SICK of sick chickens!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by HollyTree, Dec 2, 2009.

  1. HollyTree

    HollyTree Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 15, 2009
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    I started my chicken flock on 7/1/09. Since then, I have watched 5 die and now my Penny (fav hen) is sick. She's lathargic, not eating much, puffed up feathers, and her chest feathers look like they have dried mucus on them. No other signs.
    I've done regimens with antibiotics & antibacterial meds from the Farmers co op (spent well over $100 in meds!) Nothing I have bought saved any of them!
    I'm tired of treating and treating with no results. I mean, how hard can it be to raise a chicken?? My aunt has had hers for a long time and all they get is some 55 gal barrels, a little straw, and a tarp to keep them dry. Barely any wind, rain, or snow break. I have an entire barn, rungs, nesting boxes, a roll down tarp to keep them warm, and cleaned often. I feed mine quality food every day. She throws some food in a ben and once a week checks on it. Don't get me wrong, she's not abusing the chickens in any way but she has NO maintainence and has eggs coming out her ears. I have everything in the world I can think of to make my chickens safe & happy; and they die. What the hell?? Sorry, I'm really frustrated and sad. There is no vet around me who does chickens.
    When I got them in July they were about 8-10 weeks old, so we'll say 2 months old. So they are about 9 months old now and I haven't seen not one egg yet! When will I see eggs??
    medicate, medicate, medicate- still dying. Feed, feed, feed, no eggs. I could just cry! [​IMG]
     
  2. happyfeet

    happyfeet Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 24, 2007
    we have had chickens for 3 years now, so i am no expert. the only thing i can think of is they were carrying disease when you got them. if i were you i would kill them all, disinfect EXTREMELY WELL! and start fresh again, with day old peeps. i am sorry for your frustration, that really sucks![​IMG]
     
  3. HollyTree

    HollyTree Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 15, 2009
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    P.S.
    I have 7 guinea's in the coop & barn with them. Is there any illness problems with flocking the two together? i.e. could the guinea poop be making them sick? The Guinea's are very healthy but thought I'd ask to see if there may be an association.
     
  4. AmyBella

    AmyBella Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 26, 2009
    Western MA
    [​IMG]

    I feel your pain, HollyTree! I got my flock this spring and I had to cull one chick who developed a horrible neurological/seizure thing. My rooster kept impacting his crop, and then he got attacked by a dog. (He's fine now!) One of my girls was egg-bound and then laying soft shelled eggs. (She's fine now, too.) And on Thanksgiving I lost a girl that I have nursed and handfed for over a month! She previously broke a wing. It's enough to make me want to give up on raising chickens! But I am not going to... I love them so much!

    I agree that you probably did get diseased birds. Have they all been dying of the same thing?

    I was in the same boat without access to a vet. I called "The Chicken Doctor" Peter Brown at First State Veterinary Supply for a consultation. It was very reasonable ($25) and very helpful. He is not a vet, but has been working with chickens for a long time and holds degrees in poultry science. He might be your best bet for advice at this point.

    Good luck!

    eta - the broken wing! Can't believe I forgot that one...
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2009
  5. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    Without a necropsy you are just taking a shot in the dark. I strongly suggest that you get a necropsy done on at least one of them. You need to know what the disease is, it could very well be something that no amount of treating will cure things permanently.

    The mucous on the feathers is disturbing, that is one of the signs of ILT. Just one of them but about the only one I've seen repeatedly linked to ILT.

    I would also contact the person the birds came from to find out what is going with their flock. Also, talk to your state vet to see if they are aware of any problems.
     
  6. lildinkem

    lildinkem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 4, 2009
    Indianapolis
    I think about everyone has had some sick birds. My best recommendation is to not buy from the place you purchased your chickens. Start over with some newer and healthy line of birds. Forget shelling out $50 or more for a necropsy. That will only cost money, and no guarantees they will give you the correct answer to what killed the bird. Those tests are very vague. And unless you want to pay more money, I say pass on that idea.
    Initially I had bought some Buffs that did not have the vigor to fight off common avian sicknesses. Since I have mixed lines of various breeders of the various types of chickens I love. And the results are no more chickens croaking. I have a 120 birds. Not one sniffle. Granted it has taken time to put together a healthier lines of birds. But, the solution is just acknowledging the loss, it is not your fault and move on. Many people breed birds for the money, not for the health. I think there is way too much emphasis on line breeding. When done right it is very successful way to maintain a line. When done by people to make a buck, the birds health decreases after just a few generations. Birds get smaller, narrower, less able to fight off disease.
    Good luck!
     
  7. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    Quote:That is some very dangerous comments. There is a member of this board if the tests had not been done would still have sick chickens and no explanation a year later. Thanks to a necropsy the diagnosis was made, the steps were taken to rid the premises of the disease and now the person can once again raise chickens without the fear of a continuous cycle of sick birds.

    If those birds have ILT culling the flock and starting over will do no good because the ILT is still present unless a thorough disinfection of coops and grounds and all contaminated bedding, feathers and feather dust is collected and removed.
     
  8. lildinkem

    lildinkem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had chickens only 17 months, and am new to chickens. I guess I was misunderstood. These tests will not always identify, with 100% certainty what killed a given dead bird for a $50 test. Here in Indiana, Purdue University does these tests. And they told me there is no guaratee they can tell me what killed my bird. They can tell if it is respitory, but to do the full battery of tests to narrow down what it is, will cost more then $50. And closer to $200. According from a lady who talked to me over the phone, who works there. I just think buying and raising healthy birds who have the immunities to fight off this stuff, is the cheaper and will get this person to having a happy and healthy flock sooner. I know I am different from all you folks with the big money to spend. I just do it the old school way. I don't try to change the environment, unless there are Racoons in the coop, I try to make a better bird. And I don't have sick chickens anymore. And here in Indiana, like the whole east coast has been going thru a prolonged period of cold and miserably wet weather. Which usually promotes chickens to die. Mine do not get sick anymore. I have done ZERO to clean, disinfect, and they do not get sick. My ideas, are just another point of view to consider. Might not be for everyone. Good luck.
     
  9. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    This is why you need to be a little more cautious about saying bypass a necropsy due to cost. Here in my state the cost is zero, other than the gas to take the carcass to the state lab.

    Things like ILT, Newcastle, Mareks are definitive. There is no guessing or missing of these diagnoses. One person today posted that she rec'd the results from her necropsy which told her what probably went wrong and what she probably needs to do to find the cause.

    Having ILT on the property can cost a ton more than the 50 bucks for a necropsy. I'm glad you were able to start over without further issues, you got lucky. That is not often true for most.

    I've been doing this bird thing for while now so I've had a lot of contact with a lot of bird people. Things like getting a Mareks diagnosis when repeated losses of young birds gives the breeder the info needed that from that point forward they must vaccinate.

    Breeding for resistance works for some things but does not work for others. It all depends on the disease vector.
     
  10. lildinkem

    lildinkem Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I wonder what people did a hundred years ago? Take their birds to the Universities for testing? Go buy Tylan at TSC? I think IF people knew how many of those diseases are either on their property already OR how many of these diseases are transmitted in the egg they would never get into chickens. The best defense is to know who your getting eggs from. Look at their flock. Even then a bird can be a carrier for anyone of a multitude of nasties that you would never know. And again, IF I had some very expensive chickens, and the money, why not take the dead bird to get it tested.
    I shouldn't even tell you all what I do with a sick chicken. lololol ( I rush him to the brooder room with all the babies and young juvies. ) Again, I don not say what I do is for all. It is just what I do here in the backwoods of Indy. lololol
     

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