Backyard Poultry Forum • View topic - Peafowl HEALTH concern, came from a coop in which the other,

Backyard Poultry Forum

Chickens, waterfowl & all poultry - home of exhibition & backyard poultry in Australia & New Zealand
Login with a social network:
It is currently Tue Oct 16, 2018 7:27 pm

All times are UTC + 10 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 2:53 am 
Offline
Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:32 am
Posts: 92
Location: Hastings, Florida
The situation:
A friend (who tends to get bored easily) impulsively bought/traded for 5 peafowl, genders unknown, that appeared to be from 3 different hatch dates, maybe 3-5 weeks apart.
I guesstimate them at 3+ months,4+ months and 5+ months but I'm pretty clueless.
When he tired of the project I offered to buy them, paid for 2 and wanted a 3rd, have been here researching sexing so I don't unintentionally create a conflicting or stressful environment if I end up with 2 males.
I have friends and supplies coming this Saturday (in 5 more days) to build the initial "juvie enclosure", then I was going to pick them up the following week.
My friend called saying he "failed peafowl 101", which meant he found one already dead that morning and another acting sickly/weak with the same presentation as the one that had then died. (I knew nothing of this until the call).
He brought the weak one into his house and asked me to take the other 3 right then, as in 15 minutes he'd be at my house with a box of random peafowl.
Despite the non-ideal situation, I decided from the not so great options to agree.
The first of his 5 (now my 3) died night before last. The one he brought into his house just died last night.
I don't know what signs to look for, when is an emergency, what to do if there is one, how to support the health and needs of the 3 that I have now.

I sterilized a very large dog carrier (the biggest enclosed safe containment I could come up with on short notice), layered the bottom with clean white pillow cases.
For food I offered medicated chicken chick starter-grower (18% protein, which I know is too low but it's what I had that minute). I mixed in dried mealworms. Fresh water comes from my own well. Dishes are stable, pillow cases offer soft bedding as there are about 20 in there!

I see no overt signs of distress, no snotty nose nor wheezing, no cuts, no abrasions, feather quality looks good.
They each seem to be eating with moderate interest, drank a nice amount of water, which I am removing every couple of hours to dump, re-sterilize the bowl, refill.

I hope and pray that my feed store is open today (they're closed weekends but today is a holiday...I will call shortly).

Supplies I have here now:
*Tiny amount remaining of the med chick starter (plan to get a new bag today/tomorrow as I have chicken chicks hopefully hatching this week).
*Dried mealworms.
*Granite based grit And oyster shell supplement.
*Purina "Layena" laying feed (18%) fortified with calcium.(I'm concerned about too much calcium which is why the got the starter chick feed).
*Cracked Corn.
*Dry cat food.

I apologize for the too-long post. I feel that details may help me get advice quickest.
I will take and post pics shortly.

What is on my shopping list at the feed store? Can I supplement their protein with cooked chicken eggs? Are there any household food items that are good? Any that are bad to be avoided?

Thank you in advance for helping me and the surprise pea-peeps!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 9:24 am 
Offline
Old Mother Goose
Old Mother Goose
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
Posts: 6756
Location: ACT area
Good Morning asuncion.rera - sounds like you've dived right into the deep end. I don't know much about pea babies, I've only had adults but my feed books recommend a game bird feed 28% for the first 5-8 weeks (not medicated) then a Game Bird grower 22% protein (till about 11 weeks) Then finisher.(18 %) or Gamebird Maintenance Feed (15% protein) for adults. Minimum added calcium.
My adults were fed a good quality poultry layer as adults. They loved dry cat food as a treat.
It sounds as if what you are doing is good. Maybe add some soluble vitamins to their water.

Can you give us some details of their behaviour/presentation before they die. Is it possible that their care/diet was not ideal at the start?

They are beautiful birds but will roam if given the opportunity and may choose to live at your neighbours. The males are noisy in the morning.
i didn't mind but the neighbour did as the pea boy often roosted on a branch over her pool.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 10:02 am 
Offline
Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:29 pm
Posts: 620
Location: Victoria
Blackhead Disease maybe? It's the only one that I know of that can kill peafowl quickly, but I don't really know anything about them to know what other things they suffer from.

