Cockerel wheezy, is it serious?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Goldenpheasantlover, Jun 4, 2012.

  1. Goldenpheasantlover

    Goldenpheasantlover Songster

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    So I noticed yesterday that my Ixworth cockerel has quite rattly breathing. I was a little concerned but he wasn't showing any other symptoms. This morning when I went to check on them I noticed that one of the hens (there are 4 hens in total) had also started with the rattly breathing. She also had a very dirty vent area and did quite a watery poo. Apart from that they all seem very bright and alert and are eating and drinking well. They aren't hunched at all either. Am I making a big deal out of nothing or could it be serious?


    *The affected birds are Ixworths and are estimated to be about 4 or 5 years old. Not sure of their weight but they don't appear skinny or overweight
    *They have rattly breathing (kind of a gurgle), dirty vent areas and watery droppings. Their beaks are not being held open and they are not hunched or ruffled
    *I first noticed the symptoms yesterday
    *As far as I can tell only the cockerel and one of the hens are showing symptoms
    *They have been eating their regular layers pellets and drinking plain water. No additives. Will regularly switch them onto Flubenvet impregnated pellets to worm them
    *The poo is quite watery and runny. Fairly green but I think it is a normal green colour
    *I haven't administered any treatment so far[FONT=Verdana, Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]. I don't think it is serious enough to warrant taking them to the vets, but I'm not sure what kind of home remedies I could use[/FONT]
    *They are in a large shed and a weakly scented, finely chopped hay is used as bedding
     
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Where did you get these birds? How long have you had them? Any new birds come in lately? Do they free-range? Are they exposed to wild birds?

    Weakly scented hay? What is that?
     
  3. terryg

    terryg Songster

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    Anytime a bird has a respiratory issue it's serious. The runny manure is also a sign of illness. You can get avian antibiotics at a feed store. I have a FAQ about respiratory ailments in chickens here: http://hencam.com/faq/respiratory-diseases/
     
  4. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    Whatever it is, it should be treated as serious. Some respiratory illnesses work fast and are extremely virulent, and as I've learned from my own experience, others are quite different.

    This is what I'm dealing with, currently: https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/...rgling-rales-when-breathing-no-other-symptoms

    But I highly recommend you isolate birds with symptoms and start trying to pin down what you're dealing with for the sake of the rest of the flock and all future chickens.
     
  5. Goldenpheasantlover

    Goldenpheasantlover Songster

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    CMV - We got the birds at a poultry auction about 3 years ago, and no new birds have been introduced recently. These are the only birds we have at the moment, and while they don't fully free range they have a very large enclosed area outside that would allow them to be exposed to wild birds.

    RedDrgn - I'll try isolating the symptomatic ones. The problem is that I'm not sure we have anyone near us that can do tests for things. Our local vet can treat poultry, but I don't know how their practice works so I'm not sure if they would be able to send samples off etc. Also, what did you do with that hen in the end? Was she just reintroduced back into the flock?
     
  6. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    I'd call the vet and at at least ask about it. Testing is very inexpensive ($15 for blood test for us), and knowing exactly what you may be dealing with is priceless.

    We're not at "the end" with that hen, yet. She completed her antibiotic (chlorotetracycline) treatment today and has been asymptomatic for 12 consecutive days now. She's eating and drinking normally and laying as well as she always has (5-6 eggs/week). We're consulting with the vet who initially looked at her later today and we will make our decision from there. At this point, we're leaning towards returning her to the flock and keeping her because it's highly likely that the rest of the flock are already carriers, the disease is endemic (and particularly prevalent in our region) and we have no means by which to keep our flock indoors 24/7 (nor want to). Our flock is strictly fun/hobby/pets, so no production/profit to be jeopardized nor exposure to other chickens. So I think they will simply be a closed flock, and unless anyone starts showing chronic symptoms, we'll let them live out their lives.
     
  7. scwheeler24

    scwheeler24 In the Brooder

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    this is hard. I had 3 showing these signs. Did tons of researching online and discovered it had to be a type of bronchitis/crv. I treated them with a duramycin, didn't do anything, decided to take them to the vet, he prescribed Baytril injections. Did this, it came back in a few days. It killled me but we dispatched the three. The same day I heard a fourth one start to sneeze, we just went ahead and did that one too.
    Here in lies the problem. Research and the vet says that even if they get better, they will become carriers forever, and expose birds and other fowls you bring in and around you. He also said the rest of my flock will be carriers as well. So, do I cull them all, and start over? you have to clean and treat the coop AND the yard. So you get a new flock and they could easily be a carrier or start showing signs as well. I read all(or up to 90%) carry the (I don't know the technical term) bacteria?? somewhat, but arent carriers or sick till stress, change of food, weather can bring it out. The only way to know for sure is to have them swab tested, I read that is about $20 a bird.
    I decided not to cull the rest of my flock. If one start showing symptoms, we will. Then come spring we have a choice to cull them all and start over and hope the new ones aren't carriers or just try and add to them with fingers crossed.
    I also have a pet bird that I have stressed over immensely. You can carry this on your clothes, shoes, hair etc. It is extremely contagious. Basically I probably shouldn't have chickens at all but I will take that chance.
    Some people will tell you to cull them all. I don't necessarily disagree with them. But if you choose to keep them, you must never give any of them away or chicks if you have them. You must keep them and if you visit a farm or other chicken people to make sure you have clean fresh clothes and shoes. And always change to fresh clothes if you ever visit a chicken or other farm, always, for the health of your flock. I wish you well with your decision, do some research, only you will be able to make that decision. I find a lot of different answers out there, and have to wonder if a lot more people have it and just never say. Btw, my two skiddish EE's were the first to get them, probably stress, then my 2 SS. All my turkens are fine so far, and it's been over a month. Not to say they don't have it and just not showing signs or carriers, I am aware of that people. Oh, sorry forgot, wild birds can be carriers, how in the world do you contain that unless you keep them in a very secure run to keep out birds. If they free range, well I guess you are out of luck. See where I am going, it's almost a losing battle I feel.
     
  8. Goldenpheasantlover

    Goldenpheasantlover Songster

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    RedDrgn - I'll ring them up tomorrow. Right now I have to find a space to keep the poorly ones. And like you they're just pets, so it'snot as if the whole flock will have to go.

    Scwheeler - I have chicks indoors as well. I have been washing my hands before handling them at all, but if it can be carried on your clothes too then should I wear an overcoat or something? It sounds over the top saying it, but these are pretty much the only two chicks I've hatched this year. Can it spread to a chick still developing in the egg if you handle the egg? I've got a couple of geese and some chicken eggs in the incubator and I wouldn't want them to die (especially since the geese are so hard to incubate). Also, the chicken eggs are from the Ixworths, so can the illness be passed on from mother to egg?
    Sorry for so many questions...
     
  9. RedDrgn

    RedDrgn Anachronistic Anomaly

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    We're keeping ours in a large dog crate. Pretty handy, but anything like it will do.

    Technically, yes, you should change clothes and shoes between interactions; wash hands very thoroughly as well. Also, several respiratory diseases, including the MG I'm dealing with can pass from hen to chick through the egg, so they hatch as carriers. [​IMG]
     

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