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Old 23rd March 2012, 01:00 PM   #1
sonyajh
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RIP Nina the hen :( Pneumonia??

Our gorgeous black orpington (16 months old) died this morning - she was lying awkwardly at the door to the coup (still completely enclosed from potential threats, so can rule out cats/dogs etc) and was still warm. 2 thoughts went through my head 1) pneumonia from being so drenched with all the rain we've had lately or 2) she's such a big bird that maybe she tumbled off her perch awkwardly on her way out of the 'inner coup' and snapped her neck on the door frame. Her comb was not as vivid red as the others, but she was already dead (albeit still warm ) so it may have already lost blood flow? and paled in colour?

Maybe I'm being paranoid, but oneo f the other orpingtons has a paler comb than the others ... maybe it has a cold too? Can I give them a tonic to help them recover? Any suggestions? any other possibilities of what it could be? Can moulting (not that this bird was moulting) compromise their health? and then the rain just knock her off?

So so sad, my 6 year old in particular was a sobbing mess. Broke my heart burying her.

This is our first chicken loss. RIP beautiful Nina
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Old 23rd March 2012, 01:19 PM   #2
Sue
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Re: RIP Nina the hen :( Pneumonia??

Sonya, sorry to hear about Nina but the suggestions you made as to her end are not very likely, although possible! Chooks don't just fall off a perch or fly into something and break their necks, thats what wings are for!

The pneumonia from getting wet isn't likely either. Chooks are prone to a number of repiratory diseases, most of them viral, but you would probably see symptoms first, like closed eyes, coughing and sneezing, mucous from the nose etc. and a hunched up sick appearance. They catch these diseases from contact with other birds, wind blown dust from an infected property, wild birds etc. Some respiratory infections are bacterial in origin, but they just usually complicate other diseases as secondary invaders.

Sudden death can be attributed to things like salmonella, fowl cholera, poisoning and gout plus several other infections.

The paler combs indicate they are not laying, either haven't started or are going into a moult. You can feed extra protein, like dog roll, to moulting birds to help them grow feathers faster. There are soluble viatmins about, like Ornithion, Soluvit and Poultry V&E, but it is not particularly cold as yet, and they should be able to get by with just good food and somewhere out of the wind and rain to sleep.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 02:13 PM   #3
sonyajh
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Re: RIP Nina the hen :( Pneumonia??

Aaagh! I haven't noticed any of those symptoms ... so now I'm at a complete loss as to what to do? there is a strong change the other grey orpington whose comb is pale is moulting - her tail feather isn't really up either? she just doesn't look right, but doesn't have those symptoms you mentioned above.

I don't know what to do now. Should I be treating for worms or ticks?? I thought I'd had this discussion before and not many other people did treat them?
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Old 23rd March 2012, 02:39 PM   #4
Sue
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Re: RIP Nina the hen :( Pneumonia??

Just fed them and wait and see, I suspect the others may just be moulting, unless you see other symptoms.
Don't treat for anything unless you really know there is a problem!
Have you wormed them ever?
Adult birds do not have the problem with worms that younger birds do. Are they laying? Have you checked where they sleep and lay for red mite?
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Old 23rd March 2012, 06:53 PM   #5
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Re: RIP Nina the hen :( Pneumonia??

Yep, check for red mite at night with a torch and glasses if necessary. They are rampant at the moment. Mites suck blood which makes the combs very pale. If you find any get Pestene powder or Diatom asap:

http://www.poultrynz.com/index.php?m...&cPath=198_190

It is possible that your hen died suddenly from a heart attack or a stroke but then your other birds should be fine.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 07:17 PM   #6
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Re: RIP Nina the hen :( Pneumonia??

i've been thinking about it today ... one of them (hard to say which one) had been making sudden squeaking type noises for the past few days, and now I'm suspecting that was a sneeze??

i'm so sad ... i hope i didn't let her down in any way ... i love them all to bits.

i've never wormed them, should I be? ... i will go check for red mites (I'm guessing they look like little red ants?)

all the girls combs are bright red except one which is a little less red, but still fairly dark. i wouldn't say it was pink. she is the one i'm worried about.
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Old 23rd March 2012, 07:36 PM   #7
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Re: RIP Nina the hen :( Pneumonia??

right. there's nothing that is outstandingly obvious going on either on the chickens, on their perches or in their nesting boxes ... the odd little creepy crawly, but i will get out tomorrow and give those a really good clean out and then i know they're lovely and clean.
it's got me baffled, mainly because the other orpy doesn't seem 100%. the rest are a mix of barred rock, orpys and faverolle.
just to note, that website is out of stock of that mite product due to the port strikes.
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Old 24th March 2012, 09:44 AM   #8
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Re: RIP Nina the hen :( Pneumonia??

Red Mite is like moving pin heads that leave a bloody smear when crushed. When they are empty they look like grey ash around the edges of cracks in the woodwork of nests and perches.

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I think this great photo is one of Simkins, which illustrates both the size of the red mites full of blood, and the grey ash looking empty mites and immature ones around the cracks!

Whilst they are a nuisance and can cause anaemia in small thin birds, they wouldn't cause sudden death. I just heard yesterday that washing with Borax is a good insecticide, as well as other things-but use with caution-rubber gloves etc.

The squeaking noises you heard, often called a 'snick' is probably a sneeze or a strangled cough! Not a lot you can do, except protection from drafts and some good food, with a vitamin tonic in the water.

You probably don't need to worm if the birds arrive as day olds or eggs and you haven't had chooks on the ground before-I believe you have them in the garden??! It is introducing adults which usually bring in worms that shed eggs which younger ones pick up. Don't worry about worming them now, but you can feed chopped up pumpkin and nasturtium seedsnow and again to help eradicate them if you like.
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Old 25th March 2012, 09:17 AM   #9
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Re: RIP Nina the hen :( Pneumonia??

Thankyou so much Sue, I will look up that nasturtium stuff and get them a vitamin for their water. I sooooo appreicate your help, all of you, you're wonderful!
from a sad hen mum.
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Old 25th March 2012, 09:20 AM   #10
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Re: RIP Nina the hen :( Pneumonia??

I use Peck n Lay food - they seem to like it the best and lay best from it ... guessing that's a good enough quality food?
I offer them a variety of extra food, but they don't seem to like veges, but do enjoy feijoas and apples (or the raspberries from my garden)
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Old 25th March 2012, 09:54 AM   #11
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Re: RIP Nina the hen :( Pneumonia??

Re nasturtiums as a useful wormer (and pumpkin seeds)-it is just the seeds from the plants in the garden, if you have any! Don't use the seeds out of a packet as they may be treated with fungicides etc.
Yes Peck'n Lay is a proerly balanced food for laying hens so supplements, other than those that keep them occupied, are unecessary!
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Old 25th March 2012, 11:25 AM   #12
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Re: RIP Nina the hen :( Pneumonia??

thankyou, and is ornithon ok to use for laying birds, and we can eat their eggs while they're getting dosed with ornithon??
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Old 25th March 2012, 03:13 PM   #13
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Re: RIP Nina the hen :( Pneumonia??

Quote:
Originally Posted by sonyajh View Post
thankyou, and is ornithon ok to use for laying birds, and we can eat their eggs while they're getting dosed with ornithon??
There is no withholding period with ornithon, it is just a multi vitamin and mineral mix. If the chooks are just a bit off, you could try the rickets diet in the 2 rescue chooks thread, it is an appetising pick me up feed.
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