sick keet just died what happened?

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by BCbirder, Dec 11, 2011.

  1. BCbirder

    BCbirder Out Of The Brooder

    39
    0
    22
    Jun 22, 2009
    I had a little keet that has pushed out by his mom so I was raising it in the house.
    He was the friendliest little thing.
    He was acting a bit lethargic a few weeks ago and he smelled different. His poop was foamy. I gave him some wormer and he started to get better. Then today he was acting all slow again and I gave him some more wormer but he died shortly after.

    Do keets need to be wormed? I had a hen hatch 6 last year and they did fine with a chicken mom. I didn't do anything different.
    He does feel a bit thin, he is about 5 weeks old.

    I am so sad..[​IMG]
     
  2. Fenika

    Fenika Chillin' With My Peeps

    232
    1
    104
    Sep 25, 2010
    It's hard to say, unfortunately [​IMG]

    What did you deworm it with? What kind of feed are you giving them? Medicated? Percent protein?

    Usually chicks and keets don't need to be wormed but they do need to be given a medicated starter feed to keep coccidia down. With foamy poop, it's possible. He could have had another GI disturbance though.

    Sadly, when the mamas push them out, there is something wrong. Sometimes we can overcome and sometimes we can't.

    If you're able to spend some money on your birds, asking a vet to do a fecal float would be very helpful in monitoring your flock. You can also consider a necropsy in the future, focusing on illnesses that can spread through your flock, but check the price first...

    Sorry for your loss.
     
  3. BCbirder

    BCbirder Out Of The Brooder

    39
    0
    22
    Jun 22, 2009
    I gave him Piperzine for the worms. It comes as a powder that I mix with water.
    I fed him the same as my chickens, a layer mash and scratch. He loved to go outside and found worms and slugs, we live in BC so slugs are big here.
    He lived in the house most of the time as it is getting cold here. I had three other bantam chicks that were his companions. They were a bit older but smaller and they all snuggled together at night.
    He ate pieces of our food too, differrent fruit, blueberries a bit of a noodle or some cheese. Small pieces maybe the size of a chickpea. Would that make him sick?
     
  4. Fenika

    Fenika Chillin' With My Peeps

    232
    1
    104
    Sep 25, 2010
    A little human food is okay, as long as it is healthy and preferably natural. You said you gave small servings, so that's good. Don't give them too much fruit (very very little when they are young) and I'd stay away from the cheese completely. A little yogurt is good. Noodles are just grains mostly. All treats and snacks should only be about 10% of their diet. They need the pellets to provide balanced food. If they are free ranging and picking up bugs and stuff, that's different, as they can balance naturally between the pellets and the wild food (assuming they have room to find balanced food). But you didn't kill him with treats, if you are worried about that.

    I'd also go easy on the slugs when they are young, as slugs can have parasites. When they are older it's not so bad. You don't have to spray for slugs, just keep the babies away from them.

    And doing tests in the future will help you identify a problem (hopefully) and make your whole flock healthier. Right now, we have no answers for you [​IMG]

    And do get starter for your babies. They need the higher protein, and the medication can save lives.
     
  5. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,732
    179
    243
    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    Sorry for your loss, it always hurts more when you've hand raised them [​IMG]

    Like Fenika already suggested, the Hen may have known/sensed there was something not right about him from the beginning. He could have had some genetic abnormality that she could sense but would be impossibly to diagnose without a necropsy... and without one, all you can really do is guess, based on the circumstances.

    Since you already have poultry, there is very likely to be coccidiosis oocysts in your soil, maybe just a low enough count that it does no harm your existing flock, but high enough that it was too much for the little guy to deal with, especially since he was not fed medicated feed to help prevent it. You would have needed to take a sample of his stool to a vet to diagnose it as that tho.

    It's really important for their growth development and prevention of coccidiosis that keets be fed an amprolium medicated high protein starter feed (around 28% is optimal) up to at least 6 weeks of age, then you can drop the protein down to around 20% until they are 12 weeks, but I never feed a layer feed to keets any younger than 12 weeks. Layer feed has too much calcium in it for developing keets and the scratch is just fat, starches and empty calories... and neither contain enough protein for him to develop at the proper rate (layer feed is usually around 16-18%, scratch is usually under 10%). So along with his rough start, the missing protein in his diet may have contributed to his death.

    Another thing I'd be suspicious of is that he may have ingested too much grass or other fibrous stuff (possibly even the scratch) that he wasn't able to adequately grind up and digest yet and it gradually accumulated into a blockage so he could not expel his poop, just foamy liquid. The back up of toxins would definitely kill him within a few days once he stopped pooping normally. The foamy poop and smelling funny has me leaning towards that direction. Did he have access to grit or small stones/gravel while he was out free ranging?

    It's almost impossible to diagnose a cause of death without a necropsy, so these are just guesses.

    Again, sorry for your loss.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2011
  6. BCbirder

    BCbirder Out Of The Brooder

    39
    0
    22
    Jun 22, 2009
    I so appreciate all your help. It is a helpless feeling when I lose a feathered friend and I want to try and figure out what the problem is to prevent it.

