Sudden weight loss

bomjardim

In the Brooder
Nov 1, 2018
7
11
26
DeLand, FL
We have a small 2.5yr old flock of 3 BO and 3 Ameraucanas and egg production stopped about 3 weeks ago (oh the shame of having to BUY eggs!). One of the Ameraucanas have dropped a lot of weight and keeps trying to sleep in the nest at night but shows no other obvious symptoms. She's eating and drinking and free ranging during the day and seems otherwise fine. The main reason for my concern is that I lost a hen earlier this year to very similar symptoms and it was a pretty swift decline. This particular hen was a rescue that I had found in a strip mall parking lot the year before (true story, I can't make this stuff up). When we brought her home she was quarantined and checked out by a vet and up until the week before she died was a champion layer (I think she was a golden comet but really not sure). Has anyone else had this happen or have any suggestions on what it might be? I haven't managed to see what her poop is like but will be separating her tonight so I should have some samples tomorrow.
 

Kiki

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Welcome to BYC!
The first thing that comes to mind is worms.
Is taken some fresh poop to a vet's office for a fecal float test an option?
 

Eggcessive

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I second the recommendation for a fecal test locally, or by a test kit online from Amazon. This will show worms, what types, and coccidiosis. Valbazen or SafeGuard are good dewormers. We can give dosages. My chickens love to eat fresh chicken feed in a flat pan with a lot of water to make it mushy, and made fresh daily. Chopped egg, tuna, or liver are good things to encourage eating.

Many chickens get pale combs and stop laying eggs during molting this time of year.
 
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bomjardim

In the Brooder
Nov 1, 2018
7
11
26
DeLand, FL
Thank you! I have her separated and will get a fecal sample tomorrow morning. Pretty sure my local vet can test it. My other 2 Ameraucanas are feeling a little light too but they are still getting up on the roost at night. The BOs are still heavy so I think they are ok.
 

bomjardim

In the Brooder
Nov 1, 2018
7
11
26
DeLand, FL
She and 2 other hens are moulting and I've checked her for lice and can't find any. I think she may have scaly leg mites though.
 

Eggcessive

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Did they look for coccidiosis as well? It is not uncommon to get a false negative, but at least you know there probably is not a large worm load. Glad that you got the fecal test. I haven’t had my chickens tested, but once or twice a year I do worm them with Valbazen 1/2 ml for a regular sized chicken, 1/4 for a bantam, 3/4 ml for an extra large hen or rooster, and then repeat the dose in 10 days. Sheake the bottle well since the suspension settles out.
 

bomjardim

In the Brooder
Nov 1, 2018
7
11
26
DeLand, FL
Did they look for coccidiosis as well? It is not uncommon to get a false negative, but at least you know there probably is not a large worm load. Glad that you got the fecal test. I haven’t had my chickens tested, but once or twice a year I do worm them with Valbazen 1/2 ml for a regular sized chicken, 1/4 for a bantam, 3/4 ml for an extra large hen or rooster, and then repeat the dose in 10 days. Sheake the bottle well since the suspension settles out.

I'm not sure and didn't think to ask :/ All they said was that they didn't find any parasites. I'll give them a call on Monday to ask. Thanks for the feedback on false positives.
 

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