chicken not active, sneezing, drooling, runny eys and nostrils, trouble breathing

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by brummie, Oct 24, 2013.

  1. brummie

    brummie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2013
    I bought 2 bantam chocolate orpingtons into my flock of 10 large fowl. They had a hard time settling down and after almost 4 weeks they just about seem to be settling down into the flock now although a couple of the LF can still be mean to them.

    Before I bought them, they were laying, the previous owner told me. They are currently 28 weeks old (bought them at 24 weeks).
    Anyway, they stopped laying for me, have not layed a single egg, which I put down to stress of having to settle into a new house and new flock, and also the fact that it is coming into winter.

    2 days ago I found 2 soft shelled eggs, the really soft ones where the shell is like stretchy and skin like, one in the nest box still in tact and the other smashed on the droppings board. I am 99% certain it was these bantams who layed those 2 eggs due to various factors (coincidence they both re-started to lay on the same day?). I had given them pro-biotic yoghurt the day before.

    Now two days later, one of the banties is not active, just stands around most of the time, closing its eyes as if it is going to sleep, is sort of making noises that is like a cross between a sneeze and cough, is drooling from it's mouth and a little seems to be coming from nostrils and eyes also. I is also opening it's mouth many times as if it is trying to breath. Maybe it's having trouble breathing?

    I have looked around various forums for these symptoms, but i'm not clear what the problem could be.

    I have tried to massage the crop and hold the bantie upside down, and when i hold it upside down and massage crop area a whole load of drool comes out, almost like it's been sick. I tried feeling for any stuck eggs but did not seem to notice anything, but then i'm a newb at this so might have missed it completely, plus it's extra hard with the over feathered orpingtons. I cleaned out the nostrils a little, they seemed to be blocked with mud somewhat, but not made much difference.

    Now, to top things off, the other banti has started to act in exactly the same way(it was very active this morning when the other banty seemed ill) with the same symptoms!?
    Do you think they both have got stuck eggs? I find it strange 2 days ago they both seem to have layed the soft shelled eggs, and now they both seem to be showing same sickness symptoms. What could it be? All my LF seem fine and happy.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I would separate those sick ones immediately as they could have a respiratory (chronic) illness that can pass to your flock. It may be too late as of course the other chickens have been exposed, but being exposed and catching it are two different things.

    You might want to look up mycoplasma gallisepticum (chronic respiratory disease)- it can render a chicken an asymptomatic carrier and also pass through the egg to the chick. If you get them out of there right now you may prevent infecting your flock in my opinion.

    Some people cull chickens with respiratory illness and others treat with Tylan and other meds. I am not the person to tell you what to do here but if it were me I'd cull them (and any other chickens that appear to have a "cold" in the flock).

    As far as egglaying goes, if they are ill with this, it wouldn't be surprising to have their egglaying be stopped/softshell laying occurring.

    diagnosis charts at bottom...look up mycoplasma

    In order to tell for sure what it is you would have to either have a blood test done at a vet from my understanding, or send one off for a necropsy (autopsy) can contact your state vet or county extension agent if needed.
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
  3. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I just thought of something...gapeworm also makes it difficult for them to breathe but I don't know if it also would create all those secretions coming from the nose etc. and the sounds you are hearing.
  4. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    I think that they have a respiratory disease. Respiratory diseases are especially common in winter. The symptoms that your birds are exhibiting sound like those of a respiratory disease. Its unlikely that it is gapeworm, as it is rare, and wouldn't have come on this suddenly.

    I'd get some antibiotics, as many respiratory diseases are caused by bacteria. Tylan50 is one of the best antibiotics for respiratory diseases. It can usually be purchased rather easily at most livestock supply stores. It is usually given as an injection, though it can be given orally (the injection is better). Give 1cc for large fowl/large birds, and .5ccs for bantams/small birds. Inject it into the breast muscle, once daily, using small 20-22 gauge needles, for five days.

    If you don't want to do any injecting, get a water soluable antibiotic like Duramycin or Terramycin. But, injectable antibiotics are better, as they deliver the medication to the bird quicker and don't require the bird to be drinking anything (sick birds often don't drink much).

