Thank you BYC! (Learned a lesson this week)

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ashcons, Aug 15, 2013.

  1. ashcons

    ashcons In the Brooder

    Aug 9, 2011
    Back in April and May, my wife and I bought 9 little chicks through about 6 weeks. 7 of them were straight run and 6 of those ended up being boys; how lucky are we...! We bought all those straight run birds through Craigslist because we couldn't fill the minimum order from hatcheries due to limits on the number of birds you can have in the city and the fact that my wife really wanted certain colors/breeds that you just don't see at feed stores.

    I culled one cockerel myself pretty early on when it started crowing, but for the longest time, even after we were certain we had another 5 cockerels, we didn't notice the rest of them crowing, so we let them stick around a while. Unfortunately, we had a few days of noticing that they did, in fact, crow quite a bit, so I gave the rest of them away on Craigslist last Thursday. Before the engine had even cooled down on our car, my wife had already determined which birds were going to replace the vacancies in our chicken collection, again using Craigslist.

    On Friday evening, I drove 20 miles to pick up a silver-laced cochin from a woman. She had the hen and a matching rooster in a little rabbit cage, stating that she'd caught it ahead of time for me. She pulled it out of the cage and handed it to me and we proceeded to make some small talk. I found out that she was trying to downsize her flock and that she claimed not to have had any disease issues with her flock, though she was honest about the hen not being a good layer for her. While she was telling me this, I noticed the rooster making some gargally/wet respiratory-infection noises. Unfortunately, I was too hesitant to go with my gut and tell her to keep the hen, who was calmly sitting in my arms. /sigh

    I left with the SLC and headed home with her in a box with some pine shaving. but she remained quiet on the drive home. I tossed my clothes into the hamper when I arrived and put the bird in a temporary brooder-box in the guest room so that I could keep an eye on her. When I was moving her from her travel box to the brooder box, she got excited and made all those wet, nasty respiratory infections I'm sure many of you have heard before. "Great," I thought, "I REALLY should not have brought this thing home." My wife and I also noticed that it looked like she had previously broken one wing. I couldn't tell if she was indeed a quiet bird, or was lethargic from illness (which is what I eventually decided to be the case).

    Between then and today (almost a week), I have noticed that she has a pendulous crop, is under-weight, and has florescent green or green very watery diarrhea. Using the handy poop picture guide posted a few times on the boards here, I guessed that she either had coccidiosis (no blood, though), worms (no sign of worms - I even looked at a sample under 500x magnification), fowl cholera(!), or something else. She was such a sweet bird, I kept waffling on whether I wanted to treat her or cull her. I decided to treat her with Tylan50 for her respiratory issue and get a fecal sample done to see if there was something else we could do for her.

    We live by an agricultural co-op for the state college, so I e-mailed one of their chicken experts (literally, they have chicken veterinarians here) and briefly described the bird's symptoms while asking for his advice on where the best place would be to get a fecal sample, and if I decided to cull her or she passed away, where I could have a necropsy performed on her. At this point, the quiet, sweet girl was really growing on me, though my wife pretty much stayed away, knowing I would probably have to cull her.

    The co-op veterinarian responsed back with some guesses on what might be wrong with her based on the fecal description and some recommendations for treatment, but also added that he would cull it to protect the other birds, which gave me the resolve to do so. She was a super sweet bird, though maybe she was just feeling the effects of whatever was bothering her. I didn't get the fecal sample done, but hope to contact someone about the necropsy tomorrow as I culled her this evening after dark.

    I just wanted to say thank you all for the helpful advice you have build into a repository on these forums as my wife and I practiced bio-safety with quarantining the birds and using different sets of clothes when interacting with our existing "flock" and this new bird. Hopefully they all stay safe.

    The lesson I learned was that next time I use Craigslist, I'm going to take quite a bit more time inspecting the bird I'm buying and the other birds in the flock if possible! Someday when we get some land, we can aim for a closed flock.
    1 person likes this.
  2. SA Farm

    SA Farm Songster

    Mar 11, 2013
    Ontario, Canada
    Thanks for sharing! I hope others will learn from your experience!

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