Tetracycline, Coco, or Something else?

farmgurlwannabe

In the Brooder
May 27, 2020
22
14
46
Hi there! Houston we have a problem! Three of my silkies have passed. One last week and two yesterday. They are only about 1-2 weeks old. It is possible for two to have be related to pasty butt. However, I thought I caught it early enough. Washed them and they popped and seemed fine but still died day or two later. Is that likely the cause? They acted funny though, walking or not walking and loosing balance. The third was perfectly fine and just seemed to get ill suddenly within an matter of hours and die. The third one had no pasty butt. No symptoms. Went from great to not moving and labored breathing, or beating quickly like a pant but no sound. The third was the runt if you will. Very Tiny. As I noticed this shift with him I separated it and kept it warm. It ended up shaking a few times lying on its back just like a seizure.. then died immediately. I take care of them well. They are indoor in a tote and have plenty of food and water, bedding changed every so often. Pine shavings, lime under and a little DE added to the mix today. What all of these did have in common is that they all did the funny walking thing and became lethargic and died suddenly. There is no blood and no signs that I am seeing. Everyone seems happy and healthy. Then wham! SO i got panicked after scouring the internet that it may be cococidiosis. Contacted the breeder that I purchased them from and she assured me that it was nothing like that. She told me that I probably had them too hot being indoors and using a red hat bulb. She said pasty butt was a sign of that. She advised me to remove the lamp and do a regular bulb. She sad that none of hers have ever had and that she would never sell if she did. I believer her she is honest and extremely helpful. She loves her chickens and is good to them. Me however, I just feel so panicked by the whole thing. I don't want to loose anymore. My frizzle started acting questionable this morning. My daughter keeps telling me its fine. At this point should I treat them for anything as a preventative? What is the down side tot that if they don't have it and will it harm the or egg laying in the future? I have tetracycline from a Vet and I can get corid from tractor supply I'm told. I have 18 chickens outside in a coop and run and have never lost one. So this is new to me, also a new breed. The others have not come into contact with these in the house. Should I have them vaccinated? I have always fed medicated chick starter as well. I read up on Mareks I believe, and that doesn't seem to fit the bill but the fact that they seemingly go immobile is worrisome.. also just a sign of dying or a regular sick chick. I am afraid doing nothing will result in me loosing more or wiping all of them out. I don realize that these things sometimes happen and it is what it is.. and it could have been a result of pasty butt or the other one being weak and then a seizure? But it acted sick for a few hours before that. Immediately I gave the two yesterday electrolytes in a syringe in their beak. Then I wondered if i did too much or chocked them and it was my faulkt they died? They both panted and made a weird noise like a clicky sound. Again were showing signs something was up befroe thatas why I gave it to them. Am I being too fussy? i know I probably sound so scattered and crazy right now. I am frazzled and don't want to be the cause for loosing them!
 

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
10 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,491
5,538
502
NW Oregon
I'm sorry you've lost some little ones. That is never pleasant.

It is too early for Marek's at 1 to 2 weeks of age. While Silkies can be prone to Marek's, that takes weeks to develop tumors that cause symptoms.

It is too early for Coccidiosis at 1 to 2 weeks of age. That takes about 4 weeks to develop from oocyst to adults which multiply in the intestines then burst to secrete more oocysts (breaking the intestinal walls creating the bloody diarrhea), to be excreted and retaken up to create more build up. So it hasn't been enough time for that.

I agree with the breeder. Do you have a thermometer in that tub? Do you have the food and water under the heat lamp? Chicks won't drink if it is too hot. Can the chicks spread out in the tub at different temps to cool or warm?

And why on earth do you have lime under the bedding? Lime is caustic. Chick lungs are very sensitive. Silkies are a very sensitive breed. I wouldn't add DE either. It too is very irritating to chick lungs (human too).

As to antibiotics, it is possible to have failure to thrive due to bacterial overload left over from hatch. But generally the symptoms are puffy squishy abdomens and even puffy legs, or simply not eating and drinking or growing well from the very beginning. (Possibly the runt could fall into this category).

Since they seemed fine and healthy when you got them for up to a week, I think it is what you are doing to a sensitive breed.

