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Weight Problems & Dead Chicken had Green Slime...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by BackyardDove, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. BackyardDove

    BackyardDove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    ....coming out from both nostrils and his mouth? Everybody was acting perfectly fine when I put them up last night, and then today I stumbled upon a dead Silkie rooster. No blood or signs or being attacked, just green slime. I checked to make sure he had no external parasites, as I've been having an issue with head lice that has killed a handful of my Silkies before, but he was clean. I did notice he was very, very skinny though. Very little fat/meat on his breasts. This is another issue I've just recently noticed - my Silkies don't seem to want to gain weight. Some feel skinny while others feel just fine, though I treat them all the same. The ones who felt skinny were some of my hens, and I figured this was because they needed another feather trim around their eyes, as their head poofs can get so big that they will be unable to see and unable to tell where their food is. So I trimmed them. I have since been trying to keep a watch(or feel) on if these girls gain weight after their trimming, but nothing so far. However, clearly the roosters also need to be watched too, though they are always able to see just fine. I'm not sure if this is related, but I've also had to trim a couple of their behinds due to too much poop getting stuck in their feathers, something I haven't had to do with my adults before.

    I recently changed over to another feed due to the cost of the original feed, but this seems to have neither hindered nor helped them gain, and keep, their weight. They're fed hen layer crumbles, though I don't remember the ingredients/protein percentage. I can always look on the ingredients tab from an old bag if need be. Due to an ongoing plague of rats, I've been forced to restrict how long they have access to feed. I put up their feed once they go to bed, then take it back out when I wake up at 11 or 12 the next day. During the time they have access to feed, they're given a large supply of it to ensure they all get their fill, except for the days that they're allowed to free range. On those days, I'll give them a limited supply of feed to encourage them to go outside and forage, and usually there's still feed left in their feeder at the end of the day. I don't have a constant schedule for them to go out due to weather concerns and so on, but generally I try to let them out at least a couple times a week to let them eat some bugs and grass. I have another flock of standard size chickens kept in another pen too, they eat on the same schedule as the Silkies but are capable of flying out of their pen to forage. I would allow the Silkies access to foraging all the time, but unfortunately the other flock of chickens, due to their larger size and their habit of flying out of their pen, are not nice to my Silkies and will take over the Silkies feeding area rather than eat at their own feeder, forcing the Silkies to go hungry. I also have two unwelcome Gamebird hens who live with the Silkies fairly peacefully, though they force the others to wait until they're done eating before they can eat. Unfortunately I cannot keep the Gamebirds from flying over the Silkie's already six foot tall fence, but I am working to add an attachment to their closed-in area that will give them enough room so that they will not need to be out in their uncovered pen on a daily basis, thus preventing bullying from the Gamebirds.

    So, can somebody please help me out and tell me what I should do to help them gain weight, as well as help me figure out why the rooster had green slime coming out of him when he did? I know everybody's just going to tell me "put their feed out earlier" for the weight part, but I was having weight problems with them even when I was putting out their feed at 9am or earlier.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Without an necrospy performed on the dead rooster to look for a cause of death, I would only think that he might have had a crop or gizzard impaction. Your chickens could be eating for 3-4 hours earlier if they had feed available. I once had a rat problem since we have a pond nearby. I used a locking bait station on the outside of the coop and run, and Just One Bite baits for awhile, and still put the baits out a few times a year. We never see rats anymore. You can alo give just the silkies some chopped egg or tuna for some extra protein. Here is a link for state vets if you need a necropsy again: http://www.usaha.org/Portals/6/StateAnimalHealthOfficials.pdf
     
  3. BackyardDove

    BackyardDove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    A necrospy is far out of my budget, especially for just a chicken, I'm okay with just some suggestions rather than a vet-approved diagnosis. It's not crop impaction though, I did check his crop and it was empty. Do you have another suggestion? I've just never seen green slime coming out of a chicken like that. I suspect he died during the night, as I found his body in their usual sleeping spot. As for feeding earlier,
    For the rats, locking bait stations do absolutely nothing and half of the rats are too large to fit in them. The only thing that has worked so far is a combination of laying out poison away from the animals, providing large water tubs that are too deep and slippery for the rats to climb back out after falling in while trying to drink, and starving them by removing all feed at night. We started with a rather severe infestation and through doing those three things for a year now, the numbers have significantly diminished, but we still have a rat problem that will quickly grow out of control again if I do not put the feed up at night. I know this because I tried leaving the feed out at night again several times, only to find the feeders empty in the morning from rats.

    I did some research and it turns out Silkies are just a rather skinny breed, if they have a true walnut comb. I don't think they should be as skinny as what I was feeling on my birds, but at least they're not that far off from a healthy size. I do know of the scrambled egg trick to give them more protein, but not only is that a time consuming and expensive effort, I don't think my incredibly fussy birds will even consider eating a scrambled egg. I believe I may just give them a small bowl of the high protein game bird feed I have, which has about 24% protein in it, since they're much more likely to eat that than a foreign, white/yellow object.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    The bait stations I used were specifically for rats, not mice, and they worked fine for me on an old farm in an old barn. I found about 7 poisoned or dead ones. You may have a worse problem than I do. I agree that necropsies can be pricey--it costs about $70 here in Ohio, it can be free in a couple of states like California, and it can be $200 in some states. I've done a few necropsies on my own chickens, but have not sent one in to a pro before. The reason for this forum is to give advice or suggestions when a question is asked. All we can do is to give our opinion, and then let the poster make up their own minds.
     
  5. Little Fuzzy

    Little Fuzzy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Did your Rooster have worms?
     
  6. BackyardDove

    BackyardDove Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I see. I haven't been able to find any rat bait traps then, all I have found are the small, mouse bait traps. I'll look to see if maybe somebody sells them online, since nobody's selling them in stores around here. I do have a much worse problem than you, though. There was a time when I was finding 5-7 dead rats per week, though now it's more like one every couple of weeks. I do understand the purpose of these forums - which is why I said I was just asking for suggestions, not a 100% correct diagnosis that is impossible to make over the internet. Though I do appreciate the suggestions, that doesn't mean I'll agree with them, especially if I know a suggested diagnosis is wrong. That doesn't mean I don't appreciate the help or that I am unwilling to hear an opinion, it just means that I've marked that diagnosis off my list as being possible due to the circumstances of the body. I in no way mean to attack or make another user feel their help is unwanted.

    No, I don't believe so. I don't deworm my chickens because I don't want to disrupt their natural immune system, but I haven't noticed anything odd in their feces lately. I went ahead and looked at the different kinds of worms a chicken can get just in case mine show similar symptoms, and I think Roundworm or maybe Tapeworms would be the only possible culprits. Though all my birds are older than 4 months old, which is apparently when chickens start developing an immunity to the more common roundworm. However, the chickens who died from lice were 6 months and younger, which, if they were battling both lice and worms for nutrition, would explain why the normally non-fatal lice killed these chickens after a mild infestation of lice. Luckily I grabbed a bottle of dewormer before they were taken off the shelves in the US, but I think it only treats Roundworm.
     
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    You might try Amazon since they have some for under $19. I had to switch to Tomcat brand just to keep in the bait traps, since the other brand of baits became harder to find. Good luck.
     

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