Treatment is with Metronidazole (Flagyl), but doesn't guarantee success, it's pretty fatal apparently. Sorry, I hope you can treat it, whatever it is. Good luck.

*edit* Did your friend ever worm them, and had they been wormed before he bought them?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2016 6:49 pm 
Offline
Wise Wyandotte
Wise Wyandotte

Joined: Tue Nov 17, 2009 3:10 pm
Posts: 4579
Location: SE Qld
What does their faeces look like? If it's fluorescent yellow then that is diagnostic for blackhead & you need to get onto Flagyl ASAP.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 5:20 am 
Offline
Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:32 am
Posts: 92
Location: Hastings, Florida
Thank you to each of you.
Sue55, I dived in and it is not good. I see I'm starting with a severe problem.
Azira and Andrewschooks: The faeces are runny and lighter than I'd have expected, but not flourescent yellow (yet?) If it doesn't offend anyone, I'll take a pic of their poop and post it too.

The situation has gone from bad to worse.
The ill bird at my friend's died that night. Last night one of the 3 I had died. This morning the smallest one looked very weak, the mid sized one looks not very well and not as bad as the smallest. (IT was the largest one that died last night).
I have aquired so far:
Dewormer which I mixed into the water and had to force feed. Electrolyte replacer--same water, same force. Tetracycline antibiotic for birds. I have not given it yet bcs they are so weak I didn't want to force 3 separate things at once but as it stands I'll likely start it today.
I was unable to come by any peafowl-specific meds in the 2 feed stores I went to this morning. The meds I bought apply to turkeys and chickens bcs that is the best that was available quickly.
I may have gotten my hands on these birds too late.
My friend did not deworm nor medicate in any way.
The diet he offered was sub-standard.
I made a mix of medicated chicken chick starter (18% protein) mixed with dried mealworms (50% protein). I also soft scrambled a couple of chicken eggs, again fed by force to the smallest and voluntarily to the other.

To make life stranger I expect (hopefully) some chicken eggs to begin hatching tomorrow into Thursday. That is a happy thing! I medicated and fed the peafowl, then showered and changed clothes so that I can enter the "silkie house" where Mima (hen) is brooding 3 of her own eggs, 4 from my americauna mix and 2 that seem viable from my white leghorn. The other from the leghorn doesn't "feel right").
I will not attend to the peafowl until I finish in the silkie house of course.

That's the status here.
Any other questions? Feedback?
This is an awesome site. The people are not only knowledgeable but so very sweet also! I am very grateful to be here.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 8:47 am 
Offline
Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:29 pm
Posts: 620
Location: Victoria
I think they have Blackhead Disease (Histomoniasis) unfortunately. The yellow poop is just one stage in the progression, it starts out just getting runnier and watery like you are seeing.

You need to get to a vet ASAP for the Flagyl. It may be that things have progressed too far with the birds, but it's your only real chance at this stage.

Basic quarantine procedures need to be followed of course (as you are doing). Keep them isolated, and any litter they are using keep spotless, etc. But be prepared for losing them all, and I suggest not burying them if you do but cremation, just to ensure no further contamination.

Give your friend a massive kick up the rear for this. In most cases it can be avoided by a simple worming schedule. Here's one link that gives a basic rundown of the disease, but google with give you more.

http://www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-15 ... --,00.html

Best of luck, I hope you have a positive outcome and get to admire them wandering around your property one day. I'm sorry you've been left trying to repair the damage made by someone else.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Sep 07, 2016 9:06 pm 
Offline
Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:32 am
Posts: 92
Location: Hastings, Florida
Final Very Sad News:

In under 48 hours that the 3 birds were here with me they all died, the last of which died between 3 a.m. and now (6 a.m.).
Sadly the illness, whatever it was, must have been so far advanced by the time I got my hands on them that there was nothing I could do to help.
Instead of the happy new bird purchase/adoption I was so excited about just a month ago I was catapulted into a desperate rescue attempt which was unsuccessful.
There is much to learn from this experience and I will continue to learn about the meds and strategies, illnesses and conditions, you kind people have posted so that the birds won't have died completely in vain.

I will probably try again in the future beginning with healthy peafowl and pre-armed with the meds and info that are mentioned here for "just in case" emergencies. I have done rescue/rehab--Never with birds of course--but with many species I know that by the time they show overt presentation of illness, the illness is advanced.
I wish I could have done more for them.
I couldn't Not try to help though so it still seems like the right thing to do with a crummy ending.

