Sickly ckns/dying roo's

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by luvmybirdz, Jan 3, 2013.

  1. luvmybirdz

    luvmybirdz Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 11, 2011
    I've posted here before for advice on what may be wrong w/my birds. I'll try to sum it up as best I can. ANY advice or ideas on what in the world could be wrong would be so very appreciated!

    My girls were laying very well (15 laying hens) giving me up to 13 (normally 11-12) a day. Immediately they backed down to around 8-10 eggs, likely due to the stress of the invasion of the 2 goats. Production kept backing down over the next several weeks until nothing. They were aprox 9.5 months old when the goats came in and doing very well. They had been free range but due to dog issues had to fence off a large part of yard for them (much more than ample room for them and the goats).

    I didn't notice anything right off, just assumed stress was getting to them. Other ppls ckns hadn't been laying well (heat of the summer around July/Aug) so then assumed maybe that was it. I noticed they looked very dull, comb/wattles pale and not smooth like usual (some crusty looking spots)...just not healthy. When my big roo fell ill I noticed how much weight they had been loosing too. He was VERY underweight. I noticed pretty bad runny/watery poo too (no longer an issue for the flock, unless I've missed seeing it in the sick ones. I'll check my sick roo tomorrow) When one of them starts to get really bad they start w/their tail down, very 'off' awkward walk, wings can be out for balance, slow and clumsy, and will just stand around not doing anything. We would bring him in feed/water/tend (I even rewormed him once) to for days, he'd seem stronger and then put him back out only to get worse again. Finally he died. The only ones who get this bad are the roos. When a poor thing is sick it gets pecked out of the food and sent off alone. I had to rescue one today that fell ill yesterday. He'd been pecked at and was bleeding on his comb.He just stands, head down, wings down and out some, in one spot. When he lays he holds his wings out too. He was fine 2 days ago. I lost a young roo a couple days ago that'd been sickly for many weeks.

    Finally dealing w/the goats found they had strongyles (worms) and later found that the ckns can get these worms too (eating goat poo all the time!). I've treated them w/ Wazine (unaffective) then orally gave them Safeguard (for goats) and again 10 days later. Also treated them for any possible lice/mites. Cleaned ckn house as well, cleaned feed/water pans and moved it all to a new fresh spot.

    They seemed to be doing better but not much better. I've, in the last couple weeks, let them back out to free range and they perked up almost right away. Their tails were perky again, feathers even looked better. Some combs look redder but some still seem dull and still 'crusty' in places. They seem to still be a bit lighter than they should be (most are heavy bodied birds). I noticed today a few w/missing tail feathers. As of now the original group is 14 months old, 6 are aprox 8-9 months old (never laid an egg!), and a few that are aprox 5-6 months old. That's what tells me something is wrong. A friend has 6 of the same birds (same store, same group) and they have been laying beautifully for awhile now.

    That's pretty much the sum up of things since July. Sorry this was all so long and jumbled. I don't know what else I could be dealing with. Maybe they need wormed again if they got into more goat poo. I don't know how often they should get wormed. I just don't understand why it's only killing the roos. Is there anything nutritionally I can do to help give them a boost, esp this time of year? Any deficiencies that we could be dealing with? Any kind of other gut issues (bacteria, parasite or otherwise) that they could be dealing with? Ready to pull my hair out!
     
  2. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    1. I would not worm them again unless you find evidence of worms--it is hard on their system. You would likely need to do a fecal exam to confirm the existence of worms.
    2. What are you feeding them?
    3. The 14-month hens are probably molting, which can sometimes put them into a funk--low energy, grumpy, no egg production and obviously losing feathers. (I have assumed you are located in the Northern hemisphere...). If they had been laying for a while, they will have bleached-out combs that look "sickly," but should not have lesions (unless they are being pecked at).
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2013
  3. luvmybirdz

    luvmybirdz Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 11, 2011
    They were just on a Dumor brand layer feed, but I switched them to a Blue Seal brand (suppose to be much better) and they've been on that for some time now. That switch was made after all this began.

    I can completely do a fecal exam. Not a problem there. I suppose I should do one on the one who's not doing well right now. If it does show something though, then all the birds should be treated I assume. I had originally assumed molting as well. First I assumed stress due to the goats (true) and then thought a month or so later it may be molting...but they were only 9 months old when this all started. Then you add to it the young ones that should have started laying and never have (now aprox 9 mon old). A friend got 6 of the same birds from the same group and hers have been laying for months. There is definetally something going on in terms of sickness making them not lay. You have to consider the behavior, appearance, weight loss, diarreha, loss of laying and dying roos in all of this.

    Update:
    I got a fecal done and it showed no worms or coccidia. I was glad, but at the same time discouraged. They gave me the # to the state Ag office. They put me in touch w/the State Vet (even gave me her cell #!)I was able to talk to her personally for quite awhile. She was extremely helpful and very thorough. They do the necropsy for free as well as test for avian flu and micoplasma (?). No cost!!! She even said it would be great if I could bring in a female sample as well so she can check the reproductive sys out as well. I feel like I'm finally going to get this taken care of!
     
  4. stevetone

    stevetone Chicken Advocate

    Sounds like you;re making progress. Keep us informed as to what you find.
     
  5. luvmybirdz

    luvmybirdz Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 11, 2011
    Thank you, I definetally will!
     
  6. luvmybirdz

    luvmybirdz Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 11, 2011
    Well, I've gotten the necropsy done. I spoke to the Dr. and got the preliminary results back. She'll have the blood work back in a week or 10 days. I'm amazed at what she came up with. My fecal at the local vet showed nothing. In fact we ARE dealing with at least some coccidia, gapeworm, and capillaria worms. None were bad, but we'd wormed them around Oct/Nov. I'm shocked at the gapeworms. I'd looked into all the various worms in the past and they NEVER had any symptoms of gapeworm. The body condition score of the sick male was very low. He was in bad shape dispite the fact he'd not had to compete for food for more than a week. The female was much better of course.

    The male that was sickly was apparently totally infested with lice *shudder*. None on the female though. Again, shocked because when I was treating them for everything I dusted with seven, completely cleaned the coop and dusted it thoroughly. They were a bit surprised about that too, but said there could be 'pockets' of lice possible living around somewhere that has caused them to be reinfested. It's safe to say they all probably have them in some amount. Based on the way we described how the sick ones walk they also were looking into scaly leg mites. I'd looked into that this summer, as a possibility, but didn't see anything. She's going to recheck since the other vet suggested it. The female looked fine, but the male looked a bit scaly.

    So far the plan is to treat the coccidia with sulmet and retreat with the safeguard for the worms. I'll be redoing the coop and pretty much dousing the property in seven...at lease the areas around the coop/rabbit hutches, under the porches, and around the house where they dust bath.

    The Dr. is having a specialist look at the female birds heart due to legions they found. One vet had never seen something like it and the other vet only once. She doesn't think it has anything to do with our issues, but something they wanted to persue on their own due to it being 'odd'. We'll have to wait for the blood work to come back to make sure we're not dealing with anything else. She originally thought we may dealing with mycoplasmosis. Not out of the woods on that yet. That was what really had me worried, but now it seems better than knowing we have coccidia! We have to do what we can. Culling the flock is a last resort. My kids would be more than devistated! We have decided to cull a few. We plan to cull the males. We have too many in the first place, that we hadn't gotten rid of yet. We can't pass them on to anyone else. I also don't want any females that go broody having a chance to hatch any babies.

    If anyone has any suggestions on how to treat things around here (the coop/property/the birds themselves) feel free to share! Thanks
     

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