What is killing my flock?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by waibel zoo, Oct 25, 2009.

  1. waibel zoo

    waibel zoo Songster

    Mar 23, 2009
    Sandy, UT
    Chicken are silkies and polish. They share the coop with some young ducks.

    Food is layer crumble mixed with cracked corn, oats and barley. Scratch occasionally and kitchen scraps.

    Suddenly a chicken will become weak and sit in the run. When I pull them out I find they have smelly poop on their feathers. They are very thin. Their keel bones are very prominate. I bring them in and try to nurse them back, but they slip away.

    What is going on? It is not all at once. I seem to have them dropping off one by one. The ducks are fine and no problems.

    No new birds have been added. The ducks were added over 6 weeks ago and were hatched from eggs in my incubator.

  2. I'm so sorry, I have no idea! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] Maybe stop the kitchen scraps?
  3. schoebel_taylor

    schoebel_taylor Songster

    Jun 11, 2009
    Central Wisconsin
    I would try just giving them layer without the added stuff. Also make sure your food hasn't been exposed to moisture. Good luck with ur chickens! [​IMG]
  4. loralei

    loralei Songster

    Jun 4, 2009
    New Caney, Texas
    So sorry for your losses!

    Have you wormed? I have no experience with worms myself but when I read your post I had a strong feeling based on other posts I have read where worms were the problem. Do they range?

    I see you have them on layer pellets. How old are they?

    Are they eating and drinking? I would add vitamins & electrolytes to their water. Gatorade or Pedialyte could be used in a pinch. There is a mash that many here make with plain yogurt. You can search for the various recipes. Try that to get some protein and probiotics in them. My girls, no matter how icky they feel, will eat scrambled eggs. Try that too for protein. Even if you can get just a little down em' it will help their energy level.

    I am no expert so I'm hoping someone with more experience will jump in here.

    Keep us posted, ok?

  5. goatcrazed6

    goatcrazed6 In the Brooder

    Oct 19, 2009
    upstate NY
    check for possible coccidia.
  6. waibel zoo

    waibel zoo Songster

    Mar 23, 2009
    Sandy, UT
    How would I check for cocci?

    The are all over 20 weeks so they are on layer crumble. I started adding the other grains last week because winter is coming. They are in a chicken tractor so they move daily, but only have access to fresh grass.
  7. chickenannie

    chickenannie Songster

    Nov 19, 2007
    The fact that they are thin means they are not getting enough nutrition. Either their feed is not appropriate for them (not nutritious); or some of them are getting the food and chasing the others away from the feeders; or they have something like worms or mites that are sapping their strength.

    Their thinness does not come on all of a sudden -- if they are that thin, then they have not been getting enough nutrition for some time.

    They may be dying of malnutrition, or their weakness is allowing some other illness to overtake them.

    Please immediately give them some extra boost in feed -- hard-boiled eggs and yogurt right away.

    check for mites and lice on the skin of the chicken (they are super-tiny things -- hard to see, but you can see them.) I don't know enough about worms to tell you what the symptoms are, but others on here could tell you.

    Do you give them free-choice food? meaning the food is available at all times?

    Also, are their issues with the ducks not allowing the chickens to eat?

    What brand of feed are you using?

  8. waibel zoo

    waibel zoo Songster

    Mar 23, 2009
    Sandy, UT
    I treated them for mites about a month ago and everyone was clean.

    The brand is just IFA. Which is the name of the feed store. They are a mill and make it. I fill the feeder everyday and it is never empty.Someone is eating it. I have watched and if anything the chickens keep the ducks from the food. The ducks are young.

    I will look into worming them. Would worms kill them?
  9. TaLani

    TaLani ~ Gemini Chick ~

    Oct 2, 2008
    Bryson City, NC
    Yes, the worms can eventually kill them since most of the nutrition they're ingesting is going to the worms and not actually to them. Wazine is a good product to worm with, but there's another product that's good too, but I can't think of its name right now. Maybe someone else can chime in and help you out.
  10. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

    Jan 4, 2009
    Tempe, Arizona
    Possibly worms or mites. With most products you need to re-treat at least once about a week later. Also, if the silkies have a true walnut comb, their keel bone will be prominant--it is caused by the pea comb gene. So if you are noticing that more in the silkies it means nothing. Thinness and light weight, of course, do.

    They may also have some sort of infection going on. First you need to deal with parasites and if that doesn't solve the problem look further.

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