Sick hen

SloanC

In the Brooder
Aug 16, 2018
13
7
16
Hi - I have a 5 month old light Brahma that has been sick on and off the past 3 months. One moment shes fine and doing well and then suddenly shes sick again. Shes eating and drinking but the rest of the time she is standing puffed up, tail down and eyes closed. Her poops are a bit runny and isn't popping much. Apart from her poop there are no other symptoms. She had a bad outbreak of Coccidiosis at 2months old which I have treated and retreated her and my whole flock with Corid. It cleared up, poops were normal and all were doing well. Once every month I now give them a low dose of Corid to keep it under control. The rest of the time I usually add apple cider vinegar. I also wormed them all a few weeks ago.
Her growth and weight gain are also very slow compared to the rest of the flock even though she eats more than most of them when she's feeling well.
As I say this has persisted the past 3 months on and off. I have no idea what is wrong or what else to do. Every time she gets sick I bring her in and keep her eating and hydrated. When she was sick 2 weeks ago I gave her a shot of Duramycin and she seemed to get better after that but she is now suck again. If I could figure out what's wrong I'm hoping I can get her better once and for all.

I've treated her for worms and Coccidiosis so I don't believe it is either of these. Any ideas of what else it could be and why it comes in cycles??
 

azygous

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Dec 11, 2009
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What product did you use to treat for worms? Some worm meds will only treat a single species while other wormers are good for all species.

It sounds as if worms might be a strong possibility from your description of symptoms. To find out exactly what worms you may be dealing with and to be able to select the correct worming medicine, you can gather a stool sample and have a vet or a lab run a fecal float test.

If worms aren't her problem, it could be any number of things causing her chronic illness. Many of these chicken diseases aren't possible to diagnose unless the chicken dies and you can get a necropsy. When I'm at a loss as to what's causing a chicken to be sick, I will put the patient through a round of amoxicillin and hope to see improvement. If there's no improvement, I will conclude an avian virus such as Marek's or leucosis is probably at the root of the problem.
 

Eggcessive

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Can you try to get a vet to do a fecal test on some fresh droppings? I would worry that it is something like chronic coccidiosis that has progressed to necrotic enteritis. That can be caused by clostridium perfringens. Worms as Azygous said, are also very possible. What dosage of Corid did you give? What wormer and dosage did you use? There can be around 5-6 possible worms that affect chickens. Wazine will only treat roundworms, but not some of the more dangerous ones, such as capillary worms. If you cannot get a fecal test, I would worm with Valbazen 1/2 ml once and again in 10 days. Or give Safeguard 1/4 ml per pound (1.5 ml for a 6 pound hen) for 5 straight days. Some antibiotics that might treat enteritis are Tylan, amoxicillan, and tetracycline. Duramycin is a tetracycline drug.
 

SloanC

In the Brooder
Aug 16, 2018
13
7
16
Thanks for the replies. I've been calling around and have not been able to find a vet yet that will do a fecal test but will keep trying. I wormed my flock with Wazine. So I just ordered some safeguard. How much of it should I add to a gallon of water and do I do a 5 day treatment of it? How do I get amoxicillin? I'm unable to buy it in my local farm store or online. Can I use Penicillin and if so what is the dosage for a 5month old hen? I think you are spot on about the Necrotic enteritis. After reading about it she meets all those symptoms. Have you any other recommendations on treating NE? Will she get better. How long will she need treated with antibiotics?

Thanks again.
 

azygous

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Call your university extension office or State Agricultural office and ask for the nearest agricultural lab that will do fecal tests.

Here is where you can order antibiotics. https://pet-healthcare.revivalanimal.com/search?p=Q&ts=custom&w=fish antibiotics But if you live in California, you are out of luck. There's a new law on buying antibiotics.

Treating necrotic enteritis is more effective with a sulfa antibiotic. Penicillin may work but I've found it to have limited value on a lot of bacteria strains. https://www.revivalanimal.com/product/fish-sulfa-forte?sku=22156-475

This company processes orders and ships immediately. They're terrific. I usually place my orders over the phone and they're very pleasant to do business with.
 

Wyorp Rock

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Sep 20, 2015
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Thanks for the replies. I've been calling around and have not been able to find a vet yet that will do a fecal test but will keep trying. I wormed my flock with Wazine. So I just ordered some safeguard. How much of it should I add to a gallon of water and do I do a 5 day treatment of it? How do I get amoxicillin? I'm unable to buy it in my local farm store or online. Can I use Penicillin and if so what is the dosage for a 5month old hen? I think you are spot on about the Necrotic enteritis. After reading about it she meets all those symptoms. Have you any other recommendations on treating NE? Will she get better. How long will she need treated with antibiotics?
Thanks again.
Where are you located (state/country)?

Often times your state lab will offer services for testing. You can also use mail order services to send in a sample for testing.
State lab lists http://www.metzerfarms.com/PoultryLabs.cfm
Mail order https://www.amazon.com/Reptiles-Rabbits-Turtles-Collect-Sample/dp/B000J5SOZ4

The safeguard is administered orally by pound, it settles out of water. Weigh your girl then dose her as recommended by @Eggcessive at 1/4ml per pound of weight for 5 days in a row.

You can try re-treating with the Duramycin, ask your vet about dosing and how long to give it. If you want to use something else, you can try any of these listed in the previous posts
Some antibiotics that might treat enteritis are Tylan, amoxicillan, and tetracycline. Duramycin is a tetracycline drug.
 

SloanC

In the Brooder
Aug 16, 2018
13
7
16
I'm live in Maryland. I'm going to call the state lab tomorrow and get some information. I ordered some Sulfa forte as recommended on the revival animal site. The soluble tablets. I assume you have used it before. What is the dosage for hens? Until then I'll treat her with the Duramycin and check in with the vet on dosage.
Thanks for the information.
 

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