Cockerel lost its crow and couldn’t breathe

Jan 4, 2020
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Arlington Washington
I have no idea what happened, but my Ayam Cemani cockerel started to get what sounded like a “sore throat” about a week ago. I don’t know the exact day, but it was a gradual decline. His breathing was a bit girgly sounding. Only other thing weird with him was a swollen foot a couple weeks ago. It was hot to the touch, but closely checked it out and didn’t see a single sore, cut or infection. Don’t know if bumble foot is a thing in western Washington, but that wasn’t it either.

Assuming it was something minor, I was going to let it just run it’s course. I went camping for a couple days and had my daughter taking care of the birds. She said that Speck the Cemani was gasping for air on Sunday. All day. I didn’t get home until Monday, but started reading everything possible to find something for him.

When I got home on Monday it was so bad that he was almost passing out. Every breath was a struggle. Raspy sounding, mouth open, sounded like barely any air was getting into his lungs. Hopped in the car and went to TS to see if I could find something to help before he died. Read and read the forum, google searches, etc. purchased Duramycin by Durvet. Which is Oxytetracycline. Administered 1/2 cc subcutaneously at the back of his neck (I read that it can burn if injected into the breast muscle). And I didn’t want to do it wrong, as I’ve only given dogs immunizations this way.

I didn’t give him anything this morning and went to work. Came home to find him eating, half way crowing (before silence came out of his mouth), and mounting his favorite hen. Basically back to normal with a raspier voice. I gave him another 1/2 cc of Duramycin just to be safe.

What is this?! I did what was done in a panic as I didn’t want to lose him. But not even sure what I’m treating. Called vets in the area, but no one looks at chickens.

This is concerning, as I heard a couple raspy voices in the coop today when putting them up for the night. Whatever he had the others are getting?
 

Eggcessive

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It sounds like he has a respiratipory disease. Infectious bronchitis, mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG,) ILT, and coryza are common ones. It sounds like he is better after the Duramycin. Can you post pictures of his feet side by side and the bottom of his sore foot?
 
Jan 4, 2020
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Thank you. I can do this later today. I’ll try to get a video of the others. Would like to know what it is so I can treat everyone properly. Will give some other vets out of the area a call as well.
 
Jan 4, 2020
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Arlington Washington
Tried to get photos of his feet back after that post, but none of them turned out.

All of my birds are now showing signs of the same respiratory illness. Some I have had to administer more antibiotics to.

Coughing sounds or hacking sounds
Rough breathing
Sneezing
Wheezing
Gasping for air in the bad ones
Clear watery like discharge, but not in all of them

Worst part, one of my young emus is now wheezing. This is horrible and want it to just go away:barnie

Cockerels left foot is the swollen one
D51F776B-75E5-4DBB-A84E-088EA45DE6E3.jpeg

5D1AA0A6-28DE-4272-BE21-68659D907B2E.jpeg


Coops are clean and dry, outside will get muddy sometimes (western Washington), but I add woodchips when necessary.

Everyone is fed organic grower and hens have oyster shell provided. Emus are on Mazuri emu feed, but help themselves to chicken feed when they’re out. Water changed daily as the ducks are extremely messy. 4 Pekin and 4 khakis all show signs of the illness as well.

About 15 pullets should be laying soon, 5 cockerels, one large rooster and 8 hens laying.

Is it worth putting any treatment in their water? If it’s viral, seems pointless. Can treat the birds with antibiotics individually when needed. I’m so confused, as everything was just fine then bam. Birds are sick and almost dying.

Three older birds adopted, majority of the rest were hatched months after I acquired the older birds, two pullets from a feed store months ago.

Ideas on what to do?
 

Sullysul

In the Brooder
Apr 13, 2020
33
4
13
Tried to get photos of his feet back after that post, but none of them turned out.

All of my birds are now showing signs of the same respiratory illness. Some I have had to administer more antibiotics to.

