goopy eyes, gurgly breath in youngsters, adults fine. advice?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Phoenixxx, Aug 6, 2014.

  1. Phoenixxx

    Phoenixxx Chillin' With My Peeps

    I noticed the other day one of my 4-week-olds had one goopy, closed eye, and that one of my 8-week-olds was having gurgly breathing. The younger chick doesn't seem to be adversely affected and even seemed better today. The older chick's breathing got a bit better (less struggling) but now it has goopy eyes. I checked out all the "kids" at lock-up tonight and there are a small handful of others with varying degrees of these symptoms. I brought a couple in just to clean their eyes and then put them back to bed. The adults are totally fine.

    Is this just one of those things they have to go through in growing up, like how we grow up dealing with the odd cold or flu? Or are these signs of something serious that needs attention asap? I'm kinda leaning towards the former, considering the fact that the grownups are fine and probably already had what the kids now have but I want to know what you all think just in case.

    I did search the symptoms and most of the threads I found weren't very informative except in which antibiotic to get and how to treat; this is a last resort for me, unless this IS something potentially devastating, as I'd rather allow them to be sick and get better on their own. Which brings up next question: anything I can do naturally in addition to free-range and acv to make the recovery smoother and faster?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    This sounds like it may be mycoplasma (MG or CRD,) or possibly coryza if you notice a bad odor. There are other viral diseases such as infectious bronchitis and ILT that can have secondary infections. Unfortunately culling is the only natural treatment, since antibiotics such as Tylan, oxytetracycline, and erythromycin (Gallimycin) are usually required to treat symptoms. These are all carrier diseases, so it is possible that one of the older birds carried it into the flock. If any of your birds came from another farm, they may have been carriers. Here is a good link about those and other common diseases that you may want to read: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044 and
    http://umaine.edu/livestock/poultry/mycoplasma-gallisepticum-faq/
     
  3. Phoenixxx

    Phoenixxx Chillin' With My Peeps


    Thanks for the link! I'd seen it before on a thread when my initial flock ("second-hand" "rhode island reds") had some sick birds but i couldn't find it again! Well, symptoms fit a number of the diseases listed with the exception of coryza (no bad breath), and while I did lose some of the initial flock, the remainder recovered. Yes, I've since brought in numerous other birds from numerous other sources because when I first started with chickens, I just didn't even know to consider disease. I guess it hung around and the crappy weather/non-existant summer is just not helping matters.

    Culling not really an option for me, unless it becomes blatantly necessary or i'm hungry :p. (I've already had to "do in" two newborns that were born with insides outside - obviously in those instances, it was for the sake of the poor babies.) Antibiotics, well, if it's viral are not going to help and will only potentially create resistance for any lurking pathogens that haven't yet infected them.

    I'm okay with my birds being carriers of whatever forever - all it means is their kids will just be even stronger and more resistant. I guess I'll just monitor them more closely and keep their eyes clean. Thanks!
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    The ones that recovered from your original issue were probably the carriers then. If you hatch more chicks, you may want to vaccinate them, but unless you get one tested, you may not know if it is MG or not. Be sure to not sell or give away chickens or hatching eggs since MG can be transmitted through hatching eggs. Eating eggs are fine.
     
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2014
  5. Phoenixxx

    Phoenixxx Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ironically enough, the green egg-laying female chicks I've hatched are on trade for use of the incubator in which I hatched them, lol! Fellow can't have roosters where he's at, so I'm rearing the youngsters until I can tell who's who. Naturally, I will be providing full disclosure to him and any other potential buyers (for the ones he doesn't want and ones I don't want to keep) now that I know whatever it is could be a permanent thing. I'll make a call to the chicken doctor and find out about testing. I'm leaning towards the bronchitis, personally, as I have experience with mycoplasmosis from over a decade of keeping and breeding rats... all rats are born with it, but they only become sick with it when they reach old age and no longer have the strength to keep it at bay. Most often, it accompanies the onset of something else, such as cancer. Now, whether or not that translates similarly to chickens I guess is another story.
     
  6. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Bronchitis doesn't usually cause the goopy eyes or chest gurgles, but more of sneezing with a bit of nasal drainage, unless it is complicated by MG or coryza. Another way of finding out what is going on is to sacrifice a bird, and send it to the state vet for a necropsy. Many will euthanize the bird as well for no extra cost. Oops, just noticed you are in Nova Scotia, but maybe there is an option there.
     
  7. Phoenixxx

    Phoenixxx Chillin' With My Peeps

    Well, whatever it was, it's nothing that they hang onto and can pass on later. My most recent batch of chicks, who were in the house while everyone was ill, have been out in the coop for nearly a month now. I'm pretty sure that if the illness was one of the permanent carrier types these youngsters would have fallen ill themselves already, especially considering they were just under 3 weeks old (closer to 2 I think) when I put them out there. :)
     

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