What would you do? Sad looking bird...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by kimchick621, Sep 20, 2013.

  1. kimchick621

    kimchick621 Chillin' With My Peeps

    120
    0
    81
    Oct 23, 2012
    So I have this sweet little black astrolorp who has slowly declined all summer. She's not a great layer anymore, and now she just looks sad. Here's a picture of her taken this past April, and she was such a beauty. I've had two deaths in the coop this year, one pointed to Marek's from a necropsy, and the other is a little mysterious. The big dark girl behind her is a sex link, and she died late June after having her entire lower abdomen swell up. I initially thought she was egg bound, but after speaking to a friend who was a vet (who never did see her), he thought she had retained water possibly in the liver (I think I may be forgetting exactly where). Before she died, not only was her tail down, but she walked like a penguin. It was very sad. :(

    [​IMG]

    So anyway, here is a picture of her now. She's not laying. She appears to be molting, and she isn't the only girl in a molt. Even my rooster is in a light molt. What grabbed my attention actually was last week when I started finding droppings in the nesting box. There is plenty of perch space in our coop, and SHE was the culprit. I now line the nesting box with bricks so she can't get in, but I noticed that her and her best bud are snuggled on the coop floor instead of on the perches. She also has very watery stools.

    My first thought is to pull her into isolation, get her some higher protein foods (like cat food, or chick starter) and get her on some antiobiotics. She has a very special bond with another girl, so I may pull them both so they can stay together. The other gals have recovered from their early fall (late summer?) molt beautifully...only my rooster has some tail feathers to grow back.

    [​IMG]

    So what are your thoughts on this girl? I worry she may be following in the footsteps of the larger chicken I had die a few months ago. Leave her be? Or pull her into isolation? She's not getting picked on...her buddy is doing a good job of protecting her from the other girls. But if it's something contagious I'd rather pull her, and if she needs meds I'd rather pull her too instead of treating the whole flock.
     
  2. kimchick621

    kimchick621 Chillin' With My Peeps

    120
    0
    81
    Oct 23, 2012
    So, I did pick her up and move her. She weighs so little. I don't handle my birds that often, I was shocked. She might weigh 2lbs. This can't be a normal molt. Any thoughts? My fear is that Marek's is creeping back into my flock. I did not cull all my birds when I had one gal with it. No one else came down with it, so I thought maybe we were spared. So far, I'm not seeing anything that screams Marek's. She has a dirty bum...but she's eating and walking normally. Although I did notice a big gust of wind almost knocked her down. :(
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    28,989
    2,988
    471
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I would worm her with Valbazen or Safegard Liquid Goat Wormer. I would not separate her yet. Feel her crop early in the morning to make sure it is flat--sour crop could make her feel ill and lose weight. Check her vent for vent gleet. Fungal infections from other diseases can cause sour crop and gleet. Other things to look for would be a lice or mite infestaion--examine closely around and under her vent. After worming, I would give them a treatment of Corid in the water for 5-7 days, in case of coccidosis. Then start vitamins and probiotics. Your other chicken that died sounds to me like she had egg yolk peritonitis with ascites, and is common with hatchery high production birds. This one could also be an internal layer. Mareks disease once in your environment will always be there and each chicken will be exposed. Some may be immune. Some can live normally, then later develop tumors internally. All chickens coming in should be vaccinated and isolated for a week until the vaccine kicks in.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2013
  4. kimchick621

    kimchick621 Chillin' With My Peeps

    120
    0
    81
    Oct 23, 2012
    Sadly, this morning she is worse. She's not walking voluntarily, and I can feel every bone in her little body. I'm going to put her down sometime this weekend. I worry that the lack of walking is indicative of Marek's again. I'll be ordering the vaccine....does it help to vaccinate adult birds? I have asked the question in the Marek's thread, but I'll ask here. I have birds ranging from 6 months old to 1.5 years. I'm ordering the vaccine anyway, I have eggs in an incubator and I know without a doubt they should be vaccinated. Any opinions on adults. I really hate Marek's...I have such a small flock, and have only been keeping chickens for about a year and a half. I have a clean, well kept run and coop. I'm tired of dying chickens. :(
     
  5. ten chicks

    ten chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,290
    285
    208
    May 9, 2013
    MB,Canada
    If you can feel her bones,then she is not eating normally. Chickens do not walk or interact in any way if they are ill. You could try tube feeding and giving her vitamins. Not sure about Marek's,i would think if you have Marek's disease then there would be more than one bird with symptoms. You hen that died may have had egg peritonitis,caused from internal laying,"penguin walk" indicates egg issues which is commonly seen with being egg bound.
     
  6. kimchick621

    kimchick621 Chillin' With My Peeps

    120
    0
    81
    Oct 23, 2012
    I've had two chickens die so far this year. The first when I took her for a necropsy was Marek's. The second one had the strange belly swell. When I spoke with my vet (who didn't examine her) he said he felt her death was less due to being egg bound and more due to retaining water. He said as huge as she was, I should feel eggs, and her swelling was soft and squishy. I believe her penguin walk was due to the fact that her bottom was so swollen before she died...she was bottom heavy. So her body just went that way due to the disproportioned weight.

    As far as this girl goes. I know she was exposed to Marek's about 4 months ago because the one gal's necropsy said so. If my flock had not been exposed to Marek's already than I probably wouldn't be leaning that way. My understanding of the disease is that almost all birds are exposed to it at some point, and when something happens to weaken their immune system that is when it pops up...sometimes. She's probably been double wammied with something.

    As far as giving her vitamins. I'm worried about prolonging her life at this point. If it's something contagious like Marek's, I'd rather just put her down. I have eggs in the incubator and would like to not expose these guys to something if possible. They're due in 2 weeks. I'll be buying the vaccine for these guys just in case it is Marek's again.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by