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Thought hen was normal, but now has bubbly/foamy eye...

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 

First off, I should point out that I'm a total beginner and just started raising chickens a month please forgive me in advance if I ask or say anything you find ridiculous in this thread.


We have a Production Red Layer hen...she is about 20 - 22 weeks old...she lives in a spacious coop but also has access to about 1/2 acre to free-range for at least 4+ hours a day.


She has been doing something strange since we got her (about a month ago), where she closes her eyes throughout the day and appears as if she's going to sleep.  I have ignored it because otherwise she seems, scratches around, drinks/eats, etc.  However, today I noticed a foamy/bubbly discharge in one eye, and she still hasn't started laying, whereas the other hen (Black Australorpe) started laying a week ago (same age).  I'm not sure if that part has anything to do with it, but I think something may be wrong and I'm not sure what to do.


I was thinking of taking her to a vet, but for one, I need a recommendation for one in the Leesburg VA area that would treat a chicken (the one I lined up prior to getting chickens appears to now only do horses, and the others in the area seem to specialize only in dogs/cats).  The other thing is that I don't even know if I'd be able to get her to a vet (or administer meds myself) because she is so flighty -- I can't get my hands on her for the life of me.


I have the option of trading her in for a similar chicken from the place I got her, but the family is so attached to her that I don't want to give up on her (but I'm afraid of keeping her around because I don't want whatever she has to spread to the other chicken and have a bigger problem on my hand).  I also don't know if I want to pump her full of meds needlessly.


So, I guess my questions are:


1.)  Do you know what this could be and if I need to worry about it (pictures attached)?  The issue comes and goes throughout the day.  I have gotten mixed information on the forums.  Some say it is a serious issue that requires meds.  Others say it is just irritation and will go away.  She also does this thing where she looks like she is yawning a lot, which again I hve heard different opinions (normal just swallowing, or it could be worms and I need to look in her mouth, which I've been unable to do).


2.)  Does anybody local to me know of a vet that could take a look (preferably coming here so that I don't have to try to catch her and box her up?


3.)  If I need to isolate her, how do people do that?  Do I need a separate coop with her own feeder, waterer, etc.?


4.)  Any other suggestions?





post #2 of 4

Mycoplasma  (MG) a respiratory disease can sometimes cause foamy watery eyes. I would recommend getting her tested, since she can remain a carrier for life if she is MG positive. Tylan 50 injectable will treat symptoms if given either orally or by injection. Here is some info about the disease:

post #3 of 4
Thread Starter 

Thanks a lot for your reply.  From what I understand from the links you sent me, if she has MG and we inject her with Tylan 50, it will treat the symptoms but she will still carry MG and potentially have lower egg production (and potentially still be able to transmit to other or future birds in my flock)?  Also not sure about eating eggs from a bird that has to be treated with this stuff.  Is this correct or have I misinterpreted something?

post #4 of 4

Tylan has a withdrawal time for eating eggs of 1 week for injections or 1 day for oral treatment. It is a commonly used antibiotic in chickens and other poultry. Dosage for a 5 pound hen is 1 ml given orally, twice a day for 3-5 days. They can have a lower egg production, and yes be a carrier. MG positive flocks are very common, and many will chose to either cull sick birds, or treat them with Tylan, Denagard (tiamulin), or Oxyteracycline if they become sick. It might be a good thing to question your state vet or local extension agent about getting her tested, and asking them if there is much presence of MG locally. Usually with MG there will be some other symptoms, such as nasal drainage or coughing, and sometimes swollen eyes or face. MG is not quite as contaious as some of the respiratory diseases, so I would find out as much as you can, and make sure that is what she has. She could have something stuck in her eye or gotten pecked. Then you can decide what to do.

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