Why did my Wyndotte Chick die???

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by cluckcluckluke, Dec 26, 2012.

  1. cluckcluckluke

    cluckcluckluke Overrun With Chickens

    Just came home from a 6 day holiday and had a neighbor looking after the hens, not his fault at all but saw that one of my new SLW chicks called Spicks was looking a bit sad when we got home, so i just kept an eye on her but sadly she passed away. I think it was a tick as she was fitting, very sad to see quite a shock really as it was my first death in the flock[​IMG].

    I was just wanting to know what could have caused this so i can stop any of my other flock members from getting ill, i think it was a tick as when i came home she was very lethargic and was unsteady on her feet, and just before she died she was fitting chucking her head back and falling all over the place but running as fast as possible in circles. One of my neighbors said she's had a few hens die of chicks recently and i live in Australia so we have them over here.
     
  2. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    If it was a tick, I would think you would have been able to find it on the body. Is there a possibility of getting a necropsy done there, perhaps at a vet school? I would research Marek's disease; I don't know how common it is in Australia. Some sort of poisoning, such as botulism, also occurs to me. I'm sure there are other guesses, quite possibly better ones. Maybe these links will help.

    http://www.poultry.msstate.edu/extension/pdf/diseases_poultry_diagnosis_symptoms.pdf

    http://www.avianweb.com/chickendiseases.html

    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044
     
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  3. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Marek's is also called neurolymphomatosis, and the damages to the nerves would make "... running as fast as possible in circles ..." impossible. from Wikipedia:
    The disease is characterized by the presence of T cell lymphoma as well as infiltration of nerves and organs by lymphocytes.

    However, the manner in which the bird died provides an almost definitive answer as to the cause of it's death: Duck Plague (a.k.a. DVE, Duck Virus Enteritis, Duck Viral Enteritis )-;~
     
  4. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    For certain, this isn't anything you neighbor could've known, or prevented ... be sure 'n remind them of that, as they're most likely gonna witness you 'n your flock go through some very hard times ahead. By witnessing, and describing so well, her death? You've clearly identified the disease that cause it:

    Duck Plague, otherwise known as DVE, Duck Virus Enteritis, or Duck Viral Enteritis.

    I was gonna try 'n suggest how you could perform disinfection, starting from inside and workin' your way towards 'em, but ... reductions in it's presence is about all you're gonna do. I just don't know where to suggest you start, 'cause it's almost certain to be w/in others w/in your flock already. Just ... heartbreaking, to even type such bad news as this is, and I'm truly, so very sorry.

    I wouldn't have even recognized this so definitively, had I not recently researched another's suspected outbreak, as I'm more tightly focused on chickens and guineas. To God, and in both cases, I pray that I'm wrong ... but, I really don't believe that I am, based upon the manner in which Spicks died.

    [​IMG]

    Death sequence observed during terminal stages of duck plague infection at Lake Andes National Wildlife Refuge began with (A) the head of the bird dropping forward, wings becoming partially extended from the sides, and tail becoming fanned and rigid. This was followed by (B) the bird swimming in a tight circle while rapidly beating the water with its wings and with the head pulled back and twisted to the side. (C) At times, birds would fall over on their side, be unable to regain a normal body position, and drown. (D) Other birds would simply stop swimming, relax, and quietly die. This entire sequence generally lasted only a few minutes.

    Although their absence isn't any guarantee that it isn't DVE, there may be 'cold sores' observed under the tongue of some infected birds:

    [​IMG]
    Note the cheap plastic gloves they're wearing. You can pick 'em up very cheaply, and they should be changed between each and every bird you handle. There is a product here called OdaBan -- it's a concentrated virucide that produced 32 gallons that can be sprayed -- anything you keep wet for 60 seconds will be sterilized sufficiently to avoid further spreading, and I'd even spray the dirt I walked on. Again? It's an almost impossible task, in that you're attempting to control a virus that's already been spread. But, for certain: Do NOT go near any other flocks, and change out your shoes before you leave your property, so as to hopefully not have others suffer through this as well.

    The best initial link to begin understanding what you're dealing with is Chapter 16 of the USGS Field Manual of Wildlife Diseases. I'll follow up w/ more resources, and will help in any way that I can. Again? I'm really sorry.
     
  5. cluckcluckluke

    cluckcluckluke Overrun With Chickens

    Spicks is a chicken not a duck, does this mean she still may have it???
    I'm quite overwhelmed by this.
    I haven't checked for a tick yet so i shall now.
     
  6. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Running over with Blessings Premium Member

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  7. RhodeIslandRedFan

    RhodeIslandRedFan Chillin' With My Peeps

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  8. cluckcluckluke

    cluckcluckluke Overrun With Chickens

  9. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    My apologies to all three, but most esp. to cluckcluckluke ... I've no idea how I got my wires so crossed as to confuse your young chicken w/ a duck. Indeed, this disease is specific to waterfowl, and has nothing to do w/ chickens.

    However, I still suspect the manner in which Spicks died might provide clues as to the disease involved (which, you probably already knew, since you provided those details )-;~
     
  10. cluckcluckluke

    cluckcluckluke Overrun With Chickens

    Oh I'm so relived Cow you dont know how much you scared me then. It's alright though, at least now if i get ducks i know what to do.lol.
     

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