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#15338 - 12/04/08 07:30 PM Re: Chickens dieing one at a time
Richard in MA Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 01/23/07
Posts: 332
Loc: Massachusetts
You do NOT need to see bloody stool for it to be coccidia. All of the symptoms you describe point toward coccidia. I am not sure why you think it needs to be wet to have it either. I would not dust them either. While it is true that you may not be able to see every mite on a bird, if you can't see any then there are not enough on the bird to cause a problem either.

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#15339 - 12/04/08 09:04 PM Re: Chickens dieing one at a time
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
Personally I don't see why ya'll MUST be correct at all times.

Why not give worming a shot? If it works then it works, if it doesn't then it doesn't.

At BEST all that any of us can do is guess at what it is. We've all made our guesses and given advice. It is Oakie's decision as to what he decides to do with HIS flock.

Oakie, you're at least reacting to something being wrong. I hope the worming works for you. I thought it was coccidia at first when mine started happening. Switched feeds, gave amprolium and sulmet and nothing changed. Worming was a last ditch effort for me as I was at a complete loss. It just happened to work. It took about a week for my birds to stop losing weight and at 2 weeks there was noticeable weight gain by all of them. I hope this is the case with yours.

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#15340 - 12/05/08 03:06 PM Re: Chickens dieing one at a time
Richard in MA Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 01/23/07
Posts: 332
Loc: Massachusetts
Quote:
Originally posted by jrsygntbrdr1:
Personally I don't see why ya'll MUST be correct at all times.

Why not give worming a shot? If it works then it works, if it doesn't then it doesn't.

It is not about being correct. The problem with your suggestion is that worming puts a tremendous amount of stress on the bird. It causes a great deal of irritation to the gastrointestinal lining, liver and kidneys. A healthy bird can get through this without problems. Take an animal already debilitated by infection and toss a wormer into them and you could potentially kill them with it. People need to realize that there are BAD effects from medication as well as GOOD. This is one of the main reasons why meds should not be used indescriminately. You put A LOT of stress on that bird when treating them and it is not a case of "if it works great- if it doesn't- oh well, no harm done" The fact is, a lot of harm is done. The best course is to determine what is wrong with the animal BEFORE treating it. Instead, most people keep treating with drug after drug until something works to figure out what the problem is.

Richard

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#15341 - 12/05/08 06:11 PM Re: Chickens dieing one at a time
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
Fortunately I know that harm can be done, but you're right, many do not. However, why should worming be less of a cause for the weight loss and deaths than coccidiosis?

I see NO reason to rule out worming as a cause and I see NO reason why Oakie shouldn't at least attempt worming them. If the birds are given an antibiotic to treat a bacterial infection that might not even be there, the natural flora in the gut are being diminished and the worms might have an even greater grip than they have now...if they are existent.

There is harm done to the bird, but which is worse? Dying from action and treatment, or allowing the birds to simply die of starvation?

If one thing does not work, then another surely will. A fecal test would be the best solution, but oftentimes it is not practical to have 50 birds tested in order to discover what they are suffering from.

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#15342 - 12/06/08 07:47 AM Re: Chickens dieing one at a time
Oakie Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/30/02
Posts: 415
Loc: Oklahoma
It appears that the worming is starting to work. They weren't so hunched over this morning and seemed more lively. I guess only time will tell. If this deosn't work how long should I wait until I give the Sulmet?

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#15343 - 12/06/08 08:36 AM Re: Chickens dieing one at a time
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
WAIT. One poison on top of another, when gut recovery may not have taken place, is not a safe treatment for your birds. I would still have a fecal check made to see if worms, indeed, have been the demise of your birds. If so, a several times a year worming will be on your schedule. While they may be at greater risk for cocci damage, because of intestinal stress. If it ain't broke, don't "fix" it!!
Glad they are looking better. If they had a deathly load of worms, if would seem you might know this, with examination of dead birds. You certainly are not plagued with mites, as a sick bird is often crawling with them. Necropsy is not difficult--but so many are afraid to look inside a chicken (an in this case, smelly intestines--blood and all that!)
Good luck, CJR

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#15344 - 12/06/08 03:14 PM Re: Chickens dieing one at a time
Oakie Offline
Coop Keeper

Registered: 08/30/02
Posts: 415
Loc: Oklahoma
Ok, I had another fall over dead today. I did what you suggested CJR and dissected it. No worms that I couls see. Since I treated them for worms how long before I can treat them for Coccidia? The one that died today was so skinny it was terrible. He had a lot of feathers so it was hard to tell when he was walking around. I keep a very clean and dry coop. How could they have gotten Coccidia? I'm bewildered by this.

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#15345 - 12/06/08 04:00 PM Re: Chickens dieing one at a time
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
Went back to your original post. With no usual symptoms of coccidiosis and you have not found worms in examination next GUESS, is that your birds are suffering from a pretty virulant form of Marek's Disease. Hunchy, skinny, quiet, and then sudden death, can fit a form of Marek's. Were they vaccinated as chicks? If they were, the following information does not apply. All birds are not protected by vaccination, but it would not be the disaster that you are experiencing.

Commonest symptoms are limping, but no injury, then one wing doesn't work well, and then neither leg works and finally the bird goes down-and dies. However, all forms do not follow these symptoms. With Marek's, there is no pain, and the birds will eat, if they can get to food, but lose weight and finally die. Some show no symptoms before death.

There is no treatment or cure for Marek's in any form. It is a long lived virus--and evenually, if you have any birds left from this flock, they will be carriers of the virus, even if they show no symptoms. Any new birds you acquire later must be vaccinated at hatch. You cannot expect any immunity with later vaccination, as all the birds have already been exposed.

Marek's is the worst of poultry diseases, and IF this is your problem, I am very sorry and have greatest sympathy.

If not--even a Vet might not be able to diagnose--so few do poultry. But necropsy by a vet who knows Marek's would be able to tell. I had to mail a bird out of State for necropsy=-and Marek's was indeed discovered by small tumors in the nerve tissue throughout the body--nothing else. It was a vaccinated year and a half old bird that had been to many Shows before he was shipped to me, across the country--and apparently repeated stress allowed it to develop and he may not have been immune at all! CJR

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#15346 - 12/06/08 06:17 PM Re: Chickens dieing one at a time
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
when I opened my birds up I didn't see any worms either. Someone on another site suggested that it was possible the worming had worked once, but eggs were still in the GI tract.

Again...I don't know much about worms in birds after not having any issues with worms for 18 years...I certainly hope it is not Marek's. My birds didn't hunch over until the day they were going to die. Otherwise they'd act perfectly normal.

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#15347 - 12/07/08 01:11 AM Re: Chickens dieing one at a time
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
Didn't know my response had posted. Everything just stopped--as has often happened in the past weeks--and I could not open anything on the COOP!!!!!!!!!

I had added that about 4 months of age is the commonest age for the Marek's infection to start the death toll. Almost entire flocks are affected at times, but with other flocks, only occasional birds die. Others are either naturally immune or, somehow, not infected. If one bird does have Marek's, it is considered that all are exposed.

If it is coccidiosis, I cannot imagine that so many birds would be asffected without some bloody poop--even quite a lot, showing up. In any case, it is so disturbing to lose even one bird, and I am very sorry for this flock-losses. CJR

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