Brahma Chick Wheezing/Gurgeling, eye swollen, lethargic


7 Years
May 31, 2012
Crocker, MO

we just found one of our Brahma Chicks (5 Weeks old) has one eye swollen shut, is wheezing, gurgeling, it seems to have a lot of spit in it's beak.

We separated it for now from the others but I am completely clueless what is going on or what to do.

We bought all of our 23 chicks from Cackle hatchery 5 weeks ago, then about 1.5 weeks ago we went to an animal swap and bought 2 chicks (about the same age then ours) and 1 pullet that is bigger then the chicks but small enough that our big hens wanted nothing to do with it, so we housed it with the chicks and that seemed to be going just fine.

Well the bigger one (Pullet) seemed to be sleeping an awful lot and we just figured that it was bored with the chicks.
then 2 days ago I took her out and checked her and found a tiny little red bug (I'm assuming louse) and a much smaller white thing running on her.
I dusted her with DE and checked another 5 birds at random and the only other one that I saw something running on was one of the chicks also purchased at the animal swap so I dusted her as well. (and I also dusted the other one even though I did not find anything on her)

We do not want to use chemicals as we are trying to raise our birds organic.

we feed a non medicated chick starter, put ACV in the water. Our Bedding is a mix of wood pellets and pine shavings.

Please help us!
anybody any idea what I can do to help the little one with the swallen eye?

I just dusted every single bird in the brooder with DE...
Hi, MollyDora, I've been digging around on the net for the past 15 min. or so, trying to find something, and I am stumped. I can't seem to find anything that has both the swollen eye and the salivating.
Coryza maybe?

Whatever it is, treating it will probably need antibiotics.
thank you for your help!

As of right now I am completely overwhelmed... if we can cure the chicks of this, is this something that they will give to any other birds they ever come in contact with???

I just want to cry.. this is so terrible. I will never buy a chicken at a swap ever again.
It's coryza because there is a nasal discharge and it smells kind of like poop really.

The biggest concern I have is how to tell if any will be carriers or not. We have 11 other birds that these guys are supposed to go mix with soon.

I want to know something about if they need to all be culled or not. I wish someone could say for sure. There are no vets near us that practice with poultry. So I am going to cull the original carrier and possibly two others at least. WHich sucks. I knew the rule and violated the rule. I suspected something and should have culled that bird like I had thought last week. I really wish I had not hesitated.

I am going to call the guy that sold the chicks to me. I am going to tell him the problem and demand he tell me what he's going to do about it and if he even wavers one moment I will send the dead bird to to the state and tell them where I got it. Because the guy sells birds across the country.

I am very upset with myself. This will be the last time I use antibiotics but I am going to this time. I guess it's good this happened today because they were about to go outside into the coop which is temporarily divided by fencing from the bigger other birds.
The bird or my better half?

I keep finding more and more of the birds showing signs. Both roosters were acting depressed full on sleeping in the brooder. I have never seen that before unless it was night time. I have seen chicks relax and maybe sort of nap but this was turning the head back and tucking the beak under the wing sleeping no matter if there is a commotion as I come by the pen or not.

All the symptoms fit infectious coryza. I even think the bird was brought here ten days ago or there about. A couple of days ago I witnessed a few chicks picking at the beak of the older chick and I knew that was not good. But by that time you can't put the paste back in the tube.

So I will now prepare a fire, go kill the chicks and burn their carcasses. We will have to give it some time and start a fresh. After I dispose of these birds I will change and immediately wash my clothing. Clean out the brooder and begin to sterilize everything. Give it at least four weeks probably will be better to do five and start it up again maintaining small numbers and no introductions to birds from other places.
I think there's a big difference between the overuse of antibiotics and the prudent use of them. Before there were meds like those, lots and lots of creatures died. Moderation and prudence is the responsible way to handle them.

I hope your others come through okay. I'm sorry it's turned out this way. :(

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