Hen with ongoing runny nose but no sneezing

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by KellyC, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. KellyC

    KellyC New Egg

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    I am pretty new to raising chickens. I had two 4-month olds that I raised from chicks, and I got 3 new pullets (about 5-6 mos old) about a month ago. We quarantined them at first, during which time we treated them with Sevin Dust and DE for mites/lice (not sure which they were, but I found a few bugs on them), and then Wazine as a preventative measure. We recently began integrating them with the other two chickens, but I recently noticed that one of the new girls has a mildly runny nose (slimy sticky and clear). Thinking back, I think she's always getting pine shavings and dirt stuck to her beak, so she's probably had it the whole time, but she's the only one. I very rarely see any of them sneeze (I think I've only seen a chicken sneeze two or three times ever), and I'm not sure that I've ever seen HER in particular sneeze.

    Is she sick, or is this more likely allergies or irritation (to the desert dust or the DE in the bedding)? If she had a respiratory disease, wouldn't she be sneezing by now? She seems to be acting just fine, and her poop and coloring looks normal as far as I can tell. She only recently started laying eggs, so I don't know her pattern very well yet, but she did miss two days (resumed this morning). I think this may be due to stress since I've quarantined her again by herself for the last couple of days due to the runny nose.

    Thanks for your help
     
  2. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Quote: ;) Hen or egg question: do you see dirt stuck to her beak because she gets into dirt and it makes her nose run, or do you see dirt stuck to her beak because her nose is runny already, before she gets into the dirt...?

    Personally I think it's more likely she's got something, as my chooks free range and get into all sorts of dirt, dust, pollen, etc and never get runny noses. But some chickens do seem to react to pollens etc. So nothing ruled out yet.

    Quote: The mucus needs to build up to a certain degree in the right place to make her sneeze. If this is a contagious infection then the others with her would be showing at least one with the same symptoms. If nothing occurs like that then you could assume it might be a change of environment doing it. Since the carriers of 'permanent' respiratory diseases tend to flare up each year, all at the same time usually, I'd bet you'll see that if it is a disease. Time (or a professional lab diagnosis) will tell. Best wishes.
     
  3. KellyC

    KellyC New Egg

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    Thanks for your reply!

    That's a good question...but I'm not sure which came first, the dirt or the mucus. The first three weeks we had her, she was in a kennel and did not have direct access to dirt, although it is rather dry, dusty, and windy where I live, so that could be a factor, plus her pine bedding was treated with Sevin dust and food grade DE, which may have gotten into her sinuses to cause the runny nose. Even before we let her free-range on the ground, I would see her with bedding or feathers stuck rather securely to her beak and she'd rub her nose on things trying to get it off, the same way I later saw her rubbing her nose on the ground, which causes sand and dirt to get stuck as well.

    I just did a little experiment, washing the crud off her nose and holding her for 10-15 min to keep her away from any dirt or irritants. She got just a tiny bit of moisture at her nostril, and I put her outside for another 30 min or so and still nothing more. I'm going to check her again after work to see what she looks like.

    It sounds like this must be a mild case of runny nose then, since she hasn't been sneezing. The other chickens do not have symptoms...I've only seen the tiniest hint of moisture on the nostril of one of the other hens, so I don't think they're afflicted.

    I think I'll keep her separated for at least another day or two and see what happens.
     
  4. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

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    I'd continue to keep her separate. I had something like this in my own flock and the runny nose spread and then I got sneezing and coughing. I ended up using tylan 50 injections and they got cured thank God but I'd keep a close watch on her and continue the seperation because you don't want it spreading if it is a illness. Hope this helps and best of luck.
     
  5. KellyC

    KellyC New Egg

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    I'm glad it turned out ok for your birds. Thanks for the advice. As bad as I feel for keeping her isolated from everyone else, it would be a lot worse if they all ended up infected. So I'll keep her quarantined until after her symptoms go away. I'm assuming that if that happens, she'll no longer be contagious, and I'm still really hoping that she's not actually sick. A bit of good news is that when I got home from work, her nose was still pretty clean and mostly dry. Fingers crossed...
     
  6. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    Hope it turns out well. Quarantine's not so bad, it comes with treats! :D

    At least it does on my place as I try to boost their immune systems. I give them a wide range of natural stuff, they can pig out and what they choose to eat tells me a lot about what's wrong and what's right with them. Best wishes.
     
  7. KellyC

    KellyC New Egg

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    Good point! I've been giving her extra treats (spinach, kale, berries, whatever's in the house) just to try to make it up to her! I hadn't considered that she may need that extra nutrition, too, so that's a bonus. :)
     
  8. chooks4life

    chooks4life Overrun With Chickens

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    You're definitely doing her a favor with all that. It should help no end. Some of my chooks have gotten so into the idea of having a cage to themselves, complete with special treatment, that they don't want to go back to the main cages later on.

    Especially the broody hens, they expect they get to keep the cage after the clutch is raised, and will start fussing if any other chook is in there. But that's too bad, I tell them, set another clutch and you can have the cage to yourself again. ;)
     

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