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Another Sick Chicken

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Help! One of my Brahma hens is sick.  Symptoms are swollen face, watery eyes with bubbles in the inside corners of the eyes, lethargy and she is not eating well.  Any clues as to what it might be & how to treat it?  Not sure I did the right thing but I started her on Sulmet yesterday when I first discovered it because this is the medication I have.  Is this something that turkeys could have given to her?  I am raising 3 turkeys with the chickens. I have heard both good & bad about raising chickens & turkeys together.

post #2 of 8

Any signs of coughing, sneezing, wheezing?

Does the discharge have any odors?


It could be a respiratory illness like Mycoplasma Gallisepticum (MG). Separate her if you haven't already done so, you can flush the eyes with saline and apply Vetericyn Eye Gel  or Terramycin Eye Ointment to the eyes a couple of times a day.


I'm not sure how effective Sulmet is for MG, it looks like Tylan or oxytetracycline is more commonly used for MG, Tylan dosage is 1tsp per gallon of water for 3-5 days. Oxytetracycline varies by brand so you would have research the dosage or go to by the package info. 


Try to keep her hydrated, you can offer vitamin/electrolyte water if you have it. Scrambled/hard boiled egg, tuna or meat is also good sources of protein for sick birds. You can also wet some of her normal feed to make a mash to see if she will eat that as well.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

I do have some oxytetracycline so I can change her over to that.  Things have changed. There is no more watery eyes with the little bubbles, just very swollen eyes. 


post #4 of 8

Sounds like an improvement.


The Sulmet maybe helping, so you may want to do some research to see if you even need to switch.


I know Sulmet is used for Infectious Coryza which is another respiratory illness, but usually the discharge is thick and smells. Mycoplasma G. usually presents with foamy/bubbles in the eyes.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks for all your help.  I did the switch to oxytetracycline so we'll see what happens.

post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

Is MG contagious?  I checked all my other chickens & have found nothing so far.  I will definitely keep my eye on my other chickens for a couple weeks.

post #7 of 8
I am having the exact same issues. I started the whole flock on tetracycline because I keep seeing symptoms in a few of them. I am seeing big improvement is one of the sickest ones but the other one still has swollen and runny eyes, no odor though. She is also not eating but will drink a little which is good because the water has the medicine it it. She wants to sleep a lot, but if I wake her she will perk up a little and get up and walk. She is still flying to roost. I just hope she's not giving up on me! Any suggestions?
post #8 of 8
Originally Posted by carrierose View Post

Is MG contagious?  I checked all my other chickens & have found nothing so far.  I will definitely keep my eye on my other chickens for a couple weeks.

It is contagious and exposed birds are considered carriers for life whether or not they ever show any symptoms of illness (asymptomatic).

Some birds may exhibit symptoms in times of stress and then it goes into "remission".


More info in the links I provided earlier.


If you are not selling chicks, hatching eggs, or giving away chickens,  then most  keep what is called  a "closed flock" and try to treat birds as they become ill. There are numerous articles/threads here on BYC and the web about all-in-all-out methods and keeping closed flocks.


The best way unfortunately to know for sure what you are dealing with is to have testing. You may want to contact your local extension office or state lab and see if they do blood testing or can only test by necropsy.

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