So I am basically quoting one of my own posts here, about how we treated our flock's respiratory illness. I'm not a vet, and I don't know if this will work for everyone, but I thought some people might find this information useful if your flock ever has a respiratory upset/maybe preventing respiratory upsets.
A couple months ago, we noticed one of our ameraucana roos had a little bit of a puffy eye. It wasn't too bad, just a little puffy. So we paid attention to it, and put some colloidal silver on it.
A couple days later, we noticed at nighttime that one of our EE roosters had stayed outside of the coop, which is unusual (they usually all go in at nighttime). When we picked him up, we noticed he had an extremely puffy eye. At this point we figured that it probably wasn't an injury, and whatever it was was most likely contagious. So we looked inside the coop to see if anyone else had a puffy eye. Our Blue Copper Marans hen had a little of one too, so we took the EE, the BCM and the Ameraucana out of the coop and separated them so we could keep an eye on it and treat them.
We put silver on their eyes daily, which did help. We also gave them daily doses of oregano oil and garlic in their water. Both of these herbs are anti inflammatory, and they have antibiotic properties, so I highly recommend them.
While these things were helping and they weren't getting worse, they weren't all the way better, either. We noticed that more of our chickens were getting puffy eyes.
It turned out that about half of our flock had gotten the puffy eye over the course of a few weeks. Our one EE roo even had both eyes completely swollen shut at one point. At this point, I suspect, a lot of people would have culled their entire flock, but we weren't going to do that.
After reading about it some on here, we decided to try out VetRX. It is an herbal oil mixture used to cure and prevent respiratory illnesses. It's a mixture of the oils of rosemary, oregano, pine, and corn. It is safe to use internally and externally. So daily, we smeared it on their noses, on their eyes, and used it in a diffuser in the room with them. We did notice a difference with this, but it didn't completely go away.
We did notice their noses were also sort of stuffy, and they were breathing through their mouths, so we deemed it respiratory. We still don't know exactly what it was, but we are pretty sure it was either infectious coryza, or housefinch conjunctivitis. Though it might've been something completely different, it was definitely respiratory. Whatever it was though, it became clear that it wasn't life-threatening, it was just very, very, annoying.
At first, ours were acting fine too, aside from the puffy eye. After a few days, some of them were panting because they couldn't breathe through their noses right.
By the time half of our flock had it, we stopped bothering with separating them. We figured they would get it or they wouldn't, and at this point we were treating them all anyway with the herbs, silver, and VetRV, and eventually, NutriDrench.
After talking to the lady at our TSC, we decided to try NutriDrench. It is basically a really good vitamin supplement, with the only downfall being it has propelyne glycol in it which isn't good. We were trying to treat them only naturally with herbs, so as to keep them organic. However, we decided this would be better than antibiotics.
We have been trying to keep our flock as organic and natural as possible. So we started out only using natural things, herbs, apple cider vinegar, and lots of other stuff like that. And we still try to stick to only using those things. However, this is one instance where the cure we found wasn't organic or herbal, but we weighed our options and decided it might be best for our flock. We didn't want them to have puffy eyes forever, and we didn't want to treat them with antibiotics, so we tried this. I do strongly believe most things can be cured naturally, we just couldn't find the right combination to cure it using only natural ingredients.
After a few days of giving this to them, it was completely cleared up. I'm not kidding. No antibiotics. No culling. No excessive chemicals. Just one vitamin supplement, with an ingredient that wasn't preferable, and some herbs. We didn't want to use it, but it was a lot less bad for them than some other things. It went away, and thankfully, never came back. All of our chickens are healthy now.
So, the bottom line is, if a respiratory illness breaks out in your flock, don't cull them all right away! There might be a solution which really isn't all that complicated.
You can read about some of my other herbal remedies and treatments in my article, Maintaining & Treating Healthy Chickens with Herbs.
I'm not an expert on this kind of thing, however, whatever we did worked, because our flock is happy and healthy now!
What experiences have you had with treating respiratory upsets? What treatments worked or didn't work for you? I would love to hear your experiences and opinions!