1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

What is This?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Erka97, May 20, 2017.

  1. Erka97

    Erka97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    176
    17
    54
    Mar 30, 2017
    So, I've been hatching and raising chicks of various kinds for as long as I can remember, I've had everything from chickens and ducks and geese to rescued songbird chicks. During this time I've had the occasional death, even outbreaks of, a strange and usually fatal illness. I'd like to know what it is, or likely is, so I'm going to put what I can tell of the symptoms below and see if anyone knows.
    I usually notice it suddenly, one of the chicks is being very lethargic and won't really move to eat or drink. Perching birds with this sickness lose the ability to perch and are forced to sit on the floor of their cage. As time goes on, they get weaker and weaker and seem to have neurological problems, until eventually they die within about a day of first signs. They usually feel abnormally cool before dying, and sometimes there is discharge from their beaks.
    I've had several with this, most recently an outbreak in month old chicken chicks, and before that in some of my other chickens and song birds, none of which were kept together, besides those in the outbreak, and even then there were survivors that were completely unaffected, and one chick that I managed to nurse back to health -though she escaped the brooder and may have just been cold, it was the middle of winter in PA. Age also does not seem to be a factor, as I've had it in adult birds as well as chicks.
     
  2. TuffAmericana17

    TuffAmericana17 Just Hatched

    5
    1
    11
    May 20, 2017
    It might be blind I have one that's blind in fact it is the one on the profile picture
     
  3. Erka97

    Erka97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    176
    17
    54
    Mar 30, 2017
    Would simple blindness cause death?
    I've seen, on the internet, chickens born completely without eyes that live.
     
  4. rebrascora

    rebrascora Chillin' With My Peeps

    2,797
    953
    223
    Feb 14, 2014
    Consett Co.Durham. UK
    My two suggestions would be coccidiosis and/or Marek's disease. Both are extremely common. Both can present with neurological symptoms but not exclusively, both can kill quickly although you get some with Marek's that linger or even recover, but can have subsequent attacks in later life.... I had to euthanize a 2 year old bird with it last night. It was heart breaking as I had been supporting her for several months and I really thought she might beat it. So whilst Marek's and Coccidiosis are usually associated with juvenile birds, they can suffer attacks later in life.
    Marek's affects the immune system as well as causing tumours, so birds often die of secondary infections rather than the disease itself, which means that deaths from it may often be attributed to coccidiosis or respiratory disease and even some reproductive ailments like EYP and Ascites and most people don't consider getting a necropsy done to identify the cause. It can lay dormant for long periods of time with the bird appearing perfectly healthy and then something trigger an attack, often stress from integration into a new flock or being over mated or sometimes just the shortening of daylight and perhaps being confined due to bad weather when they are used to ranging.

    Anyway, those are the two things that I would consider the most likely causes of your problems, but a necropsy should give you the definitive answer. I don't know where in the world you are, but in the USA I believe some states offer a free service.

    Regards

    Barbara
     
    coach723 likes this.
  5. TuffAmericana17

    TuffAmericana17 Just Hatched

    5
    1
    11
    May 20, 2017
    :hityes my blind chick it died last night
     
  6. Erka97

    Erka97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    176
    17
    54
    Mar 30, 2017
    I had one once I thought would be blind. She was malpositioned and had to be peeled out of her egg to let her breathe, and afterwards she did only that for a day. She wouldn't even open her eyes for about two days, so I thought she was going to be blind, but then eventually she opened them and they seem to work. She survived and is now a nearly grown hen.
    I'm sorry about your blind chick though, it's always sad when they don't make it.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by