first time sick chickens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Beginner2015, Dec 6, 2014.

  1. Beginner2015

    Beginner2015 Out Of The Brooder

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    ok i raise several types of chickens and im just starting out
    i have some old English game bantums and a silkie that i have acquired over time (auctions and throwaways )
    and i was keepuing them outside but hawks killed like 10 of them so i kept them in a cage for awhile but it was getting a bit camped so my gandfather raised chickens for meat and he has his chicken houses that he just recently retired from and i started keeping them in there figuring that with the room they had they would be fine, and its been about a month or so and they they started sneezing and coughing and their noses are runny and clogged with dust
    the only thing ive been treating them with is Vet rx ive been giving it to them by rubbing it on their noses and squirting it in their mouths
    its been a day since o found two dead and last night two more died ( it was cold and rainy and they migh have just died from being wet but i hope there is somthing i can do to help them
    i moved them in the big pin with a few of my other chickens but i know they might be contageous but if the grass and fresh air heal them i figured it was worth the risk
    any ideas on treatment
     
  2. SweetJoy7

    SweetJoy7 Chillin' With My Peeps

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  3. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    (auctions and throwaways ) with no biosecurity/medical quarantine = respiratory problem
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
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  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    +1 You've most likely picked up some disease carriers by buying that way. Many folks, including myself, never, ever buy started birds, not even chicks, because of that risk.


    Quote: Vet Rx will not cure anything, first of all. It may relieve some symptoms temporarily, but that's all. It's not a medication, but like Vicks VapoRub.

    If you have carriers, you cannot cure what they have. Many chicken diseases are herpes viruses, which as you know, stay in the body forever. A virus cannot be eliminated by an antibiotic. Even if it is bacterial and you treat them with something like Tylan 50, that will still not fix the carrier status of your flock. Sad but true.

    Whatever you do, don't allow any birds to leave your place and be careful wearing clothes or shoes off your property that you've worn around your flocks so you do not spread what they have to anyone else's birds. Now, all you can do if you don't want to cull them is contain the disease to your flock and property and alleviate some symptoms in the ones you allow to live or that do survive.

    To be clear, we can't know for certain what you have going on without you having a bird actually testedd, but the way you acquired them all is pretty much the way many on BYC have brought disease into their flocks. Auctions, flea markets, throwaways, etc, are probably the worst way to get birds.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
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  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    It really is not worth the risk, you could lose the whole works or a great majority. And those that live may be unthrifty for the rest of their lives. You probably need to cull anything that is sick. Hopefully that is not your whole flock. I am thinking that you are asking for a magical medicine to cure all, but that can be expensive and the results not real good. The best way to keep a flock is to start healthy, and keep them that way. It may seem noble to collect throw away birds, but really it isn't.

    Highly stressed birds are very prone to sickness. Moving them, adding new birds, changes in diet, coops are all things that stress birds.

    If your own flock is healthy, and you get birds from a healthy flock, I am not a big fan of quarantine, most people do not have the set up to do it. If you don't do it right, you may as well not do it at all.

    However if you are getting birds from auctions and throw aways, they have been exposed to who knows what, and to add them to your flock, you are risking losing the whole flock, which is where, unfortunately I think you are right now. Bio security is about keeping birds from being exposed to bacteria and viruses. One needs a great deal of space between the groups of birds as in about 300 feet ( I think) and to completely change their clothing between choring between each group. To be honest, getting birds from auctions and wherever, makes my blood run cold.

    From your description, things do not sound good. You might need to read up on animal husbandry and start over.

    Mrs K
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Quote: I agree with one point here, though I'd never skip quarantine. You MUST do a true quarantine, well away from your flock and for a long time, more than a month, certainly, better at least 6 weeks or more. HOWEVER, let me be clear-quarantine is not perfect. It won't catch Marek's Disease carriers, probably, and may not catch things such as birds who had the ILT vaccine that made them a carrier of that nasty disease. It is the least you can do to try to keep disease out of your flocks, though.

    I know of a woman who was an NPIP breeder and bought a breeding rooster from another NPIP breeder, quarantined him for THREE MONTHS, not weeks, months. When she put him in the flock, he made them all come down with Infectious Laryngotracheitis and her state forcibly gassed ALL her flocks, even the ones in other buildings. The rooster showed not one symptom during quarantine, but had obviously either recovered from ILT or had been vaccinated for it and the breeder had not informed her of that fact. *This particular disease is one where the vaccination usually makes the bird a carrier and you should not vaccinate unless you have had it in the flock already. *
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
  7. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Speckle Hen - I completely agree with you. And I think that can be the line between backyard chickens, and people with very valuable flocks. My flock is a hobby, I don't go to shows, or auctions, most of my hens are raised here. However, I have added birds from similar set ups and I know what I am risking.

    If I had an valuable flock, I would not risk it. As the scenario you described, good Lord, that had to be tragic.

    Good husbandry practices lead to good healthy flocks.

    Mrs K
     
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Oh, Mrs. K., I literally cried some tears for that woman. She did all the right things to avoid disease and still, it made its way in because of some unscrupulous person and a disease that just did not show itself during the extended quarantine. It was horrible, just horrible. The story of the men in hazmat suits carrying her birds, ones that didn't even show symptoms, to a gas chamber, was heartbreaking. I can't even imagine the agony I'd feel.
     
  9. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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  10. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    No, this disease can't come in unseen, aart. This bird had to either have had the disease, which does show nasty symptoms, and survived, or he had to have been vaccinated, which is one of "those" vaccines. It's highly unlikely that the person who sold her the rooster did not know the risk she was putting on this customer, next to impossible, really, unless she thought a vaccination "cured" the bird or did not make a carrier. I'd say as an NPIP breeder who had obviously dealt with ILT, she had to be aware of the facts. This is one disease that is particularly nasty and her state, probably most states, will cull your entire flock if they know about it. This is very different from other diseases, as witnessed by how the state responds to it.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2014
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