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PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:56 am
by Jamesama
After a very wet winter and a batch of chicken mixture (pellets, corn, grit) that had gone mouldy at the end of last month, our 6 year old pekin (but not our other 6 bantams) has had runny poos on and off for most of October. She's been in isolation for a fortnight now. Otherwise still happy eating and drinking if not a little pekin fussy, although today she has lost some tail feathers and has a mysterious bloody comb (although these two things might be unrelated to the diarrhea). Have fed her lots of yoghurt and put her exclusively on pellets. Diarrhea came back after offering some greens (spinach). The poos are normal chicken colour just in tiny little pieces and watery and not holding together.

Looking for some advice/encouragement as she is a lovely lady. We are leaning towards bacterial as the cause (mouldy food, comes and goes) but are being suggested towards parasites. Suggestions of vets in Auckland worth giving a call would be welcomed. It may all be in the normal bounds of chickenness, but we'd like her to be comfortable and happy like the rest of us after such a miserable winter! Will start tracking her weight from today.

Re: Diarrhea

PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 3:10 pm
by Marina
Hi Jamesama and welcome to PC!

You are doing the right thing and the only additional suggestion I have to make is to give her apple cider vinegar in her drinking water. 1 tablespoon per litre for 2 or 3 days. Then probiotic youghurt - the expensive stuff (natural, no added sugar).

If she has parasites (worms) you are likely to see squiggling little things in her poos. It could be her age, too, as Pekins are not very long lived. 6 years old is a ripe old age for your little lady!

Re: Diarrhea

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 11:39 am
by Jamesama
Thanks Marina. Happy to be on PC. Pekin achived her dream last year and became a virgin mother to a lovely bantam black orpington. I feel particularly sorry for her as I've just been travelling in Brazil myself so know how she feels.

Can anyone recommend how to go about sourcing and treating bantams with antibiotics? My suspicion is its bacterial, but hopefully the yoghurt will sort her microbiome out by itself.

Re: Diarrhea

PostPosted: Wed Oct 25, 2017 9:25 pm
by Marina
To get antibiotics you'll need a prescription from a vet and they only give you a prescription if you take the chook for a consultation. Antibiotics are administered via the drinking water so no problem. I'd try the apple cider vinegar followed by yoghurt first, though. Best of luck!

Re: Diarrhea

PostPosted: Thu Dec 14, 2017 9:53 am
by Jamesama
Posting an update on this. We took the chicken to the vet (Glen Eden) in early November and they did a fantastic job taking stool samples (which chickie conveniently provided on the bench) and putting them under the microscope to look for parasites, bacteria and yeast using different stains, as well as a crop inspection and vent clean. Parasites and bacteria were ruled out, so we were leaning towards intestinal fungal infection and secondary crop yeast infection. Prescription was antibiotics (14 days) and Nystatin (anti fungal/yeast) for 10 days. Total cost was $200 (which I considered reasonable). These were delivered by myself down chicken's beak and with syringe.

Chicken made good progress on sour crop and held weight but we went for another 10 days of Nystatin as the diarrhea kept coming. All chickens were moved to apple cider vinegar and sick chicken also got garlic clove in water. At the end of November diarrhea changed from small hard bits and lots of water to grey slurry down vent, but crop was now hard. We took this as a good sign that sour crop was defeated but intestine was still problematic. Chicken held itself fine within the pecking order when playing with other chickens (but was otherwise kept in isolation). Its true the chickens didn't see this as a sign of weakness.

Then in early December the heat came on, and chicken got fly strike around the vent (only a pin heads worth) so we cleaned out and treated with antibiotic cream, antiseptic (betadine) and a burst of flyspray (this was an ad hoc idea there are better treatments). Chicken moved to twice daily vent cleans.

Unfortunately, chicken then declined rapidly over the following week (we guess finally succumbing to illness), with weight loss (obvious around breast bone), lethargy (not moving, slumping, and eventually unable to stand up), and not eating/very fussy eating. Occsaisonally force fed chicken pellet slurry with syringe. Tried adding some berocca to water but far too late. Eventually, it was decided to end chicken's suffering myself. She had had a good end of life care we felt and we had done our best!

Prevention is always better: watch for mouldy food, treat water with apple cider vinegar, don't feed chickens junk food, pellets are fine for them.
Vets are affordable
Nystatin is magical
Coxiprol is quite harsh on their digestive tract
Euthanising your favourite pet chicken sucks (even if she is a 6 yeard old pekin who had had it all in her life!)

Re: Diarrhea

PostPosted: Fri Dec 15, 2017 8:54 pm
by Marina
What a story and yes, there are few chickens walking this Earth who are as privileged as your Pekin girl.

Thanks for getting back and letting us know about the outcome as we, too, are still learning.