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Chicken Lost A Lot Of Weight
#1
I had nine brown hybrids, then about a fortnight ago one of them became very lethargic.  I thought from what I know she was going into moult but that wasn't to be.

Soon she would stand in a corner and just look blank all day.  This went on for nearly a week when I picked her up to see if anything obvious was going on.

I was so shocked as I had expected to pick up a bird with at least a few pounds in weight. She barely weighed more than the feathers she sat in, her breastbone more like a knife.  Over the days she sat, she didn't look overly stressed but now gathered she must be rather desperately ill.

Having listened to others in the group say, if their chucks were unwell after say 48 hours then they never seemed to get better and best dispatch them.

Taking her away from the others I let her go quickly and cleanly.   Apart from her dramatic weight loss there didn't appear anything obviously, to me at least, wrong with her.

Now a week later, I suspect at the moment another one of my flock is starting to show the same symptoms as the first ill chuck.  Just stands in a corner, not moving simply staring into nothing.

I did notice also last night, though the rest of the flock chose to roost on perches outside the coop though undercover from the elements, she chose to climb into the coop and nestle on the floor without jumping up to a perch.

Has anyone had this experience with their chucks?  I would have thought if this malady was infectious then surely the whole flock would be down.

The chucks are well fed, Wynnstays'  layers pellets, get fresh water every day and I also clear out the poop on a daily basis as I believe in keeping the coop and run as clean as is possible.  The bedding in the coop and nest boxes is dust free wood shavings and the floor of the run shredded tree bark.  The flock have lived in these conditions for well over a year now.

As said earlier the ill hen doesn't appear to be in distress, she breathes well and I notice her sometimes takes a sip of water.

Any advice will be much appreciated.

Thank you.
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#2
Sorry to hear that you have lost one, try some Battles poultry tonic in their water. Check the coop for red mite too. There is a post on the forum somewhere about hens going light. It could just be their time but I hope you don't lose anymore.

Have a look at a post  here
CHUCKLERS RULE THE ROOST - Dave. Zen Seeker of The Board. rabbit run
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#3
try here http://www.poultrychat.com/showthread.ph...#pid154436
CHUCKLERS RULE THE ROOST - Dave. Zen Seeker of The Board. rabbit run
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#4
(08-09-2019, 12:01 PM)zenith Wrote: Sorry to hear that you have lost one, try some Battles poultry tonic in their water. Check the coop for red mite too. There is a post on the forum somewhere about hens going light. It could just be their time but I hope you don't lose anymore.

Have a look at a post  here

No sign of red mite.
[-] The following 1 user Likes Eglwyseg's post:
  • zenith
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#5
Indeed a mystery. Glad it's not red mite though - when mine starting roosting outside on top of the coop - it was so that they could avoid the red mite at night. I soon got rid of that wooden coop and got a plastic one - so much easier.

But that doesn't help you Eglwyseg. Hope you get to the bottom of it.....
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#6
Annoyingly I sent you quite a long reply a couple of days back which for some reason has not shown on the site. I'll try to remember the main points. Hybrids do not tend to live as long as some Pure Breeds due to the fact that they are egg producing machines and when they're all out of eggs, that's it for them. It could simply be that some of your girls are at the end of their lives. I know you said there is no sign of red mite but I am suspicious due to the fact that your hens have been roosting outside of the coop - this is a classic sign of red mite in the coop. It's often impossibly to find red mite until you actually treat your house for it and then you'll see them all running for the hills. Have just done my house with Ficam W and then a Diatom spray all available from Bowden and Knight. I should add that I found no mites but not surprised as my house was fully creosoted last year (the best red mite killer of all). I also see that your flooring is shredded tree bark. Tree bark should never be used where there are poultry as it contains particularly toxins that can be very harmful to chickens. I would remove it immediately and replace with wood chip from your local tree surgeon - they're normally happy to drop off a free load in return for a box of eggs ! Your birds may be falling ill because the toxins are starting to build up. For birds that are loosing weight and reluctant to eat my go-to is Nutri-Drops - absolutely brilliant and have saved many a bird or two of mine - notably when a couple were in shock following a fox attack and refused to move, let alone eat for quite a few days. Nutri-drops got them eating again within a couple of days of treatment. I have used them with great success many times over the years and bought a number of lethargic birds back from the brink ! Hope all that helps.
I never make the same mistake twice. I do it at least five or six times, just to make sure !