    Definitely isolate the sick birds. Respiratory diseases can spread rapidly, sometimes infecting whole flocks. Keep them warm, out of drafts, and well fed/hydrated. Give elelctrolytes and vitamins, but not probiotics if using antibioitics.
  5. brummie

    brummie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2013
    Thanks guys.

    I was hoping it would not be something as serious.

    One of the chickens seems to be recovering already (the one that became ill second). The original ill banty is still quite ill. I was looking around for respiratory antibiotics, but there does not seem to be much here in the UK. Just some herbal stuff to make them breathe better which I might try. I will see how it goes tommorow, they've all gone to roost now. I did make the ill banty puke up a lot before going to roost (not sure if that was a good idea) incase it was a crop issue, but she still seemed to be showing breathing problems after.

    I'm beginning to lose faith in orpingtons. These are my only 2 Orps. They don't seem to be very disease resistant. A lot of the threads I've read in this diseases section seem to be for orpingtons (or is that because there's more Orpingtons in a back yard than other breeds?).
  6. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I have had lots of Orps and they never have caught a respiratory disease...I wouldn't blame it on the breed personally if it were me but everyone has differing experiences.

    However, there are some breeds rumored to be more resistant to maybe there is something to that after all, in a way. For example, Fayoumis.
  7. brummie

    brummie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2013
    I gave them a global herbs "breathe free" liquid mixture to see if it would make any difference in their breathing as I can only get antibiotics off the vet here. That seemed to make a slight difference.

    After looking around a lot online today I really thought they had gapeworm with the way they were breathing (the second banty is showing signs of the illness again). So I gave them Verm X pellets and Apple cider vinegar and ordered Flubenvet online, as I could not get it anywhere near me.

    But now I'm back to thinking it is not gapeworm but some sort of respiratory disease again, becasue they are not stretching the necks much like the chickens with gapeworm do, and gapewrom affected chickens do not seem to stand around all day either. My banties are acting almost exactly like this chicken so I do think it is a respiratory infection now for sure. They also seeming to be coughing like this a lot

    And there is quite a bad smell coming from their mouths when I opened their beak to give them verm x and acv.

    Also, lots of clear mucus which is somewhat foamy from mouth of the really ill banty, especailly after i massage its crop and tilti it almost upside down. If it was gapeworm it would not have the mucus issue would it?

    So with those extra bits of info, do you guys think you can pretty much confirm it is not gapeworm, but a respiratory infection? I just don't want it to be a wasted trip to the vets if it is only gapeworm, for which I can get a good de wormer.
  8. brummie

    brummie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 30, 2013
    Well, I took a torch and looked down the chicken throat but could not see anything that would resemble gapeworms in the really ill banty. I also took a Q tip and put it down the the throat, but nothing came out on that either that would resemble gapeworm. I did this a couple of times. So I guess it is respiratory disease, either mycoplasma or coryza most likely from what I have read.

    NOw the rest of my flock seems infected. They are all snicking/sneezing, althought the other symptoms are not there yet.

    Can I eat their eggs if they are infected like this and if I decide to cull the entire flock, can I cook and eat them?
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013
  9. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    With the bad smell from them, I would suspect coryza. I would cull the sick birds and either incinerate them or bury them very deep in soil. Your other birds (if they were together) are now carriers even though they may not appear sick.
  10. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Overrun With Chickens

    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
    Tylan 50 is to be administered at .5 cc under the skin on the back of the neck. If the bird is 5 lbs or larger an additional .5 cc should be given in the breast muscle. I'd never recommend injectibles be given orally to newer people because of the risk of aspiration. That's why Tylan 50 comes in a soluble powder form to be added to water.

    If it is Coryza, which has a secondary symptom, CRD, Tylan50 won't do much. Sulfadimethoxine will treat Coryza, so meds must be changed in order to treat one or the other. Once symptoms of Coryza are treated and disappear, and the respiratory symptoms still exist, it is recommended to use Tylan.

    People have also had success in treating CRD for flock treatment by getting a bag of Gallimycin powder (erythromycin) and Chlortetracycline soluble powder. You take equal parts of both and mix them together dry in a jar. You then add 1 tsp per gallon of water, making a fresh solution each day for 14 days.

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