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big red neck chicken sick

 
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Ray lives not too far from me on the left coast of Canada.

Small farms here do not have access to agricultural aid like an extension service.  We are pretty much on our own.  We don't even get access to vets or I would suggest taking the bugs there for an ID.  
 
r ranson
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I wonder if the bugs are causal or a symptom of something bigger?  
 
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I wish I had an idea...
 
r ranson
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An update from Ray

The third chicken definitely has the neck symptoms and are getting quite bad now.

There have been no sign of bugs for 11 days after two days after they started using DE.  They have been applying DE to the chicken and the bedding every day although the chicken likes to eat the DE.  

Another farmer (with a medical background) came yesterday to look at the chicken.  The suggestion is that it looks like an autoimmune symptom.  

While it is possible the bugs could have caused it, it is unlikely - especially since the symptoms continue to get worse after getting rid of the bugs.

This kind of inflammation can be caused by infection, allergy, or sensitivity to something in the diet or environment.

Suggestions from that farmer:
1. change the bedding from hay to straw as mites like hay and it could be something in the bedding causing the symptoms.
2. slather the neck with olive oil - if there are bugs on the skin that survived the DE, this will smother them and it will help moisten the skin and hopefully make it more comfortable for the chicken

Ray is still seeking a diagnosis and asked if anyone had seen anything like this before.  
 
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Chicken sleep quiet all night
worried
normal for chicken to toss and turn many times in the night

put oil on neck before bed. chicken go quet after oil.  normal for chicken to talk with us while watching tv

can olive oil kill chiken or make depressed
 
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Is there a chicken version of Lyme disease?  I'm wondering if the bugs were a vector for some sort of disease like malaria? I've not personally heard of anything like that, but the thought popped into my head when autoimmune issues were suggested.
 
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ray Bunbury wrote:Chicken sleep quiet all night
worried
normal for chicken to toss and turn many times in the night

put oil on neck before bed. chicken go quet after oil.  normal for chicken to talk with us while watching tv

can olive oil kill chiken or make depressed



I really think the olive oil is completely safe for the chicken, Ray. Hopefully, the chicken was so soothed by the olive oil, that it just finally got a good night's sleep?
 
ray Bunbury
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found vet
made appointment for chicken

today was apointment day

Vet said - never seen before.  NOT bug caused.  Maybe environment.  Maybe food.
Send for autopsy as special lab.

So we end chicken quietly with vet drugs.  Chicken needed ending because not enough quality of life.

Take chicken to shipping place.  CLOSED!
Look up address for alternet drop off on web... no phoen.  

Go to library use internet to find address alternate shipping place.  Go across town.  "we cannot ship on ice"  Have to wait to monday to ship dead chicken.

sad thing more sad because frustration.  Why shipping closed on Saturday when chirstmas month?  
 
Carla Burke
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Oh, Ray. I'm sorry you've lost yet another chicken, and for the frustrations. Hopefully, soon though, you'll get some answers, and be able to prevent it from happening anymore. :(
 
r ranson
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Very sad news.
Glad you had the courage to end her suffering.  
 
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That sucks.  But, in a way, at least it isn't something obvious.  Let's hope it's easy to fix once they figure it out.
 
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Good luck at finding an answer. I really hope that once you know the cause, you'll be able to fix the root of the problem. Thinking positive thoughts your direction!
 
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HOW to pack dead chicken for mailing to lab?
 
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ray Bunbury wrote:HOW to pack dead chicken for mailing to lab?



I had necropsies done on 2 animals many years ago after the vet euthanized them. He froze the bodies until I was able to drive them to the university where the necropsies were being performed. With sending a chicken, I think it makes sense to freeze the body to keep everything "intact" as much as possible, then pack the body in a styrofoam box like a cooler type and pack icepacks around the chicken's body that has been put in a bag, and send.
I am so sorry you are going through all this, Ray. Your sadness can be strongly felt. I hope you get some answers to what the cause of all this has been so you can hopefully prevent anything like it happening ever again.
 
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Results!

Weird cancer or something.

The swlling on the back of the neck was a large focal lymphosarcoma, a tumor of the lymphocytes.  ... in this case, the tumor distribution is very different than is typical with Marek's, so this is most likely a focal spontaneous lymphosarcoma.  There was a suppurative dermatitis in the skin over hte mass, likely due to a secondary bacterial infection in the skin.



I have to type report here so may be mistakes

more in report talks about cancer spreading and other details about bird.  very many details

but not bugs
not infection to other chickens.


happy with animal lab for doing the tests and sending report.  
 
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ray Bunbury wrote:Results!

Weird cancer or something.

The swlling on the back of the neck was a large focal lymphosarcoma, a tumor of the lymphocytes.  ... in this case, the tumor distribution is very different than is typical with Marek's, so this is most likely a focal spontaneous lymphosarcoma.  There was a suppurative dermatitis in the skin over hte mass, likely due to a secondary bacterial infection in the skin.



I have to type report here so may be mistakes

more in report talks about cancer spreading and other details about bird.  very many details

but not bugs
not infection to other chickens.


happy with animal lab for doing the tests and sending report.  



Wow!  I was holding my breath reading through the posts!  At first I was betting on a bug bite or the birds trying to eat some nasty wasps or something.  I've never seen or heard of such a thing.  Could it be genetic?  Where did you get these birds; are they all siblings, from the same hatchery?  Or have you had them for several generations on your farm?

Curious to hear more if more news comes.  If multiple chickens have it and it's not contagious, it must be environmental or genetic...
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