Sick chickens, for a while now, one just died. Dunno what to do!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by connorsmom, Jun 30, 2011.

  1. connorsmom

    connorsmom Hatching

    May 13, 2011
    Been a lurker on the forums here a long time, I am finally posting because I need help determinging what is wrong with my chickens. We are hurting for cash and don't believe we can afford much let along a vet to come out... I am desperate for answers. So much of the stuff I find on the internet is all similar and cannot determine anything.[​IMG]

    The ladies (isa browns) we have had since they were 3 weeks old. 7 of them. They grew up and began giving us tons of wonderful eggs. So much we didn't know what to do with them all! Something has happened to our poor ladies.

    On 3/28/11 We purchased 2 pair "rare" chickens from a guy on craigslist. He apparently sells them like this all the time and had tons and tons of chickens stuffed into little wired cages. Kraienkoppe & Jungle Fowl. Each Rooster & Hen.

    Beginning of May the Kraienkoppe Rooster appeared to have a "cold." That is exactly what my husband treated and thought it as. It was really cold that whole week and the door was open to their garage/coop and he was sitting on a roost for a long time catching the cold breeze. Never noticed the ladies get this at this point. Also this rooster and the Jungle Fowl Roo did not like each other. The JF was the dominate roo and even won over the heart of the Kraienkoppe's hen. My husband believed that the Kraienkoppe rooster lost his "mojo" and became depressed or bummed out. He began to get worse and would sit around, he could hardly crow and he would flick snot out of his nose with his feet. Not really understanding what was really going on we didn't separate him immediately. We did finally when it seemed much worse. By this time we were treating all birds with VetRX. I was thinking they had some respiratory thing going on.Only one day of being separated from everyone the Kraienkoppe roo was killed in his coop by a raccoon.. [​IMG]

    Not to long after egg production in the isa browns began to drop. They then began showing more symptoms of some respiratory thing. Continued to treat with VetRX giving each bird a special rub down with the stuff on their nose, under their wings, on their comb/waddles, over their eyes. Could physically hear raspy/gurgly in their sounds like you would if someone was sick. After a bit it seemed to get better rather than worse, except for we have only been getting 4 eggs total now since then. Every once in a while we will get a filth egg. Never looks like a good egg to keep. One of the 4 always looks weird also. I have found on the internet that they way it looks is possibly caused by infectious bronchitis, however they really don't seem to have quite all of the symptoms to that. The Jungle Fowl pair never seemed to show signs of any of this. The hen lays one small egg everyday, still does and never looks weird. We ended up getting rid of the JF Rooster as we believed he was somehow the cause of our isa browns not laying. As it seemed liked they were better. We believed they were not to thrilled with the aggressive, very loud male that was bugging them all the time.

    It has been a few weeks since then, and now things have gotten worse for the ladies.
    June 26, 2011, one of the isa browns did not come in the coop to roost for the night, she remained sitting puffed up outside near the fence. She appeared tired tried to keep her eyes open. I immediately picked her up and right away noticed her comb was flapped over to the side. These girls have large red combs that stand straight up so this was very apparent. Put her in a separate cage and removed her from the rest of the chickens. Put a bowl of water in their with some electrolytes, some food. She I don't believe ever touched it. Acted very tired, would not stand up, even sounded congested. Googled all night just can't find anything.
    June 27, 2011 about 7pm right before I was going to treat her with some vetRX for the heck of it, herd some weird noises from where she was like flapping on a cage. Ran over there and found her dead with her head sticking through the cage [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
    I examined her really well before she was buried. Her nose was wet, looked down her throat looking for a gapeworm or something and didn't seem much. Seemed like there was white goo in the throat but I don't know if its supposed to be there or not. No signs from bite marks of lice, ticks or fleas, Her feet looked normal, she had white pasty colored discharge coming from her butt, only after I pushed on it (I know gross but was looking for worms) She had stiffened up at this point so was hard to feel anything on her stomach.

    Day after I took these pictures of the 6 as it looks like a new problem is going on or they are all about to deteriorate and drop also. Two have really bad lesions on their feet. One of them limps but doesn't appear to be the one with the lesions. All of a sudden notice dark spots on their combs. All sound like they got crap in their nose and throat, they are all shaking their heads all the time almost as if to shake it out. We think the foot problem could be from the Jungle Fowl Hen. She is aggressive and my husband sees her peck the isas feet often, and hard. She is separated now so she can do no further damage. We would like to sell her or eat her, but are unsure if she is sick also, though she never shows signs, and nether does the Kraienkoppe hen we still have also. She keeps to herself mostly but is active and lays a nice egg everyday. She also seems to want to sit on them even tho the roos are gone.

    As of today all isa browns have obvious mucus or something, can hear it in their breathing. They Open mouth breath often, sometimes not so often. Usually mostly at night on their roost. Also sit with wings open a bit sometimes at night. A few have "poppy butt" and sometimes will see one having a "pulsing butt" at night. I've looked these things up and it seems like they mean something. The black spots seemed to be going away possibly being pecked by the Jungle Fowl?

    Here are some pictures of what they look like right now. Also a photo of some of the bad eggs.

  2. ReikiStar

    ReikiStar Songster

    The new chickens might have brought MG (Mycoplasma Gallisepticum) with them. Did you do a 30 day quarantine on those new birds? Even if he looked good for 30 days, MG is one of those opportunistic diseases that rears up when a chicken is stressed...when their immune systems take a dive.

