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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:40 pm 
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Hatchling
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Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:19 pm
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I will lose 2-3 adult hens a year to this same thing. I only ever have 6 at a time. They go from fully energtic, wanting cuddles and as much food as they can hold. To simply waiting to die, standing in one spot for hours, even the whole day without eating or drinking. (This usually takes 4-7 days once they are bone thin). They are in a hutch at night and have free range of the back yard during the day. (We do have rats that we have been working on but this problem is pre them). They are all rescues, some are ex-battery hens, but most are excess hen giveaways. I can rule out poisoning and weather. They are well protected. Oldest chook would be 3, youngest 1.5yrs maybe, pushing it. We might get 1-2 eggs a day now. Below are is the answers for latest victim to whatever this is. I would greatly appreciate any feedback. :sick

Age: 2ish (Rescue)
Breed: Isa Brown
Sex: Hen

Your Location- country, state (different areas/climates have different problems)
ANSWER: Brisbane, Australia

What is wrong? What symptoms have you noted? - As much detail as possible please.
ANSWER: Rapid weight loss, barely eating or drinking. Will stand in one position for hours

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: CRT extra fine grain at will, made up mash of porridge, supplements and grain


Full droppings description.- colour, consistency, frequency, offensive smell.
ANSWER: Ranged from normal to runny to white

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

Digestive Changes?- eg. eating, drinking, crop filling & emptying
ANSWER: Not eating or drinking. Force feeding is useless

Condition Changes?- eg. Weight, comb/wattle colour, skin, feathering
ANSWER: EXTREMELY light. Comb is bent over and pale red. (Not healthy red)

Behavioural Changes?- inc. socialising, laying, crowing, broodiness
ANSWER: Stands for hours in one spot doing nothing

Agility Changes? - eg. any lameness, favouring, energy levels
ANSWER: See 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: They get wormed every 3-4 weeks in a mash mush. Aristopet wormer for poultry

1. When was the bird last wormed??- approximate date.
ANSWER: Not sure

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: Drinking water type put into food

3. Was a follow up dose given? (eg. 10-14 days later)
ANSWER: Not sure

Any other recent medications?- antibiotics, coccidiosis meds, herbal remedies, etc
ANSWER: No

Thank you
Anthony


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 9:45 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
Posts: 6759
Location: ACT area
Hi Anthony - thanks for the check list
A few things to take on board.
Ex batts/commercial layers do not have a long life expectancy - they were developed as a disposable item. At the end of their profitable laying life they are disposed of - either destroyed or on sold to the soft hearted and often unsuspecting public.
Because they are engineered to lay hard and fast for the first 2 laying seasons they become 'old women' very early with associated age related health issues. They do not have as long a life expectancy as the pure breeds or back yard X breeds.
Because of their initial high egg output they must have a diet which is properly balanced and provides adequate protein and calcium to replace that diverted into egg production. A grain diet rarely provides this. Suggest that your next birds are fed a commercial layer pellet with at least 16 % protein. This should comprise about 80% of their diet, with any thing else considered a treat.
Aristopet Wormer (Levamisole) treats the major poultry worms but does not treat Tape Worm.
Any worm treatment should be repeated after 10 days to target hatchlings.
Frequent worming won't do any harm but about every 3 months is adequate (change of seasons).
Check/treat your remaining hens for lice - unwell birds are targeted by them and they will then affect the rest of your flock.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:23 pm 
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Hatchling
Hatchling

Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:19 pm
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I knew about the harsh treatment of commercial layers and their lifespans. This isn't that.
I was under the impression the grain mash we give them was just as good if not better then layer pellets. I'll check that out.
My other 4 are fat, heavy and healthy.
I'll also check around for a different wormer then. No lice to speak of.
Found out we worm ours every 3-4 weeks.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 02, 2018 11:36 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Location: ACT area
Do you have a photo that you could post, or describe their posture?
Any discharge or bad smells from either end (or strange eggs)?
Crops - full, empty, hard, squishy?
Check out the feed - there should be a nutrient list on the bag.
You need a wormer with Praziquantel to treat Tapeworm _ Avitrol Plus, Worm Out or Moxidectin Plus. The problem is that there are non registered for poultry so no official with holding period (although they are widely used).


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 07, 2018 6:06 pm 
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Hatchling
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These photos show everything about the MASH that we feed the chickens.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 12:34 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2009 11:15 pm
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Location: ACT area
That's a good product.
When some people say grain, they are referring to a Scratch mix which is not adequate as a feed - hence the question.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 08, 2018 9:29 am 
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Gallant Game
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Location: East Gippsland
Have you checked for red mite or other chicken mite?
This would be the most common cause for pale comb.

Chance of coccidiosis?
(in mature birds: thin breast, weak legs, drop in laying; sometimes diarrhea
in yellow-skinned breeds of all ages: pale comb, skin, and shanks)

_________________
Small free-range flock of Croad Langshans
http://croadlangshan.org/


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PostPosted: Fri Jul 13, 2018 12:28 pm 
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Hatchling
Hatchling

Joined: Mon Jul 02, 2018 5:19 pm
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I'm glad the food isn't an issue. I'd say that coccidiosis is my problem looking up photos and information about it. Those chickens could be mine if I didn't know any better
I'll get onto fixing this and hopefully when it goes I will know how to manage it all better.

Thanks heaps for the help.


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 7:48 pm 
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Gallant Game
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Location: East Gippsland
Mind you, there are a lot of other things that cause that sort of symptoms. But as they are rescue they didn't have the chance to develop resistance against cocci when they were young.
Keep her warm and dry and I think she was wormed?

We can but do out best, and I'm sure you do.

_________________
Small free-range flock of Croad Langshans
http://croadlangshan.org/


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 17, 2018 9:10 pm 
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Showy Hen
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Joined: Fri Apr 28, 2017 6:04 pm
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Location: NSW Southern Highlands
I've just been thinking about this.... If all the other birds appear to be very healthy, it would be unlikely to be a nutrition or parasite problem. ......... But it happens regularly. I think there is a form of mareks disease and also leukosis (caused by viruses), which have this kind of appearance where there seems to be a sudden debilitating set of symptoms followed by emaciation and death. Unfortunately, the birds might have been sick for quite a while before this was noticed. If it is either of these diseases, however, there would be nothing you could do about it....

Almost all chickens are infected by the virus causing leukosis. There's some "thing" that triggers disease in affected birds. It could even be something that causes temporary symptoms in others, but for some reason a particular bird is hit harder, immunity is compromised and the fatal disease process starts.

The only way you would know this for sure is to take the bird, dead or alive, to the vet. You could also try autopsying a bird that succumbed and seeing if you can see any tumours.... cold comfort perhaps, but it would help if, as a result, you could be sure you weren't doing anything that contributed to this process -or even if it turned out you could change something that would reduce incidence.

Be encouraged by the fact you are giving a chance to hens that were rescued and would otherwise not have the chance you were giving them. Take care.


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