Flock Infected - Needs Advise - Possibly CRD???

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10 Years
Jun 28, 2009
Elkton, MD / Cecil County
First, I'm going to apologize, as this is going to be a lengthy post.

Some info on my flock. I have purchased only starter/day-old chicks. In mid April, I bought from Tractor Supply:
* 4 RSL roos
* 2 Pekin Ducks

A week later, I bought from TSC the following:
* 3 RSL pullets
* 1 RIR pullet
* 1 mutt bantam roo

I also ordered 8 birds online:
* 2 Barred Rock pullets
* 2 RSL pullets
* 1 white silkie pullet
* 1 black silkie roo
* 1 silver sebright bantam
* 1 gold sebright bantam

No issues with any birds since I purchased them. The hens and the black silkie are in a dedicated coop and run. The remaining roos have a dedicated coop and free range the yad. The ducks shared the roo coop and free ranged until about 4 weeks ago, when we confined them to a dedicated coop and pen.

Now for my problem. Last Friday, I bought 2 Aruacauna pullets from a local breeder (about 9 wks old). When I was looking at all the birds, I thought one bird had something wrong with it’s eye. I asked the guy what the deal was and he indicated the birds had just been fed and were probably sleeping, as the coop was covered. I didn’t give the bird another look and loaded up the two birds.

It was dark when I got home with them and I “isolated” them in a wire cage, which was placed inside my hen run/coop. Unfortunately, this was not much of an isolation, as my hens were able to be face to face with the new birds. On Saturday, I noticed 2 small bubbles in the eye of one bird and didn’t think much about it. On Sunday, the eye looked a little worse and the birds were sneezing. I then “isolated” them to my garage, as I suspected something very bad was going on. The new birds seemed to get worse over the next 36 hours, with more sneezing, nasal discharge and eye issues.

On Wednesday, the nightmare hit. (1) RSL with rattling respiration and runny nose.
Thursday morning, (3) RSLs with similar symptoms.
Friday morning, (2) BRs and (1) RIR in the evening.
Saturday, no issues, but my last RSL and the silver sebright bantam were hit.
I now have 5 isolation cages with 2-3 birds in each. My coop is left with my female and male bantam silkies. (Updated from wife – female silkie is affected now).

I have been trying to figure out what the issue is and I suspect Chronic Respiratory Disease / CRD based on the symptoms. I called my local coop extension, as I was initially planning to treat with antibiotics. I managed to get ahold of a great supply house and ordered some Gallimycin, as well as some tracheal swabs and a contact at the university’s poultry center. Swabbed the birds on Thursday and will be sending out on Monday.

We are at a bit of a loss as to what to do from a treatment standpoint, as we were planning to use the birds for egg production . Unfortunately, they have essentially become pets to us that also provide us eggs. I’m concerned about treating with anti-biotics as we may not be able to eat their eggs anymore and want to hold off until I am positive it is the right course of action to alleviate their symptoms. At this point, until we know, I am only treating with some multi-vitamin liquid supplement and pedialite.

Some questions:
1. If CRD, is it OK to eat the eggs from these birds when they no longer show symptoms?
2. If CRD, it is OK to eat the meat of the birds? As I understand from the university poultry expert, this is OK.
3. If untreated, can I expect mortality in some birds and recovery (I understand they are still susceptible to future outbreak when stressed) in others?
4. Once CRD is contracted, how frequently can I expect recurrence? Just wondering if I don’t medicate, will the survivors become more resistent to recurrence?
5. Should I just be considering culling the entire flock and starting over?
6. Are Roo’s immune to the CRD, as none of them have been affected?
7. Can duck’s be affected?

At this time, I have no plans to introduce any additional birds to my flock, or to allow any birds to leave it alive. I understand that I need to maintain a “closed-flock” and that I was extremely negligent with the bio-security of my flock. As a newbie to chickens, this has been a terrible learning experience for myself and our family.

Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to include as much info as possible. In advance, I thank any/all of you that can provide guidance on this issue.
First and foremost get the sick birds tested to see what you are dealing with. CRD is a name given to many different diseases.

Once you have the testing done then you can either start treatment or in extreme cases cull the infected and start fresh.
I am so sorry for you having to go through this. It is indeed a hard lesson to learn.
I ( knock on wood ) haven't had to deal with anything like this so I don't have any input other than to offer support.
Please keep us posted on how they do.
I too would suggest testing to see for sure what you are dealing with.
PM-- -Threehorses.....type it in the search engine....she really knows her stuff. Hopefully she can help!
All my hens have been affected as of Sunday. However, when I checked everyone this morning, a few of the girls are looking a little better. Not seeing as many runny noses, but still lots of gurgling/rattling and a few swollen eyes. Been providing a mix of pedialite and Centrun liquid multivitamins to their water, which I hope has been helping. A few are still laying, but the eggs are smaller and much lighter in color.

I plan to drop off my test swabs at the poulty lab tomorrow and will hope to see some results before the end of the week. Please keep your fingers crossed for me.
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