Sick Chickens! Lathargic, Sleepy, Tried, Losing Weight, Personality Change. No idea what it is

Nightbird1001

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 16, 2014
43
0
65
Alaska
More than half of my flock is sick (6-8 out 10 birds) and it's the same thing that they get sick with every time year around. They get lethargic, sleepy, tired, lose weight, personality change, stopped laying, and feathers sometimes coming out. I know that whatever they have is deadly because I lost my favorite hen to it (she was just barely 1year). It started when they were about 1 year 2 months old and has been becoming more and more regular. I got chickens 2 years ago this May, and I know that them being sick so often isn't normal; I've gotten to the point to where I'm starting to expect someone to be sick or one day come out to the coop and find someone dead. These girls are my babies and are more pets than not each one having a name, please help!
We can't afford to go to the vets' with them and my parents can't afford expensive treatments.
 

Judy

Crowing
Premium member
10 Years
Feb 5, 2009
34,024
523
448
South Georgia
If you have never wormed them, I would recommend it. A bottle of Valbazen costs about $40 but should last 3 or 4 years if you worm them every year. In the long run, it probably doesn't cost anything, since the worms it kills are eating the feed you buy, so they will eat less feed.

Valbazen,is the only one I know of that gets all types of worms, and it is relatively gentle on them. Give 0.5ml by mouth to each large fowl, 0.25 for bantams, repeat in 10 days, toss eggs for 21 days from first dose. You can order it online if the local feed store doesn't carry it.
 

Michael Apple

Crowing
11 Years
Mar 6, 2008
3,495
579
318
Northern California
Loose feathers that are easily removed remind me of one symptom of Clostridium infection. Chickens get weak, lose appetite, have difficulty swallowing, and during the final stage, they get paralyzed in the legs, wings, and neck. They then lay with the neck stretched out, unable to lift their head. This is what many know as Limberneck. It usually shows up in a few hours after eating spoiled food, rotten carcass of an animal, or maggots. The only drug I am aware of that does anything against some Clostridium sp. is Metronidazole, or 1 tsp of Epsom salt mixed in 1/2 cup of water, then tube fed to the bird twice a day for 2-3 days.
It would be easy to see the difference of Limberneck and moulting since new shafts are visible as old feathers fall out. being aware of what is in the range area and proper storage of feed, clean water is a good way to prevent that problem.

It is wise to not use the same wormer all the time, as worms can eventually build resistance. A good change up wormer to Valbazen is Safeguard liquid labeled for goats, or Wormout caps or gel sold by Jedd's avian supply.
 

Nightbird1001

Chirping
5 Years
Mar 16, 2014
43
0
65
Alaska
it sounds like worms because as soon as I told mom that it could possibly be worms we both kicked yourselves because our dog is showing the same signs as well and I looked it up and did find the exact same things in the symptoms as my chickens were having.

thank you for the help
 
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