Help! Something has hit my flock


Apr 20, 2018
San Jose, CA
Something has hit my flock overnight. Chickens have rattled breathing and diarrhea. Some making weird sounds.

One had it first after eating. Seemed all the sudden. Then this morning four sounded the same way. They are about 6 mths old.

rattle breathing
making weird noises

I did give them VetRx a few hours ago and seemed to help a tiny bit.

I do have Albon suspension from a chick I had to treat a few days ago.

I looked for tylan at TS, but they said you can’t get in CA.


Apr 20, 2018
San Jose, CA
So I took the chicken with the most symptoms in to see again vet.

She suspects bronchial virus. Because of how fast it spread. (One chicken showed signs at 5pm yesterday. Then another at 8pm. By morning 5 of my chickens were wheezing/rattled breathing.)

Stomach felt fine. She laid an egg today, but inside egg was watery. No mucus and eyes were normal. Just lethargic, panting, no drinking water, a little diarrhea, coughing, sneezing and rattling.

Told me to treat it like they have the flu. Warmth, fluids, ibuprofen and clean coop.

The ibuprofen perked them up quite a bit. Enough to get them drinking water and eating a little. I cleaned out coop, replaced nesting pads.

I really hope I don’t lose any

She said to bring them back is there is a secondary bacterial infection. In California they can’t give antibiotics, except for gape worm, which she didn’t see when she checked.

She mentioned that there is a FDA approved antibiotic they can give if things get VERY bad. BUT FDA says you can never eat the eggs from that chicken again for it’s lifetime. I forget what it’s called. I think started with an “I” or a “V”.


6 Years
Apr 10, 2016
Santa Cruz Mountains, California
I’m sorry about your flock. If it’s viral, supportive care is about all you can do (and treat for secondary bacterial infection if it comes to that.) Did the vet mention the possibility of a fungal infection? With the California warmth, is that a possibility? I think fungal respiratory infections can be treated with Oxine, but I’m not familiar with the details.

I haven’t dealt with a serious respiratory issue yet in my flock (just minor symptoms), so the others will probably have more advice than I will.

Are they drinking lots of fluids?


Premium Feather Member
14 Years
Nov 27, 2008
Glen St Mary, Florida
It's Infectious Bronchitis (IB.) Watery whites are a dead giveaway in addition to what the vet stated. IB is a virus and antibiotics wont treat the disease. Tetracyline type drugs will treat secondary infections from the disease. Here's an excellent easy read link for you to read about IB and it includes info about using Oxine as Micstracan mentioned:


Premium Feather Member
11 Years
Apr 3, 2011
southern Ohio
I see a lot of watery egg whites in eggs I buy from the grocery store. After having a suspected outbreak of infectious bronchitis a few years ago, the most common thing I noticed was wrinkled egg shells or some other defects in shells.

Infectious bronchitis will affect nearly all of your chickens eventually as it spreads through the flock. Most or all grown chickens recover, unless they suffer secondary infections.

Mycoplasma or MG, in mild cases can look similar to IB, but there is less chance of it spreading so wuickly as IB does. Since IB causes them to become carriers for up to a year, one way to control the disease from spreading is to not add new birds or hatch eggs for at least a year after your last bird recovers.

Tylan50 injectable from the feed store, or Tylan soluble powder for the water (available from your vet with a prescription,) are helpful to treat secondary infections caused by MG. There is a one day egg withdrawal with oral use. I would use the injectable Tylan 50 orally as well.

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