Sudden death, and saving the others

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by FirstTimeClucky, Aug 12, 2017.

  1. FirstTimeClucky

    FirstTimeClucky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I had three Silkies, one was older than the other two at 11 weeks, the other two are about 8-9 weeks old now.

    Last night I noticed the oldest one seemed listless compared to the others. He was fine all day. I pick them all up and look them over every day and he seemed fine a few hours earlier. It was late at night when I last checked them, so I thought he was just sleepy.

    This morning I noticed he hadn't moved from his spot last night. I picked him up and right away noticed he didn't try to struggle. His head was up and he was alert, but not moving his wings or body. He didn't feel hotter than usual. I didn't want to touch the other two to compare. There was no discharge from the eyes, nostrils or beak, but he had some stuck on diarrhea on his vent. I couldn't tell the colour, it seemed more like clear liquid. I decided to make a quarantine box for him with paper towel so I could have a better look at his poop.

    I went and got the box ready, it took about 5 minutes. When I went to their pen to put him in the box, he was already dead. It appeared he had had a seizure. He was flipped over on his back, with his head twisted backwards underneath his body and his feet in the air. His whole body (spine) was twisted to one side. He had already begun to stiffen.

    My big concern is preventing the other two from getting sick, if possible. Right now they're behaving normally and are active. They are in a wire pen with wood shavings for bedding. They were all in the same pen for about a month. I do have another pen I can prepare to move them to, in fact I was already planning on moving them today. But I want to know the best way to disinfect the old and new pens. These pens are indoors. I was thinking of bleach and water, but if anyone has better ideas I'd appreciate the advice. I also want to disinfect their food and water dispensers. I plan to run those through the dishwasher.

    Is there anything I could treat the remaining birds with, to help prevent them from getting sick as well? I was thinking of a probiotic. I have some organic apple cider vinegar. I also have plain yogourt. Any ideas?
     
  2. SunHwaKwon

    SunHwaKwon Overrun With Chickens

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  3. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Can you posts some photos of the poop, the chicks and your housing?
    What type of food/treats are you feeding?
    Can you take a fresh poop sample to your vet for testing?

    The twisting of the head and body, sounds neurological - it could be vitamin E deficiency, head injury or disease like Marek's, Avian Lymphoid Leukosis or Newcastle.

    Offer some poultry vitamins like Poultry Nutri-Drench that contains vitamin E. You can also give a little chopped egg for selenium and crush a human B-Complex vitamin to add to their feed daily.

    Coccidiosis could also be something to keep in mind. Symptoms include lethargy, loss of balance, having a fluffed up appearance and loose stools with mucous or blood.

    If they are in an indoor area with poor ventilation - using bleach would be a bit harsh on the respiratory system. Do they have access to outdoors at all?
     
  4. FirstTimeClucky

    FirstTimeClucky Chillin' With My Peeps

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  5. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    These chicks are 8-9wks old? If you can, get them back on Chick Starter as quickly as you can. Layer feed has way too much calcium for growing chicks. Supplemental calcium is only needed for actively laying hens, so the calcium powder and oyster shell needs to be taken out as well. Since they are in a brooder they do need poultry grit which is crushed granite so they can process their food properly. Treats are great to give chicks, but it's best to limit treats to no more than 5-10% of their daily intake - diluting their protein intake can cause some problems.
     
  6. FirstTimeClucky

    FirstTimeClucky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Re the feed, I also have gamebird crumble, would that make a better substitute for the chick starter? I've ordered the chick starter but it won't get here until Wednesday. I could also mix the layer feed with the gamebird crumble. If they need extra protein I have fish flakes and cichlid pellets which are also high protein. Or I could just give them boiled quail egg (no shells) more often.

    I was adding the calcium only because my quail and my diamond dove hen are all laying eggs now. From now on I'll give the chicks their portion before adding the calcium. I will still give them some trace mineral powder in the greens, since it contains a variety of minerals and vitamins, as well as electrolytes. I only give them about 2 tablespoons of the chopped greens mixed with a tablespoon of scratch seeds.

    I have some pigeon grit which doesn't contain oyster shell, so I've given them that instead.

    Finally, I took some closeup pics of their poop from the paper towel in their box. They look suspiciously like they have worms. If so, I already have a broad spectrum wormer I can use, it's called Worm X. I originally bought it for my pigeons, but it's safe for all caged and domestic birds including poultry. Here's the product page from the site I buy it from: http://www.allbirdproducts.com/newproductpages/AB10272.html

    Here's the poop, the white "worms" were in every poop that I saw:

    2017-08-12 14.03.36.jpg
    2017-08-12 14.03.48.jpg 2017-08-12 14.03.20.jpg
    Finally, here they are in their new pen. Since it was a new pen, I just cleaned the tarp floor with vinegar and let it air out before putting them in. The water bottle etc. were run through the dishwasher. The dowel is an old parrot perch with notches in the ends that fit on the bars and prevent it from rolling. They like to roost on it. The box was a new one which they were in this morning. The old pen was identical except a lot smaller because I needed to use a heat lamp at first.

    2017-08-12 15.07.00.jpg

    2017-08-12 15.07.33.jpg

    Here they are while they were in the box this morning:

    2017-08-12 14.17.40.jpg
     
  7. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    @casportpony ? Worms in poop? WormX - will it take care of most worms?
     
  8. FirstTimeClucky

    FirstTimeClucky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It's a broad spectrum wormer containing Oxfendazole and Praziquantel. It's supposed to be good for most domestic birds, everything from zebra finches to pigeons to chickens. I mainly use it for pigeons. I looked up the two active ingredients to make sure they won't harm chickens. They can be used on chickens older than 6 weeks. The dose is half a teaspoon in two thirds of a cup of drinking water, given for two days.

    I thought it might be an idea to try worming because they all seem a bit thin with keel bones protruding. For underweight birds the manufacturer recommends to "treat with an antibiotic such as Amtyl (amoxicillan/Tylan), and Ronidazole together in the drinking water for 7 days after the 2 day treatment of Worm X. This should take care of any worm problems, bacteria problems and protozoa giardia, or canker. Then be sure and treat with a Probiotic such as Probiotic Plus for 2 or 3 days in the drinking water to replace the good bacteria in the gut. By doing these products you will have de-wormed the bird, took care of any bacterial or viral infection in the bird."

    I don't have the antibiotics so I'd have to order them, and they wouldn't arrive for about a week. I have organic apple cider vinegar as a probiotic which I can put in their water (1 tbsp per gallon) after the worm treatment. So I will stick with the wormer for now, and see how they do. Right now they're acting fine, busy exploring their new pen, scratching, eating, drinking, and chirping at each other. I picked them up and checked them over, the vents are clean and dry and there's no sign of anything abnormal or any discharges anywhere.

    It's odd that the bigger, older one died so fast. I've have thought that the younger ones would have the weaker immune systems. Maybe he just got into something that the others didn't.
     
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2017
  9. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Sounds like you have done some thorough research on your de-wormer.
    Hopefully by taking care of the worms and getting them back on proper feed, you won't have any further problems.

    Keep us posted:)
     
  10. rebrascora

    rebrascora Overrun With Chickens

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    What you are seeing on the poop are pieces of feather shaft that have been preened off.... at least that's what I am seeing on the poop pictures you have posted.
     
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