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Sick/Dead Hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by MissDeb, Apr 22, 2008.

  1. MissDeb

    MissDeb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2008
    Mat-su Alaska
    Hi everyone!

    I'm new to the world of chickens and had no idea what I was getting into when I took on 8 homeless girls who were no longer wanted by their prior owner. I was told they were 6 months old at the time (now 9 months).
    I have been at my witts end this last week trying to figure out what was wrong with a hen I had. (She just died about a hour ago). She was acting depressed, we had just butchered a rooster that she bonded with and I had thought that was her problem until I noticed everyone picking on her. She wasnt eating or drinking. Her stool was loose and very yellow. I removed her from the coop and placed her in a quiet place away from all the others.
    Anyhow, I went to go get some antibiotics and a dewormer came back home and she had died. When I picked her up, there was a very strange, fowl yellow substance coming out of her beak.

    I guess my question now, is...does anyone think the rest of my flock is at risk? I have ordered some DE, (I just learned about this lastnight) and am trying to do everything I possibly can to keep the rest of them safe. Should I bleach all the things that the hen had? The area she was in, etc? What about the coop, she was in there for a good week before I took her out to isolate her.

    Any help or suggestions greatly appreciated! Thank you for such a wonderful website!
     
  2. momma's chickens

    momma's chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 10, 2008
    Idaho
    I am sorry I don't know about the health issues of your chickens but wanted to tell you I applaud you for taking the poor unwanted babies. There are great members on here and somebody will be able to tell you the info you are looking for.
     
  3. hcammack

    hcammack Overrun With Chickens

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    Oct 5, 2007
    Vermont
    Sorry for your loss also welcome,
    was she laying? could she have been egg bound?

    Henry
     
  4. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Yellow goo coming from her beak.. was her body thin? Could she have developed an impacted crop and essentially starved despite looking full?

    Before worming, I suggest you get a fecal float test done, any vet can do it, and it shouldn't be too expensive, to find out what worms they have if they have any, so you treat with the right meds, as not all meds are made for every type of paracite.

    Unless you know it was, or highly suspected a bacterial infection, antibiotics wouldn't have done much either except make more resistant bacteria for later.

    Just keep a close eye on the rest. Do they free range and get lots of extras becides their regular layer feed? Could she have gotten into something?

    Best of luck and welcome!
     
  5. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    Jan 11, 2007
    might have been a softshelled egg broke inside her and she died of infection form that
     
  6. MissDeb

    MissDeb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2008
    Mat-su Alaska
    Hi! and thank you. I have really enjoyed them up to this point. My heart is torn out of my chest right now but at least I know I tried.
    I dont know if she was egg bound or not. I don't think so, I was told to look at her vent and make sure there was no sticky substance on her rear, I didnt see anything but runny poop on the rear feathers. I do have 3 girls who are laying and up until a couple of days ago I didnt know who was laying, we just got the coop finished, boxes are in and I dont think she was one of the ones laying. There were still 3 eggs in there today, without her in there.

    Anyhow, I have 4 little ones (8 weeks old) that are waiting their turn to be introduced. Im hoping that this is an isolated incident and she was just ill.
    In her last moments, she was making a very slight "click" noise as she would breath. Maybe she had a cold?
     
  7. dlhunicorn

    dlhunicorn Human Encyclopedia

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    perhaps I shouldnt post when ill...thought it was from vent [​IMG]
     
  8. MissDeb

    MissDeb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2008
    Mat-su Alaska
    Quote:silkie,

    She was very thin, her breast bone was sticking out when I picked her up. I'll see what I can do, I checked with a vet here and they said they would do a fecal on them for $20. Im assuming I'll only need one sample. They did say they could not treat them but could tell me if they were infected with anything.
    My husband did bring up something interesting. Our chickens got into a nest of young pinky mice that were nesting under some roots. They were free range at that point, and as far as I know ate all the mice. They are now in a controlled environment with the new coop/yard they have. The younger guys were all on their own for about 30 days before they were put into the coop in their own little cage so I don't think they brought anything in either. They are from a very reputable hatchery that is local here. I'm probably just like everyone else on here, worried sick about the rest of the flock. [​IMG])) I have spent many hours this evening reading over all the post. I can't believe how many folks have described similar symptoms. I'll cross my fingers that all will be well and I wont have any more episodes. If I do!...Im thankful to have found all of you!
     
  9. MissDeb

    MissDeb Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 22, 2008
    Mat-su Alaska
    Just a little update. I called the state vet and he wants my dead bird swabbed. So I have an appt to go get that done. In the mean time I found some runny yellowish poop in the coop and have collected it for a float test this afternoon. Im hoping it will give me some incite as to whats going on with my girls.
    Most the fecal matter in the area is good, but there is an occasional little blob of yellow goo.....

    If they need antibiotics can anyone give me some names of what I need to look for? I have Sulmet here, but Im not too keen on the idea of having chemicals in my birds. Is there anything safer I can use if its coccidia? Not to mention having to go back to store bought eggs just turns my stomach! [​IMG]


    Thank you!
    [​IMG]
     
  10. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    A few bad yellow poos and off colored things aren't normally a problem. Fecal is a good idea though. If they do have cocci, you can also use amprolium if you can find it as it has no withdrawl time. I'd mix in some regular poo with the yellow stuff you found, because it could have come from a different part of the birds intestines. Such as the cecal section or the regular sections and so on.

    As for antibiotics in the kill bacteria sense, I wouldn't use it on the birds unless there is a confirmed infection, or open wounds. This is because the overuse of broad spectrum antibiotics increases the chances of resistant bacteria you can't fight against when you really really need it, such as after a pred attack or something.

    I don't think eating the pinkies would have been a problem. Had the mother of the pinkies been poisoned with something and then passed to the pinkies though milk, there may be something... but I highly doubt it by the concentration at which they would be by the time the hen ate them. If she was not the only one eating them too, I'd expect symptoms in more birds.

    If it was just your one hen like that who was found dead and thin... I suspect that it was something specific with her and the rest should be fine. The goo coming from her mouth, and lethargic nature, with thin body suggests that she may have had an obstruction in her intestines or a impacted crop, so she could not digest her food and have energy to live. If she had become egg bound, or had a broken egg inside, or became an internal layer, her abdomen may have been swollen, and she alone died of an infection due to the "foreign" material build up, or due to the pressure of the accumulating fluid pressing against her intestines thus not allowing her to process food.

    Best of luck and hope test results come clean and it was just an isolated event!
     

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