Crook chook - update

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12 years 6 months ago #29676 by pipjhall
UPDATED:
Took the chook to the vet on Monday morning and he thinks it's a bacterial infection. He felt for tumours, tested for cocciodosis, then microscoped her poos and a throat swab and that's when he saw she was overloaded with bacteria. She's on antibiotics for a week and he gave me a big bottle of it because apparently the other chooks are likely to come down with the same thing. Total bill: $70! My husband will probably curl up HIS toes and die if he finds out I spent $70 on a chicken. He doesn't feel the chicken love like I do! Anyway, hopefully it is $70 well spent if it not only saves her but gives me enough antibiotics to save the rest if they start to look sick. The Vet did warn that it might be too late for this first chooky as she's already so run down :(

My question is: what cleaning or prep should I do to get rid of this bacteria? Vet thinks it could be in the soil seeing as our chookhouse is barely 3 months old and the sawdust has been cleaned out recently. Is there anything I can do to stop this bacteria spreading through them all?? I have a half-dozen day-old chicks ordered that arrive in the next two weeks and I'm worried about them (as well as the rest of my girls).

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Hi everyone,

My husband spotted a crook chook this morning and brought her into the house for me to care for. She was sitting on the ground, wouldn't move, tail down, comb flopped over (not dark red but still quite pink), and very sleepy. She was doing watery poos with dark green specks almost like tea leaves. Her crop felt empty.

Once in the house and offered jellymeat she ate for me right away, not vigorously but still eating (and drinking) then fell asleep. All day she's been snoozing in her box, waking every now and then to nibble a little jellymeat and drink, then back to sleep. As the day has worn on she's been awake more, eating more often, sleeping less, and is now up on her feet instead of lying down. I think her comb is standing up a bit more, too. She's still not perfect - hasn't even attempted to jump out of the cardboard box - but I'm hopeful that she's turned the corner.

So, what I'm wondering is could this be something as simple as malnourishment? I broke my foot a week ago and I'm usually the chook mum, but as I can't hop down the uneven paddock to the chook house my husband has been caring for them. I found out this morning he's been feeding them our vege/bread scraps but not adding any peck n lay to it. They also haven't been free ranging since I'm the one who used to let them out each morning and shut them in each night. They've been confined to their run, which is a decent size but not the same as hunting for worms around the paddocks.

Would a starved chook display those earlier symptoms? All the others seem ok but maybe she was bottom of the pecking order and the others took what little food was there?

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12 years 6 months ago #402193 by Sue
Replied by Sue on topic Crook chook - update
Well it does sound as though she has some sort of an infection rather than just malnourished, as the sitting around asleep does not go with an bird that would be hunting around for something to eat/drink.

She could possibly have some sort of a deficiency, but is hardly likely to recover in only a few hours as it takes time to first digest and then absorb the nutrients.

I would say she has definitley been short of nutrition-as have the rest of the flock(?) and that can have lowered her natural defences to whatever infections are about.
Make sure they have continual access to pellets in addition to the scraps and whatever else they can find. The pelleted feed is the most important part of their daily diet, if you expect them to lay eggs!
Each hen would need at least 110gms of pellets per day plus whatever else you offer in the way of scraps and free range.

Give her plenty to eat and drink and keep her isolated from the others for a few days until she is stronger-just in case she has something infectious.

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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12 years 6 months ago #402194 by pipjhall
Replied by pipjhall on topic Crook chook - update
Oh darn, so it might still be more than just hunger. I hope she pulls through. Yes, I know they need the peck n lay, too. It didn't even occur to me to tell my husband that as he's watched me feed them so often I just thought he knew how I did it.... but I guess he thought they could live off scraps alone. Poor things!!

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12 years 5 months ago #402614 by pipjhall
Replied by pipjhall on topic Crook chook - update
bump for update

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12 years 5 months ago #402631 by Simkin
Replied by Simkin on topic Crook chook - update
I don't think a hen would show symptoms of malnourishment after a week of confinement with little food. That takes longer. They might stop to lay but not sit around, hunched up.

If it's a bacterial infection the antibiotics should take care of it. Keep a close eye on your other chooks and start to treat them as soon as you see symptoms but it actually happens quite frequently that just one chook gets sick and the others don't seem to be affected. She could have eaten something that wasn't good for her.

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12 years 5 months ago #402651 by Sue
Replied by Sue on topic Crook chook - update
What bacterial infection did the vet say it was?

There are some which are the cause of particular diseases, some which are everywhere anyway and are opportunists when birds are affected by something else, like a virus, and others that are just there!
If you swab a birds throat or vent you are going to get all sorts of bacteria-but not necessarily the cause of a bird actually being ill.

I'm not sure that any vet could feel tumours on the avaries or kidneys and or liver come to that. Only a post mortem will find those!

If you can identify the bacteria then I may be able to help with some hints on its likelhood of spread.

Not sure that 'in the soil' is a valid identification of source, unless it is either a place that has been heavily contaminated by other chickens/birds in the past or is something like Anthrax which can survive in the soil for a long period of time!

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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12 years 5 months ago #402684 by pipjhall
Replied by pipjhall on topic Crook chook - update
Vet didn't say what kind of bacteria - he was really vague. I don't think he knew exactly what. He just said she was "overwhelmed with bacteria" on the microscope slides and he could see irritation in her throat. The antibiotic he's given me is Oxyvet or some name like that.

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12 years 5 months ago #402696 by Sue
Replied by Sue on topic Crook chook - update
So he didn't really know and it could also have been a viral infection, with secondary bacterial invasion which is quite common!

I would suspect that if it was infectious all would have been exposed to it already and she was the one that happened to be most affected.
If the shed is new and the shavings clean don't worry about cleaning it out. Sunlight is as good a disinfectant as any on the ground outside. Most of the respiratory diseases are spread in dust and air, which you can never hope to clean-and the opportunist secondary bacterial invaders are everywhere-so you will not clean them up either!

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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12 years 5 months ago #403273 by pipjhall
Replied by pipjhall on topic Crook chook - update
Thanks for the cleaning tips, Sue. Today was day 7 of her antibiotic course and she is much, much better. Eating well, talking a lot, comb is back up, her poos are solidifying, and she just looks so much perkier. She is still quite weak, though. She trots around in our garage but struggles to jump even onto a low block of wood to perch. I think I'll keep her close to home for a few more days so that the others don't pick on her.

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12 years 5 months ago #403290 by Sue
Replied by Sue on topic Crook chook - update
Good to hear she is on the mend.

Sue
Labrador lover for yonks, breeder of pedigree Murray Grey cattle for almost as long, and passionate poultry person for more years than I care to count.

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12 years 5 months ago #403311 by Cinsara
Replied by Cinsara on topic Crook chook - update
That's great news pip, the vet is right in saying they don't often come back from the brink but you have managed with this girl, well done :) Do you have vitamins for her water? If not a childs strength one will do, you can get fizzy ones which disolve in water which aren't as bitter as non disolving ones would be - one to a litre.

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12 years 5 months ago #403338 by pipjhall
Replied by pipjhall on topic Crook chook - update

Cinsara;398873 wrote: That's great news pip, the vet is right in saying they don't often come back from the brink but you have managed with this girl, well done :) Do you have vitamins for her water? If not a childs strength one will do, you can get fizzy ones which disolve in water which aren't as bitter as non disolving ones would be - one to a litre.

I've got some kids chewable vitamins that my son won't eat. I'll try crushing those into her food or water.

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