Gurgling Girls

ShiviBear

Songster
Sep 6, 2020
75
219
116
New Jersey
Hello all, hope everyone had a safe and happy holiday and hope everyone's 2021 will make up for 2020 :)

I was away for 4 days and had an a acquaintance who lives close to me feed and close up the chickens (he has done this many times previously for my sister, but only takes care of the most pressing issues, i.e. food and shelter)

I sat with the girls for a good hour upon my return earlier today (I REALLY freaking missed them) and watched them eat. Everyone seemed normal, everyone ate greedily, nobody's tail was down, nobody seemed overly ruffled...but, there are 58 chickens, so I might have missed something.

Later, when I asked my acquaintance how everything went, he said that a few of the chickens seemed to have a cold. When I pressed for details, he said he definitely heard sneezing and coughing but didn't know who it was.

I went to sit in the coop to try to listen if I could hear anything out of the ordinary and right away zeroed in on a hen gurgling as she was breathing. The hen next her, although not gurgling, clearly had a runny nose...clear, but definitely runny. Same with the gurgle hen. Both seemed fine otherwise. I do believe I heard another gurgle or two, but it was not constant like the first one and would quiet down so I couldn't pin point it.

I will not be able to separate the two hens until tomorrow morning, which pains me as I hope they don't spread whatever this is further, but I guess they've already been in there obviously sick for at least 48 hrs.

I decided to at least give the worst off hen Tylan 50 (.5ml Sub Q) so she doesn't take a turn for the worst. I figured sub q would work faster then orally. I also rubbed Vet RX on the hens noses and chests. Q

I don't even know where to start, I am quite concerned as I've grown extremely fond of all the chickens, some might even call it love (or obsession). And any sort of search for response issues in chickens brings up some VERY ALARMING possibilities.
I am brand new to chickens (chickening?, lol), have only been taking care of this flock since May.

Although they have survived many winters before I took over their care and they were always treated as simply working chickens and sneezing was always handled as something that would burn itself out (and I think most of the time it has)
We have not added any new chickens in the past 9 months.

Does anyone have any other advice or suggestions as how to handle a respiratory illness in a flock of 58 chickens?
I don't have access to a poultry vet, although I do have access to a bigger variety of meds as I can usually talk to my ex boss vet for something.
I was going to deworm them with ivermectin topically tomorrow as they still have roundworms...shall I wait with that?

I've been concerend with the amount of ventilation in the coop...will definitely add to it tomorrow.

Thank you in advance for your time.
💗
 

ShiviBear

Songster
Sep 6, 2020
75
219
116
New Jersey
Talk to your ex boss vet. He can set you up with the appropriate meds. Usually the med is added to either the feed or drinking water to treat large flocks.

Thank you for your quick response theoldchick.
I should clarify that he knows very little about chickens, he is a small middle american city small animal vet. I do feel comfortable approaching him if I couldn't find appropriate medicine on my own though (within limits), and I usually have to tell him what it is and why I need it.
I would LOVE to have easy access to a poultry vet, at least to be able to talk to one.
I am extremely thankful to have access to chicken masters on this forum though. Not sure what I'd do without this community.

So, since a few hens are sick does that mean that I must treat all the hens?
 

Chickenman MAN

Songster
Oct 25, 2020
609
649
171
United Kingdom South Devon
Clearly isolate any with symptoms ASAP... can you get some images of them? Is there discharge from the eyes? Are they wheezing? And yes, if a few hens are sick I would treat all the hens. Once you post some images we may be able to get a grip on the disease afflicting your hens. You can then give medication through the water or food. This may seem a bit OTT, but just a few infected hens, especially when they are such sociable creatures, can easily lead to infection of a whole flock.
 

theoldchick

The Chicken Whisperer
Premium Feather Member
11 Years
May 11, 2010
32,385
20,511
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Thank you for your quick response theoldchick.
I should clarify that he knows very little about chickens, he is a small middle american city small animal vet. I do feel comfortable approaching him if I couldn't find appropriate medicine on my own though (within limits), and I usually have to tell him what it is and why I need it.
I would LOVE to have easy access to a poultry vet, at least to be able to talk to one.
I am extremely thankful to have access to chicken masters on this forum though. Not sure what I'd do without this community.

So, since a few hens are sick does that mean that I must treat all the hens?

