Staggering, weakness, droopy tails....

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Godiva, Nov 8, 2008.

  1. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

    880
    1
    161
    May 17, 2007
    Colorado
    I have a small flock of RIR that are right around 3 months old. I noticed a few days ago that a few of them were walking strangely, an exaggerated high stepping unbalanced gait. THeir tails are down and they just look rather miserable. At first I thought that maybe they had contracted Mareks somehow but I am only seeing birds in that group showing signs of illness even though they are right next to a lot of other chickens in the coop. If it was Mareks I would think that there would be signs of it in the other chickens by now surely? They are eating well, pooping normally, no laboured breathing or any respiratory sypmtoms. THeir legs are weak and shaking and their balance is off. THeir eyes seem bright and their combs look normal to my inexperienced eyes. The one that is worst is looking pretty rough and his feathers are not sleek.

    I have them on the same feed as all the other young ones who are asymptomatic and that is start and grow from Purina (non medicated) with kelp meal and diatomaceous earth added. I have electrolytes and vitamins added to their water. I have just cleaned out their section of the coop and replaced the old stinky shaving with fresh pine shavings. THe one area that I am now realising is probably the problem is the run. It is in the forest and with all the rain recently I had thrown hay on the ground to prevent the run from being a mudpit. I am guesing from what I have read on here that this is the source of the problem. I did not realise that hay moulds so quickly and that it is so toxic to my poor birds. NOT a good idea I am guessing [​IMG] So, the question now is, what on earth do I do for my birds? I have separated the ones that are looking bad, I gave everybody kefir yesterday and they all gobbled it up as usual (for those who don't know it is 'similar' to yoghurt) I have moved them out of the coop and no-one is allowed outside until I have cleared the old hay out of the runs (huge job!)

    Should I just give them time and try to keep them comfortable? Or is there something specific I can do to help them? Or is there nothing to be done and should I put them out of their misery? THere are no vets within a reasonable distance that will see birds esp chickens and I truly can't afford to pay that kind of money for my birds!
     
  2. MakNat

    MakNat Chillin' With My Peeps

    704
    4
    151
    Aug 19, 2008
    Ky
    Just to be safe you could treat them with terramycin in their water. That is a powdered antibiotic. You can get it at your feed/farm store. If you do don't eat the eggs for a couple of weeks. When I treat mine I throw their eggs back to them. They love them!!!
     
  3. MakNat

    MakNat Chillin' With My Peeps

    704
    4
    151
    Aug 19, 2008
    Ky
    Just to be safe you could treat them with terramycin in their water. That is a powdered antibiotic. You can get it at your feed/farm store. If you do don't eat the eggs for a couple of weeks. When I treat mine I throw their eggs back to them. They love them!!!
     
  4. OthalaAcres

    OthalaAcres Chillin' With My Peeps

    213
    0
    129
    Feb 3, 2007
    Troy, NH
    It sounds like they may have coccidiosis. The symptoms are ruffled feathers, head tucked in, and weight loss, and birds are usually affected around the age of your chicks. The stool is usually runny and there is sometimes blood in the stool. It has a high death rate if it's not treated early.

    Antibiotics don't work to treat that because it is caused by an overabundance of protozoa, not bacteria.

    The best treatment for cocci is with Sulmet - 2 tablespoons per gallon of water for 3 days then 1 tablespoon per gallon for 5 days. (you can get Sulmet at most feed stores).

    Coccidiosis is more prevalent when there is wet weather. Younger birds who are near adults and have access to the ground can develoop cocci.

    I tried non-medicated feed for a bit, but after seeing more instances of cocci -especially during our famous NH "mud season" - I went back to feeding medicated starter until they reach at least 4-5 months. Then I switch to non-medicated feed.

    ~Lily
     
  5. Godiva

    Godiva Chillin' With My Peeps

    880
    1
    161
    May 17, 2007
    Colorado
    These birds don't have any diarrhea - I have had a bird with cocci before but these look totally different with the strange gait and weak legs... I hate to use antibiotics if I am not sure they need it. THey are too young to be laying yet. THey are still eating well and while they may have lost a little weight they don't seem to be rail thin like the previous cocci chick I had.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by