Coryza? What Am I In For? 1st Illness Ever In My Chickens


In the Brooder
9 Years
Jun 1, 2010
Based on what I've read here (& I'm so grateful for that!), I think my chickens are showing signs of coryza. I have about 30 chickens, Siklies & Bantams, a year & a half old, never sick til now. I took in 14 new hens that were being given away, about 2 months ago. One of those has always looked a bit sluggish & "off," but no other symptoms. I noticed a sitting hen had a watery eye that kept getting stuck closed; I tried to clean it, but it'd come back. I didn't walk my yard for the few days right at Christmas, just shut up the two roost houses at dark. Big mistake, I think. Also, it finally rained for several days here, so chickens were out in it. I found a Silkie rooster alone, weak, with one eye swollen shut and terrible odor from goopy nostril/beak. Eye worm? No, the smell sounds like coryza, correct?? But the one rooster is the only one with smelly discharge. We went to our feed store the next day and got tetracycline powder for all the water, and a few amoxycillin pills which we quickly ran out of. The next morning, a perfectly fit young adult guinea couldn't get up, struggling with every breath, but clear eyes and no other symptoms. He died before evening! We continue to change water and put tetracycline in it daily. Back to the feed store and got VetRx and injectable Tylosin. We now have 2 Silkie hens with one eye shut, no energy, sluggish, one Silkie rooster with no symptoms other than sluggishness, and the original Silkie rooster that smelled horrible, now a bit better with no new discharge, but still weak and one eye still swollen shut. I rub VetRx on all the heads and put a drop in the mouth. Today, we started injection with the Tylosin. Feed store manager seems very knowledgable, but am I doing right to give half a 1cc syringe dosage of the Tylosin? I'm afraid I'm going to overdose & kill them while trying to help, but I can't stand by and see more get sick if there's something I can do to help stop more from getting sick. The rest of the flock is acting fine, but I watch them. They seem to do better with our warm weather for the past 2 days, but it's going to get cold next week. Our chickens are pets and losing the guinea was very hard. What more can I do to help stop the spread? I have to rely on whatever my feed store has for medicines. I realize y'all aren't vets, and I do not hold anyone else responsible for advice, but based on your experience, I think I can learn from people who have gone through this before. I don't plan on culling my chickens, even though I've read that they will be carriers for life if they live. Do you think the chickens 2 months ago brought in this disease? Why no illness til now? Whatever help can be sent my way, I am very grateful for your input. Thanks so much.
I have dealt with eyeworm but not coryza, so I can add here that with eyeworm there was no odor. Also there was no nasal drainage or eye "drainage."

The affected eye turned cloudy and I saw the tiny stringy thing in the corner of the eye that never went away until treatment. This includes trying antibiotic ointment in the eye and general cleansing attempts.

After treatment (and retreatment) the eye cleared up completely and the stringy thing was no longer there.

They also became skinny and decreased food intake. After worming twice they were completely cured.

Here are a couple of links but you may have already seen all this information.
scroll down for coryza
diagnosis charts at bottom
ChickensAreSweet - Thanks for the links. I read them and I do think the bad odor with my Silkie rooster means it's coryza. Not eye worms. I think I'd rather have that to deal with instead of coryza ?!?! Now, my goal is to stop the spread if I can, and to possibly help the several that are already ill. Our chickens mean a lot to us, we know them individually, give them silly names, so when something happens, it lays heavy on us. Thanks for the information.
Chickens Ae Sweet: Thanks again; I went right to those pages and what a lot of good information! I'm thinking those free hens brought in the disease 2 months ago, or could it have come from our shoes, since our feedstore sells live birds? Right now, I think I am destined to have only what chickens are here now; I surely don't want to have to deal with raising new chicks in the future, getting attached to them, then having this disease break out by old carrier chickens! I'll continue to read whatever is put up here to help get through this. Thanks so much. Another question: I read that eggs should not be eaten for 45 days after the last tylosin injection. I'm throwing the eggs away now. That's another terrible aspect of this, that my healthy hens are giving beautiful eggs, but there's tetracycline in the water for all chickens, so I can't take a chance on eggs when I'm not sure who laid them. When can I think about keeping eggs, after this illness is resolved?
The eggs will be ok to eat after treatment. What you can do is save all the eggs from your flock and hatch them. While your eggs are in the incubator, cull your flock, and clean, and disinfect everything before the chicks hatch. You can have a fresh clean start with the new chicks. The disease do not pass from mother to embryo, so that is good news.

It does sounds like that the free hens had brought in the disease.
instead of throwing your eggs away you can boil them mash them complete with the shells and feed them to your girls. They love them and they are good for them. Good luck with the Croyza. My hens are also my pets and could not cull them, hence I have a couple of odd bods which make them even more special to me.
Famerboy 16 - Thanks for the egg hints, but my chicks would be mixed Siklies/Ameracauna (spelling?), don't want that, and I don't have an incubator other than sitting hens. But thanks for the possibility. No, No, I won't kill my chickens to start over. I'll keep it "closed" from now on, once this emergency is over.
Thelma - hummm...never thought of boiling the eggs to give back to the hens. I always save egg shells to give back. Maybe I'm doing something forbidden (hope not!!), but when an egg is cracked, I drop it and hens scurry to peck it up. I've never had trouble with them breaking eggs on purpose from developing a taste for it. I need to learn more about handling Coryza now that chickens have stopped getting sick. I need all the advice I can get!
Yes you want to scramble the eggs first or hard boil then chop before feeding them to the girls or they will learn the very bad egg-eating habit. You might want to check old threads by doing a BYC search for Tylan egg withdrawal time.
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