Chickens sick and so are we

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Serina81, Dec 19, 2011.

  1. Serina81

    Serina81 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Lucerne Valley, CA
    So I was really really really REALLY stupid and took some chickens from neighbors who were moving and put them in with my flock. WHAT was I thinking? Of course now some sickness is sweeping through my chickens and everyone in my family is horribly sick too. Bird and human alike, we all seem to have cold symptoms. The birds make rattling noises when they crow or squawk and some make them just when they're breathing. A few have foam or crusty eyes and the really bad ones had totally crusted beaks. Nobody's died yet and it's been going on for a few weeks now, although a few looked borderline. I decided to try shots of penicillin and so far the borderliners are still alive-the eyes and beaks cleared up too although there's still the rattling when they breath. Not sure if it's the penicillin or not that helped. Any suggestions?
  2. ICallMyselfCherie'

    ICallMyselfCherie' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Okay . . . I'm willing to bet that there is about .0001% chance that your family and your chickens have the same illness. Your birds however, do sound pretty sick. It sounds like possibly mycoplasma gallisepticum, infectious bronchitis, or coryza. Does the discharge smell bad?

    At any rate, I don't think the penicillin is going to help much. Penicillin fights bacterial infections, not viruses. People usually give it to chickens who have had an injury to keep it from getting infected.
  3. ICallMyselfCherie'

    ICallMyselfCherie' Chillin' With My Peeps

    Also, I know you were worried about your chickens, and boy is it hard to take care of chickens when you're not feeling well yourself, but I just thought I'd say that it is generally not a good idea to give antibiotics unless you have a pretty good idea that your bird (or human) has something actually treatable by that antibiotic. Administration of antibiotics under unnecessary circumstances contributes to the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria, gradually causing the antibiotic to become ineffective.

    (Edited for clarity.)
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
  4. fancyfeathers38

    fancyfeathers38 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 15, 2011
    It sounds a bit like CRD (Cronic Resipary Disease) to me.
    I found this on the web, might be some help.


    Chronic Respiratory disease (CRD)

    The microorganisms of the class Mollicutes (Mycoplasma) were first identified in 1898 as the etiologic agent of the bovine contagious pleuropneumonia (BCPP) and thereafter, all similar agents were named pleuropneumonia-like (PPLO-like) organisms
    Avian Mycoplasmosis is caused principally by three species of Mycoplasma organisms. Mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG), Mycoplasma synoviae (MS) occur in chickens and turkeys. Mycoplasma meleagridis (MM) occurs in turkeys. Mycoplasma meleagridis may be seen in other species such as pheasant, quail, guineas, and pigeons. Mycoplasma synoviae causes infectious synovitis where as Mycoplasma gallisepticum causes chronic respiratory disease (CRD), which is a serious problem, particularly in chicken flocks.
    Since 1994, Mycoplasma. gallisepticum conjunctivitis has become an emerging disease in finches. This disease has been responsible for major declines in house finch populations in the eastern U.S., and was recently reported in western house finch populations. Mycoplasma gallisepticum can also affect other finch species, although its impact has not been as severe.

    Avian mycoplasmosis can be caused by several species of Mycoplasma (class Mollicutes, order Mycoplasmatales, family Mycoplasmataceae) including Mycoplasma gallisepticum, M. synoviae, M. meleagridis and M. iowae. M. gallisepticum is the most important pathogen in poultry. It also causes disease in other avian species. M. gallisepticum infections are also known as chronic respiratory disease (CRD) of chickens, infectious sinusitis of turkeys and house finch conjunctivitis. Several strains of M. gallisepticum have been reported, including the R (poultry), P (psittacine) and house finch strains. Strains may vary greatly in their pathogenicity for different species of birds. In one study, budgerigars developed severe disease after experimental infection with the R strain of M. gallisepticum but not the house finch strain.

    The disease is spread both vertically and horizontally.
    Vertical Transmission
    The organism can be incorporated into eggs by infected breeders and chickens hatched carrying the mycoplasma infection.
    Horizontal Transmission
    Disease transmission may also take place from direct contact with infected birds and will spread throughout the flock in this way. Transmission may also occur by contact of healthy birds with equipments contaminated by infected birds.

