Sick chickens : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I have a small flock of chickens (14). I had one chicken die last week. Its breast looked swollen and she acted listless for several days staying in one corner of the chicken coop. I asked the vet about it and she didn't know what was wrong but said not to worry about it if it was only the one chicken. Now I have two more acting the same way. Does anyone know what could be wrong and how I should treat it before I lose anymore chickens?

-- Patti (, October 20, 2001


While I'm not sure what's wrong with your chickens either, may I suggest you separate out the sick ones immediately. Last spring I had one sick chicken, then two more a week later, then another couple after that, all of whom died. I stupidly didn't separate them (no where to put them, etc.) and learned the hard way.

-- Gail (, October 20, 2001.

I had a turket this summer with similar symptons I did like gail said and quickly seperated the sick one in the corner of the shed with just a6 ft loop of chicken wire,I also hurried in and dumped all feed and water and cleaned them(the feeders and waterers) with bleach I also removed as much bedding as possible and replaced with fresh I never lost anymore. Wish I could help you More. Did you call the vet back and tell em you had more with the same symptoms,Let us know if you find out the problem. Dave.S

-- dave smith (, October 20, 2001.

Not sure what the exact problem is.But lets start with the basics what are you feeding ? Is it medicated ? Have you wormed them ? Feed and water dishes clean ? Beding clean ?

-- Patty {NY State} (, October 20, 2001.

Patti, As all ready suggested I would seperate the sick chickens from the rest of the flock. I would go to your local Feed Store or Vet Supply and purchase a package of Aureomycin or Terramycin. They are both a water soluble antibiotic powder, mix 2 teasppons with 1 gallon of water and give this your WHOLE flock as their only source of drinking water for 3 days. Be sure to mix it fresh every 12 hours and clean and disinfect your water fonts and feed troughs every 12 hours. Follow package instructions as to how long after treatment (5 days??) to when it is safe to eat meat or eggs from treated chickens. Although I do not know exactly what is wrong with your chickens it sounds like it may be a respirtory problem. These are both a wide spectrum antibiotic and will/may help cure a number of conditions.

You can order this from many mail order Vet Supply Houses for $5.00 to $8.00 I would recomend finding it localy as soon as possible because a delay of 3 or 4 days may be to late.

As always it is best to consult with a Vet with poulty excperience.

Good Luck!

-- Mark in N.C. Fla. (, October 20, 2001.

Patti, Do the sick ones look like their feathers are ruffled up? How about their poop, is it orange, rusty, or bloody? How old are these chickens? I had a problem with coccidiosis, and it started the same way you are dead, then two the next day, then another the next....coccidiosis will kill them all if you don't treat it. The key thing to look for is the orange or bloody droppings.

If it is indeed coccidiosis, you need to get Sulmet, Corrid, Amprol, or DI-Methox to treat them. These can be mixed in their water or made into a wet mash/mixed in their food. That is the way I did it to make sure they ate it all. Also give them some yogurt mixed with their food during the time you're treating them to help keep the "good bacteria" in their stomachs.

Some really good chicken message boards are

You might try reading some of the messages on there to see if anything sounds like what your chickens are experiencing.

Hope this helps!

-- Tracey in Alabama (, October 20, 2001.

Hi Patty..... I went through nearly every breed of chicken until I found one that I have NEVER had any medical problems with. It is the breed "Barred Rock". I only keep a flock for 2 years. Their egg production drops off so much after two, that they aren't very cost effective anymore. I sell them to locals for $1.50 each and can usually have them sold in a week. Do your chickens look like their eyes are (for lack of a better term) Oriental? Do they hunker with their heads tucked into their neck? If you see these signs also, I would vote for "Cocci" too! Good Luck! Harmony

-- Harmony Bullington (, October 20, 2001.

Always separate the sick from the well in case it's something contagious. Here's a list of symptoms. Perhaps it can help you diagnose what is wrong:


-- ~Rogo (, October 21, 2001.

Patty, the swollen breast is probably due to crop stasis. This means that the food is not leaving the crop for some reason. You should separate the affected hens, give them a heat source they can get away from if needed, and offer them no food and a warm glucose/eloctrolyte solution, such as Pedialyte (there are a lot of less expensive solutions that you can pick up at a feed store, but mine usually get sick on Sunday when only the grocery store is open!!!) You can help the crop to start functioning again by massaging it and feeding the electrolyte solution via syringe or dropper every couple of hours. Since I have no idea what caused the problem in the first place, I'd get rid of all the feed that's in with you other hens and try to think if anything has changed in the hen house recently. You'll need to determine the cause to prevent it from happening again. Good luck.

-- Sheryl in Me (, October 21, 2001.

I'm going to agree with a crop problem. I call it impacted crop, though. Apparently, there are ways to treat a bird, to help bring it back up, or get it to go down, but you have to catch it right away. Try the poultry connection and put a message to Glenda Heywood, and ask her for her recipe to help wiht impacted crop.

If your food is moldy, or they are getting stuff that is moldy, that could be your problem. Ensure they are getting fresh feed.

Here it is:

-- Wendy Antes (, October 22, 2001.

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