what do you think killed my pullet

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by tberryer, Aug 31, 2009.

  1. tberryer

    tberryer Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 31, 2009
    Lake Orion, Michigan
    I had a 13 weeks old Isa Brown die today. I noticed 3 days ago that she wasn't keeping up with our small flock, but lagging behind. I put her in a separate cage the same or next day and observed her. She ate less and less over this time until today which was mostly nothing. Her drinking also became less. Her poops were normal at first, but became mostly white liquid with little or no solids. She was losing weight and becoming very boney. Her comb was somewhat purple and laying down. Her legs felt cool. She closed her eyes frequently and her breathing became more and more labored. I tried feeling her crop, but am not really sure where it is yet. I'm thinking it was empty. When she died she was flipping all over and a yellow liquid came out of her mouth. I'm not sure how much, but probably several teaspoons worth. She never had a nasal discharge prior to this. Can you guess what made Harmony die? I'm concerned for the rest of my girls.
  2. threehorses

    threehorses Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2009
    Quote:Well when she stopped etaing, did you ever try to feed her? To give her water? Any animal when it becomes weak needs our assistance, just as humans do. We can't just expect them to do it on their own - they feel too ill.

    What was she normally eating? Could you possibly answer the questions in the second sticky post of this forum, but type the answers in this thread? Perhaps we can try to figure out what happened with her to get her to this state.

    She died likely of emaciation, not having feed if she was so thin that she was boney. She starved to death and we'll try to help you prevent that happening again.

    INcidentally, if you have a bird that doesn't eat next time, try tempting it with dampened crumbles with some honey and yogurt in them, or boiled egg yolk, or anything really. Dribble electrolyte treated water into their side of their beak (never force water).
  3. tberryer

    tberryer Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 31, 2009
    Lake Orion, Michigan
    1) What type of bird , age and weight.
    Isa Brown pullet, 13 weeks

    2) What is the behavior, exactly.
    lethargic, then dead after 3 days of eating and drinking less and less. Her breathing became labored too. I noticed a little sneezing and head shaking one day, but I'm thinking that was from DE that I put on her feathers and food the last couple days.

    3) Is there any bleeding, injury, broken bones or other sign of trauma.

    4) What happened, if anything that you know of, that may have caused the situation.
    It was suggested that recent cool rainy weather, about a week, may have been a culprit since they were outside during the day, but took cover under their coop, camper, van, tables, etc. They did walk around during the light sprinkles though. In Michigan, we've had a lot of days in the 70's this summer and a fair amount of rain in August with only a few days in the 80's. This one person suggested perhaps pneumonia, however, there was no runny nose or coughing or weasing that I noticed.

    5) What has the bird been eating and drinking, if at all.
    She had water and crumbles available the whole time with grit in the food and DE, the last 2 days. I confined her to a cage for 3 days. I gave her cooked egg yolk and oatmeal the third day, but it was just too late for her to even want to eat it. She had a tiny bit of the egg yolk.

    6) How does the poop look? Normal? Bloody? Runny? etc.
    Normal at first, changing to mostly whitish.

    7) What has been the treatment you have administered so far?
    The last 5 days of her life, the whole flock of 12 was put on Duramycin for 3 days, followed by 2 days of Sulmet, thinking Cocci was going around. I had another chicken die three days before this one, only to find out it probably wasn't cocci since there weren't bloody stools, just that intestinal lining thing, I'm assuming. The former one had diarrhea, but otherwise very similar symptoms (no sneezing though). Yellow fluid didn't come out of its mouth either when it died.

    8 ) What is your intent as far as treatment? For example, do you want to treat completely yourself, or do you need help in stabilizing the bird til you can get to a vet?
    I can't afford a vet. I will leave this in my hands and God's but want to try and prevent it from happening to the others.

    10) Describe the housing/bedding in use
    I'm currently finishing their coop so they are in cages, on the floor, in my garage at nighttime and outside free ranging during the day.
  4. threehorses

    threehorses Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2009
    Well first things first - yes, DE shouldn't be used on the bird as they'll breathe it in. It should be used in the dust baths stirred in, etc. But the bigger question is - why did you put it on her? Did you find or suspect parasites?

    As for respiratory and the weather, there was actually sneezing. It could be that the temperate weather and the rain combined to make mildew, particularly if they spend days under the coop (where things are undoubtedly likely to be more stuff) so it's possible. But that wasn't what killed her - it was a lack of food and water over a three day period, well not enough to allow her to heat and give her fuel to fight an illness if there was one.

