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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Bird
Satisfied Customers: 27415
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience
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One chicken already died 2 days ago after I got her away

Customer Question

One chicken already died 2 days ago after I got her away from others. Approximately 6 weeks old just found another hen by herself. Not active as usual eyes aren't as bright poop still good. The bird that dies had white poop towards end. Breathing when I hold it close making different sound like other one. Still eating and drinking but the other bird did up until it died. I nursed it with vet ex. Never had chickens and I have 2 roosters and 5 chicks with huge coup indoor outdoor spoiled rotten like babies. No vets here that work on chicks
JA: I'm sorry to hear that. What is the bird's name?
Customer: Sweetheart
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Sweetheart?
Customer: Holding her to my chest kind of rolled in my t shirt. Keeping eyes closed way too much. Yesterday seemed fine. She's dying to I bet. The other bird died after 5 days of me finding it sick
Submitted: 10 days ago.
Category: Bird
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 days ago.

You're speaking with Dr. Michael Salkin. Welcome to JustAnswer. I'm currently typing up my reply. Please be patient. This may take a few minutes.

Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 10 days ago.

I'm sorry that your question wasn't answered in a timely manner. We don't have many avian vets on this site. Multiple deaths in a flock at 6 weeks of age is most worrisome for Marek's disease (herpesvirus) but there are any number of infectious agents to consider. If her breathing sound is significant, mycoplasmosis and chicken coryza (Haemophius paragallinarum) become important considerations. White poop (the urates) indicates anorexia and lack of the fecal portion of the droppings. Regretfully, necropsy on a sacrificed very ill bird or a newly dead bird that had been refrigerated (not frozen) is often the most expedient manner in which to determine cause of death and how you might address the rest of your birds.

As more and more backyard flocks arise, the demand for veterinary care has similarly increased but little in the way of over the counter drugs exist for their care and so flock owners are quite handicapped in how they can help their birds without the aid of a veterinarian; however, it's best to approach the diagnostic process with a clear sense of her 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 one hen. It frustrates me that I can't be more specific for you but such is the dilemma of poultry owners and vets alike.

Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.

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