Again, thank you each for the support and information. You all came through for me and did it quickly and kindly which means a lot to me.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:00 am 
Offline
Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:29 pm
Posts: 620
Location: Victoria
I'm so sorry to hear that, just awful news. :(

If you don't mind me asking, with the three birds you had at your place, where did you house them? If it was Blackhead, I believe there can be issues with contamination of the area for a while after the birds are gone. But if you had the birds separate to where any new ones will be then it's not a problem.

I think you did all you could given the circumstances. It wasn't a situation you created and by the time you were thrown in the deep end there was little you could really do. Your friend seems to have sourced the birds poorly to begin with, and then without any basic care has helped create the unfortunate situation. I would be avoiding any birds from him in the future, particularly chickens as apparently they do play a role in the organism that causes Blackhead Disease.

I'm sorry once again. I wish you all the best with your future peafowl ventures, and I hope you never have to experience something so awful again. :pat


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:15 am 
Offline
Golden Phoenix
Golden Phoenix

Joined: Fri Jan 05, 2007 10:39 am
Posts: 10113
Location: Tarago, near Goulburn
From the first post, it seems they were in a pet carrier with washable materials. A good precaution.

You did your best, asuncion.rera, in a pretty shite situation. Peafowl _can_, I'm told, be a bit tricky in their younger months.

Good work on trying to do your best for those young'uns, and best of luck for nice plump, healthy, sparky birds in the future.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:45 am 
Offline
Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:29 pm
Posts: 620
Location: Victoria
infoaddict wrote:
From the first post, it seems they were in a pet carrier with washable materials. A good precaution.

Ahh, cool. My brain has been half asleep lately so not much is going in.

That's really just about as perfect an isolation area as you can get.

asuncion.rera, how will you be disposing of their bodies? A cremation pit might be the cleanest option I think.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 1:09 am 
Offline
Old Mother Goose
Old Mother Goose
User avatar

Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
Posts: 6756
Location: ACT area
What they said


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 12:21 pm 
Offline
Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

Joined: Mon Apr 11, 2016 7:32 am
Posts: 92
Location: Hastings, Florida
Azira wrote:
infoaddict wrote:
From the first post, it seems they were in a pet carrier with washable materials. A good precaution.

Ahh, cool. My brain has been half asleep lately so not much is going in.

That's really just about as perfect an isolation area as you can get.

asuncion.rera, how will you be disposing of their bodies? A cremation pit might be the cleanest option I think.



Thanks again for the kindnesses. They were--once at my house--in a carrier that was also located on my screened in porch bcs it was warmer out there than inside my house which I keep at or around 70 degrees F--with material that, yes, could be washed. However once the last died this early morning and I went for bleach and other sterilizing supplies, I realized it would be far easier and less stressful for me to simply throw away the cloth material. It was no big deal. And compared to how I started making myself crazy thinking of carrying the material though the house, unsure of the potential contagion to toher mamalian species (e.g. dogs, cats, sugar gliders) I opted to loose the material rather than risk it. I have, so far, washed with bleach and strong detergent laundry soap the few changes of clothes I wore while treatingg or holding the peafowl, including the flip-flops which went thru the laundry heavy cycle with the above mentioned and will air dry as well. I have begun to sterilize the porch. Again I couldn't think of bringing the carrier thru the house nor removing it thru the outer porch door bcs I walk my puppy in that area. My ignorance of potential risks probably did us all some good. There is never a reason to risk other beloved family members (pets) for any reason, that's how I feel and acted accordingly.
As I learn more about what may have happened I will understand what I did, in the aftermath, that was a good idea, what was a silly idea and how to best contain, within reason, any potential avian illness or contagion.

Disposal of bodies: I wish I'd read this prior but I didn't. I am glad that is behind me. I buried the bodies in a deserted area that is not located on my property nor near the property of any other people or animals.
Can anyone say a bit more about this issue, the risks etc? I'd appreciate it.
I feel like I'm in some grade B science fiction bad movie. I also know that life imitates fiction as often as fiction imitates life. EEk.
I feel lucky/blessed that I live in such a rural and rarely inhabited place that the chances are quite low to pass this "whatever it was" along to other people's pets.
Odd after=thought but what about potential health risks to humans, myself included? I did not wear a mask nor gloves. I did wash my hands, arms and body very frequently, showered and changed clothes and shoes after each handling of the peafowl. My instinct tells me I am perfectly safe.