Though your vet is not a 'chicken vet' he can get in contact with ones who have experience with poultry-remember avian vets can treat chickens, too. Your Agricultural agent can also help as can your state vet. You can send one bird for necropsy and see exactly what you are dealing with. In large flock situations most people will treat the entire flock. In small backyard situations most people treat birds showing symptoms. In a commercial flock all birds are culled, the facility sanitized, and after the appropriate quarantine, new chicks are purchased. I've seen commercial poultry houses shut down due to disease and the company shuts down that particular facility permanently.
 

ShiviBear

Songster
Sep 6, 2020
75
219
116
New Jersey

Thank you! This is eggxactly what I was looking for! I've been searching for threads about 'gurgling chickens' and ' sneezing chickens' ad nauseum and haven't ran across the ones you linked.

I am in the process of isolating the birds. There are probably 4-5, I think the top rooster (Roostie) has whatever this is. I do suspect CRD, though.
I ordered Denaguard, it should be here in a day or two, hopefully. I paid out the wazoo for UPS next day, but god knows how long it would take otherwise with the shipping situation as it is.
I am going to treat the worst off birds with Tylan injectable until the Denaguard gets here, unless there is something that is better that I can purchase at Tractor Supply or that is common for which I can ask for from my vet boss (a tetracycline antibiotic I can put in water perhaps?)
Will bleach and clean the coop/coops to my best ability and add ventilation.

This is already a closed flock. It always has been. They are only used for eggs to eat, which was I was going to withdraw today anyway because of the deworming. Vaccinated teenage chickens are added from the same reputable hatchery yearly to replenish the ones lost in winter. Culled birds are disposed of properly.
Which is important as I believe this flock also has Marek's among them, but that's a whole other story. A farm hand bought chickens at an auction because 'he felt bad for them' and threw them with my sister's chickens without asking 7 years ago. Probably where they got CRD and Mareks.

Prior to me taking over, they would have been either left alone to let the disease run its course or MAYBE given Vet Rx in their water.
My sister didn't even have antibiotics on hand besides a 'last case scenario' expired Tylan.

These chickens are all messed up 😞
Will do what I can for them because I really do love them so much.

Will post pictures as soon as I can,
thank you SO SO much for taking the time to advise and share your knowledge.
 

Chickenman MAN

Songster
Oct 25, 2020
609
649
171
United Kingdom South Devon
No worri
Thank you! This is eggxactly what I was looking for! I've been searching for threads about 'gurgling chickens' and ' sneezing chickens' ad nauseum and haven't ran across the ones you linked.

I am in the process of isolating the birds. There are probably 4-5, I think the top rooster (Roostie) has whatever this is. I do suspect CRD, though.
I ordered Denaguard, it should be here in a day or two, hopefully. I paid out the wazoo for UPS next day, but god knows how long it would take otherwise with the shipping situation as it is.
I am going to treat the worst off birds with Tylan injectable until the Denaguard gets here, unless there is something that is better that I can purchase at Tractor Supply or that is common for which I can ask for from my vet boss (a tetracycline antibiotic I can put in water perhaps?)
Will bleach and clean the coop/coops to my best ability and add ventilation.

This is already a closed flock. It always has been. They are only used for eggs to eat, which was I was going to withdraw today anyway because of the deworming. Vaccinated teenage chickens are added from the same reputable hatchery yearly to replenish the ones lost in winter. Culled birds are disposed of properly.
Which is important as I believe this flock also has Marek's among them, but that's a whole other story. A farm hand bought chickens at an auction because 'he felt bad for them' and threw them with my sister's chickens without asking 7 years ago. Probably where they got CRD and Mareks.

Prior to me taking over, they would have been either left alone to let the disease run its course or MAYBE given Vet Rx in their water.
My sister didn't even have antibiotics on hand besides a 'last case scenario' expired Tylan.

These chickens are all messed up 😞
Will do what I can for them because I really do love them so much.

Will post pictures as soon as I can,
thank you SO SO much for taking the time to advise and share your knowledge.
No worries! Glad to know this helped and it will hopefully be under control. Make sure you wash the bleach off as it is toxic. I'm not sure about mareks, sorry!
 

orrpeople

Grading essays - be back soon!
5 Years
Jun 15, 2016
5,569
21,476
812
State of Jefferson
Marek's doesn't usually manifest itself with respiratory issues, although it can weaken the immune system to allow for secondary issues. Since you can't truly "treat" Marek's, it's best to just address the issue at hand by isolating and treating those with symptoms.
 

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