    This keet visited the yard but he did not spend more that 15 minutes at a time outside as it is cold here. He was not in the same pen with the chickens. Not much grass around this time of year either.

    The laymash I get is called "whole earth" so it is not pellets but ground up grains plus, He picked through it. I offered him boiled egg for extra protein. HE ate it most of the time. THe other chicks that I had brought in to be with him loved it too.

    I brought in a dishpan of soil and the keet and his pals (bantam chicks) dug around in there and foraged their own grit and had baths too. I didn't leave the soil in the cage but put it in and out so that they wouldn't poop in it too much.

    THe mother pushed all the eggs out when they starting pipping. The others died, I think they got too cold by the time I found them.
    He lived 6 weeks before he got sick. He loved worms and slugs.
    I have raised other keets , with a buff hen and they did fine, but they were outside and it was summer so they may have had more bug protein.

    I was wondering about worms and if that would give him foamy poop?
     
  7. Fenika

    Fenika Chillin' With My Peeps

    232
    1
    104
    Sep 25, 2010
    Parasites could.

    The foam comes from gas at the 'end of the line'. Digestive upset (from parasites or a blockage, or anything) causes bacterial overgrowth. Bacteria make gas. Lots and lots of gas in the right situation and you see foam.

    Your mother bird may have just been a bad mother and not realized how cold it was for the babies. If you let her hatch again, make sure the weather is good around the hatch date...

    You did good for your little ones, but do take our advice and improve your flock management that extra bit. You'll have happier, healthier birds and less health issues. The laymash sounds great for your adults, but you need starter for all your babies (extra high protein for keets, normal high protein for chicks).

    Good luck.
     
  8. BCbirder

    BCbirder Out Of The Brooder

    39
    0
    22
    Jun 22, 2009
    Thanks
    I want to make things better for sure. I have given the chick starter before. I wonder if it gets old? I find that when I had a mother hen she did not tell the chicks to eat it. You know how the mama makes that little "chit chit" sound when she wants her babies to eat something. I offered both the laymash and the chick start because I thought I should continue to give the mother hen the food she was used to.
    I don't want to go through this again though so I will use the chick starter stuff next time.

    I do want to make sure that the eggs are hatched earlier. Those guinnea's hide their eggs and she finally laid a clutch int he hen house. I didn't think she would set them. She seemed so nervous.
    I have learned a lot
    thanks to all of you
     
  9. Fenika

    Fenika Chillin' With My Peeps

    232
    1
    104
    Sep 25, 2010
    We're glad to help [​IMG]

    The starter definitely gets old. Just like cereal gets old in your pantry. To make it last longer, wrap the top tightly and seal it, then keep it in a cool dry place. It will only last a few weeks to months even so. If you want it to last several months, you can put it in ziplocks and then in the fridge (if you have enough room).

    Most folks feed starter for several weeks (we had a discussion on this recently, but now I'm forgetting the numbers, lol). Even with a fairly small number of keets (10-20), you'll quickly go through a whole bag of starter. You may even need to buy a second. With keets you then need another few weeks of 20-24% protein so they keep growing properly. When they are 12 weeks (at the earliest, if they are getting out to get bugs) to 16 weeks you can switch to 16% layer.

    The mama won't be hurt by a few weeks of starter, and the medicine will help lower her parasite load. Offer only the starter to her and the babies (or place the babies in a brooder to grow up, but then you can't reintroduce them until they are nearly full grown because they'll get beat up.)

    Keep reading this forum and other places to learn all you can. I don't have any guineas right now [​IMG] but I like to hang out!
     
  10. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

    4,732
    179
    243
    Mar 28, 2011
    Big Oak Valley, CA
    Quote:Chick starter, tho medicated is usually only around 20% protein, which is still not high enough for newly hatched keets. Guineas are Game Birds and their dietary needs are much closer to Turkeys and Pheasants than they are to chickens. In the wild their natural diet is high protein from the get-go, so they are able to grow/develop and feather out quickly, get off the ground and up in the trees away from predators to ensure survival. Chick starter lacks the proteins and amino acids needed for quick feather and muscle development and keets develop much slower on it. I compare starting keets on chick starter to raising a child on twinkies and soda pop, sure they like it and eat it, but their growth is slow and it's not meeting their nutritional needs. Game bird, Turkey and Pheasant starter feeds are what's most commonly used to start keets on so they can grow/develop at their natural rate.

    The mother Hen can eat the high protein starter feed once the keets have hatched.... because if she is busy brooding a clutch, she's not laying. In fact that's all I'd put out for the first several days so that she does in fact show the keets how and what to eat. You can also provide a small feeder of oyster shell out of reach of the keets if you are concerned about her calcium intake. After the keets are eating well on their own I'd then keep the high protein starter feed at ground level and put her normal feed in a hanging feeder up higher than the keets can reach, and that way she can choose to eat what she wants/needs.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2011

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by