A thought I had that I'll mention, and I admit with only 2 hours of sleep last night I have not yet read the links on blackhead illness, is that when the 2nd peafowl was turning for the worst, I put small bits of soft scrambled egg on my finger and openned its mouth, tucked the egg in and rubbed its throat. The next time I went back to feed/water with electrolytes, I noticed for the 1st time that it had not swallowed the last bit of egg and the bit was still sittig in its mouth.
I noticed that its tongue looked strange to me but I've never seen the healthy mouth of a peafowl. Its tongue, now I see, compared to the last survivor that died this morning, was looking dark to black and once I saw the tongue of the last one, the appearance was very different. When I was forcing egg into the last ones mouth its tongue was flesh colored and much more the size and shape I'd have expected.
Does this say anything about the disease process?

At a certain point--probably several hours ago would have been appropriate--I feel I'll need to let this go. That doesn't mean I'll skip reading the links nor studying in attempts to better understand what I was dealing with.
It does however mean that I must stop dragging you all with me in my emotional process. You've all done so much more than enough. I am very grateful. I just know I'm now randomly emoting and I don't need to subject others to it.
If there's anything more I do need to know, by all means please do say so.
Otherwise I'll be collecting info and bettering my understanding. If I ever become willing and able to try again with healthy hearty peafowl I know this will prove invaluable information and experience.
Now, I am so very tired. Good night.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Sep 08, 2016 9:09 pm 
Offline
Showy Hen
Showy Hen
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jan 08, 2009 11:42 am
Posts: 187
Location: Brissie West
:hug


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 12:59 pm 
Offline
Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:29 pm
Posts: 620
Location: Victoria
I don't think you could have done any more to protect yourself, your surroundings and importantly, your other animals. You've done all of the right things to ensure there will be no ongoing problems. You have done a really good job so I don't think you'll have any issues in the future. Your instincts are spot on.

Don't worry about yourself getting infected or anything, Blackhead Disease and the parasite that causes it are species specific. Chickens and similar poultry can carry it and do play a role in the overall lifecycle, but it's really most deadly to Turkey and Peafowl like you have experienced. I'd say what you saw with their tongues is a sure sign it was Blackhead, as it progresses the darkening gets worse.

The parasite that causes Blackhead is Histomonas meleagridis. It has a rather interesting life cycle as it involves another parasite found in birds called Heterakis gallinarum. H.meleagridis lives in the eggs of H.gallinarum, and when those eggs are inadvertently consumed, the birds then become infected. Said infection results in what is called Blackhead Disease in Turkey and Peafowl (possibly others but they are the only ones I know of).

H.Gallinarum eggs can survive in soil for years, which was the risk I was talking about in previous posts. The eggs live directly in the soil, in faeces, and in an intermediate host, earthworms. However that as a risk won't be an issue with the measures you took as you were so stringent (although they same can't be said for your friend, unfortunately).

When talking about control and treatment measures, the medication Flagyl (mebendazole) doesn't actually treat the Histomonas meleagridis parasites, but the Heterakis gallinarum instead. The latter is the only known vector for H.meleagridis, so by destroying the vector, you control them in turn.

With a regular worming schedule Blackhead Disease can be avoided, so don't give up on any future peafowl adventures. You did all of the right things with the sick birds you had, and I have no doubt that the same care and attention is part of your normal animal husbandry. You really did a great job, your instincts were right, so in future I don't think you'll have another problem with it.

And hey, you aren't dragging anyone with you, we've joined you by choice. :hug


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:05 pm 
Offline
Junior Champion Bird
Junior Champion Bird

Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2015 9:29 pm
Posts: 620
Location: Victoria
I found this diagram which helps provide a picture of the life cycle. The cecal worm/eggs/larvae mentioned in the photo are Heterakis gallinarum.

Image


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 16 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

All times are UTC + 10 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Baidu [Spider] and 20 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
©2004-2014 Backyardpoultry.com. Content rights reserved
freestone