Wednesday afternoon I had 12 bouncy Nubian kids ranging from the ages of 2 weeks to 5 weeks old. All in the same pen that was big enough for that many. They had hay free choice which most of them were eating well. Some had been having a little soft poo off and on. They got a 16 oz bottle 2 times a day with a 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to prevent cocci and treat the ones with the soft poos. That day at 1pm I gave a bottle of oatmeal water with a Small amount of copper sulfate. Just to give a little extra stuff to the ones having the soft poos off and on..
I had to go some where for a few hours. Got home about 4:30 got bottles ready and we went out to feed and found 2 dead babies, one unresponsive but alive the rest very lethargic. We lost 3 more with in a few hours. Some were bloated slightly I gave 12 ccs of peanut oil so if it was bloat it would hopefully help. All mouths were extremely chilled. I brought all in the house and put them in the bathroom with the heater. The worst ones around the wood stove wrapped up in blankets. They would cry out, had watery diarrhea, and were puking. When they cried the bellies got tight like cramping. At this point I thought something toxic so I gave a dose of activated charcoal. Their bellies were sloshy like nothing was digesting so I knew they were shutting down on me. I followed with B-complex. And started drenching with Electrolytes after they got warmed up. Gave 2 cc of Biomycin because thats all the antibiotics I had on hand at the time.
Some sweet friends from my local Facebook goat group came and picked up one of the dead kids and took her to a vet to be necropsied(sp?) I talked to him this morning and he said it was something toxic no infection, no parasites of any kind all internal organs looked great. It had to have been something they ate.
Some of my chickens had taken to roosting over the babies hay rack. I was keeping it cleaned out or so I thought and Vet said that the Uric Acid could cause a toxic reaction like that and then the Acidosis would have caused them to die. He also said he hadnt ever seen anything like this ever.
I have had chickens around my goats the entire time I have had them for almost 10 years. But they never roosted in the goat barn. So I have torn out anything the chickens can roost on and the babies are getting probiotics once a day. They are taking watered down milk so its not to much on their systems and eating hay. I still have one that is not doing the greatest I am having to drench her more often.
I am going over every thing in my mind after talking to the vet and it wasn't until later something clicked on what he said.. He had found wood chips in the gut.. I thought okay so they chewed on the pallets nothing unusual about that.. But the pallet they chewed on was one that the chickens roosted over that was part of the divider for the stall and the hay rack... Out I go to check the pallet, sure enough all sorts of little chewy marks and its right where chicken poo skidded down and soaked in......
I hope Freckles starts inproving soon... She is still holding on. I mixed up a tea to give half/half with the electrolytes. So we shall see.. I am about wore out but looks like soon the ones doing better will be able to go back out to the barn.Its been a tough lesson... But something we learned from for sure.. Just wanted to update everyone.... Have a great Sunday...