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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi just joined this forum as I have 26 chickens at home. I have 18 cochin hens and 8 Cuckoo Maran chickens. The Cochin hens are in one chicken coup and the Marans are in another. The only time they are mixed is during the day when they are let out to roam.

In the last week I have lost 2 Maran hens. When we let the chickens out all ran out except for 1 hen that was sitting on the floor near the shed entrance. It was dead. Don't know why it died. I just took it as a one off. A few days later there was another Maran chicken that sat on the floor and wouldn't move. It wouldn't eat, drink or move off the floor. Later in the day it died where it was sitting. Now I'm really confused. And today he Maran cockerel is showing the same symptoms as the 2 hens that died. Stangely enough the Cochin hens are ok. We've had the Cochin hens for 2 years and the Marans for 1 year.

I don't get it. What could be wrong with the Cuckoo Marans? They are all fed the same Corn and meal diet and they all drink the same water.

Anyone got any ideas?

I live near Huntly in Aberdeenshire Scotland
 

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Sorry not sure. Are they showing any other symptoms like respitory ? Are they acting listless as all beforehand?
 

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How old are they? Are they being bullied and kept away from food/water? Do you know what the stools look like? If your weather up there is the same as here in wiltshire it would coincide with sudden temp increase. Are they ok weightwise? What about their temps, breathing and is the nosearea free from discharge? More info would make it easier to figure out whats wrong.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the answers. I will get my wife to check them out. I'm overseas working the the moment so I can't answer. Cheers!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
They are a year and a half old. The chickens are not losing weight. They have no discharge but the colour round eyes is pale. They have access to food and water. Stools are a greenish colour. Temperature and breathing is normal. Lost the cockerel we called Goofy this morning. We don't have a clue what this is. They are fine then they get lethargic and after 2 days they are dead.

My wife is going to disinfect the sheds they sleep in with Colloidal Silver. It's a safer alternative to Dettol or shop disinfectants.

What the hell is going on?
 

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Are they all from the same place? I have to grab my notebook from 2 years ago i had a couple of hens who had something that sounds very similar. I'll be back later
 

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Your poor wife must be horrified. Hopefully with all the people on here and new people joining, someone will be able to pinpoint what's happening for you. She could try contacting the local agriculture department. They may be able to help too.
 

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I think my notebooks are in the loft and I'll have to wait for DH to go up there.

So more questions. Please answer all questions with as much detail as possible.

Are they eating? check the crop at night before closing the coop and again in the morning. They should be full at night and empty in the morning.

Do they have access to the compost pile?

You say green poo does it look like anything here: http://chat.allotment.org.uk/index.php?topic=17568.0%3Cbr%3E%3Cbr%3EHere

what does the comb look like? (pale/purple/shriveled etc)

Are their bums clean?

is their anywhere they might have consumed something that they shouldn't?

What do the bodies feel like? are they boney/swollen/spongey?

Are they wormed? with what and when

What do the feathers look like? nice and smooth or ruffled? are the wings tucked up alongside the body as they should or do they hang down?

Do they keep their heads up or do the necks hang?

What is your care routine (what do you feed them, do they get treats/scraps do you use ACV VermX how often is everything cleaned etc etc) Getting a better idea of your chickens makes it easier to figure out whats wrong.

Do you have wild bird feeders in your garden where the chickens can access it?

Seeing as your cock was also affected we can rule out egg issues like peritonitis. the fact that multiple birds are involved pretty much rules out cancer imo. Ask your wife to also disinfect the water and food dishes and if at all possible seperate the flocks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Cheers. I'll send her your message and see what she comes up with. She said an hour ago she's going to incinerate the bodies just in case. When I'm home I would borrow the farmers JCB and bury them. She can't drive it hence incineration. I'll get back to u ASAP with the answers.

Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Ok here's the answers from my wife. She said the bums are ok and clean. The chickens were wormed last November. The pens are cleaned out every 2 weeks. We have wild bird feeders but not near the chicken areas. Feathers are wrapped up near the body and the eyes are pale in the sick chickens.

Hopefully that will help. Oh and the Cochin hens are all ok. There are 18 of them. So why is this just affecting the Cuckoo Marans?
 

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There are some diseases that are passed on through the egg so it could be that that is the case. Most of the time the chickens will be fine but stress of any sort could bring it out. Are the other chickens ok?
Could you answer my other questions? I realise i asked a lot of them but its hard to help without seeing the birds myself.
 

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I'm on my phone at the moment so its a bit hard typing but check out poultryclub.org/poultry/health-and-diseases/ i think that link is correct. They have a disease chart the most common reason for green droppings is worms but I dont know it just doesnt sound right...
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
One died since my last message and that was a few days ago. Apparently the farmer had said it was maybe old age. I'm not convinced myself. How long do chickens live for?
 

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Too strange they all went at the relatively same time. I had been wondering how your wife was making out with the chickens. Had hoped to find you were finally able to have an answer to what was happening. =( Did she ever contact the local agriculture dept for where you live? They really can be a help sometimes.
 

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It sounds like some sort of diarrhea or enteritis. Maybe contagious but more likely they found something to eat. Maybe a dead bird or rodent? Ant bait?
 

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You mentioned that a few of the chickens had lighter eyes...were they greyish with some distortion around the pupil? It could be Marek's. I am suspecting this in my own flock and I have been doing quite a bit of research on it. I too have a few birds that died unexpectedly, from no clear cause, and I have a few birds with funky eyes.

I posted a wikipedia link that shows the eyes, and the link below has more information on Marek's. Good luck with your flock.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marek's_disease

http://extension.unh.edu/resources/files/Resource000791_Rep813.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Actually now that I think of it my wife did tell me a few weeks ago that 'Goofy' the now dead cockerel has a dead mouse in his mouth. She had to chase him all over the yard to get it off him. But it doesn't explain the other dead hens. Unless of course they took a bite out of it as well. We have cats as well and they leave dead mice all over the place and I remember one of the now dead chickens had last time I was home a dead Toad in it's mouth. It had been creamed by one of the horses. When my wife phones me again I'll ask about that!

Cheers!! Been away 4 weeks. 2 more to go
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Well, since that last answer there have been no more deaths apart from one little chick. But that was not long hatched so that could have been anything. My wife cleaned out the chicken coups and disinfected them. None of the adult chickens have died. So it could have been just the dead rodent and dead mouse they picked up. They have since been wormed and everything seems ok. Hopefully!!

Thanks for all your input and help. I will keep you updated.

Cheers

Colin (5 days to go till parole day.....That's what we call it here at Halliburton)
 
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