Things go from bad to worse

Yesterday my worse fear was realised. While poop picking I found gape worm in some poop. I am putting a photo here despite it being horrible in case it helps someone else to recognise it.

Gape worm

I went through a day of tears and despair. I imagined losing all of our lovely flock one by one. I have researched this so much and talked at length with the vet about it and it is so hard to treat. I had stocked more flubenvet in case but the difficulty is getting each girl to take the amount of powder they need (double normal dose) each day for seven days and then repeat three weeks later.

I can’t believe that Diamond came to our flock with this nasty, and once the eggs are in the soil, they remain for years. This is the worse thing ever for the flock. I thought mico was bad but once I always had tylan in stock at least it’s easy to treat with five days in the water. This is so hard to treat.

Once I had had a protracted panic about this I had to become pro active and do my very best to treat the girls. I had to plan how to get a full measure into each girl. I separated the corner of the run again. I decided to try putting each girl in there one at a time with a dish of favourite things laced with flubenvet powder. I decided to put it in mash as usual as well. I hoped each girl would get at least one dose separately then a top up dose in mash.

Sugar is still broody so I now needed to break her out of it. She has already been broody for three weeks and is showing no sign of coming out of it on her own. I set up the dog crate for her. I closed the nest boxes once the three laying girls had laid. Gold came back into lay recently and has laid for two days in a row after a two week break.

Sugar spent her first night in the broody crate last night and it usually takes three nights to break her out of it. Sugar won’t eat anything while she is desperate to get in to a nest box so as soon as I get her back to normal I will start her on the regime and carry on for however many days longer than the rest that she has missed.

This will be trial and error to see which way I can get the most flubenvet into the girls. I tried Dot separate first because she is the girl who usually hoovers up the treats first. This didn’t work at all for Dot as she was so intent on getting out that she wouldn’t touch the dishes. She just paced the wire and I had to let her out. Instead I put a dish in front of her when she was in a part of the run away from the other girls.

I soon found that they liked chopped tomato better than sunflower hearts so I decided to stick with tomato.

Gold when separated ate half the dish before wanting to come out but ate the other half once out. Salmon and Storm were easiest as they were happy to eat the whole dish while separated. I had already wormed Star with a double dose while she was separated just in case so I am just letting her have the communal dishes of mash for now but will do the same double amount on the repeat.

I am hoping that by catching it early there is more of a chance of coming through this. I think that Diamond was already overloaded when she came to us as none of the girls are showing the symptoms she did.

I dug the run over a couple of weeks ago and tried not to let the girls get any worms but Storm is so fast that she got three. I have seen her shake her head a couple times. I have seen Salmon gape a couple of times but then they all do that sometimes. The smaller the girl the more vulnerable they are but the good thing is that these two girls are the most keen to have the tomato with powder.

I have to stay positive and just treat, treat, treat. I will keep ordering flubenvet when I get half way down a tub and I will keep repeating whenever I think I need to.

In other news the scaly mite spray arrived on Thursday and we started treatment. It’s harder than I thought it would be. I thought it would just need spraying on their legs and feet but not so. It needs to be sprayed on to a soft toothbrush and then applied by stroking upwards into the scales. It needs doing every three days for three weeks.

I bought several soft toothbrushes. On closer inspection Salmon and Sugar have raised scales too but not as bad as Dots. The other girls are smooth. I did all the other girls on the first night with a separate toothbrush as a preventative. Then using a different toothbrush I did Dot, Salmon and Sugar. I will do these three girls every three days for three weeks which I have marked on the calendar. I am doing them at bedtime as it’s easy to lift them from the perch and it stays on all night without them scratching in the run.

I am so worried about all this but all I can do is just keep going. The vet said that there is no handy tip she can give me and flubenvet is the only treatment available in the U.K. Therefore I have to just keep on doing what I am doing and keep everything crossed.

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6 Responses to Things go from bad to worse

  1. Sophie says:

    Oh Carol, I don’t know what to say!! As always though you are on the case and doing your very best for them. xxxx

    • Carol says:

      I am doing my best for them but I just hope it’s enough. I am terrified but can only do what I am doing and hope it’s enough, it’s doesn’t bear thinking about. I just have to keep going. xxxx

  2. DAVID says:

    I echo what Sophie has said. So very sorry.

    • Carol says:

      I am on the third day of double flubenvet and have managed to get most of the girls to have a good dose each day. I have had to move the dishes around to encourage Dot and Gold but Storm and Salmon have taken it with ease. Sugar still won’t have any but I just have to break her out of broodiness first. Of course I don’t know which girl has gape worm or if it’s more than one. I just have to keep treating and keep hoping I can get them through.

  3. marion.pharo says:

    What can any one say, it is all so unlucky, You always do your very best, it is so unfair. Hope you have caught it in time. I am thinking of you, I know how upset you must be.

    • Carol says:

      It is one of those things that nobody can say anything. I too feel it so unfair and so unlucky. Now all I can do is do my best. I have felt so upset. It could mean the end of chicken keeping for me but I just have to keep some hope.

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