5 day old chicks- respiratory problems? HELP! 1st time chicken owner!!!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickienewbie88, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. chickienewbie88

    chickienewbie88 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2015
    West Virginia
    Okay so this is the first time Ive ever had chickens or even been around them but am an animal lover and decided i would like to have some for eggs. I purchased 6 1 day old chicks from my local feed store. By the second day, a couple were sneezing but it was infrequent and i thought it may have just been dust from their litter (pine shavings). We're now at day 5 and the smallest is now mouth breathing and has slight nasal discharge.. either slightly yellow or clear, shes so small its hard to tell. All the others are discharge free but everyone else is scratching their faces and sneezing. I dont think there is any swelling. They are all very active, eating and drinking well, and most poops are solid- but there is an occasional runny one (not sure if thats normal or not, but never any blood). I have them in a brooder at 88 degrees (they were too warm, panting, and avoiding each other at 97, 95, and 93 degrees). I scoop their poop about 5 times a day, do a complete litter change and disinfect their bin every other day, change water about 5 times a day, clean feeder any time i see poo and do a complete change daily. I am feeding them Nutrena Nature Wise Chick Starter Grower (no antibiotics). Please help! I literally have no idea what to do and have grown SO attached to these little girls!!! I also have 9 Silkie eggs incubating so i worry that they may catch this when they hatch! Please help!!!
     
  2. chickienewbie88

    chickienewbie88 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2015
    West Virginia
    Ive reseached for hours, here and on other websites, trying to find information but none of the cases are exactly like mine and i really have no idea what im doing with these babies. I love them immensely!! Theyre all head shaking, scratching their faces, sneezing.. and theres a little "click" you can hear as they breathe sometimes. I just need help. I have no idea how to treat, dose, or even what to give them for this! my heart couldnt take losing them all!!
     
  3. chickienewbie88

    chickienewbie88 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2015
    West Virginia
    Now my other small girl is just standing around awkwardly.. looks like shes falling asleep, wobbly.. breathing heavily.. she still runs around.. eats.. plays.. but shes starting to do this wobbly/shaky/falling asleep thing too.. i really dont know what to do. And i dont want my baby silkies (currently incubating) to get sick from these little girls..
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    It sounds like your chicks may have a respiratory disease that they picked up at the feed store or got through their hatching eggs. Hatchery chicks don't normally have respiratory diseases, but I would get some oxytetracycline, Duramycin10, or Lincomycin/Spectinomycin 50/50 to treat them in their water for MG or infectious bronchitis. The disease they have probably will be contagious to any new chicks, since many respiratory diseases can make carriers of the whole flock for life. You could get one tested or sacrifice one and get it necropsied by the state vet to find out the disease. Infectious bronchitis is a virus which will not respond to antibiotics, but they may help to prevent secondary bacterial infections. Some would advise you to cull these chicks, clean and disinfect your equipment and facilities, and start over with healthy chicks.
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Here is a good link to read that has the most common respiratory diseases--MG, coryza, infectious bronchitis, ILT, and many other diseases and symptoms: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044
     
  6. chickienewbie88

    chickienewbie88 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2015
    West Virginia
    Thank you SO much for the reply!!!! Which of the 3 antibiotics you suggested would be the best, in your opinion? What about Save-a-chick? Would that help any in addition? how should i dose them? Theyre now 6 days old. Today they seem more stable, i havent seen any discharge or mouth breathing, but still sneezing and scratching. Still eating VERY well, drinking, sleeping. Poos are all normal. Even the one who was standing awkwardly last night seems to be resting easier. I did switch to medicated feed last night mixed with their current feed (current has lots of pro and prebiotics). But no thing else because i dont really know where to start. I really dont want to cull these little girls.. but i obviously dont know a lot about having birds either. Is it irresponsible of me not to? Or should i try to get them through this and see what happens? If it isnt infectious bronchitis, would something like MG be contagious for life? Like i said i have 9 silkie eggs currently incubating.. if i can manage to get them through brooding without exposing them to whatever these wyandottes have, will they just get sick later when theyre moved outside (they will have separate pens due to size difference, being separated by maybe 3 or 4 feet but never allowed to range with each other)? Again, thank you SO much for your help. I really am in panic mode...
     
  7. chickienewbie88

    chickienewbie88 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2015
    West Virginia
    And now, after going through your link, im slightly worried about Newcastle with respiratory symptoms.. yesterday i saw them laying a LOT, "pecking at the ground".. do normal chicks do this too??
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    The exotic form of Newcastles is not in the US, but may be in some countries around the world. MG will be in a flock for life until the last chicken is gone. Infectious bronchitis will make chickens carriers for up to a year, but it is very hard on young chicks. If you have a local vet, they could do a nasal swab to check for diseases. Or you could just watch them, and see how it progresses. Make sure your ventilation is good, no drafts, and keep down ammonia odors by keeping the bedding clean and dry. Here is a list of testing centers around the country: http://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/nahln/downloads/all_nahln_lab_list.pdf
     
  9. chickienewbie88

    chickienewbie88 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 22, 2015
    West Virginia
    I really appreciate all of your help and wonderful information!!! Ive been watching them very closely today and they seem to be doing MUCH better.. very little sneezing, moderate scratching, no discharge.. still hearing a few "clicks" when they breathe and maybe one or two brief "yawns" as they stand up from a nap but all in all not half as bad as they were yesterday. Even the two small ones seem to be breathing deeper and not struggling as much to take breaths. And oh my gosh, their appetites have increased 10 fold. I have an approximately 3 foot long metal chick feeder and i fill it completely full, throw away whats left over, and start fresh daily (cleaning any accidents that make it inside inbetween fills) and usually its about half full when i empty. Today, they ate about 3/4!!! So i think theyre on the upswing, hopefully. And i think i found the source of the infection. I never really noticed, but we apparently have a HUGE wild bird population and they love my hunting dogs' kibble, so there are droppings EVERYWHERE around their kennels and i noticed droppings on the shovel i use.
    Anyway, im feeling pretty confident that theyre going to be okay now.. hopefully im not wrong. I am guilty of cleaning the brooder perhaps too much, i usually have their poops out of there before they can walk away from them, lol. I really appreciate all the time youve taken to help me with these little girls.. it means a LOT! And i have a feeling this isnt going to be the first time i realize im in over my head with these chickens.. ;)
     

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