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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:26 am 
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Hi all, My prized pullet was found this morning laying on the floor of the coop. Alive but eyes closed and not moving. No signs of illness or injury. She was perfectly okay yesterday at lock up and I observed her eating and drinking well. She has been wormed and dusted for mites in the last few weeks. No other chickens are affected. The flock are free-ranged with a mix of veggie scraps and pellets.

Suggestions on what do with her? Hubby is all for knocking her on the head but I would rather get her back to health if I can as she was quite expensive to buy.

Thankyou.


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PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2016 9:49 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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Hi Scallywags and welcome to BYP Sorry that your first chook post is not happier.
Unfortunately a chook which declines so quickly and unexpectedly is probably not going to survive. First thing to do is to quarantine her from the others and check her over for injuries/clues. Check her body condition - is her keel bone prominant or well fleshed? (will indicate if she has been quietly unwell for some time) chooks are good at hiding illnesses - it is a survival mechanism.
Can you describe the position of her legs? Do both have resistance if you push on the feet?
If a vet visit is not an option, the best treatment is quiet, comfortable isolation with access to food and water but if she doesn't show signs of improvement or declines, it may be kindest to euthanaise her.

Below is a link to a checklist. Can you click on the link and copy and paste your answers back here? It may give us some more clues and possibly prevent it from happening again. Be very specific about diet (protein level or name of feed and rough percentages of what they eat) Also what product were they wormed with?




viewtopic.php?f=5&t=7955698


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 10:18 pm 
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So the original hen was lost yesterday dispite our attempts but a second one went down this afternoon. She was feeding as per a normal healthy bird this morning but by afternoon was laying down and not happy. None of the other chickens have shown any indication of being ill. I note here that the second bird was received by the same breeder at the same time as the first. Could it be a congenital problem (do chickens get that).


Age: Pullet -not laying yet
Breed: New Hampshire
Sex:

Your Location- country, state (different areas/climates have different problems)
ANSWER: Hunter Valley NSW

What is wrong? What symptoms have you noted? - As much detail as possible please.
ANSWER: none other than laying down. Head is straight, legs are normal. Will flap wings if lifted but feebly.

What are you feeding? - Please list everything you're feeding to your birds, including type of basic feed, free ranging, scraps, extras, etc. If possible give approximate percentages.
ANSWER: Free range, roughly 20% veggie scraps 80% commercial feed (scratch/pellet mix) plus access to shell grit


Full droppings description.- colour, consistency, frequency, offensive smell.
ANSWER: Normal when observed

Respiratory Changes?- eg. breathing sounds, discharge, laboured breathing, facial swelling
ANSWER: None

Digestive Changes?- eg. eating, drinking, crop filling & emptying
ANSWER: None observed

Condition Changes?- eg. Weight, comb/wattle colour, skin, feathering
ANSWER: None observed

Behavioural Changes?- inc. socialising, laying, crowing, broodiness
ANSWER: Appeared okay then just lay down.

Agility Changes? - eg. any lameness, favouring, energy levels
ANSWER: as above

Describe your usual worming routine and products. [If none, say so and skip the next 3 worming questions.] Do you have a cycle that you use eg. every 3 months, or every six months?
ANSWER: Wormed roughly one fortnight ago, commercial product from farm store. Not wormed previously as recent additions.

1. When was the bird last wormed??- approximate date.
ANSWER: as above

2. What product was used to worm the bird, and how was it given? ? eg. in the drinking water, on the skin, by injection?
ANSWER: In the drinking water as per instructions on bottle.

3. Was a follow up dose given? (eg. 10-14 days later)
ANSWER: n/a

Any other recent medications?- antibiotics, coccidiosis meds, herbal remedies, etc
ANSWER: flea/mite powder penestene

Other changes? – additions to the flock, diet, housing, extreme weather
ANSWER: They are new additions to the flock, roughly 3weeks in pen. coop has three perches correct width and height and 6 nesting boxes. Shave woodchips for flooring replaced about 10days ago and perches cleaned. Share the pen with roosters and several layers as well as several new chicks.

Photos? – any relevant photos are very helpful
INSERT HERE:


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 10:27 pm 
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Addendum: My hubby thinks that because they are pullets and in with the roosters that the roosters have had "too much of a go" with them too young. Is that just his dirty mind...?


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2016 10:53 pm 
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Thanks for the checklist Scallywags.
Nothing on there rings any alarm bells. Maybe a little more protein (16% layer feed) to support laying birds but that wouldn't account for the sudden decline.
Does the worming product cover tapeworm? It will specify it on the label if it does.
My only guess would be a reaction to something toxic, one symptom is muscle weakness. Do a check for stagnant water, poisonous plants, sprayed weeds etc.
Not sure about anything congenital but I think that you would see some sort of steady decline if that was the case.
If they are not laying it is unlikely that the roosters have been harassing them. Chooks tend to hide and run away if a rooster is too enthusiastic.
You have described a very mixed age group in your pen. Are they all receiving age specific feed (chick starter, pullet grower, layer feed)?
I would separate the chicks from the older birds if possible. Until they are about 20 weeks old they don't have good resistance to poultry diseases. If you do have something going on they will be very susceptible.

Hopefully some one else may come along with more idea of what might be going on.
Do you have more pullets from this group?


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 12:41 am 
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No I only bought the two from that seller. The second chick has also died sadly. None of the other chooks in the pen appear to have anything wrong with them.

I have been feeding the babies separately from the older birds. They have a separate roosting place so I've been letting the older ones out first and feeding them on layer pellets and scratch mix before the babies get their starter food.


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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2016 6:18 am 
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Hi scallywags

How old were the birds? Forgive me if I have missed it in reading but you call them both pullets and babies. How many weeks old were they?

Also just a comment on the product used for worming

Scallywags wrote:
Wormed roughly one fortnight ago, commercial product from farm store. Not wormed previously as recent additions.


I'm guessing this was levamisole (Big L, Killverm) as it is the only drug approved for poultry that is readily available at farm stores. There are better products available that cover a broader range of parasites, but I don't think a worm burden (tapeworm or other) was the cause of death.

I use levamisole as a first 'worming' product before introducing my young poultry into the main flock as apart from ridding them of some worm levamisole is an immunostimulant

_________________
Cheers, Milo.
I observe in fascination a worm move by peristaltic action through the freshly turned earth as I plant out my chilies. Grasping the Annelid I toss it to the waiting pack of beady-eyed vultures and watch the ensuing mayhem while laughing like a chook!


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