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What to do if your chicken has a respiratory infection or problem

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

So, I got these two buff orpingtons and a week later one dies and the other has eye bubbles and nasal discharge.  I separate the sick hen and treat her with antibiotics and she gets better.  I moved the entire coop away from the sick bird and went through all this work to protect my purebred flock that I've worked for over a year to establish.  Hen looks good and I think its all over.  Went to check on my BLRW flock this evening and my rooster has a raspy, gurgling crow and eye bubbles.  So, here is how to treat you sick chickens:

1.  I should have culled the hen immediately when she showed signs of illness.  I wanted to show compassion and try to get her well and give her to a friend (she didn't mind that the chicken had been ill).

2.  Since I didn't do that I've now exposed my favorite purebreds to this problem and my rooster is now sick and I will be culling in a couple of hours.  He is already moved into the isolation cage with the other sick hen.

 

So, for those of you who have sick chickens and want to be compassionate, please do the right thing and cull that bird before you lose your entire flock to an illness.  I hesitated and now I will be losing my best BLRW rooster tonight.  This is a hard lesson learned but kindness can lose all your birds which is unkind to the whole flock.  An injury is one thing but disease and illness need to be culled immediately and the areas sanitized with bleach and lime.  I've already sprayed the coop down bleach and water mix and I will sprinkling lime when the birds go up to roost for the night.  Again, please do the kindest thing possible and cull sick birds and remove the remains from your property.  I know it sounds hard and it will be hard to let my rooster go but if I had not been kind to one bird in the first place I wouldn't be losing three.

post #2 of 11

Are you crazy?? You don´t need to cull them. Mine have had this before and i treat with 5 days of an antibiotic and then 3 days with vitamins. You can treat it really easy.
You can even treat them all even if they are not showing any symtoms yet. Just speak to a local vet for some advice or to buy the antbiotic. It would be better the culling.

animal lover owning, a partner who is slowly becoming animal mad too, a boy and a girl in their teens (arghhhh) 3 dogs,untold amounts of rabbits ranging from really fluffy small ones to big giant ones, Guinea pigs galore, loads of chickens and loads of ducks,Turkeys, geese and some fish. oh and not forgetting some quail. Then every now and then we get a lamb or two. phew.........

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animal lover owning, a partner who is slowly becoming animal mad too, a boy and a girl in their teens (arghhhh) 3 dogs,untold amounts of rabbits ranging from really fluffy small ones to big giant ones, Guinea pigs galore, loads of chickens and loads of ducks,Turkeys, geese and some fish. oh and not forgetting some quail. Then every now and then we get a lamb or two. phew.........

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post #3 of 11
Thread Starter 

I've had something going around for awhile.  I've lost three and one hen.  One sick hen and then two roosters.  Culling is extreme but I have been treating with Duramycin and Clavamox.  Also extreme cleaning and sanitizing but the disease keeps spreading.  I even dismantled whole coops and moved the healthy birds as far as I could from the sick but still the disease spreads.  The first hen responded to treatment but relapsed shortly after treatment.  I'm terrified of losing all my birds because I've worked so hard building them up.  Should I just treat the entire flock to be sure?  Can I treat chicks that are 3 and 6 weeks old?  I've never had to cull before but the illness has spread has so fast and one hen died.  She was the first one sick and she died within the week.  Fear is a powerful thing.  I will call the vet and get advice.  Finding a chicken vet may be difficult in the area.  I'm not crazy, I just care for my chickens and I'm terrified of losing them all.

post #4 of 11

Simply walking between pens will spread the illness from your ill chickens to your healthy chickens. You will carry it with the soil on your shoes and on your clothes.

 

Culling may sound drastic... but it can prevent a lot of heart ache. I look back now and I wish I had culled two new turkeys that I purchased about 4 months ago. 

 

Probably important to add:

 

Prevention is ALWAYS better than a cure. Please quarantine ALL new arrivals. Don't risk it!!!!!

 

And when I say quarantine, a separate pen next door to your current coop/run is NOT sufficient. Just think about how the common cold and other bugs spread!

"There is a place. Like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger! Some say to survive it: You need to be as mad as a hatter....Which luckily I am"

- Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland)

 

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"There is a place. Like no place on Earth. A land full of wonder, mystery, and danger! Some say to survive it: You need to be as mad as a hatter....Which luckily I am"

- Lewis Carroll (Alice in Wonderland)

 

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post #5 of 11

Keep in mind that most chicken respiratory diseases are chronic. You can treat them, but they still will have it and will be carriers. If you aren't selling/trading chickens or eggs and don't plan on adding any new chickens, then treat them and be happy.

 

However -- they will get sick again when stressed and you can spread the disease to other flocks if you let chickens or eggs off your property. Plus any new chickens you add will end up getting it. So keep that in mind! =)

post #6 of 11

Yes, gwendalynn, you are 100% correct! You should have culled them and you found out exactly why later on. They remain carriers, like Typhoid Mary.

 

 

I wish people would listen to us, for goodness sake! They are too soft hearted for their own, and their flock's, own good, unfortunately. Sadly, I rarely hear of anyone on BYC doing what should be done.

 

There was one just a few days ago, a brand new member, who dispatched newly purchased birds immediately upon getting them home because they were symptomatic of mycoplasmosis and she valued her current flock too much to put them at risk, then she notified the breeder of the sickness. That is the appropriate action.

