How long to Keep Them Separated?

AdobeSolMetals

In the Brooder
Aug 17, 2019
9
31
39
Albuquerque, New Mexico
One of my 5 YO Marans recently had a respiratory illness. It started about two weeks ago. I separated her from flock and treated her with injectable Oxytetracycline for 5 days. She responded well and the respiratory problem is gone. She is eating and drinking along with a normal looking poop. She seems to get more tired than normal and her comb is pink rather than her normal bright red. Each day she looks a bit better. No other birds have come down with illness so far.

My question: How long should I keep her separated from the flock? Do you believe she is still possibly contagious? I do not know exactly what the illness was. Any suggestion will be greatly appreciated!
 

oldhenlikesdogs

I Want Ice Cream
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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If one bird has it, generally they all have been exposed by the time you see symptoms.

I personally don't treat birds, they either improve on their own or get culled here. I don't remove them. I haven't had anything run rampant. Generally it's just a single bird.

In the fall I occasionally see a bird with a respiratory problem. The change in weather causes stress for some, as well as molting, and migrating birds can bring in stuff.

Separating out a bird comes with it's own problems when you try to put them back, so be aware you could see pecking, and fighting depending on your flock dynamics.
 

AdobeSolMetals

In the Brooder
Aug 17, 2019
9
31
39
Albuquerque, New Mexico
oldhenlikesdogs,

Thanks for your quick response. I can definitely see the logic in culling. And yes, when I discovered her illness she was rattling loudly. So most likely the flock has been exposed.

The meds may have helped or she may have kicked it on her own.

I'm considering putting her back and see what happens. She is one of the "alpha" females but I do understand how they may treat a bird who is not strong. Any sign of weakness and they may swoop in...
 

oldhenlikesdogs

I Want Ice Cream
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jul 16, 2015
45,845
80,752
1,522
Wisconsin
I choose to cull when the bird seems to be suffering, or after a few days doesn't seem to be improving. It's always a difficult decision, but I need to think of my large flock as a whole, and do what's best for all involved.

I also haven't had any luck treating birds, and them living long term or improving, so I'm glad you have seen improvements. I have seen some mild respiratory problems clear up on their own too, so it isn't a deaths sentence.

Use your own judgment. Only you can tell if you think removing a bird is the right decision, and only you can guess when it's best to return it. I can only share my experiences, which may or may not help. :)
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
7,203
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632
South Park, Colorado, USA
Did you treat the whole flock?

As mentioned, with a respiratory illness, if one bird has it, likely all birds have been exposed. Even if I separate the sickest bird for extra TLC or warmth in the house I opt to treat the whole flock. Respiratory illnesses can be airborne and the coop/run/etc. is all likely contaminated if you had a symptomatic bird.
 

AdobeSolMetals

In the Brooder
Aug 17, 2019
9
31
39
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Did you treat the whole flock?

As mentioned, with a respiratory illness, if one bird has it, likely all birds have been exposed. Even if I separate the sickest bird for extra TLC or warmth in the house I opt to treat the whole flock. Respiratory illnesses can be airborne and the coop/run/etc. is all likely contaminated if you had a symptomatic bird.

I put Tylosin powder along with an electrolyte solution in the water for the flock while the ill bird was separated. I think all it did was cause them not to want to drink in a very hot climate. I'm sure they drank some of it as they had no choice but it really was not a great solution with high risk of heat-illness. So far no other birds have shown symptoms. And yes, all birds have been exposed. We do the best we can and often times it is hit-and-miss. For example the antibiotics we administer... unless you take your bird(s) to a vet to find out exactly what type if illness they have, you are just guessing at a treatment. Even when you treat you don't know for sure if it was the antibiotic or if the bird has kicked it on their own. It boils down to doing the best we can with what we have to work with.
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
Mar 11, 2017
7,203
18,533
632
South Park, Colorado, USA
I put Tylosin powder along with an electrolyte solution in the water for the flock while the ill bird was separated. I think all it did was cause them not to want to drink in a very hot climate. I'm sure they drank some of it as they had no choice but it really was not a great solution with high risk of heat-illness. So far no other birds have shown symptoms. And yes, all birds have been exposed. We do the best we can and often times it is hit-and-miss. For example the antibiotics we administer... unless you take your bird(s) to a vet to find out exactly what type if illness they have, you are just guessing at a treatment. Even when you treat you don't know for sure if it was the antibiotic or if the bird has kicked it on their own. It boils down to doing the best we can with what we have to work with.

It sounds like all have had some form of antibiotic and if the bird is on the mend, personally I think they tend to do better with the rest of the flock when it comes to healing. Being in a hospital crate, while sometimes is necessary, can often be stressful for birds. If I was in your shoes, I'd return her to the flock as well and just keep an eye on things.
 

AdobeSolMetals

In the Brooder
Aug 17, 2019
9
31
39
Albuquerque, New Mexico
It sounds like all have had some form of antibiotic and if the bird is on the mend, personally I think they tend to do better with the rest of the flock when it comes to healing. Being in a hospital crate, while sometimes is necessary, can often be stressful for birds. If I was in your shoes, I'd return her to the flock as well and just keep an eye on things.

Thanks so much PirateGirl! Your input and advice is greatly appreciated. I completely agree with you. This hen perked up as soon as she got back to the flock. I'll keep a close eye on those girls.
 

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