Posted by: Anonymous

"Limberneck" - 04/15/03 02:32 PM

My Peahen just died of Clostridium Botulinum or Limberneck. I noticed that she was limping and sitting on the ground. I checked her feet and legs but couldn't find anything wrong, I looked for injuries and couldn't find any, then I checked with a friend that had Peafowl and they thought it might be a sprained ligament. She would still go up on her roost at night and I thought she might recover. Yesterday she wouldn't come off the Roost and this morning I brought her down and tried to interest her in some water and feed She wouldn't take any so I gave her some in a eyedropper. Through all of the above she looked bright eyed, she was preening and had no symptoms of respiratory distress.

My husband suggested that maybe she might need an antibiotic. I got out my Chicken health hand book and started looking trying to find something that looked remotely like her symptoms. Nothing seemed to fit til I got to the Bacterial Diseases and there I found all of her symptoms. I rushed her to the vet and he started a course of Penicillin. By the time I got her back out to the car her breathing was labored and a few minutes later she died. I can't begin to tell you how stupid and sad that I feel.

The only thing that I can figure as to how she contracted this bacteria is that we have had a particularly wet winter and spring. I have an irrigation ditch that runs through my property that has grasses and cat tails and such growing along the edge. Last year when the snow was gone the ditches were empty, this year they have retained their water and the vegetation has been decomposing. Even though I have clean water for my birds, I think she must have drank some contaminated water from the ditch. It's all I can figure. My pens are clean and my food is kept in covered containers and is dry.

It's too late for my peahen, but does anyone know if I can pour chlorine bleach into the ditch water and kill this bacteria? Also if I do this, will it hurt the other birds? I'm sorry this has been such a long post, I hope you will forgive me.

Posted by: Bill Ludwig

Re: "Limberneck" - 04/15/03 05:06 PM


I'm sorry for your loss frown , but dont be to hard on yourself. You will probably never know for sure just what happened or if you could have prevented it.
You can have all kinds of clean water around and a chicken will go for the dirty water. I cant answer your question about bleaching the water. Can you fence it off some how?

Posted by: Rob2

Re: "Limberneck" - 04/15/03 05:51 PM

In my opinion, you need to solve the problem by draining the ditch, not chlorinating it. Mosquito season is fast approaching also, and they are bad for birds, and everything else too.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: "Limberneck" - 04/15/03 06:22 PM

I agree with you draining would solve many problems. However, in the next few weeks water will be rushing through the ditches to the farmers fields and mosquitoes aren't normally a problem. Water is standing everywhere here in all the low spots, both in the fields and ditches not just on my property. Things are just a real mess this year.

Posted by: Rob2

Re: "Limberneck" - 04/15/03 07:23 PM

Mess, I can appreciate. It is drying out here some now.
Posted by: Anonymous

Re: "Limberneck" - 04/16/03 08:41 AM


I just want to thank you for your support. I still feel guilty about not having figured "it" out sooner but I realize that I can only do the best I can do at any given time. You can bet that the next time I see a limping bird, I will investigate much more closely. Experience is still the best if not the cruelest teacher.

Posted by: Anonymous

Re: "Limberneck" - 04/18/03 03:41 PM

hav e never seen it in a peafowl. symtoms sound different from chicken.
chicken can still 'get around' but no eat or drink (at leastr not well) and they are 'looking at their shoelaces"
it sounds like wet mash or grain- they are not really into dirt eating.
do you throw them pellets or grain tha tmay have gotten into mud (a quick rain for me)