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chickens dying-ideas

 
neil mock
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in one of our flocks we have had 5 birds die in a week. i am wondering if anyone has ideas to keep it from continuing. they get sick and die within 24 hours. the rest of the flock is healthy/happy, with no signs of illness. when i see a sick bird i put them in isolation. but so far, it has not helped.

the symptons: they dont move, listless, unable to walk normally. some of them have had they neck/wing/leg stretched out in a really odd way. unable to open eyes.

what i have done so far: closed off the compost area (and started feeding them), cleaned the coop, changed water, and added a bit of iodine to the water. one bird came down sick after the listed steps were taken.

i think that it is something that these birds ate (maybe in the compost pile), last week we turned a really stinky pile, i was out of town and the ratio of the pile was way off. we have a group of chicks with mom in the flock and i feel like if it is something being passed bird to bird, the chicks would be the first to die.

thanks for any ideas
 
Ann Torrence
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Location: Torrey, UT; 6,840'/2085m; 7.5" precip; 125 frost-free days
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I hate to ask, but are you in an avian flu hotspot? If you are between the Colorado mountains and Appalachia, I'd be concerned about that as a possibility.

5 birds out of how many?
 
neil mock
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i'm in the andes mt range, outside of bogota colombia.

the flock started with 20 (plus 5 chicks).
 
sam na
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No expert, but a Google turned this up: http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/common-chicken-illnesses-and-treatments.html

Newcastle Disease:

Symptoms: Wheezing, breathing difficulty, nasal discharge, cloudy eyes, laying stops, paralysis of legs, wings, twisted heads, necks

How contracted: Viral disease; highly contagious; contracted through infected chickens and wild birds and is also carried on shoes, clothes, and surfaces.

Treatment: None. Birds under 6 months usually die; older birds can recover. Recovered birds are not carriers.

Vaccine available: Yes, but the U.S. is working to eradicate the disease.

Does that fit the symptoms?
 
neil mock
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no, Wheezing, breathing difficulty, nasal discharge, cloudy eyes...thanks for the site, i will check it out ad try to narrow it down. after reading the list Botulism seems the closest.

they are not i a covered run, so they do interact with wild birds....
 
Tracy Kuykendall
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Hope that it's not Newcastle, had a dose of it come through my grandmothers place back in the 60's, if it had a feather it died, from the smallest parakeet to proudest peacock. We've been having a similar problem, haven't been able to nai it down yet, but we suspect it's associated to rats, about the time chickens were getting sick, we were getting very concerned, then a couple of good flooding rains came, took out a bunch of thr rats and chickens so far have stopped getting sick.
 
neil mock
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i did see a few rats when i was cleaning out the coop bedding. i moved the food (the storage closet was in an empty stall next to the chickens) to the garage. so maybe that will help (or the rats stay and just start eating the chicks/eggs). we have a barn cat, but he seems more interetsed in eating song birds.

another thought i had, we recently did a round of meat birds, they had a seperate coop, but next to the ones that are now sick, maybe they came with something. although non of them died, but we processed them at 6-8 weeks....

thanks everybody. i will let you'all know if the deaths continue or if the steps taken helps. hopefully it stays contained in this flock.
 
Lion Gladden
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How sad. If it continues, I'd have a farm vet look at one of the dead birds and see if they can figure it out.
 
elle sagenev
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Location: Zone 5 Wyoming
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How do they die? Have you seen it? Do they get rather lethargic and then have spasms and die? Could be Coccidosis and that's treatable, though a permanent problem on the land.
 
neil mock
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no more deaths. so i would guess something that was eaten from the compost.
 
Marion Kaye
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Avacado?
 
Rick Brodersen
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Location: Bainbridge Island,WA
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I had 5 of out of 12 chickens die a few years back, sounded the same way. Once I moved them to a new area and they couldn't get to the compost they were ok, was really odd. Had a vet friend do an inspection and she couldn't find anything without doing lab tests. Never had the issue again.
 
Angelika Maier
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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Marek's disease?
 
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