Ugh - need some help!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickie1, Sep 18, 2009.

  1. chickie1

    chickie1 New Egg

    Jul 2, 2008
    2 weeks ago, i brought home some new pullets. 2 polish, 3 silkies, and a silver laced wyandotte.
    We have a flock of 10 birds, a few auracaunas (sp?), sex link, comets, australorp. oh, and a peacock who thinks he is a silkie

    Anyway, almost immediately we noticed the polish did not seem as lively as the other pullets, but I have never had them so I wasn't sure if they were more quiet and sedentary by nature. I separated them by themselves anyway, but they would not eat, never got more active, but never had any other symptoms. They finally seemed to be turning a corner - they would stand up - next morning, boom, both were dead.

    The other pullets never had issues, and were put in with the rest of the flock. about 2 days ago, I noticed a comet hen was sneezing. She was like that for a day , now she just has this persistant very slight wheeze when she breathes. Next my favorite girl started the same way - sneezing for a day, progressing to a very slight wheeze for 2 days now. They are still laying, eating, walking around - only other symptom is the comet has one eye that appears to be slightly swollen.

    this morning when the girls went out (they are free range all day) my son noticed one of the silkie pullets did not seem well. Within hours she was collapsed on the ground, difficulty breathing, drooling, and her nostrils (?) were clogged. I cleaned off her crusted beak, (which had no odor) but she was bubbling clear liquid from her mouth and nostrils when she breathed, and was twisting her neck to try to breathe better.

    Gape worm seemed like a good possibility, I had actually just bought wormer because I noticed worms in some droppings. I went out to the coop to get the wormer, and by the time I got back she was dead [​IMG]

    I am going to worm the rest of them, but is there anything else I should do? Does this sound like gape worm to everyone? Or something else?
    Any help is appreciated!!!
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2009
  2. purpletree23

    purpletree23 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 15, 2009
    If the chickens have worms in the droppings they have a huge worm load. From your description I can't determine if worms are causing the problem or if they are in a weakened condition from the worms and have a respiratory infection.

    Worm first with a milder wormer like Wazine. It will kill a lot of the worms but not all. Thats a good thing because if you kill all the worms at once the chickens system can become toxic and it will kill them. Worm with the Wazine and them a week later worm with Ivermectin. It will kill all worms including the gapeworm. I like the kind that you 'pour' onto the chickens. It's really 4 or 5 drops placed on the chickens skin on their back. Make sure you get the Ivermectin on the skin. If you get ti on the feathers it is useless. It will also kill mites and lice if the chickens have them.

    The Ivermectin is sold as a cattle wormer. You can get it at any feed store. Make sure you get the pour on type. Oral is O.K. but there is a withdrawl time of 2 weeks that you can't eat the eggs.

    After worming give them a lot of nutritious food to keep up their strength. Right now the worms are getting more nutrition from the food then the chickens are. I liketo give chopped greens, corn on the cob, scrambled eggs, cottage cheese and plain yogurt to keep their good gut bacteria in good shape. Not all at once but a little everyday.

    You might want to consider getting some medication for respiratory infection. I like water soluable Tylan. The feed store might have it or you can order it at

    threehorses has an awsome worming description. She does a much better job than I do. Refer to her info and others to come up with a plan you are comfortable with.
  3. chickenlady

    chickenlady Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 28, 2007
    Stillwater, NJ
    I'm sorry for your losses. When getting new birds you always need to quarantine them for a long period. If the silkies were in with the polish who were so sick they died, I'm not sure that in less than 2 weeks I would have put them with my original flock.

    Purpletree gave you some good advice. If you saw worms in feces, then they already had a severe infestation which can kill a bird quickly. Your problem sounds almost respiratory though. Tylan is a good medication for that type of problem.

    Any way to go back to the people you purchased the sick polish and silkies from and try and ask them if they have had a health problems? maybe they will give you some insight for proper treatment.

    Best of luck to you in getting the entire flock back in good health.
  4. chickie1

    chickie1 New Egg

    Jul 2, 2008
    Thanks for all the help! I wasn't sure if all this was even related, so I thought I would relay every part

    I was sold Piperazine at the feed store- is that not for this kind of worm, or too strong for the first round?

    I didn't realize quarantine was suggested 2 months - now I could just kick myself. I thought I was doing good with a couple weeks.
    While the polish and silkies were from different cages at the sellers coop, they were together on the way home and could have transferred something.

    I emailed the seller after the polish died, and she said she wasn't having any issues.
  5. chickie1

    chickie1 New Egg

    Jul 2, 2008
    ooh, never mind about the piperazine question, I see in the worming thread that wazine *is* piperazine

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