Uffda. Advice needed please.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by GirlsInTheShed, Jul 9, 2016.

  1. GirlsInTheShed

    GirlsInTheShed New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    May 25, 2015
    balsam lake, wisconsin
    MY girls are 14 months old and they've always been healthy. Last Saturday morning Olive didn't want to leave the roost and that night died in my arms. The next morning Henrietta was acting the same, I picked her up and she threw up. Emergency Google search said sour crop. Since Saturday I've got everyone looking and feeling mostly better with prebiotic, yogurt, vomiting, syringe feeding, etc.. Slight crop impaction in a few in the am and occasional sour crop since then which I am closely monitoring/treating. Comb color improving but they are still somewhat pale and blotchy.. Could it be worms causing all of this? I've never deformed, didn't know I should. I've had trouble with shelless eggs for a few months but couldn't figure out why since they get oyster shells. Production had been down from 12 to 10ish but otherwise they seemed happy, etc. Then diarrhea and Saturday we lost Olive. Diarrhea resolved now but down to 2 eggs a day. They feel lots better but are still sick. They did get a dose of antibiotics. Should I deworm or is something else causing my poor girls all this trouble? Any help would be appreciated! Thanks so much!
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    9,867
    3,115
    386
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    What type of food/treats do you feed?
    Do they have access to grit?
    Why were they initially given antibiotics - were they sick - any signs of respiratory illness - sneezing, coughing, runny eyes/nose?
    Do you free range or are they kept in a run?
    Have you added any new birds to your flock recently?
    Can you post some photos of poop and the chickens?

    If your sour crop issues are unresolved then that could be part of the problem, you may want to see if you can get some Nystatin to help.

    Here's some reading for you:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/impacted-slow-and-sour-crops-prevention-and-treatments
    http://www.tillysnest.com/2012/01/crop-issues-html/
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2014/06/chicken-anatomy-crop-impacted-crop-sour.html
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/04/answers-from-chicken-vet-on-impacted.html
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/630307/sour-crop-cured-with-monistat
    http://www.chickenvet.co.uk/health-and-common-diseases/digestive-problems/index.aspx
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2016
  3. GirlsInTheShed

    GirlsInTheShed New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    May 25, 2015
    balsam lake, wisconsin
    Hi, thanks for your response.
    I have read most of those articles, in fact, it is the one about slow crop that has me questioning worms.
    Now that I am on my computer instead of my phone I can better tell my story.

    I had 12 girls. I got them last May and no, I've not added any new chickens to my flock. They live in a beautiful coop with an attached run. They free range every afternoon- so 4ish until dark. They get ground layer feed straight from the feed-mill. I use sand in the both the coop and run. They had always laid 12 eggs a day.
    Early this spring I started to get at least one shell-less egg a day and occasionally thin shells. I couldn't understand why as they have access to oyster shells always. Other than that they seemed great.
    They got some bread for treats and their favorite place to dig was the compost pile (as of Friday it is now enclosed).
    I'm not sure when their poops changed but they seemed smaller and a little watery. I barely noticed or thought anything of it.
    It was a week ago yesterday that Olive displayed signs of what I now know as sour crop. Having no knowledge or experience with sick chickens, I lost her that night.
    They next day Henrietta was the same. When I picked her up, she vomited.
    I called the vet, he prescribed Tylosin which I gave to the girls via their water. They didn't get much because they didn't have much interest in food or water. They were lethargic and depressed-like. They never had respiratory symptoms but his dx was resp. and since I was so new to this I went with it.
    I kept researching and then discovered sour crop which I started treating immediately with vomiting, syringe water, syringe yogurt, probiotics, scrambled eggs, etc. I called the vet to see if I should d/c the antibiotics and he was less than happy that I was doing my own research. I decided to leave them on it in case they had grown any bacteria in their crops.
    I called every local vet. No one could tell me why they were sick. Pale crops with black splotches, lethargy, depression, little interest in food or water. Diarrhea, etc.
    I even called the poultry specialist from the UW Madison and he thought maybe Cholera! Ugh doesn't get any worse than that! And they certainly don't have Cholera.

