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.

Janice