

    Here is some cocci info here:
    Coccidiosis Treatment


    There are many forms of Coccidiosis, but two main ones are treated, these are Cecal and Intestinal
    Coccidiosis in chickens is caused by seven different species of coccidia (genus Eimeria), which are single celled parasites that live in the gut wall of their host. These coccidia are host specific: turkeys and other species are not infected by fowl coccidia and vice-versa. The different species of coccidia live in different parts of the gut and can be divided into those causing intestinal coccidiosis (the majority) or caecal coccidiosis (one species).

    Coccidiosis Cecal Symptoms

    In chicks or young birds, droopiness, huddling with ruffled feathers, loss of appetite, retarded growth, and bloody diarrhoea in early stages
    Mortality is high
    Spread from contact with droppings of infected birds. Spread on used equipment, feed sacks, feet o humans and wild birds
    An important symptom is blood around the vent or bloody diarrhea
    Unfortunately, many different diseases of chickens show identical symptoms which makes accurate diagnosis very difficult

    Coccidiosis Intestinal Symptoms

    Affects growing or semi mature birds, droopiness, huddling with ruffled feathers, loss in interest in water and feed, retarded growth or weight loss, watery, moucousy, or pasty, tan or blood tinged diarrrhea, sometimes emaciation and dehydration
    In mature birds; thin breast, weak legs, drop in laying, sometimes diarrrhea
    If affects their intestinal tract
    Mortality is limited to high
    Spread from droppings of infected birds; spread on used equipment, feed sacks feet of humans and wild birds
    An important symptom is blood around the vent or bloody diarrhea
    Unfortunately, many different diseases of chickens show identical symptoms which makes accurate diagnosis very difficult

    Treatment:
    1-teaspoon amprolium (20 percent) per gallon drinking water for 5 days (this is not an antibiotic)
    Also a broad spectrum antibiotic to guard against secondary infections, ask your vet what they have available
    Following this treatment, give multi vitamin supplement (especially A and K)
    Survivors are immune by may never be as productive as uninfected birds

    Spread of the disease

    Damp or contaminated litter and overcrowding favour its development.
    Most commercial chick starters contain a drug that inhibits coccidiosis, however if a clean, dry environment is not maintained then disease can occur. Birds fed diets without preventative drugs are particularly at risk so clean dry litter and adequate space are especially important
    If you have soil in your coop it would be advisable to turn it, but don’t allow dust to blow everywhere, as this will spread the disease, if you sprinkle hydrated lime into the soil it will help to eradicated the problem… make sure no lumps are on the floor, use a flour sifter to apply it and then rake it into the dirt

    Coccidiosis is spread when one bird eats faecal material from an infected bird, which contains the infective stage of the coccidia (small egg-like bodies called oocysts). The oocysts in the droppings need moisture and warmth to mature before they can infect other birds, but in the right conditions, can do so very quickly (24 hr). Oocysts can remain alive in poultry sheds for more than a year and they are very resistant to most disinfectants.

    Oocysts are ingested when birds scratch and peck at the litter or consume contaminated feed or water. Each oocyst breaks down in the gut to release eight organisms that invade the lining of the gut. They then multiply through several cycles to produce thousands of parasites, damaging the gut and causing disease that may lead to the fowl's death.

    Beginning five to seven days after infection, thousands of oocysts pass out in the droppings of the bird to continue the life cycle. It is impossible to prevent this spread unless birds are housed so that they have no contact with faeces.
     
  5. djhphoto

    djhphoto New Egg

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    Wow, soler, thanks a million! A lot of great info there. I'm looking into all of it. She's looks to be eating a bit more today, moving around a bit more, but still a bit sluggish.

    I'm looking into treating all of them for the cocci, if that is something they do not have, is it harmful to treat for it? Or is okay to treat as a precaution?

    Thanks again for all the info, really helpful!
     
  6. djhphoto

    djhphoto New Egg

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    Oct 3, 2012
    Davidson, NC
    BTW, are Lavender Orpington chicks as your avatar? I have those as well, great birds, and great personalities!
     
  7. soler

    soler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    hi! i think it's ok to treat them for 5 days. If you get the liquid corid, you need to dose between 5 and 10 ml per gallon (heavy infestation, go with the higher concentration); for powder corid (20%), it's half the dose. 1 tsp is about 5ml for reference. Then after the 5 days, it would be good to add probiotics (or offer plain yogurt), as well as boost the water with vitamins for a few days.

    Yes, they are two lavender orpingtons, lovely birds. Henry and Georgiana. He is a gorgeous boy! And she is sneaky and very clever.
     
  8. djhphoto

    djhphoto New Egg

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    Oct 3, 2012
    Davidson, NC
    Thanks again soler, I'm picking up some corid today and starting the treatment, I appreciate the info and help. I have definitely found evidence of runny/black/bloody droppings in the coop, and though she is eating still, it sounds like cocci is the culprit.

    I'll report back on how she is doing after a couple days of corid, hopefully I'll have good news!
     
  9. soler

    soler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 1, 2012
    Long Island, NY
    my fingers are crossed for you!
     

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