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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24398
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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Chickens are weak pale inactive stop laying some have died

Customer Question

chickens are weak pale inactive stop laying some have died
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 1 year ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. Unfortunately, the symptoms you've mentioned - paleness (indicating anemia), weakness, lethargy, egg production ceasing, and deaths can indicate any number of illnesses or health issues. In avian medicine, there's rarely one cause of a condition, so we usually begin with a list of differential diagnoses and use lab tests, X-rays, and physical exams to differentiate one from another. With this in mind, your best course of action is to reach out to your county-extension poultry personnel or avian-oriented veterinarian (please see here: www.aav.org) for help in differentiating the various causes of what you're seeing. Veterinarians can perform a physical exam and run diagnostic tests, including X-rays, to distinguish between the various etiologies. Because you're losing birds, it's essential that a newly dead bird be refrigerated or a very sick bird be sacrificed and then brought to your your county animal disease diagnostic laboratory for necropsy. This is the only manner in which you can confirm why you're seeing what you're seeing and find out how you might help the rest of your flock.

It's best to approach the diagnostic process with a clear sense of the bird's financial value to your operation. Although some services such as your county animal disease diagnostic laboratory might be available free of charge through a county agency or land-grant extension office, the expense of some diagnostic tests and treatments can add up quickly. While it’s always worth your time and money to identify a bacterial or viral infection that could potentially impact more than one member of the flock, this might not be the case with a condition that only affects a few of a very large flock.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

(Worming with vinegar won't do the trick. Over the counter Wazine (piperazine) is safe and effective.)

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