1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Slow killing sickness

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Westward, Oct 20, 2016.

  1. Westward

    Westward New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Oct 20, 2016
    A month and a half ago, I noticed a chicken (1 year old) looking pretty sick. She had been showing signs of illness, pale comb layed over, a little bit of a pasty butt, becoming less active. This day she was hunched over, her bottom feathers revealed diarrhea, and when I picked her up, she felt so skinny and I then realized how weak she was. For 2 weeks, I gave her Epsom Salt soaks, which seemed to give her a boost, and gave her anything I could get down her. I put edible DE in it and tried coccidiosis medicine just in case. One day she would eat raisins, the next she wouldn't touch them so I tried something else. One day she would eat it, not again. She started pecking around the yard again and seemed to regain some strength so I let her join the chickens in the coop again and then she went back down hill and I couldn't save her. I now have another chicken showing the signs. She isn't as bad yet, but I don't know what to do to save her. Any ideas what is going on?
     
  2. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,656
    268
    208
    Aug 11, 2014
    Magnolia, Texas
    Welcome to BYC, Westward.

    It sounds like your birds have worms.

    You can dose them orally with Valbazen liquid goat wormer (undiluted) at one-half cc/ml for adult, standard birds or one-quarter cc/ml for young birds and bantams. Use a syringe without a needle.

    Valbazen is available at most local feeds stores, or you can order it online.

    [​IMG]

    Hope that helps!

    MrsB
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2016
  3. Westward

    Westward New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Oct 20, 2016
    So my Diatomaceous Earth just isn't cutting it. Would you forget using DE altogether or would you put it in once we get them under control?
     
  4. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,656
    268
    208
    Aug 11, 2014
    Magnolia, Texas
    I don't personally use DE, as I've read studies that show it becomes inert when it gets wet... Much like on the inside of a chicken.

    Your mileage may vary, but I'd definitely worm them with an anthelminthic if I were you.

    MrsB
     
  5. MelonHeadSeb

    MelonHeadSeb Chillin' With My Peeps

    143
    15
    91
    May 26, 2014
    Feel her abdomen, does it feel bloated or balloon-like at all? If so, this suggests egg yolk peritonitis which is a very common problem and causes watery poo
     
  6. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,656
    268
    208
    Aug 11, 2014
    Magnolia, Texas
    Ascites (fluid-filled abdomen) can have MANY causes, and EYP is one of them. I'd try worming first.

    EYP is caused by e.Coli, is contagious, and is (more often than not) fatal.

    MrsB
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2016
  7. Westward

    Westward New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Oct 20, 2016
    Thank you. I have treated them so I'm hoping to see improvements. It can be hard to find help on chickens. Many vets don't see a lot of them. I spoke to 4 vet offices and only one knew anything about chickens. I heard back from him after I got the medicine. Thanks again.
     
  8. Westward

    Westward New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Oct 20, 2016
    Can I scramble up the dumped eggs and feed them back to them?
     
  9. RareAvis

    RareAvis Out Of The Brooder

    62
    8
    28
    Oct 18, 2016
    I wouldn't, just to be on the safe side.

    FYI?

    Food Grade DE, in all mammals I'm aware of, can be an effective prophylactic ... i.e. reduce rate of infestation and help maintain gastrointestinal health IN MODERATION when mixed daily, fresh, with NON WET feed in a non wet environment; I'm new to chickens... but in others? Once they have a case? Not an effective treatment... medication is recommended. In other animals, infestations can pass from critter to critter, so DE can only do so much.

    The individual who mentioned the 'wet' part is correct, but the mechanism of action is a bit more complicated.

    Wet DE is still fossilized diatomes. In that sense? Yes: it will act on mites and no seeums in the same capacity. Many believe this to be desiccating action, and that may be partially responsible, but the actual cause of death of these mites, etc, occurs due to the diatomes acting as sharp blades within the mites, etc.: they're essentially cut up from the inside out. This is why it effective only on small mites and eggs, etc; and why it is not dangerous to large critters: i.e.: we are larger; for us: it will not cut us up, but act more like an insoluble fiber or dietary clay.

    However, the type of DE I've been told to get for my chicken, the red earth type? Is particularly prone to 'muddying'. Of course any will... but this, I found after a rain, is thicker... sort of... The consistency, by nature, is different: the red earth type has elements not in food grade 'white' DE, these are more 'clay' or 'cement' like when wet.

    As I understand it, the problem isn't precisely that wetness renders it ineffective, because water doesn't alter the atomic structure of the diatomes... BUT, this 'mud', if fed to a chicken, can not be 'digested' nor pass unimpeded through the GI tract and can, indeed, cause impacted crop or bowel {or digestive organs, I believe, in chickens, too} blockage. And in this sense? Muddy Red Earth DE is both dangerous and potentially lethal to chickens, unlike it would be, say, for a cow, in similar quantities. It is this mechanism, then, that renders the Red Earth DE ineffective: Dead is dead, thus the no-see-um killing action is therefore a moot point.

    This is my understanding; again; brand new to chickens.

    Caveat: I am not a vet nor am I a health care practitioner.

    Good luck!

    I thought perhaps a deeper understanding of the action at the molecular level might help you wrap your head around it; that always helps me!


    Take care.

    :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  10. MrsBrooke

    MrsBrooke Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,656
    268
    208
    Aug 11, 2014
    Magnolia, Texas
    There is plenty of information out there regarding the supposed efficacy of food-grade DE, but I am convinced it is LESS effective than using a chemical wormer on a chicken who needs treatment.

    Cucumbers, pumpkin seeds, grapefruit seed extract, garlic, oregano, tiny pieces of sharp fossils, etc, etc, etc will FAIL your chickens.

    I'm 1) not new to chickens and 2) the type of person who doesn't even use Advil when I have an ache. I *will,* however, every single time, without fail use Valbazen or Safe Guard when it comes to worming my birds.

    Here is basically everything you need to know about worming... https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1090991/worms-and-worming-warning-graphic-pictures-and-videos

    Prepare to be overwhelmed. :)

    I'm curious, Westward. what medicine the vet gave you?

    And I agree not to re-feed those eggs back to them. It could have traces of the medication in it, which could throw off the dosage or have weird effects. If the vet advised you to discard, I would follow that advice.

    MrsB
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by