What is killing my chickens?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by BantamFan4Life, Aug 7, 2014.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    84,499
    3,807
    646
    Jun 15, 2012
    Washington
    My Coop
    Hey all, today I went to the coop and noticed one of my favorite hens, one that I have made showing arrangements for, getting the same symptoms my last batch of chicks did. In my last batch of chickens, I got three birds. At the end of December, one my chicks stopped being active, stood around with closed eyes, had stunted growth, a loss of appetite, and listlessness. The chick died a few weeks later. At the end of January, the second chick got the same symptoms. Although, she lived much longer. At the beginning of April she couldn't use one of her legs anymore. I'm not sure if she became lame or if she broke it. She died a few weeks later. Now, I have a hen from a different batch and hatchery, with the same symptoms. She is my showing bird and I have to take her to a fair on Sunday.....What should I do? Any idea what disease this could be? Any ideas to cure this? Please help! Thanks!
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,723
    2,687
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    You can't take a sick bird to the fair so forget that.
    Not many symptoms there. Possibly Marek's but could be dozens of things. Sounds like it's time for lab work. Any guesses would be just that without a necropsy. Get to the bottom of it or you'll likely keep losing chickens.
    It could be viral (most likely), bacterial, fungal, environmental, nutritional.
    Where are you located?
    I'd take the sick bird to the state diagnostic lab, have her euthanized and a histogram done to know exactly what you're dealing with. Otherwise you'll be prolonging fixing the problem.
     
  3. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    84,499
    3,807
    646
    Jun 15, 2012
    Washington
    My Coop
    Yeah, I know that I will not be able to take her to the fair :/ I am located in the pacific northwest. Would it be expensive to take her to a veterinarian?
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

    21,723
    2,687
    466
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    A vet could possibly save the bird but about half the things it could be have no cure.
    Finding a good avian vet with poultry experience may be next to impossible in the Northwest. They're as rare as hen's teeth. (pun intended)
    The vet will be more expensive than the necropsy route and may not find anything unless they know what they're doing. They could do nasal and throat swabs and test fecal samples but may not get to the bottom of it. At least if they do, the bird will still be alive and if they do a good diagnosis, curing it will be a 50/50 deal.

    I just took a live bird to our state vet school and they did a complete necropsy for $55. It turned out to be cancer but I had to know what the problem was because I breed an extremely variety.

    I took a bird to an avian vet once for egg binding which I had corrected but she had a relapse. It was about 70 and the bird died anyway.
     
  5. Chick345

    Chick345 Out Of The Brooder

    55
    0
    29
    Aug 7, 2014
    Wanachee WA
    I've had this to! Do you maybe have chicken mites? I do but not sure if that's the cause of death to my chickens.

    ~Eliana
     
  6. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Overrun With Chickens

    5,157
    1,106
    338
    Apr 5, 2013
    Wisconsin
    You should definitely check for mites too. A vet is your best option, but every now and then do a good once over of all your chickens. I learned the hard way that it doesn't take long for those buggers to really get out of control and start destroying your flock.
     
  7. One Chick Two

    One Chick Two Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,053
    159
    176
    Jun 13, 2013
  8. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    84,499
    3,807
    646
    Jun 15, 2012
    Washington
    My Coop
    I just checked on her again, and she seemed to be perkier. I was thinking of separating her, and if I see more listlessness like the other birds, I'm going to separate her immediately. From what I've searched, it sounds like it could be Marek's or Air-Sac Disease. Although, so many diseases are similar that it's difficult to diagnose a specific disease. But, whether my hen is current sick or not, I would still like to know what killed those to chicks earlier this year to prevent that from happening to other birds. I know that I thought maybe I switched the last batch of chicks on layer pellets too early, is that possible? I know that the only birds that have been affected by this have been from 12-16 weeks. None of my older birds got sick. Also, the incubation period was really long, which leads me to think that it may not be a virus.
    [​IMG]
    Here is the second chick that got this earlier this year. I thought maybe it could be easier to tell what is going on by a picture. This is what she did all day.
     
  9. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    84,499
    3,807
    646
    Jun 15, 2012
    Washington
    My Coop
    I am very punctilious about getting rid of mites. I check my birds for mites all the time and I treat them with DE. I know a lot about mites, and I don't think it's the case. Thanks for the suggestion though :)

    I'm not in CA, sorry :/
     
  10. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    How long has it been since you wormed the chickens? What did you use? The picturs looks like coccidia may be part of the problem.
     
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by