chicks with cold symptoms

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by tomahawklodge, Dec 11, 2010.

  1. tomahawklodge

    tomahawklodge In the Brooder

    Oct 24, 2009
    Burlington, NJ
    I have 11 bantam cochin chicks, two of which are 3 months old and the rest are 2 months old. About 2 weeks ago, I noticed that 4 of the birds had a swollen eye, either closed or nearly closed, with no detectable discharge. Most are eating well, except for one chick which has the infection in both eyes, and I'm assuming, has very limited vision. In the past few days, many of the chicks are now sneezing and have runny noses. Some of the birds with the swollen eyes are having the cold symptoms, and some are not, so I think I have multiple issues going on here. I have been using tetracycline hydrochloride powder in their drinking water for a week or so with no improvement. I have also treated the sickest chicks with injectable tylosin for three days now with no improvement. The injectible meds usually result in quick improvement when birds have respiratory infections. The symptoms of sneezing and runny noses seem much like a human cold which is, of course, untreatable with meds since it's a virus. So my questions are: do chickens get viral "colds?" Is there anything to treat this? Will the infection just run it's course and clear up or will these birds ultimately die? So far the chicks are all relatively strong despite the "cold" and swollen eye symptoms. The antibiotics are not touching the symptoms. What should I do?

  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    How do you know it was the right antibiotic, or whether one was needed? First step is to know what you are dealing with. Here's one source:
  3. ND

    ND Songster

    Jul 20, 2010
    Chickens don't get 'colds' exactly. They get respiratory diseases... a variety of which are lumped into the term CRD. (Chronic Respiratory Disease) It could be Coryza, or MG or...any of the handful that are lumped into the CRD catagory.

    No antibiotics will cure whatever disease they have... that will have to run it's course. Antibiotics help with any secondary infections caused by the disease, which is very common.

    They may or may not have multiple things going on... that can be fairly common... BUT, just because some show different symptoms than others doesn't necessarily mean that. Any given disease will list possible symptoms, but that doesn't mean all symptoms may be shown, or all symptoms shown by a few will be mirrored in all the others. It's quite possible that some will have sneezing, some won't. Some will have swollen, goopy eyes, some won't...a few may be lucky enough to show very few to NO symptoms but still be infected... and all of them have the same thing despite the varying degree of symptoms.

    Many of the antibiotics are pretty worthless for a number of these diseases and even the secondary infections caused by them. The infection is not sensitive to them. If you've used something for 3 days with absolutely NO improvement, it's not the right medication or class of medication for what you're dealing with. Tylan is usually helpful, not always. Baytril (Rx and costly) is another. I really like Denagard...a lot. More so than baytril for CRD/ far, actually.

    You do understand that CRD illnesses aren't 'curable' exactly, right? They will (usually) get over the symptoms and appear normal and better, but remain carriers. They WILL infect any healthy birds, and they may have more minor relapses in symptoms when under stress of various sorts. (or they may never again... hard to say) If you buy new birds or chicks, they'll infect them... even months/years after they appear perfectly normal. If you sell these birds, they'll infect other flocks... and so on. IF you just have your birds for eggs and pets, and they won't leave your property... it can be managed. If you wanted to breed/sell/show, the best thing to do is to cull ALL these birds, sanitize and wait some time to allow it to die off in the area, and start again.

    Do you know how these birds were exposed? Do you have older birds that are possible carriers? Have you brought in new birds in the last few days to 6 weeks or so? Did you hatch them or buy them as already started chicks? (hatching eggs can already be infected by a carrier hen, but the rate of that is much smaller than direct exposure)
    It'd be helpful to try to figure out where it came in... or if you have it in older birds... or else you'll just find yourself in the same position again with new chicks even if you did start over.

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