    What sort of crumbles, the food? Layer, grower, or another? And how much DE did you give her in the feed? ANd was it food grade specifically? INcidentally, never give DE to a bird that you suspect is ill -withdraw it.

    Her droppings could either have indicated a lack of food, or more likely her organs shutting down (the mostly white) and just mostly fluids.

    And on coccidiosis, only the most advanced cases have bloody stools. Unfortunately it's a very common misconception that bloody stools have to be present for there to be coccidiosis. Sometimes you can necropsy a bird and find the blood in their ceca, unpassed, if they died of coccidiosis. I'm just confused why the duramycin was started and then stopped (a no-no for any antibiotic).

    What happened with the other bird? I feel that's going to be tied closely to this. Mucus can often be confused for intestinal lining, and a few days of rain would certainly cause there to be coccidiosis if there was any chance of it - say a new species the birds hadn't formerly been introduced to.

    What is the bedding in their night cages?

    Have the birds ever been wormed? Did you finish the course of Sulmet?

    First thing you're going to need to do is give your whole flock a four day treatment with yogurt and vitamins, or another probiotic and vitamins. YOu could use the regular water-treatment vitamin/mineral package for poultry. Alternately, since you're going to feed yogurt anyway, I'd make a one-time cleansing mash and then the other three days make a regular bacteria-replenishing mash.

    CLeansing mash (this is per every six birds)

    1/8th teaspoon of molasses
    1 jar of baby food applesauce
    3 heaping teaspoons of yogurt
    1/2 dropper of polyvisol baby vitamins without iron (vitamin section, drugstores) unless you do water vitamins
    1 teaspoon of honey
    a handful or more of their crumbles.
    Just enough hot water to dissolve the honey a little.

    Put the honey and molasses in first, use the tiny bit of hot water to make it liquid, then add the rest of the wet ingredients - stir well. Add the crumbles, stir well, and let the liquid absorb.

    If the crumbles are still hard, add a little moderately hot water - just a tiny b it and stir. You want it not to be wet and sticky, but kind of fluffy. Serve that to your girls making sure every one gets some.

    Replenishing mash:
    Same as above, minus the applesauce and molasses.

    The molasses flushes the system of toxins and other things. The applesauce pectin cleanses the digestive tract and also makes the good bacteria happy, acting as a "prebiotic" for the "probiotics". The honey is for taste. The crumbles are just a base for nutrition and to hold the ingredients together. The yogurt is living bacteria of the same sort that colonize and protect the digestive tract of your birds, allowing them to use their nutrition better.

    Do this sort of mash any time the conditions of their environment are muddy, wet, etc - or during any time of respiratory illness (as the sinuses drain into the digestive tract through the roof of the mouth), or just the replenishing mash daily during intense stress, or weekly for a health tonic.

    It's hard to tell what's going on but I suspect both birds have related issues. It's too coincidental to lose two that short in distance apart.

    Also if you haven't wormed them, since they're free ranging I would consider a worming with Wazine17 (piperazine 17%, 1 ounce per gallon of water for only one day). Then in a month reworm them all with something like Fenbendazole (SafeGuard paste, 1 bb to eraser sized piece in the beak one day only - then twice annually). Since they're free ranging they have a lot of access to parasite carriers. It could be that the sloughing you saw was actually due to inflammation o fthe digestive tract due to parasites. Using FOOD GRADE DE in the coop under the bedding can help.

    The cardinal rule with DE is that if you see it, you're using too much or it's not stirred in enough. The rate for it in the feed is 2% of total feed weight (2 pounds per 100 pounds of feed). Stirred in very well. Never use it to dust the bird as it still is a very sharp bit of fossil (which is why it's said to nick parasites). It's more sharp and harmful than other particulates which is why you blend it in to make it safe for our birds. Also make sure that the areas where they walk and run are sandy if they're confined there, say in a 'run' situation. Course sand drains and disallows the types of conditions that can cause cocci blooms, or excess bacteria and parasites as bacteria and parasites can't handle its dryness. Also in your coop, use pine dry horse style shavings as the bedding rather than hay. You can pour them into a big box and fluff, the dust will fall to the bottom. Tak ethe shavings on top.

    Dryness is key to preventing disease.

    Without a necropsy, these are the best suggestions that can be given. I would also look up your local state ag college and extensions and gather information now for necropsies in case you lose another.

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