Are cold symptoms always fatal? Are chickens really this fragile?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Cluckthorne, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. Cluckthorne

    Cluckthorne In the Brooder

    Oct 18, 2009
    Minneapolis, MN
    Hello All,

    I recently found/cought a chicken in my neighborhood, what appears to be a beautiful young Wyandotte. She is so charming and funny I decided to build her a coop and get her some friends. We are animal lovers and vegetarians in my house so she hit the jackpot. That was a few weeks ago. Then a few days ago I purchased two more 4 month old hens from a local farm store, a Blue Cochin and an Ameraucana. I figured since they are all a collection of strays and they all looked healthy, and I have no experience with birds, I let them all meet face to face.

    Now a few days later the Blue Cochin is sneezing, has nasal discharge (which smelled foul when I cleaned it, or it could just be that she's dirty from her muddy old pen), and has a gurgling sound in the throat when talking (Infectious Coryza ?) So I hopped on the net, found all the cold type posts on BYC, read them and now feel like I have doomed the other birds and that the Cochin must be carrying MS or any of the other terrible things that it sounds like most young breeder bought birds have.

    When I picked her out at the farm store she was in one of 5 pens, each with about 30 mixed birds, and it was wet because it has been raining and cold here everyday for the last month. The Ameraucana was in a pen in a separate building and shows no signs of illness at all, and other than the cold symptoms the Cochin is alert, eating and drinking and scratching around like nothing is wrong.

    My first question to the pros is what should I do now? The sick bird is separated, I cleaned the nasal passages with a warm wet cloth and applied vicks to the comb and waddle.

    My next question that I couldn't seem to find an answer to in all of the other very helpful and thorough posts regarding these symptoms and the various diseases and viruses that cause them is, which of these can the birds live with or get over, and which are a death sentence.

    A few that jumped out at me were . . .

    Mycoplasma Synoviae (MS)
    Infectious Coryza
    Chronic Respiratory Disease (CRD)
    Mycoplasma Gallisepticum (MG)

    If anyone knowledgeable wants to add to this list and add recoverable or not after each that would really help us total novices who have read the doom and gloom about these terrible chicken illnesses and now feel like having healthy birds is impossible [​IMG]

    Thanks to all in advance!

    P.S. I read Threehorses reply to a post regarding how chickens get respiratory illnesses and found it very helpfull and hope Bluebell the Blue Cochin has something simple due to a worn down imune system, fingers crossed.
  2. PunkinPeep

    PunkinPeep Songster

    Mar 31, 2009
    SouthEast Texas
    Well, i'm not sure what you read from Threehorses. So forgive me if i repeat.

    Most, if not all, of these diseases (sorry i don't actually know which ones either) are definitely survivable. The problem is that survivors of almost everything a chicken can get that involves a runny nose, become carriers of that disease and can pass it on to other chickens, even if they aren't displaying symptoms.

    These standards may not apply to you, but often those who raise chickens on a large scale choose to cull these sick chickens to keep the rest of the flock healthy and strong, not wanting to keep disease carriers in the flock.

    I'm afraid i can't tell you what to do to help them get well because i am in the cull crowd. But i know that there are those here who will nurse them to health and have lots of instructions on how to do it.

    I hope my post helps you at least get a bump so more people who have the answers you want will respond.

    And welcome to BYC! [​IMG]
  3. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    Tylan 50 injectable will treat respiratory illness..available at most farm/feed/livestock supply stores in the livestock section.
    dosage info at the top of the page in a sticky thread for links.
    also Erymycin (erythromycin)

    describe the droppings..for this sick hen and also for all of them..color and consistency.
    mixed birds can pass illnesses such as respiratory and cocci..
    stress from change can bring it on.

    what bedding do you use?
    what ALL do you feed them?

    here is a link to instructions for treating sinus infections..

    also, it's important to keep the hen warm and protected from draft and wet.
    Poultry vitamins and extra protein, such as adding a cooked egg to the feed helps rebuild their immune system.
    If you can't find poultry vitamins can use Poly-vi-sol liquid baby vitamins, Enfamil brand, NO IRON formula..(available at most pharmacies)
    give 3 drops on beak once a day for 5 days, then taper off for a week.

    here's an online source for meds, etc..with info about the use of the meds.

    click antibiotics in the sideboard, and also disinfectant for Oxine.
  4. Cluckthorne

    Cluckthorne In the Brooder

    Oct 18, 2009
    Minneapolis, MN
    [​IMG] Thanks PunkinPeep for the positivity regarding survival after illness. It's nice to hear an understanding tone from a person that is in a larger scale bird business. Us pet people will do what ever we need to to help the smaller family members keep on going!

    And Sammi. . . .

    my three birds are being fed organic layer feed with some cracked corn mixed in, and a little fortified songbird food that has seeds and extra vitamins.

    The bedding is shaved pine

    The sick cochins droppings (that I've seen) are brown and runny
    The ameraucana has had some brown, some green, and some close to black slightly runny with a little white mixed in.
    My original found bird, the Wyandotte, has had mostly nice big (some unbelivably big, like a small dog) brown to brown green with white droppings. Then tonight she had a big messy almost black turd right on her roost.
    As I said previously, they are all moving around fine and seem alert.

    Thanks for the great advice and links regarding the meds and sinus infection. I'll head over to the farm store tomorrow, then order what I can't find there.
  5. Cluckthorne

    Cluckthorne In the Brooder

    Oct 18, 2009
    Minneapolis, MN

    Kept Bluebell inside last night. Her dropping are firmer (green brown and white) and there is less discharge and smell from her nose, and as before she is alert and active. Tonight I'm checking for the Tylan 50 locally and will start her on the vitamins and increased protien (egg in her food). Thanks for the advice, Ill keep updating.
  6. [​IMG] Cluckthorn!

    Be careful when adding to your flock. You should quarantine for at least 30 days any new birds far away from your existing flock. That will give you a chance for any symptoms to show up before integrating.

    I hope your chickens feel better soon. [​IMG]
  7. Cluckthorne

    Cluckthorne In the Brooder

    Oct 18, 2009
    Minneapolis, MN

    Bluebell has been on Tylan 50 (.4cc orally), Poly-vi-sol vitamins and probiotics for the last 4 days along with daily beak cleaning and vicks on her comb. I'm happy to report that she is like a new bird! She is very energetic with no more gurgling and sneezing or boogery beak. Now she sits and coos like a pigeon in my lap. Thanks for the advice everyone!

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