    Backyard Chickens save my girls! If I hadn't found the information I did here, I know I would have lost more chickens. I am so grateful for the testimonies and invaluable information on this site!
    By Thursday- 5 days after Olive died and I had all the sour crop resolved and discovered impacted crop (which usually results in sour crop!) So, I've been syringing water and massaging and massaging and syringing. Sat morning when I was doing this my girl had the most foul smelling burps I've ever had the displeasure to smell, which led me to believe the sour crop is not resolved?
    Last Sunday when I started treating my girls I had one setting on eggs, and had just lost Olive, and received 7 out of 10 possible eggs. Since Monday my setter quit sitting, and now I am getting 2 or 3 eggs a day only.
    A few of their crowns and faces are still pale and splotchy but they are less lethargic.
    I had feared ingestion of grass clippings which is why the compose is now enclosed and why I did not free range them Friday or Saturday.
    On Wednesday their previously thin, watery, mucous-like poop had firmed up. There is very little abnormal looking poop now but they are pooping in very small amounts.
    No signs of worms at all.
    My browns feel quite thin, but they have never been real big. My blacks are feeling quite heavy actually.
    This morning only one crop seemed impacted at all! Yay!
    So- I'm kind of using the egg-laying as a guide to how they feel. I think they still feel sick and that they are not absorbing much for nutrients as they are not laying.
    Last night while on the roost one of them dropped a tiny shell-less yolk-less egg. (The three eggs I got yesterday were huge and perfectly normal.)
    Should I try deworming them or do you folks think they are just still recovering from sour/impacted crop? Or that there is something else going on here?
    What I am now wondering is if they got worms=slow crop=diarrhea and impacted/sour crop=loss of interest in food/water=lethargy and depression, etc.
    But I don't want to do anything to make their recovery harder now that poop is solid again and they are definitely better than a week ago but not yet back to normal.
    Uffda. So long, sorry. Any thoughts?
    Thank you so much, Beth
     
  4. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

    9,867
    3,115
    386
    Sep 20, 2015
    Southern N.C. Mountains
    You mention pale crowns, faces, and splotchy black places. Can you post some photos of what you are seeing?

    It sounds like you may still have unresolved sour crop. Since the syringe water, syringe yogurt, probiotics, scrambled eggs, etc. has not taken care of it completely you may need to use an antifungal to help get that knocked out. You can use something that contains Clotrimazole (vaginal cream ). @TwoCrows article is really good at explaining how to treat sour crop, you need to get the yeast under control. You will want to provide fresh water, grit and their normal feed only for a few days when you treat them. https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/impacted-slow-and-sour-crops-prevention-and-treatments

    Worming them would also be a good idea.

    Worming you can use Valbazen 1/2 ml orally and then repeated in 10 days for each chicken or Fenbendazole (Safeguard, Panacur) at 1/4 ml per pound for 5 days in a row.

    After worming, then give some Poultry Vitamins and probiotics/plain yogurt to build them back up.

    10. Shell-less eggs

    A shell less consists of a yolk, albumen and membrane, but has no shell at all. The egg contents are protected by the outer membrane only. These are often seen in pullets coming into lay. Causes are:

    - Immature shell gland (young layer);

    - Nutritional deficiency, usually lack of calcium and vitamins E, B12 and D as well as phosphorous and selenium;

    - Certain diseases, such as Newcastle disease, infectious bronchitis, avian influenza, egg drop syndrome;

    - Exposure to very high temperatures and extremely high or low humidity levels;

    - An infestation of internal or external parasites, such as worms, mites or lice;

    - Stress prompting the hen to lay an egg prematurely, before the shell is formed;

    - Egg laying while molting;

    - Exposure to toxins, such as mold, fungi, bacteria.

    Reference: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/common-egg-quality-problems



    Egg shell/problems:
    http://www.thepoultrysite.com/publications/1/egg-quality-handbook/
     
  5. GirlsInTheShed

    GirlsInTheShed New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    May 25, 2015
    balsam lake, wisconsin
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2016
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

    32,136
    5,139
    601
    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    I am sorry you are having trouble and of course for loses. :hugs

    14 months is a bit young for a huge overload of worms, but anything is possible. It never hurts to worm them and then you can rule worms out. Worms can reproduce to the point of impacting the intestines and will slow a crop way down.

    The fact that more than one bird has an issue defintely tells me this is more than a simple case of slow or sour crop and that something in their environment is causing the crops to be slow.

    Coccidiosis can slow crops down due to the swelling of the intestines, cecal pouch and such. You can have huge flock losses with Cocci. Cocci will effect them all rather than a case of sour crop. Do you see any mucus or blood in the poop or urates? Either of these are classic Coccidiosis. A Cocci infection, if bad enough can cause Enteritis, bacteria infections that cause intestinal swelling. Cocci is treated with Corid you can get at most feedstores. Its fairly harmless, its a Thiamine blocker to kill the Cocci and has no egg withdrawal. Cocci will cause thin shells and funky eggs, however so will worms.

