sick & dying- could it be lack of ventilation? HELP

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by gabbyscritters, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. gabbyscritters

    gabbyscritters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I posted about 4 days ago when Mr. Poof died, now when I went out to feed I found Pierre very sick. He is a 9 month old bantam white Cochin. These are my 8 year olds chickens and I am dreading her waking up for school. Pierre was lethargic on the ground of coop, his comb almost looks like frostbite but it is not. It is a strange red color with a grey cast to it, a few of the tips look black, it also has a slight tilt to it. He does not have any raspy breathing but his bottom is all full of wet poop. He has a huge ball of white/grey wet looking poop. All seemed ok when my husband locked up the barn last night.
    Ok, here is the changes we have had: new chikens a month ago but they have been healthy and a new coop. My husband just thought of the neew coop this morning and I am dreading the thought that we have killed them. I know ventilation, ventilation, ventilation and I am thinking maybe that is the problem? Coop was mostly build in fall, insulated with flat panel heater. It was finally finished days after Christmas and all have been living in it, it's attached to the old coop with a little doorway between for them to go back and forth for more space when the weather is nice. We built in ventilation panels but have not opened them, we had not sealed up the door cracks yet and the coop did not seem humid or smelly so we have not opened the vents. Could this be the problem? Pierre is in a cat carrier in the kitchen waiting for the vets to open at 7:30 and I went and opened vents and the cross door to the other coop this morning. Sorry about rambling but Gabby loves her chickens and she will be devistated to loose another. Thanks [​IMG]
     
  2. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I really can't help since I am so new, but I am curious - do you have open air coming in, thru the vents, or have they been closed?
     
  3. gabbyscritters

    gabbyscritters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The vent covers have been closed. We have a small pig run door that needs to be rebuilt for the chickens so it just has a board, still has cracks around it that have let some air in over it for now and the main coop door which does not have the door jams on yet. We kind of figured that was letting enough air in and the coop has not had a amonia smell so the vent doors have not been opened. I am thinking kind of stupid, we build this coop with three seperate vent cover doors so we can adjust the ventilation by the season and here we have not used them, we also put in two big windows that can be opened when its warm.
     
  4. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm so sorry for your loss - I hope one of the more experienced BYC'ers responds, but it sounds like you are right, the ventilation is the problem.
     
  5. fiberart57

    fiberart57 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am sorry that you are having difficulties, especially when there's a youngster involved. I hope that the vet can solve the problem.

    The general rule of thumb I've heard is 10% of the wall space needs to be ventilation, so, yes you do need more ventilation. Chickens emit a lot of carbon monoxide when they breathe which along with ammonia from the poop and other fumes could be deadly. If they are bantams and you have extreme cold you are correct in putting in a heater so that more openings at the top are in order here. Read patandchickens big ole' ventilation page in the coop section.

    Another question I have is what was in the space prior to the chickens? My picture of your description is that the current house is an addition and recently built. Could there have been some toxic substances in the area prior to putting the chickens in. You mention an old pig door, were pigs in there before? Could something be left over? You say that you have other chickens that seem to be doing okay which would indicate that it's something specific to these chicken and/or their environment.

    Good luck,
    Mary
     
    Last edited: Jan 13, 2010
  6. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Quote:So sorry you are having these problems!

    New chickens a month ago? Did you do a 30 day quarantine? Even if they seem healthy, they may be carriers of disease.

    If the coop isn't humid or stinky, there is some ventilation happening. There is a really good, informative questionaire in this topic section. You have answered most of it in your post, but I'd like to know a few more things:
    What materials were used to build the addition?
    What type of bedding?
    Feed?
    Did the new chickens have contact with the original chickens?

    I hope the vet can resolve the issue for you, [​IMG] to all.
     
  7. gabbyscritters

    gabbyscritters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just got back from the vet, not good news. Pierre did not make it, I did not think he would. The vet thought he might have Laryngotracheitis even though he did not seem to have any respitory problems or nasal discharge. After he had dies she examined his tracea she decided that did not appear to have Laryngotracheitis. We have sent off for a test panel to see what it may be, organs looked to be ok but he did have some kidney lessions. Vet is thinking viral? Now we sit and wait for the results which probaly won't be until Monday and hope we do not loose any more birds.
    I just set up the incubator to see if we can get anything to hatch. We lost both of our white cochin roosetrs. Gabby is going to be very upeset when she comes home from school.
    Any, yes I have opend up the vents which are placed up high on the wall to allow for more ventilation just to be safe. As to the small "pig" door in the coop, the coops are inside a barn which has not had pigs for over 50 years. We have never had any problems prior to this.
    Thanks for the support and help. Will post what we find out
     
  8. gabbyscritters

    gabbyscritters Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The coop was made from untreated 2x4's and exterior chip board, pink styrofoam panels between the walls and ceiling. Most of the coop was finished in late fall but my husband did not have time with work to put the last of the ceiling panels up and put the door on until after Christmas. The bedding is aspen shavings, used 2 bales for the new coop, food is the same, just opened a new bag this afternoon. The new coop is nice and bright and the chickens like it.

    As to the new chickens, I imagine my daughter has learned a hard lesson. The new chickens were seperated about 2 weeks, then the small cage they were in was put in with the old chickens for a few days before the pullets were let out with the old chickens. This was about a week ago. The rooster is still in the cage in coop with the old chickens.
    At this point the vet did not think removing the new birds would not make a difference. She said that it might not be traced back to the new stock but it is suspicious and the new birds could have a virus they have imunitity to but are carriers.
    So far they all look good, but so did Pierre yesterday. I just collected eggs, hopefully that will make Gabby happy to wait and see if she gets a Pierre junior.
     

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