Unexplained Weight loss and Mites in Coop during the day

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by posey, Dec 8, 2009.

  1. posey

    posey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 17, 2009
    Coastal NC
    I have chickens in two separate coops and runs.
    They are never mingled.
    I have noticed that most (but not all) of my chickens in both coops have lost weight.
    So much so that I can feel their keel bone.

    We live in the mid-south on the coastal plain. Our temps have been in the 50's during the day and in the low 30's at night. With the occasional warmer day or night. I don't supplement the coops with additional heat all night long. We do have lamps with 150 watt bulbs that are on for about 3 hours each evening. They give off some heat but are mostly there for the light and egg production.

    As far as I can see they are eating well.
    Maybe not quite the quantity that they were in the summer but eating.
    I have been feeding them private label, high quality layer crumbles from a local milling company.
    Into the feed I also mix alfalfa meal and turmeric and oyster shell.

    Several times a week I make them a mash with hard boiled egg or oatmeal in it.
    Poos seem to be normal.

    I'm not much for treats but I have given them a small sprinkling of scratch and crimped oats in the runs, every other day. Mostly to give them something for which they can peck around.

    I did worm them with ivermectin paste 3 weeks ago.

    I am dealing with something that is causing weight loss but there are no visible signs or symptoms that I can see, especially in the one coop.

    In the other I saw some mites during the day in the coop and run. They looked like chiggers to me and were orangey-red color.

    We stripped that coop, sprayed it down with permethrin 10%, changed the bedding sprinkled Seven 5% on bedding and stirred it in. That was on Thanksgiving Day. I have seen only a few mites since.

    If the mites that I saw during the day are the same blood sucking ones that attack at night, would this cause the weight loss? But I have other hens who have lost weight who are in a separate coop and haven't seen any mites there at all.

    Are these the same as the blood sucking mites? How can I tell the difference?
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    How old are they? Old enough for the Big Molt (about 18-20 months old)? When mine molt, they tend to lose alot of weight. If there is an internal layer (not eggbound), she will lose weight when she's getting critical. Mites and lice can cause weight loss, so that needs to be taken care of.
     
  3. posey

    posey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 17, 2009
    Coastal NC
    Quote:Cynthia, thank you for responding. Three of the hens are 6 mos old. Most are 8 mos and 2 more are 10 mos. None of them have molted yet and all still seem to have their feathers. They don't have lice and I haven't seen the evidence of mites around vent or under wings just the chigger looking bugs during the daytime in and around the coop. We have treated that coop for mites and will continue to do so just in case. One of the hens died last night and I just came back from dropping her off at the diagonstic laboratory. I hope that they can tell me something concrete. This is a mystery with almost nebulus symptoms.
     
  4. posey

    posey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 17, 2009
    Coastal NC
    Cynthia, I've heard back from the vet at the lab on the preliminary necropsy results.
    He found a 'very heavy load' of round worms in that chicken. That is all that he could find.
    He is sending the pathology stuff to the State Capital lab so it will be a while longer until I get the final report.

    I don't understand how this could be. I wormed all of those chickens with Ivermectin paste 3 or 4 weeks ago.
    Clearly, it didn't work so I will need to deworm them all again.

    Do you have any suggestions for what I should use this time round?
     
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    If you used invermectin, that finding is very surprising to me. I have used Safeguard, also called Panacur or Fenbendazole, on mine. It also has anti-protozoan properties (Cocci is caused by protozoa). That is just weird, really. Let us know what the lab results are.
     

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