Hello everyone. I have a small "flock" of red sex link 'rescue' hens (they were finished with their time at an organic egg supplier). I have no idea how old they are but they've been with us for 18 months.
Recently several (all but one) hens have shown a symptom (or two) of a respiratory infection - and the more research I did the more those symptoms pointed to infectious bronchitis. I know there is no 'cure' but that it's wise (according to many) to treat with antibiotics to combat secondary infections. So I did a 5-day round of Tylan.
All are making gains and I know that it can take a month (or more?) to completely be rid of IB.
What can I do, additionally, to make sure that they're healing appropriately?
ALSO - as red sex links I understand that they can have egg-laying (calcium deficiencies) problems as they age. IB also causes problems in the reproductive tract. I have one hen that has laid at least one (probably two) very thin-shelled eggs that either broke on the way out or once they hit the surface. (It may be two hens laid an egg apiece, but I"m doubtful.) This hen also tends to lay very large (jumbo-sized) eggs in general. I'm concerned about possible infections and further problems. I have given her oral calcium (23%) for two days now... she didn't lay today so I don't know if/how it's helped. They don't eat oyster shell - ever - really... they don't, so I'm wondering:
a.) given the recent bout of IB, should I be supplementing calcium in some other way than their own egg-shells? Would the liquid calcium that I'm giving the previously mentioned hen be beneficial to all - say in their water bowls?
b.) should I continue to treat our soft-shelled egg-layer with the oral dose of calcium? If so, for how long?
Thanks for any advice you've got!