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  • scotsfran
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#7
(11-09-2019, 04:59 PM)april Wrote: Annoyingly I sent you quite a long reply a couple of days back which for some reason has not shown on the site.  I'll try to remember the main points.  Hybrids do not tend to live as long as some Pure Breeds due to the fact that they are egg producing machines and when they're all out of eggs, that's it for them.  It could simply be that some of your girls are at the end of their lives.  I know you said there is no sign of red mite but I am suspicious due to the fact that your hens have been roosting outside of the coop - this is a classic sign of red mite in the coop.  It's often impossibly to find red mite until you actually treat your house for it and then you'll see them all running for the hills.  Have just done my house with Ficam W and then a Diatom spray all available from Bowden and Knight.  I should add that I found no mites but not surprised as my house was fully creosoted last year (the best red mite killer of all).  I also see that your flooring is shredded tree bark.  Tree bark should never be used where there are poultry as it contains particularly toxins that can be very harmful to chickens.  I would remove it immediately and replace with wood chip from your local tree surgeon - they're normally happy to drop off a free load in return for a box of eggs !  Your birds may be falling ill because the toxins are starting to build up.  For birds that are loosing weight and reluctant to eat my go-to is Nutri-Drops - absolutely brilliant and have saved many a bird or two of mine - notably when a couple were in shock following a fox attack and refused to move, let alone eat for quite a few days.  Nutri-drops got them eating again within a couple of days of treatment.  I have used them with great success many times over the years and bought a number of lethargic birds back from the brink !  Hope all that helps.

Apologies it could have been me dealing with spam type posts at the time being the reason your post didn't show. I did the same just whilst dealing with 10 posts I soft deleted this post too by mistake. Restored again now.
CHUCKLERS RULE THE ROOST - Dave. Zen Seeker of The Board. rabbit run
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#8
(12-09-2019, 12:44 PM)zenith Wrote:
(11-09-2019, 04:59 PM)april Wrote: Annoyingly I sent you quite a long reply a couple of days back which for some reason has not shown on the site.  I'll try to remember the main points.  Hybrids do not tend to live as long as some Pure Breeds due to the fact that they are egg producing machines and when they're all out of eggs, that's it for them.  It could simply be that some of your girls are at the end of their lives.  I know you said there is no sign of red mite but I am suspicious due to the fact that your hens have been roosting outside of the coop - this is a classic sign of red mite in the coop.  It's often impossibly to find red mite until you actually treat your house for it and then you'll see them all running for the hills.  Have just done my house with Ficam W and then a Diatom spray all available from Bowden and Knight.  I should add that I found no mites but not surprised as my house was fully creosoted last year (the best red mite killer of all).  I also see that your flooring is shredded tree bark.  Tree bark should never be used where there are poultry as it contains particularly toxins that can be very harmful to chickens.  I would remove it immediately and replace with wood chip from your local tree surgeon - they're normally happy to drop off a free load in return for a box of eggs !  Your birds may be falling ill because the toxins are starting to build up.  For birds that are loosing weight and reluctant to eat my go-to is Nutri-Drops - absolutely brilliant and have saved many a bird or two of mine - notably when a couple were in shock following a fox attack and refused to move, let alone eat for quite a few days.  Nutri-drops got them eating again within a couple of days of treatment.  I have used them with great success many times over the years and bought a number of lethargic birds back from the brink !  Hope all that helps.



Thank you April,

My apologies not getting back sooner, been a busy week.

Yes I said, shredded bark didn't I.  It was as you recommend though, wood chip from an arborist and as you say he was well pleased with a dozen eggs after he dumped a whole pickup of 'shred' at the bottom of my drive.  Still using it even now.  The nest boxes and coop floor I use dustless shredded wood chips the sort you might expect from an industrial wood moulding machine. It was recommended by a manager of a hen house.

Regarding red mite, I searched for them with firstly a very bright Cree lamp then with an ultra violet lamp and nothing.  Earlier this year I introduced a couple of pullets to my flock and the existing birds were in no mood for it and gave the pullets a hell of a time.  I won't be pulling that trick again.  Someone here said I should put up some perches outside in the run to give the pullets a refuge from the 'gang'.  It worked of course but as it got warmer the chucks started to sleep on the outside perches.  Now, although my run is technically outside, ninety percent of the run has the roof covered by a huge tarpaulin so very sheltered for the most part.   On very cold, wet  and windy nights the chucks tend to go into the coop so they're clearly free of mites.

It's a few weeks now since one of the birds was ill but the rest appear very healthy at this time.

At the moment, I'm keeping an eye on them and as always, keep their quarters in as clean condition as can, fresh rain water for drinking, daily and ever top up their feeders.

For those interested, back to the outdoor perches.   It was hideous having to watch four or five of the original flock trying to bully the new pullets but then equally, amusing to see a pullet leap up on a perch a mere 18" above their heads for the gang to show total indifference to the new comers.  Clearly in chuck speak, my space is on one dimension, the floor.   It's almost as if the pullets didn't exist though just inches away in the air from the flock.  They have integrated now, thank goodness!

Thanks

 

Apologies it could have been me dealing with spam type posts at the time being the reason your post didn't show. I did the same just whilst dealing with 10 posts I soft deleted this post too by mistake. Restored again now.
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