Intermittently Coughing Hens (after dust baths!!)


In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 12, 2013
Hi guys,

I'm new on here. I would like some advise. I fear I may just be being an over protective mum. However, we got some hens from an auction that appeared to have myco plasma. They were treated and kept in a seperate run from our other hens and have made a recovery. This is why I am a bit paranoid about the others.
They have all been together now for about 3 months.
However, the hens tend to like dusting them selves on the dirt floor of the run and others like it more and tend to put their faces in the dirt!!!! A few of them have been intermittently coughing after dust bathing and then they are fine after they have had a drink. Would you guys say its the dust causing the coughs? As they all look really good and are behaving the same as usual. Plleeeeeeaaase help, these are like my surrogate kids!

Thanks :)
It's possible. Though I've never heard mine cough after dusting, just a few sneezes and usually not even that.

Here is the problem with these auction birds. Whatever respiratory disease they may have had, and may have recovered from, they are now carriers of. This means they can still infect your other birds. They can also have an outbreak of whatever it was again if they become stressed or when the weather gets cold etc.

To be honest this is why I have a very dim view of buying birds at auctions, or bringing in new adult birds period. We've been down the respiratory disease road here at our place, it's not fun and you can never really get rid of it unless you depopulate, clean everything in sight and let it all sit empty for a while. It's a real pain in the backside and that's why I avoid situations for possible contamination at all costs.

You will just have to keep a close eye on your birds from now on and treat accordingly if you have any come down sick.

Edited to add: It would be worthwhile, if one of these auction birds dies at some point, to have a necropsy done and find out exactly what they had. It helps a lot to know exactly what you are dealing with and how to treat.
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Do you think its a good idea to give all the hens tylan anti biotic as precaution or just keep an eye on them? We definitely won't de-populate as they are more like pets. The ones that were originally sick just have sneezes very now and then. Now it's got cold like you say a few are sneezing every now and then but don't seem to have any other symptoms so hoping it won't develop into anything. It's really put us off auctions now. We have since then introduced new birds from private breeders and they have been fine. It's just caused stress as every time one sneezesy heart sinks!!! X
I would not give the Tylan to any of the birds who are not currently showing symptoms. A few of these diseases are bacterial, many are viral, so the antibiotic's are more to help prevent the common secondary bacterial infections like pneumonia, they don't cure the disease itself. I would just watch them closely and medicate any who become symptomatic.
That's great thank you. We have quite a small flock and we know there personalities well so I think it would be pretty easy to tell if they did become poorly. None of them are really showing any symptoms other than the occasional sneeze so I guess just keep our eyes on them. Thanks for the advice.

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