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Sneezing/coughing chickens...what do I do?

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 

I have 9 Buff Orpington hens that have begun coughing over the past 2-3 weeks.  I thought that it might just go away, but it hasn't.  We are trying to be organic and not give them antibiotics or vaccinations, but I'm now concerned that I might lose my whole flock.  Plus, I have 44 chicks that are 4 weeks old that I'm about to transition outside, and I'm doubly concerned that these chicks will get whatever the older hens have. 

 

What do I do?  I called to Tractor Supply and Southern States, and they don't have any antibiotics to put in their water.  I really don't want to give them injections...I don't mind the medicine in the water, but I don't want to do the whole injection thing.  We don't have a vet, so I would really like something that I can buy online or over the counter.

 

Also, these hens were coughing/sneezing a bit over the winter.  But, I cleaned out their cage and it seemed to stop.  But, now it's back again.  By the way, we use pine shavings from our wood chipper as shavings in the coop.  I'm pretty sure the problem in the winter was that the coop was too musty, damp, and too stinky from all the pooh.  But, that's not the problem now.  We keep the windows open all the time, and it is very dry in the coop.  Is it too dry?  Can that cause this problem?  There's quite a bit of pooh under their roosting poles, but it's not stinky at all.  We only have 9 hens, and the coop is 11x15...so, it's really big.

 

So, I have 3 questions: (1) What should I do to save my hens?  (2) What do you think is causing this? (3) How do I prevent it from happening again?

 

Any help/advice is greatly appreciated.

 

Thank you,

Ted

post #2 of 3

Is there any discharge from the eyes, nares, vent, or beak?  Are the eyes clear and bright - if not are they dull, are they bubbly, etc?  Is there any swelling about the face?  Are they eating, drinking and passing normal waste?  What is their overall body condition now and has there been a significant change in that condition in the past few weeks?    What are you bedding your coop with?  Are you using any DE or other products in your coop - if you use PDZ is it granular or powdered form? 

 

Do not move forward with integrating your new birds until you have identified and addressed the issue - keep them separate and practice good bio-security to prevent any potential exposure from you moving between the groups.

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Where are we going, and why are we in this hand basket?
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post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 


Ol Grey Mare, thank you for the quick reply.  No discharge.  Eyes seem normal..clear, not bubbly.  No swelling in the face.  They seem to be eating, drinking, and acting normal...except for one hen who seems to be trying real hard to cough, but it just sound like a long, drawn-out wheeze.  All the others, just seem to sneeze a bit.  Otherwise, they are all normal.  Bedding in the coop is pine shavings from our wood chipper....a bit finer than the pine shavings you get from the store.  I'm not sure what DE or PDZ are....sorry, I'm a newbie. 

Thanks again.


Edited by hveggeberg - 4/25/16 at 5:47am
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