 


http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/663278/need-help-new-chickens-had-mycoplasma

 

 

If you have a flock you've had for years, don't sell birds or eggs, they come down with a contagious respiratory disease, I understand someone deciding to treat them and keep them alive, though I wouldn't choose that. However, if you buy brand new birds to bring into your healthy flock and you find out before they are in contact with your flock that they have a contagion, why on earth would you ever put them in your flock? That is what quarantine is for, to keep your flock healthy by keeping diseased birds out.


Edited by speckledhen - 5/13/12 at 6:03am

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It Has Come to My Attention that Empathy for Others in Today's World Has Died...URGENT! Always Quarantine Newly Purchased Birds!
~A dog on its owner's property is a pet; A dog on someone else's property is a predator~

 
 

 

 

 

Reply

Come See the ALL NEW Blue Roo Creations, where every artisan is a veteran or the spouse of a veteran!

BRC Web Store Purchases Now Include Shipping!

It Has Come to My Attention that Empathy for Others in Today's World Has Died...URGENT! Always Quarantine Newly Purchased Birds!
~A dog on its owner's property is a pet; A dog on someone else's property is a predator~

 
 

 

 

 

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post #7 of 11

Sorry, i didn´t mean  you are crazy, more of a phrase i use. No hurt or upset intended.
When one of mine picked up symptoms of a cold my vet here told me to treat them all. He told me that culling Should wait until there is no other option. He told me that a lot of the colds that chickens pass on are from wild birds coming into the area where the chickens are. It is true that the virus can also be passed from us and shoes etc as we walk from pen to pen.

I know its really heartbreaking to lose a flock or even one of a flock, this is why you should treat them all at once. do not eat any of their eggs for 14 days after treatment stops.

My fingers are crossed for you. xxfl.gif

animal lover owning, a partner who is slowly becoming animal mad too, a boy and a girl in their teens (arghhhh) 3 dogs,untold amounts of rabbits ranging from really fluffy small ones to big giant ones, Guinea pigs galore, loads of chickens and loads of ducks,Turkeys, geese and some fish. oh and not forgetting some quail. Then every now and then we get a lamb or two. phew.........

Reply

animal lover owning, a partner who is slowly becoming animal mad too, a boy and a girl in their teens (arghhhh) 3 dogs,untold amounts of rabbits ranging from really fluffy small ones to big giant ones, Guinea pigs galore, loads of chickens and loads of ducks,Turkeys, geese and some fish. oh and not forgetting some quail. Then every now and then we get a lamb or two. phew.........

Reply
post #8 of 11
Thread Starter 

The two sick chickens did get culled.  My husband had to help do it but he hated doing it but I just couldn't do it.  I loved my BLRW rooster.  The hen came from someone else and I've never had sickness before until that hen and her friend arrived.  The first hen died about a week after arriving.  I thought she ate poison because they had been out free ranging the day before and I also found a dead squirrel near the area I suspected so I didn't think anything else of it.  But then I noticed the other hen with eye bubbles and nasal discharge and also a dirty vent.  She was separated and I treated her with antibiotics.  She got better but a few days after her treatment ended she relapsed.  I had her quarantined all this time but when she relapsed that when I noticed my rooster had those eye bubbles and raspy breathing and crow as well.  I quickly removed him from the coop and put him in quarantine as well.  I thought it about for a few hours and sanitized the coop with bleach and lime while I was thinking.  I also carry a spray bottle on my belt loop know with bleach water in it and spray my shoes down between the two coops.  When my husband got home, we culled the two sick birds and disposed the bodies.  We sprayed everything with bleach water after the cull as well, changed out clothes, washed our hands and arms, and soaked our shoes in bleach as well as scrubbed the quarantine coop the two sick birds had been in.  I'm hoping this is the last of this problem.  It made me so sad to cull that rooster.  He was my buddy and we use to eat biscuits on the front porch together.  Luckily I have some babies from my rooster so all is not lost.  I'll have to name one of his sons after him.  We'll have a Terrance, Jr.  I've learned my lesson about bringing other birds into the flock at a high price.  I will no longer be taking in birds from sources other than NPIP certified.  I have a small flock, only 10 adults, and with the quickness of which this bug was spreading, I was scared to lose any more birds.  I have 14 babies outside now and I do not want them to get sick.  It is hard to do, but if I'd culled that hen to start with, I wouldn't have lost my most beautiful and friendly rooster as well.  Because I was being kind to a bird from unknown sources, I lost one that I have loving raised myself.  Rest in peace Terrance.

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post #9 of 11

I'm new, but it sounds like you did everything you could do.  It must have been a hard decision to cull them.  Sorry for your losses.

post #10 of 11
Thread Starter 

It was the hardest decision I've ever had to make with my chickens.  It was hard not to cry while doing it.  I felt so bad because the rooster was so friendly and trusting of me and would let me handle him with no problems.  I hand raised him from one week old.  My husbanded hated it as well because he was doing the cutting.  I just laid him him on the stump and he was quite and still which is what hurt the most.  He completely trusted me and had no fear that I would ever do anything to harm him.  I hope to never do anything like this ever again.  I have a small flock and they all have names and me and kids spend time everyday in the coop hand feeding them treats and petting them.  I hope others can learn from my mistake.  If I'd culled the first sick hen, I'd still have my boy.  hit.gif

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