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Update on 3 dead Polish Chickens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by GottaLuvChicks, Jan 12, 2011.

  1. GottaLuvChicks

    GottaLuvChicks In the Brooder

    Oct 17, 2010
    Dillsburg, PA
    Well, I got the initial report from the state lab on my 3 polish girls that died within 2 days. The doctor actually just called me too and we discussed a few things in the report. So, this is what it comes down to...

    All 3 had what is called Clostridial enteritis and severe typhlitis. Basically what that means is that they had an infection of a type of spore (not mold) that they picked up from the environment by scratching around in the dirt, and it gave them a case of anorexia. It also caused them issues where they were passing most of their feed whole, and getting very little nutrients from it. He said that 2 of them had empty crops, and one just had some dried grass and a few pellets, but probably because they didn't want to eat much when feeling bad. He also said they all had very little grit, which is another issue with this disease.

    All of them were filled with gas and bubbles, but he said he didn't think it was botulism, more the enteritis. Unlike necrotic enteritis, these ladies did not show any signs of lesions in their intestines.

    There are also a few ascarid eggs present in each one of them, but he said it was not an unhealthy amount, and told me NOT to worm them at this point until they are feeling better. He said it could do more harm than good, especially in this weather.

    He did say it is contagious in a fashion, as it is spread through feces that they walk in and scratch in, and that the best treatment right now is to get them on the medicated feed or penicillin, as well as keeping the coop super clean. He suggested the feed first though because it is easier for them to make sure they are getting enough to help them. He also suggested putting the BR flock on it as well since they share a divided coop (but not a run).

    He still has several tests pending, but said he will call me with an updated treatment plan once they come in.

    I do have a PDF copy of his report if anyone would like to see it for their own curiosity. I had to look up quite a few of the terms in there, but it is definitely an interesting read on chicken anatomy and poultry medicine. Just send me a PM with your email address and I'll shoot it over.

    So off to get some of the good medicated feed. All of the rest of the gang (the polish hen and roo, the 10 BR hens and the 1 Maran roo) are doing great this morning, so that makes me feel better. And having a good plan in place is helping me as well, and I have some closure about the girls. At least I know, and the kids know, we didn't do anything WRONG, and as much as it saddens me to know the girls were in some pain before they died, I keep looking at it like they were helping me to make sure everyone else gets and STAYS safe.

  2. calicokat

    calicokat Songster

    Apr 2, 2009
    azalia, indiana
    Wow. What great information he was able to give you. So very sorry about your loss, but I'm glad the Dr. has you on the path to saving the rest!
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Well, sorry for the loss, but at least you now have a diagnosis and plan of action. Will this be a recurring problem in that the spores are now in your soil, or do they have a short viable period. When I hear "spores", I kind of think of hanging around for forever. Good luck in resolving this.
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    That means the spores survived, in what I imagine would be, freezing temps. in your area?
  5. chuckzoo

    chuckzoo Songster

    Apr 20, 2009
    Tuscaloosa, Alabama
    Sorry about your chickens:(

    What were their symtoms?
  6. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Sorry about the loss. I'm curious about the lack of grit and your take on it. I've never given grit, because mine get out a lot. I'm concerned because with all the snow they really aren't pasturing and may need grit now.
  7. GottaLuvChicks

    GottaLuvChicks In the Brooder

    Oct 17, 2010
    Dillsburg, PA
    Hi all! Sorry for the time of not updating or answering questions, I have been very sick with the flu the past little while.

    I got the final report from the lab, and he says they all did have a clostridial enteritis, as well as yeast in the crops of 2 of the birds. It appears that my treatment plan is to keep up with the medicated feed, and to start treating them with a mixture of Novalsan in their water for 10 to 14 days to cure the yeast problem. I have no idea how the yeast issue came about, or what causes it, so it looks like it's time to do some reading...

    Now, to answer some questions....

    Sourland - I honestly do not know if this is a soil issue or not. I will have to get with him and find out. When I hear "spores" I think mold, but who knows?

    Drumstick Diva - Yes, it has been VERY cold here in PA, but I have no idea what these spores actually ARE, or what their environmental requirements are for survival.

    Chuckzoo - I actually had a whole other thread on it with all the symptoms. Here is the link https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=438355

    - I also do not provide a separate grit for the birds, as they are out and about all day long in a fenced in pen, and figure they get enough that way. My take on it is basically that because they were not eating, they were not worrying about grit either. I still am not providing them with extra grit, as the doctor did say he wasn't sure it was necessary if the other birds seemed ok (which they do). Maybe it is something I will discuss further with him though.

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