    Clinical signs
    In Layers / Breeders
    • Nasal and ocular discharge, (watery eyes) rattling in the wind pipes, coughing, gasping (dyspnea), sneezing and shaking of the hed.
    • Feed consumption drops off leading to decreased egg production and loss of weight.
    • Male birds frequently have the most prominent signs.
    • Reduced hatchability and chick viability.
    • Occassional encephalopathy and abnormal feathers
    In Broilers
    • Most outbreaks occur between 3rd and 6th weeks ofage.
    • Poor feed conversion, sharp decline in weight gain.
    • Slow growth
    • Leg problems
    • Morbidity rate fairly high but not great mortality.
    • often accompanied by swelling of the paranasal (infraorbital) sinus.
    • Conjunctivitis with a frothy ocular exudate
    • Production is lower in infected flocks, decreased weight gain, feed efficiency and egg production.

    • Disinfect the farm and equipments with right disinfectant.
    • Mycoplasmas are resistant to antibiotics that act on cell wall, such as penicillin, but are sensitive to tetracyclines (oxytetracycline, chlortetracycline and doxycycline), macrolides (erythromycin, tylosin, spiramycin, lincomycin, and kitasamycin), quinolones (imequil, norfloxacin, enrofloxacin and danofloxacin) or tiamulin. Drugs that accumulate in high concentrations in the mucosal membranes of the respiratory and genitourinary tracts, such as tiamulin and enrofloxacin
    For CCRD
    • If the mycoplasmosis is clubbed with other bacterial infections like E.coli administer Neomycin and Doxycycline through drinking water in addition to the above treatment for 3 to 5 days.
    For Chicks
    • Chicks arrived from known infected parent flocks should be treated with a suitable antibiotic during the first 48 hours after placement and then subsequently at 20 - 24 days for 24 to 48 hours period.
    • Efforts should be made to reduce dust and secondary infections. Improve the ventiliation for having good results of medicine.

    • Establishment of Mycoplasma free breeding flocks.
    • Treating infected hatching eggs with the antibiotic Tylosin to kill the organism contained in the eggs.
    • Before purchasing chicks from a hatchery, it should be confirmed that they are free from CRD.
    • Chicks should be raised at the place where there is no approach of infected birds.
    • Complete fencing of the breeding farms and sufficient isolation of prevent iarborne infections from infected flocks.
    • Using vaccines that are free from contamination of Mycoplasma gallisepticum.
    • Construction of the houses must be done in such a way that probibit the entrance of any type of wild birds and wandering animals.
    • Strict biosecurity measures should be adopted.


    VetRX can also help, it is the vics vapor rub of the chicken world.

    Hope it helped.
    Last edited: Dec 19, 2011
  5. ICallMyselfCherie'

    ICallMyselfCherie' Chillin' With My Peeps

    X2 M. Gallisepticum is also known as CRD and it does sound like that could be what your flock has.
  6. Serina81

    Serina81 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Lucerne Valley, CA
    That matches the symptoms, but it sound like a lot of the illnesses match the symptoms. I'm going to see if the local college will culture it and see what's going on. Just fyi, I initially thought the first chicken had gotten an eye infection from fighting and that's why I treatedwith penicillin, but it was pretty obvious quickly that something else was going on.
  7. ICallMyselfCherie'

    ICallMyselfCherie' Chillin' With My Peeps

    If they won't/can't do it, check here.

    That's the Davis branch's site I think, but it has links to other ones. At any rate, you can always mail things to Davis. I don't know all of the tests they do, but it is worth looking there because they do more tests than anyone I know in California.
  8. Serina81

    Serina81 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 5, 2009
    Lucerne Valley, CA
    Looks like it was viral pneumonia with a secondary bacterial infection in a couple of them. Nobody died so far. Believe it or not, the virus is still going around. We separated the sick birds and the main flock caught it anyways soon after. As soon as that flock was pretty much over it, the last separated flock go it (including the turkeys). These chickens are still fighting it.

    The biologist at the college says without a doubt we had what the chickens had as it is very common to get sick from your birds and we all had very similar symptoms at the same time (we meaning humans and birds).

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by