Gapeworm or respiratory illness??

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by theladieskeeper, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. theladieskeeper

    theladieskeeper New Egg

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    Oct 15, 2013
    Hello all, Longtime reader, first time questions

    I have a hen 1.5 year old (buff) in the flock that was noticeably less active, fluffed up and looks to be coughing, shaking head and very tired. I noticed it two days ago and have been watching... this morning I think I spotted a 2nd. I now have both quarantined form the rest of the flock (16 total).
    Here is a list of symptoms but I am torn between gapeworm or respiratory bronchitis
    1. hens puffed up like cold (which it is colder the last 5 days in Cleveland)
    2. closing eyes while standing in pen area, like sleeping while standing up
    3. one has diahreeha (dirty vent area) the latest victim
    4. All my older hens (1.5 yrs.) seem to be shaking their heads a lot stretching their necks a bit. these older hens were moved to the new coop two months ago and introduced to the 10 new RIR's. so a bit of stress was involved with New coop and 10 new birds. Just last night they all perched together. Our coop has two sections with chicken wire between. All birds are together outside, but the old ones were perching on their side of coop till last night.
    5. No runny eyes or sinuses.
    6. some gurgling or clearing their throat when picked up
    6. Egg production is way down since I moved the layers to new coop. I spotted spaghetti in the poop (round worms) and treated all 16 with WAZINE last month and withed eggs, the few that were being laid. I now use a food grade diatamaceous earth in pen and in coop, and sprinkle on food periodically
    7. A few of the eggs have been mishaped lately, with a wrinkle or two in the shells, but only know they are from the older girls but not specifics of who laid them.
    8. I can see all their droppings, under their perch is a tray that catches the droppings in sweet pdz. There was some very runny stools in the littler this morning, but out of 16 birds I don't know which birds. the shavings on coop floor stay very cleen and the poop is scooped EVERY day. Its quite clean.
    These girls have a large outdoor pen and I let them free range on 2 acres, some wooded some open grass. There is a pile of cow manure compost for the garden they like to dig in. Lots of birds and other wildlife.
    9. they eat Organic layer, ground flax seed, Fresh Kale everyday. then go out to forage.

    any other symptoms I can look for to narrow this down before I go and start medicating? I like to keep things organic and natural as I can, but if they are sick will treat medically.
    Thanks so much for reading this long winded post.
    going out to check on them again will repost any changes.
    thanks so much for your comments.
    cheryle
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    You may be dealing with infectious bronchitis, a virus. That causes some of the symptoms you have described, including wrinkled eggs. Other respiratory diseases include mycoplasma and coryza, and sometimes a chicken can have more than one disease at a time. Gapeworm is very rare, but if you treat them with Valbazen 1/2 ml for 3 days it should take care of it (but I doubt that they have that.) With respiratory diseases antibiotics only will treat bacterial infections or secondary bacterial infections with a virus. Tylan 50 injectable 1 ml daily for 3-5 days, Tylan soluable powder or oxytetracycline in the water would be what I would use unless you want to watch it for awhile. Here is some info on diseases to click on: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Not gapeworm. Like Eggcessive stated...Infectious Bronchitis, the wrinkled eggs are a dead giveaway. It's a virus, untreatable with antibiotics and birds will be carriers for the rest of their lives. If you dont cull, maintain a closed flock and practice strict biosecurity.
     
  5. theladieskeeper

    theladieskeeper New Egg

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    Oct 15, 2013
    Thanks everyone!
    although the news wasn't the cheeriest, its what I suspected but didn't want to be true.
    will decide today to cull all or treat.
    but if I cull and bring in new chicks how do I safeguard against this happening again, some of my new RIR aren't even laying yet, so its a large investment I am culling.
    thanks again!
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    Infectious bronchitis is the mildest of all of the respiratory illnesses. It lasts a month to 6 weeks in birds, and most of your birds will get it, but you may only have a few very ill, unless it is chicks under 6 weeks. Chicks may die from it, but older chickens don't get that sick. I would isolate the sick birds, probably not medicate them with antibiotics, provide extra heat since they tend to chill with this, and let them get better. Worst case scenario is that a few may have permanent kidney or reproductive damage, but it is more common in chicks. Most will start laying again, although some may not lay as well. I have read where IB infected birds can be carriers for up to a year after infection, but I can't find this reference to post (I will look for it.) If I were you, I would start reading everything I can about the disease (just Google it.) It is not worth culling your flock, but for the next year and 6 weeks you will need to not add or sell any birds.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2013
  7. whosthisbroad

    whosthisbroad Out Of The Brooder

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    I found this thread while searching for info...

    If my birds have these same symptoms, would it still be bronchitis if my son gave them a couple dozen earthworms one day after a good rain?
     

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