    A few BYC members have been dealing with it. You might want to do a search to read their experiences. It seems when people introduce this disease to their flock, it's always been through new adults birds they've added.

    Someone keeping chickens in tiny cages is not someone I'd want birds from (except to rescue them) and I'd expect those birds to have some sort of disease. Crowded conditions are perfect conditions for stressed out birds who are more susceptible to contracting and harboring disease.

    I'm sorry this happened to you and your chickens. Tylan is a good antibiotic for controlling the symptoms of a chronic respiratory disease. But if it's MG, it will never go away and the birds will get sick again if they get stressed. To be a responsible owner, you should never sell your chickens as they will spread the disease to their new flock and let any chicken owners visiting your place know you have MG in your flock (if you indeed do).
  3. i'm sorry for your problems. My first impression would be that they have contracted MG, mycoplasm gallisepticum, probably from the new additions. Chickens can be carriers and show no symptoms but infect other birds. It will appear as if your chickens have a cold, they will be rapsy, congested, discharge from the nose. The best treatment is Tylan 50. You can get it as an injectable or water soluble. You can get some chickens through the symptoms, but they will always be carriers, so you will have to close your flock.

    i'm just guessing here, so i may be wrong. Do a search here on MG and see if it fits your situation.

    PS - Looks like i was typing at the same time ReikiStar was, but will post my impressions anyhow.
  4. connorsmom

    connorsmom Hatching

    May 13, 2011
    Thank you both so much for your reply. The fact you both said the same thing made us believe that is what we are dealing with. If this is it we have a much bigger problem on our hands. We hatched 4 chicks from the krainkoppe. A Roo and 3 hens. They are so cute and getting much bigger and we have been putting them in a fenced in area RIGHT dead next to our flock of 21 of many breeds we have been raising. These guys are in the front yard way away from the isa browns on the other side of the property. I just read that if the mom and dad bird are carries of MG it will pass on to the egg so probably these chicks have it to and we have just infested our pretty 21 flock. [​IMG] How horrible. However, further reading on this subject through these forums and on google I am starting to question if this is what they really have. I notice that these are pretty much the main signs:

    Nasal and ocular discharge.
    Poor productivity.
    Slow growth.
    Leg problems.
    Reduced hatchability and chick viability.
    Occasional encephalopathy and abnormal feathers.

    None of these really match any or mostly of the symptoms of our isa browns. They definatly do not cough. Nasal discharge is very minimal and not really noticeable unless you touch their nose. No abnormal feathers, slow growth, no bad appetite. If anything they always act like they never get enough food and always beg for treats! lol I notice no where saying anything about a poopy butt. I defiantly believe it is some type of respiratory problem, but MG? What do you guys think?
  5. raising the roost

    raising the roost In the Brooder

    May 8, 2011
    I'll watch your post, seems we may have the same problem. I posted similar a couple days ago (see copied below) , have a 4month australorp with pasty white butt, head shaking, closing eyes, not eating/drinking much ~ plus the added symptom of a frequent strange honking/crowing sound. So far no signs the other hens have it, but I'm sad with anticipation. [​IMG]

    [ last week first thing in the morning my 4 mos australorp pullet started making an odd crow/honk/bark sound. Took her to the feed store thinking she was a he; but confirmed she's a pullet. By evening, she began twisting her head oddly with the noise. It continued through the night and finally at 4:30a.m. I took her from the coop, where she had been on the ground rather than roosted. She smelled, and I noticed white residue around her vent; so cleaned her up and laid down with her for an hour. Dosed her with ivermectin in case of gapeworm. Visited the vet, not sure what's wrong, he injected her with antibiotic and we have now completed a week of Baytril50mg daily by mouth. We have been giving her water via the medicine syringe, she wasn't drinking until yesterday, and she took some crumble today. We clean her vent area daily of white residue. The noise is less frequent, and she seems to be feeling a little better. Vet okayed her spending some time in the hen yard, but she honks almost constantly when outside; so she is mostly isolated inside. Any ideas what we may be dealing with? Continued treatment? Hopes the honk/crow/bark will subside? This is our first sick chicken, and I'm worried about the flock. ]

  6. connorsmom

    connorsmom Hatching

    May 13, 2011
    After reading your post I don't think we have the same problem. I think you might want to look in to MG as it seems your symptoms may fit that. My sick chickens are not honking and barking. They are making normal sounds other than seeming like they have a head cold and then the rest of the other symptoms I posted about. All are eating and drinking normal. I hope you find out what is happening to your chickens as I hope to find out about mine also. This stuff is not fun! We are thinking we might have to say goodbye to all of our chickens [​IMG]

    Hoping some others catch my last post about symptoms not exact.
  7. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Here's a link to respiratory diseases, you possibly could have multiple problems going on; fowl pox, IBV are my first thoughts, maybe MG (as the others stated) and MS. It doesnt matter....they are all Chronic Respiratory Diseases (CRD.) Your birds will be carriers,(except fowl pox, they will be immune to it, IF that's what it is) I recommend that you close your flock: None in, none out, no exceptions. ETA: Consider purchasing "Denegard" for your flock. It is for swine, but can be used for chickens. There is no resistance to it, little withdrawal. There's a treatment dose and preventative dose. You can type "denegard' in the BYC search box and read up on it. I've read some very good things about it for treating CRD. Good luck.
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2011

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