Coughing sounds or hacking sounds
Rough breathing
Sneezing
Wheezing
Gasping for air in the bad ones
Clear watery like discharge, but not in all of them

Worst part, one of my young emus is now wheezing. This is horrible and want it to just go away:barnie

Cockerels left foot is the swollen one
View attachment 2188262
View attachment 2188264

Coops are clean and dry, outside will get muddy sometimes (western Washington), but I add woodchips when necessary.

Everyone is fed organic grower and hens have oyster shell provided. Emus are on Mazuri emu feed, but help themselves to chicken feed when they’re out. Water changed daily as the ducks are extremely messy. 4 Pekin and 4 khakis all show signs of the illness as well.

About 15 pullets should be laying soon, 5 cockerels, one large rooster and 8 hens laying.

Is it worth putting any treatment in their water? If it’s viral, seems pointless. Can treat the birds with antibiotics individually when needed. I’m so confused, as everything was just fine then bam. Birds are sick and almost dying.

Three older birds adopted, majority of the rest were hatched months after I acquired the older birds, two pullets from a feed store months ago.

Ideas on what to do?

did you figure out what was going on? I have a very similar situation developing. I’m stressed.
 
Jan 4, 2020
1,230
4,749
336
Arlington Washington
did you figure out what was going on? I have a very similar situation developing. I’m stressed.

I bought antibiotics and administered it subcutaneously in the back of the neck/shoulder area, but only in the birds that got to the point they couldn’t breathe. With the rest I just let it move through the flock. I have about 50ish chickens, 9 ducks, 5 turkey and 2 emu.

I used a 22 gauge needle and administered 1/2 cc for smaller birds and 1 cc for cockerels. 4 cockerels, 3 ducks and 1 emu needed the antibiotics. The rest did not get any.

The Ayam Cemani cockerel that had it the worst now has a raspy crow. But that’s the only long term issue with him. The rooster I adopted from an older couple is the one who gave it to all of my younger birds. He had a raspy crow when I got him but thought nothing of it. Live and learn!

After dealing with the respiratory issue for a couple of months now, I have a few suggestions that might help.

Get an antibiotic you can administer, but ONLY for the birds that become very ill, most likely from a secondary infection. As what I had and still have going through my flock is a virus. The only ones I administered antibiotics to were gasping for air with every breath. Let the rest of them work their way through the illness. Some of the hens acted broodie, but were actually just laying low while they recovered. I left them alone in the nest boxes and after a few weeks they hopped out like nothing had happened.

After calling several vets, no one treated and dealt with poultry. But if you can find a vet to test one of your birds, then you’ll know exactly what you’re dealing with/treating for.
 
Last edited:

Sullysul

In the Brooder
Apr 13, 2020
33
4
13
I bought antibiotics and administered it subcutaneously in the back of the neck/shoulder area, but only in the birds that got to the point they couldn’t breathe. With the rest I just let it move through the flock. I have about 50ish chickens, 9 ducks, 5 turkey and 2 emu.

I used a 22 gauge needle and administered 1/2 cc for smaller birds and 1 cc for cockerels. 4 cockerels, 3 ducks and 1 emu needed the antibiotics. The rest did not get any.

The Ayam Cemani cockerel that had it the worst now has a raspy crow. But that’s the only long term issue with him. The rooster I adopted from an older couple is the one who gave it to all of my younger birds. He had a raspy crow when I got him but thought nothing of it. Live and

After dealing with the respiratory issue for a couple of months now, I have a few suggestions that might help.

Get an antibiotic you can administer, but ONLY for the birds that become very ill, most likely from a secondary infection. As what I had and still have going through my flock is a virus. The only ones I administered antibiotics to were gasping for air with every breath. Let the rest of them work their way through the illness. Some of the hens acted broodie, but were actually just laying low while they recovered. I left them alone in the nest boxes and after a few weeks they hopped out like nothing had happened.

After calling several vets, no one treated and dealt with poultry. But if you can find a vet to test one of your birds, then you’ll know exactly what you’re dealing with/treating for.

Thank you. That is very helpful. Did you use Tylan 50?
 

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