    Are you feeding lots of watermelon or cold fruit? Too many raisins? While these things help to cool birds down in the heat, these high sugars will cause a huge yeast imbalance in the crop and intestines causing big yeast infections making crops go sour. If you feel this may be the case, and since you have been using yogurts and probiotics, you might head to the Acidified Copper Sulfate. It will kill off all yeasts and and E.coli in the entire intestinal tract and crop. If used exactly as directed, it is safe to use for yeast and E.coli outbreaks in the flock. Make sure to get the Acidified stuff only and use it only for 7 days. You will want to definitely use probiotics for almost a week after to replace all good bacteria killed off.

    Other ailments like internal laying or reproductive cancer can cause slow and sour crops from the internal infections and swelling. And can sometimes seem like an epidemic is sweeping the flock as common as these are in hens. But I think your birds are a bit young yet for these.

    So I would consider worming, trying Cocci meds, cutting out sugary foods and possibly the Acidified Copper Sulfate. These things I mentioned here are the more common reasons several birds turn up with crop problems at this age.

    Good luck and I hope you can get them healed up soon! :)
     
  7. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

    32,136
    5,139
    601
    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Also, for you and anyone else reading this never use Apple Cider Vinegar when a bird has a yeasty slow crop. ACV is a wonderful tonic for healthy birds and used once a week for months on end, will not only help raise the PH of the bird over time to help ward off bacteria, fungi and viruses, but also helps to sour up the intestines and keep the bad yeasts at bay and the E.coli that is naturally in the intestines. Because ACV goes in a sour, it will cause a sick bird with a yeasty crop to get 10 times worse since the yeasts feed on sour.

    I am leaning toward Coccidiosis on your birds here. They are at the right age for it, they have diarrhea, slow crops, pale combs, ect...The first thing I would do is go get some powdered Corid from the feedstore. Put 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons of Corid in a gallon plastic container and add water. (you can use the quart waterers too, if you don't have the gallon sized. 1/4 to 1/3 teaspoon per quart) Change and make a new batch daily for 5 to 7 days.

    You might also worm them after this as well with either some Safeguard Liquid Goat Wormer or Safeguard Equine Paste.

    If after the next weeks and nothing has changed, you will definitely want to try the Acidified Copper Sulfate for 7 days.

    Keep us posted! :)
     
  8. GirlsInTheShed

    GirlsInTheShed New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    May 25, 2015
    balsam lake, wisconsin
    [​IMG]
    Thanks for all the good information and help. This morning all the girls but one had empty crops and i got 5 eggs so i decided to free range them. The last 2 days i kept them in. They had a blast! But boy oh boy tonight all but 2 crops are huge!! I will be shocked if they arent all but two sporting tennis ball crops in the morning. Im going to attach photos i just took to show how pale a couple are and the blotchy discoloration as well. I will include a pic of the only weird poop i found today too. Tomorrow should i buy meds to treat coccidiosis or worms? There has been no blood and no evidence of worms. They still need help! Please advise![​IMG][​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2016
  9. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

    32,136
    5,139
    601
    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    @GirlsInTheShed Crops should be huge at night. The crop is a storage tank for food waiting to be run through the bird. Chickens have very high metabolism and need to eat a lot to keep their bodies going. So to get through the night without losing weight, chickens will stuff their crops full so that they have enough calories to get through till morning. It takes about 4 to 8 hours for a crop to empty completely, depending on what the bird ate. Some foods are quick to digest and others need to stop for longer periods of time in the gizzard to be ground down a bit more.

    Check these crops first thing in the morning before they have had anything to eat or drink. They should be completely empty. If not, there is a problem going on. Any bird that goes to roost with nothing in their crops day after day also has a problem and is either not eating or being bullied away from the food.

    Keep us posted! :)
     
  10. GirlsInTheShed

    GirlsInTheShed New Egg

    9
    0
    7
    May 25, 2015
    balsam lake, wisconsin
    Yep, all but one crop completely empty this morning! Yay! It's just that with the problems we've been having for the past week I thought there was no way they'd be empty by this morning. I'm thrilled! I'll work on Delilah in the morning since I didn't have time to empty her crop today. What do you think about the pale and splotchy faces and combs? Should I wait a while longer or pick up meds for either worms or coccidiosis today?
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by