Your tote may retain heat especially well, and you are creating a hot bed for them where they are expiring from heat exhaustion (wobbliness, panting, death).

I suggest getting them into something more open, allowing more air flow, as I suspicion your tote is keeping air flow out, and putting a thermometer down to monitor their temp, which by now probably should be no more than 85 degrees....light bulb on one end while food and water and another end with plenty of space to spread out between so every chick can monitor its body temp.

The pasty butt indicates dehyrdration. I think you've got cases of dehyrdration and heat exhaustion.

My thoughts.
LofMc
 

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
10 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,491
5,538
502
NW Oregon
Also, it is generally pointless to vaccinate adult birds for Marek's as they have long been exposed. The vaccine doesn't prevent Marek's infection, it just slows down the growth of tumors.

Coccidia are everywhere, and the point of medicated feed to to slow their growth so that they are balanced by the bird's immune system. There are different strains, so that is why you practice good hygiene between fields to prevent introducing a new strain. Your chicks should be on medicated feed, but your adults are fine unless they show symptoms of coccidiosis (huddling, lethargy, diarrhea, bloody diarrhea). Usually adult birds are not affected by new chicks. It is the chicks that must develop immunity to the soils the adults are on.

Also, what kind of breeds are your 18 chickens? Silkies often don't integrate well with many large breeds since they waddle instead of running and their top knot is a pecking magnet. Generally it is best to have them in their own coop and run.
 

farmgurlwannabe

In the Brooder
May 27, 2020
22
14
46
It is too early for Marek's at 1 to 2 weeks of age. While Silkies can be prone to Marek's, that takes weeks to develop tumors that cause symptoms.

It is too early for Coccidiosis at 1 to 2 weeks of age. That takes about 4 weeks to develop from oocyst to adults which multiply in the intestines then burst to secrete more oocysts (breaking the intestinal walls creating the bloody diarrhea), to be excreted and retaken up to create more build up. So it hasn't been enough time for that.

I agree with the breeder. Do you have a thermometer in that tub? Do you have the food and water under the heat lamp? Chicks won't drink if it is too hot. Can the chicks spread out in the tub at different temps to cool or warm?

And why on earth do you have lime under the bedding? Lime is caustic. Chick lungs are very sensitive. Silkies are a very sensitive breed. I wouldn't add DE either. It too is very irritating to chick lungs (human too).

As to antibiotics, it is possible to have failure to thrive due to bacterial overload left over from hatch. But generally the symptoms are puffy squishy abdomens and even puffy legs, or simply not eating and drinking or growing well from the very beginning. (Possibly the runt could fall into this category).

Since they seemed fine and healthy when you got them for up to a week, I think it is what you are doing to a sensitive breed.

Your tote may retain heat especially well, and you are creating a hot bed for them where they are expiring from heat exhaustion (wobbliness, panting, death).

I suggest getting them into something more open, allowing more air flow, as I suspicion your tote is keeping air flow out, and putting a thermometer down to monitor their temp, which by now probably should be no more than 85 degrees....light bulb on one end while food and water and another end with plenty of space to spread out between so every chick can monitor its body temp.

The pasty butt indicates dehyrdration. I think you've got cases of dehyrdration and heat exhaustion.

My thoughts.
LofMc
[/QUOTE]


Ohh no! That does make quite a bit of sense! Very good to know that they are too young! I did have a thermometer in the bin but took it out bc it kept falling. I was told to put lime under the bedding, to help with absorption and oder. Ialso have read many great things about DE and have also heard some conflicting. I thought if used in moderation OK. I was told/read to put it in their dirt baths and even mix into their food and bedding which i have not. I saw a tiny whit thing crawl on the "runt" immediately after it died. I freaked. I thought lice or mites or whatever this was!? HOW??? Possibly from purchased Pine bedding? That was about the only way. As they are not outdoors and we don't own cats or dogs or any other animal and my house is very clean. So then I looked up about the dirt baths and the parasites...etc. Read to sprinkle a little DE on their backs to kill anything. And that parasites like that untreated can kill them. So then It was adding to the confusion. THANK YOU SO MUCH for the clarifying information. I feel a lot better now!
 

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