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Can respiratory problems run their course?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by roseygirl, Oct 16, 2014.

  1. roseygirl

    roseygirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 7, 2014
    Three Rivers, CA
    Hi,

    I purchased some pullets back in July. The next day we got them we noticed rattling breathing, excessive yawning, runny eyes. Since then, it has spread to most of the flock, while many seem to have not been affected at all. By mid September, they seemed much much better, and got more chickens. Now it is middle of October and the first chickens that were sick seem completely over it, but the new chickens are starting to get the swollen eyes and yawning. I have been searching through the threads and all I have really seen is that treatment with antibiotics doesn't really work that well in a flock this size (35) and the best thing is to kill all the chickens and burn the coops. Some thread responses say wait three weeks before getting new chickens, some say a year, and others say I can never get chickens again on my property. That sucks because I love having them!
    So, I'm wondering if it is possible that they are just passing a cold around? The original sickies recovered and are totally fine now, but a few of the new ones are showing those same symptoms. Some are not sick at all. Yet.
    None have spiralled downhill lIke I've read in other threads.

    Thank you!!!
     
  2. papoultrytech

    papoultrytech New Egg

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    Oct 16, 2014
    kittanning, pa
    Well i just read your post and you mentioned swollen eyes and runny discharge and you just brought in new birds to the flock and they caught it. Have you had any loss in the flock? This is sounding like LT or laryngotracitice which is a contagious disease. You can control it by feeding this mixture of feed, a medicated starter feed with amprolium in it along with areomycin crumbles and put terra vet in the water and treat the whole flock for roughly 10 days. Then if you happen to bring in anymore which i dont approve of becsuse these birds are cariers now but if you do then you must vacinate against it to stop any more spreading of it. Also these birds you have now can not be shown at shows because they can spread it to other birds then cause a quarentine of all the birds there.
     
  3. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Jacksonville, Florida
    Chickens dont get colds, they get a specific disease. Birds that survive respiratory diseases are carriers for life and will spread whatever disease it is to newly acquired birds. Even though some of your birds arnt showing symptoms now, eventually some type of stress will set them off showing symptoms again in the future. You might be dealing with Infectious Bronchitis (IB) or perhaps a mild strain of Mycoplasma Gallisepticum (MG.) There isnt any treatment for IB because it is a virus and antibiotics would be ineffective. If it's MG, tylan would be the best choice. The only way to tell for sure what you're dealing with is to submit your sickest bird for testing or necropsy. You can contact your local extension office or your state agriculture office to find out how to get either performed.
    Practice biosecurity; maintain a closed flock. No new birds in, no existing birds out and no giving away or selling eggs to be hatched. Respiratory diseases can be transmitted on your person, clothing shoes, vehicles etc...avoid swap meets, poultry shows etc...
     
  4. roseygirl

    roseygirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 7, 2014
    Three Rivers, CA
    Thank you so much. None have died in the 2 and a half months that this started, and the first ones that got sick just got over it, are fine now and laying great. It just seems to be going around and not terribly bad. I switched them to medicated starter/grower since they are sick and more protein for the ones that are molting now. I'll check on availability of that medicine from my vet today.

    I just got freaked out because most of the threads and posts I've read seem to say that any respiratory infection is a death sentence. I'm not planning on showing any birds but I do have eggs in the incubator. I'll do some research on vaccinating the chicks. Thank you
     
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    I doubt it's Infectious Laryngotracheitis (ILT.) Normally there would be blood slung all over the place if it were ILT. Additionally medicated starter feed wont treat ILT. You're correct about birds remaining carriers of the disease. It would be best to cull birds with ILT.
    I'm leaning towards IB.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2014
  6. roseygirl

    roseygirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 7, 2014
    Three Rivers, CA
    Ok so once this reappears due to a stressor, the bird may become sicker than the first time and die? Can these birds possibly live for awhile without dying?
     
  7. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Since they are laying, have you noticed if their eggshells are wrinkly or if there are watery whites when you crack the eggs open? If not, it's most likely MG and not IB.
    Also because they are in molt, I recommend that you purchase gamebird feed which is 22%-26% protein and feed that to your birds rather than the medicated starter. Once they're done with molt, wean them off the gamebird feed back to regular layer feed.
     
  8. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    It really depends what disease and type of strain it is. This is where the testing would be best to let you know what's going on.
     
  9. roseygirl

    roseygirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 7, 2014
    Three Rivers, CA
    No watery whites. I just read that ib can run it's course any many people treat with antibiotics for secondary infections.

    Another thing to note is that this is not spreading fast at all. Over half the birds have still not displayed any symptoms at all.
     
  10. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Yes, they can live a long time but it all depends on exactly what they have. Some of these diseases are worse then others in terms of how often they come back and how bad they are. Whether they are viral or bacterial complications are what often kills the bird rather then the disease itself. Secondary bacterial infections and pneumonia are extremely common with any kind of respiratory issue.

    We had an outbreak of infectious bronchitis here 3 years ago. I only had 8 birds at the time, treated them all as they became symptomatic, they all survived and went on to lead normal lives. Lost a couple hens to cancer, reproductive problems etc. since then. Still have some of those birds, they are 5 1/2 years old now, the two hens still lay. But we did have testing done so we knew what we were dealing with.

    I would highly suggest having one of your birds necropsied by a state poultry lab. Or if you have access to an avian vet have some blood work and other labs done. If you can get a diagnosis so you know exactly what you are dealing with here it will make it a lot easier to know how to treat and manage it or whether you should cull
     

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