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#16397 - 05/11/09 09:04 AM Chickens Are Dying

I have had my flock for about 3 years. I don't know how old they are as they were a gift from a neighbor. I have added to the flock over time following all the guidelines that poultry require.

We have had a very happy family of 1 Silkie cock and 14 females. We recently took on 3 ducks and made a pond. They have been with us for about 7 weeks. My first hen went sick about 4 weeks ago, hunched and a dirty vent. She died in about 4 days. I have been using erytavicol as directed, and still I have now lost another 4 females.

Today I went to the vet, and he has given me biaprim buvable. I have now separated the ducks and stopped access for the chooks to the pond as it is still water, and I am thinking that they have drunk the dirty pond water and become sick. I have steam cleaned all the house and used bleach and cleaned all the paddock. I am expecting to lose all my babies; I am heartbroken.

Does anybody think the same as me and think the water is to blame? The ducks are showing no signs of any ill health. They were all gasping before they died and went very quickly at the end. I thought it might be coccidiosis, but the vet said he did not know. I live in France and vets are not that helpful with poultry welfare. I think he thought I was barmy taking my best hen in hoping he could help her, but she died in the car on the way home.

I feel I have failed my babies by not understanding the consequences of the pond, but perhaps that is still not the source. If anybody has any ideas, I would be grateful.

#16398 - 05/11/09 11:49 AM Re: Chickens Are Dying
Langshan Girl Offline

Registered: 12/14/08
Posts: 60
Loc: Wisconsin

I am very sorry to hear the sad news. I do not think I will be much help for saving your remaining birds, but I have a comment about a possible source of the problem.

When I became a certified poultry blood tester, I took a class taught by a state veterinarian and the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture). They were very knowledgeable about recognition and transfer of avian diseases. I was told waterfowl are very common sources/carriers of viruses. They are known to harbor many kinds of viruses that effect other species like humans and chickens, but the waterfowl usually do not get sick nor show any sings of illness. I think it is very possible that your chickens have caught a virus that the ducks were carrying given the details you provided.

If I was in your situation, I would isolate every thing I could within reason. Some birds may have been exposed but not showing signs and it may be possible some have not been exposed yet. It sounds like you are taking the right steps with disinfecting the coop and especially isolating the ducks! As you already said, the outlook does not sound good, but I wish you the best of luck. This is my best guess, but there are others on this forum that know much more than I do and may have some more suggestions.


#16399 - 05/11/09 07:28 PM Re: Chickens Are Dying
Bushman Offline
Ruler of the Roost

Registered: 07/25/07
Posts: 1047
Loc: Wisconsin
Have them checked for e-coli . I would never mix waterfowl with chickens, with the possible exception of Muscovy ducks.
Pilgrim in a foreign land and true believer.
1st John 5:11-12


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