Update: not the cold, something else is wrong!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Trampledbygeese, Nov 24, 2010.

  1. Trampledbygeese

    Trampledbygeese Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 26, 2010
    Update: something else is wrong as there are more hens sick. Please help.

    A flock of about 50 hens (mostly[edit] leghorns), 3 bantam cocks, 2 large pastures that we alternate between, with a large, well ventilated house (not draughty) and fed layer ration (16% I think). They hatched this spring.

    We had a cold snap this week. It went down to minus 7 C. (I know, not that cold, but it's unusual here). We have had a total of 8 inches of snow which is enough to convince the hens to stay inside. About three days into this snow/cold snap, I noticed that one of the hens (the runt of the clutch) was looking very poorly. She had her head huddled on her shoulders, shivering, poor balance, and light weight compared to a week prior when I last lifted her up. Her wattles and comb were dark and shrunken from what they were the day before. Her egg whole was tiny (I'm not 100% certain she was a she) but I don't think she had started laying yet.

    We've been having trouble with their water freezing. We change it every few hours during the day, but it freezes almost solid overnight. When I presented Thursday (the hen) with water she drank and drank. It was actually a bit worrying because she drank so much so fast.

    Around 12 hours after I noticed the first symptoms she was dead, huddled up in a corner as if trying to get warm.

    Is it possible that she died from the cold? She was a runt. When she hatched, it took her 4 days to come out of the shell until we finally helped her, so it is possible she isn't as strong as the other chickens. Non of the other (adult) chickens seem to notice the cold except that they won't go outside. But one of my 3month old bantam chicks (in a different group of chickens on the far side of the yard) is starting to act the same.

    Thoughts?
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2010
  2. Turkeyrangler

    Turkeyrangler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 9, 2010
    By Lake Superior
    It just sounds like she was weak from the beginning and didn't have what it takes to make it. Your temps were not that cold, but it must have been too much for her. I know it sounds somewhat cold and callous, but sometimes when they struggle in the egg they end up dying anyways later because they were not meant to make it. Sorry for you loss. Glad to hear most of your other birds are doing well. Hope your bantam makes it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2010
  3. Trampledbygeese

    Trampledbygeese Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I thought it might be that. Pity. I should really stop helping them out of the shell if they cannot make it on their own. It's just this one had such a strong churp while still in that egg that I thought she might have what it takes to make it. sigh.

    I just hate it when they die on me. I keep thinking, was there something more that I could have done?

    I had thought about bringing her into the house. But I worried that the sudden change of tep (-7 to +20 C.) would be too much of a shock for her since she was already doing so poorly.
     
  4. Robo

    Robo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 15, 2010
    Knoxville,TN
    Sometimes it is best to let nature take it's course.
     
  5. Trampledbygeese

    Trampledbygeese Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Update! It's not the cold.

    I have three more hens showing symptoms - one with the runs (white, frothy poop - no blood), the others just the same as before.

    They all have all their vaccines so I doubt it's cocci. I gave them all some Tetra---(?) but then I thought about how they haven't been outside for a week. So I gave them some sand. Do you think it could be something to do with not getting enough grit?

    Any other thoughts?

    edit: I forgot to say that it's now hovering around freezing. I can't imagine that's cold enough to do any damage.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2010
  6. Trampledbygeese

    Trampledbygeese Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 26, 2010
    Anyone want to help? Or, do I need to start a new thread?

    ...

    I checked in on them again. The sand is almost all gone. The two hens are doing better, but the one with the runs seems slightly worse.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.
     
  7. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    What vaccine did they get? There is a cocci vaccine, but it is not very common seeing as how cocci is a protozoa, not a virus for which vaccines are usually good for.

    If they are not eating well, or losing weight, or staying inside a lot becuase of the cold weather, they could have cocci or worms.
     
  8. Trampledbygeese

    Trampledbygeese Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:They got the cocci and the marex (?) vaccines.

    They are going through their food quite a bit more quickly than usual. I figure that's because they cannot forage in the snow.

    How quickly do worms effect a hen? Only the first hen seemed to loose weight. The rest seem very heavy.
     
  9. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    In most free raining birds which have never been wormed, they carry a small load that does not affect them at all, but when they get stressed for some reason like weather or confinement, worms or internal parasites can have an explosive population growth and the birds can get sick from them. To rule out internal parasites, you can ask any vet to do a fecal float test.

    The cold is probably what is causing them to eat more.
     
  10. Trampledbygeese

    Trampledbygeese Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 26, 2010
    I have some chicken worm meds that a neighbour gave me. It has dosage but it doesn't say how long to give it. Do I just give it to them for one day, or several?
     

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