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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 3:21 am 
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Hatchling
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Have had silkie chickens for just over 2 years. In that time I have had 7 (half) died from diseases. All but one between the age of 6-12 months. Some of these chickens I purchased and some were born here.
I have a couple of bantams but never had a problem with them.

Basically, the first thing I notice is a slight stumble one day and usually within a week (maybe more) they are dead.

The latest was a rooster who was fine 7 days ago. I saw him 'stumble' last weekend. Two days later his appetite lessened.
Then he stayed in his nest box. Then he struggled to walk before completely stopping after about 3 days.
His neck then started falling. He struggled to sit upright and stopped eating and drinking by himself.
I did feed and water him many times a day. He was obviously tired but still quite alert with his eyes.

I tried everything from worming to triple c (not at same time) but as usual nothing worked and he died today.:(

I have searched everywhere and trying to get an idea of what and how to stop this from happening is becoming frustrating.

I hate seeing the poor chickens die this way.

Would anyone have any idea at all what I can do??? I can provide more details to anyone who needs any to help diagnose.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 9:22 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Can you describe their diet?
What is their body condition like before they die?
Have you checked their crops when they first show symptoms?
Are they mainly the same sex or are both sexes dying?
Can you describe their posture - hunched, tail down, fluffed up etc?
Any access to anything toxic, decaying, stagnant, compost?


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 08, 2018 10:48 pm 
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Hatchling
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Can you describe their diet?
Normal layer mix/scratch etc. I also give them a little raw mince most days
as they love it.

What is their body condition like before they die?
3 died in 24 hours so their bodies seemed perfectly fine.
3 died over a period of 1-4 weeks. They deteriorated due to not enough water and food despite being hand feed etc.
The last one (rooster) was not in too bad a condition as I gave (forced) him a lot to eat and drink.

Have you checked their crops when they first show symptoms?
For what?

Are they mainly the same sex or are both sexes dying?
I have only kept hens except for the last one to die which was a rooster.

Can you describe their posture - hunched, tail down, fluffed up etc?
Tail tended to be down. They did have strength in legs and movement but not sure if was more a nerve reaction then deliberate movement. They lost all strength to keep neck upright.
Those that died in 24 hours showed none of these signs other than slight lethargy and a stumble (maybe they died of something totally different)

Any access to anything toxic, decaying, stagnant, compost?
Nothing that I know of.

The trouble is the varying lengths of deaths but obviously, it seems far too many are dying. All have some or many signs of mareks but I am not sure if thats possible.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 11:27 am 
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Dapper Duck
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Sorry you are going through this.

To help those who may be able to suggest information to you could you please add when they are fed the layer mix, scratch mix and mince and what brand or % protein the layer mix is. Are the free ranging at any time? If so for how long, and what do they have access to eat?

You would need to check crops in the evening to see if they are full and morning to see if they have emptied.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 09, 2018 12:48 pm 
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Hatchling
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'Could you please add when they are fed the layer mix, scratch mix and mince and what brand or % protein the layer mix is. Are the free ranging at any time? If so for how long, and what do they have access to eat?'

They are fed layer mix, scratch and layer meal mid morning. They always have some of this available all day if they wish to eat.
I give about a handful of raw mince late afternoon between 4-7 chickens (depending on how many are nesting)
The layer mix is Peckish which says it has:
Protein Min. 14.0%
Met. Energy 2800kcal/kg
Fat Min. 4.0%
Crude Fibre Max. 5.0%

Chickens are free ranging from 8am til 7pm when they go into nest.
Other than food they can eat anything around the garden. Snails, grubs, insects etc.

I will say that Doves are continually coming into their box/feeding area which worries me for disease. Not sure if this is an issue.
Have only had chickens for bit over 2 years so still learning.

I will check their crops to make sure but I think they are empty in the morning.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:18 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Location: ACT area
It doesn't sound like typical Mareks Disease although there are several types. The most common presents fairly slowly with legs doing the splits.
Have a look here at the pics of typical Coccidiosis posture. Coccidioss is most common in pre lay birds but can occur at any age - esp if environment is damp.
http://gallery.backyardpoultry.com/poul ... osis1.html
What did you worm with?
Sometimes Silkies have so much pom pom that their vision is obscured and they have trouble feeding.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:24 pm 
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Hatchling
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None of the silkies ever got the splits with their legs. No droppings like in that link either.

Wormed with Kilverm but it did nothing even when they first started to become sick. I also saw no worms in their droppings.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:33 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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The Peckish product with 14% protein is a free range feed.
Free range feeds are really only suitable if the birds have access to good quality forage (improved pasture). There's not much of that in Australia atm.
Adding extras like meat will boost the protein but not necessarily the other nutrients which may be lacking.
Scratch mix tends to be of dubious value as a feed - The mix is based on profit and eye appeal to the purchaser. Best fed as a small treat only. It's value is to satisfy the instinct to scratch and forage.
I would consider switching to a good quality (min 16% protein) complete layer feed. Lauke Red Hen 17 is liked by most chooks. Make that at least 80% of the diet and consider any thing else as a treat.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 3:43 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Kilverm doesn't treat Tapeworm although the symptoms don't sound like worms were the issue - poopy butts (esp in feathery's like Silkies) are typical also lameness, lethargy and loss of body condition.
Tapeworms won't always show up in poop but there may be 'rice like' segments.
http://gallery.backyardpoultry.com/memb ... ments.html


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 6:09 pm 
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Hatchling
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Ill try those red hen feeds as there is a store not too far from here that has them.

Would there be any issue with chickens getting a little raw mince each day? (they are just obsessed with it..lol)


The rooster did have ''poopy butts (esp in feathery's like Silkies) are typical also lameness (stumble and then unable to walk or stand with 48 hrs), lethargy and loss of body condition.'' so maybe it was tapeworm? I didnt notice any small white bits as in those photos though.

Is there a worming treatment you recommend? Silkies are so stupid that they literally will not drink for 2 days with worm treatment (ive tried a couple) that I have to force it down them with dropper.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 10, 2018 7:10 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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The easiest are Avitrol Plus or Wormout tablets. Praziquantel is the addition for tapeworm. It is not however registered for poultry (although is sometimes used as a human med.) so there is no official with holding period for eggs. A lot people tend to follow the 2 week guideline.
I try to use one of the above when they are off the lay and a kilverm type product when they are laying
Tablets are easy to administer - break them for Silkies and just put them to the back of the mouth. It gets easier each time, or they may eat them in mince wrap :laughing
Mince is good as a treat.


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