chickens coughing, watery eyes, not eating, one died

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chaya143, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. chaya143

    chaya143 New Egg

    Mar 25, 2011
    Just bought 5 chickens from a breeder (8 months- 1.5 years old). When we got them home, one was lethargic, not eating, had watery (bubbles) around eyes and was coughing. It appeared to be getting better so I wasn't too worried, but then it died. Now I have the same symptoms in 2 of the 4 remaining chickens. I isolated the worst one- she is not eating at all and sleeps all day. I'm afraid she will die of starvation. Any suggestions for over the counter treatment or a way to force feed her? We do not have a chicken vet and have never had sick chickens before so not sure what to do.
  2. chickenzoo

    chickenzoo Emu Hugger

    If possible return them to breeder. Sounds like a bad respiratory infection , in which many are spread easily to other birds and affected birds can remain carriers. If returning is not possible, and these chickens are being used as pets and you understand that any other bird brought in may contact the infection long after first birds recover, and you understand that it can spread by dander or fecal/ saliva , or through egg, to feed stores or other bird lovers if you wear the same clothes/shoes from your yard to theirs after handling birds and you can be careful, then you can try and treat them with Tylan 50 injectable for cattle. You can find it at Tractor supply company. 1/4 - 1/2 cc per bantam, 1/2 - 1 cc per adult. You can inject under the skin with a small 22 gauge needle or you can try dribbling down beak, but be careful not to let any go into the hole right behind tongue. Keep them warm, if they are not eating try mixing some poultry nutri drench vitamin with warm water in a syringe and injecting just under skin were neck & shoulders meet until it makes a ball of liquid under it. This will get some nutrients in them. Try giving some warm scrambled eggs or warm canned dog food. It sounds like possible MG infection, do a search on it to gather some more info as it is a lot to understand..... Containing them in a pen covered with shade cloth all the way to the ground, will help prevent transmission to other poultry. Best wishes.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2011
  3. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

    Apr 15, 2009
    Chickenzoo covered all the bases, but I would strongly urge you to return those birds to their former owner. Respiratory illnesses are nothing to mess about with. They are usually highly contagious and often render birds carriers for life. Even if the birds survive the acute infection, they are frequently ill and not thrifty for the remainder of their lives. Any stress in their lives could make for a recurrence of the symptoms leading to additional time and expense on your part. Time and money I am sure you don't have to spare (like the rest of us). Chicken keeping should be a pleasure, not a pain. By taking in someone's infected birds you are risking turning a great hobby into a onerous and expensive task with little return.

    Just my 2 cents. Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
  4. chicks@feathers

    [email protected] Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 24, 2011
    i agree with takeing them back if you can. Had the same problem last year before i could get it under control I lost over 100 chicken between that and 3 bobcats. Boy did they eat well for a while.
  5. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    I would take them back to the breeder it sounds like a respiratory illness which if what I have read is that they might recover but they will carriers for life and there for any birds you sale or bring in will also be exposed to it the stress of moving can bring this illness out. I hope you have not introduced these birds to any of your other birds. Good luck.
  6. chaya143

    chaya143 New Egg

    Mar 25, 2011
    Thanks for the responses. I could not get a call back from the breeder, but these posts really scared me so I found a vet who would test for MG. The chicken I tested was positive and I was worried that I was going to have to euthanize them or get rid of my chicks (who are still inside) so they would not get it too. The state ag rep came to my house this morning to "officially" quarantine my chickens. It sounds scarier than it is- all I got was a piece of paper and had to agree to not let them leave my property. He said if they don't get better (they are on Tylan, plus I found out at the vet they had capillaria so I need to de-worm them every few months) that he recommends euthanizing them. If they do get better he thought I could eventually introduce the chicks to them and they will most likely be ok- since there are very few MG free hatcheries in the country I can't guarantee they don't have it already.

    I was very upset about this at first, but the thing no one seemed to be saying, but both the vet and ag agent were implying was that MG is extremely common and that the majority of chickens have it. I'm just one of the few who actually bothered to pay for the test (which the vet nearly talked me out of b/c she knew it would lead to more headache- i.e. quarantine). MG comes out when they are stressed (like during a move). If it wasn't for all the money spent at the vet and the stress of the sick chickens I might feel bad that the ag agent will be visiting the breeder and most likely quarantine his chickens which I can imagine is not good for business.

    I will take precautions to not spread it any more, but it seems this is not the end of the world (or my flock).

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