What is wrong with my chickens?

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by JAEs Trade, Mar 28, 2016.

  1. JAEs Trade

    JAEs Trade Hatching

    Oct 15, 2015
    South Africa
    Hi there

    I had wanted to have chickens for years, so I was very excited when my husband's uncle gave us four chickens in March last year.

    Since then, I have loved having them around..

    The highs:
    Purchasing more; researching frequently about them; growing sprouts for them; caring for them, keeping busy with seemingly endless coop design and construction; watching them eat my garden bare; fencing off another area for them; from yearning for one of my hens to go broody in the beginning, to having many broody hens; watching my chicks grow; healthy eggs and meat on the table...

    The lows:
    Losing a hen to a wild cat that had dug under my gate to get into the coop; losing most of my mature laying hens to jackals that broke through the wire mesh on my coop door; dealing with sickness, losing some chickens; vaccinating...

    It has been a great learning experience, but now I have a problem...

    I purchased some new chickens from two breeders and one had a swollen eye. I was unable to source Terramycin; treated with Consumix then ran out and couldn't source more; then treated with Doxybiotic for Pigeons and Caged birds (after researching options and checking with a Vet to see if I could) and thought that I was in the clear...

    Some of my young chicks showed signs of dry Fowl Pox, I lost some but the others seem to have 'shedded' it. Two are still healing and 'shedding'.

    Four -ish weeks later my Araucana Rooster had a bit of heavy breathing and looked worse for wear. His comb was exceptionally pale and I relocated him, my Araucana and EE hen to a private coop and started treating them with Consumix. I lost him two days later. I have only had him for a few weeks and don't think that I heard him crow once and did not see him mount any hens, so I am not sure if he was not entirely right from the start. He did come from a good breeder, and although his comb was never a bright red, it became paler about a week ago and his heavy breathing symptoms only really showed a day or two before he died.

    Nevertheless, I do not want to lose any other chickens. Please view the photos and give me some advice!

    Above: My Lavender Araucana Hen. Pale comb and swelling beneath eye.



    The two photos above are of my Lavender Pekin hen. She also has a pale comb and is very pale in her eye area.

    Above: My Lavender Pekin Roo - there seems to be nothing wrong with him, he is just very shy and cute!

    Above: A general shot of my chickens. I am a bit worried that they look bare around their eyes and am concerned that it may be because of mites. Please advise. I have cleaned out their coops every four to eight weeks and sprayed the coops with a combination of bleach, dishwashing liquid and sunflower or canola oil as a natural remedy for bugs. There is also lots of dust and loose earth for them to fluff about in. Could they have worms?

    I have a separated area for these chickens (Araucana hen, Easter Egger, Lavendar Pekin trio, two Siklie Roosters, and various ages of a mix of breeds) to free range in during the day.

    My other chickens (Dutch Bantam trio; Blue Australorp Roo and Australorp as well as a mix of other hens) are in my garden (next to the other fenced off area) and show no signs of illness or pale comb.

    Any advice would be much appreciated!

    What a way to introduce myself :( . Thank you for all of the advice that is provided in this site! It is a fantastic resource!

    Happy chickening!

  2. Pork Pie Ken

    Pork Pie Ken Flockless Premium Member

    Jan 30, 2015
    Africa - near the equator
    Hi Jax - I'd suggest re-posting your question in the "emergencies, diseases, injuries and cures" forum for optimal responses.

    All the best
  3. N F C

    N F C phooey! Premium Member Project Manager

    Dec 12, 2013

    x2 on posting the health related questions to the emergencies forum (along with the photos).

    There is information in the Learning Center on how to deal with mites and lice that can help you address those.

    Good luck with your flock, hope all works out for you soon!
  4. JAEs Trade

    JAEs Trade Hatching

    Oct 15, 2015
    South Africa
    Thank you! I have re-posted the query in the correct forum and will do some more research shortly.
  5. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
  6. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    They may be anemic from internal parasites ( worms) or external - lice/mites, If they have heavy infestations that would bring them down quickly. It would be good if you could bring one at least into a vet for stool check and his opinion. Then treat the others as well. Computers are great but, even with the best description of symptoms - nothing is as good as a hands-on examination and blood work etc.
  7. JAEs Trade

    JAEs Trade Hatching

    Oct 15, 2015
    South Africa
    Hi there

    Thank you all for your advice.

    For external parasites: I dusted their coops with Karbadust - I am note very happy with getting it into all of the cracks and only tried the bag method of covering my hen with one hen (the sickly Araucana) because I found it very uncomfortable for her. I have since found a fantastic spray (or so it sounds) for chickens as well as their coops: Ectomin 100 EC G3314, but need to source a smaller bottle as the supplier only had 5l bottles and it is very expensive.

    For internal parasites: I de-wormed the chickens with Ecomintic 50 (Fenbendazole 5% m/v) (3ml per kg). I used 100 ml for 20 liters as advised by a breeder for mixed breeds and ages - smaller chicks and hens will naturally consume less.

    For general health: I am using a course of Consumix Plus for all of the chickens in the general area where the three hens with pale combs are as well as VMD Aminovit as a booster - which covers most sicknesses and was advised by the store.

    The sick Araucana hen already looks much better and far more active. The two other pale combed Lavendar Pekin hens seem the same, they have been very active anyway.

    Because there were only three hens in question, I have not tested their stools. I am going to give it a few days to see if there is an improvement, if not, then I will send stool for testing.

    Thank you again!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by