May 21, 2018
Pine Grove, CA
Hi all :)
I've had this slow spreading disease in my flock since I brought some girls home in September, I'll try to keep the story short.
I've been keeping chickens a number of years now, never had a pest or disease problem... I also don't usually buy hens elsewhere, sorta have a hatching addiction.
I bought three easter egger pullets in September. A couple weeks later, one of my free ranging roosters (I had 8) starting wheezing. I brought him indoors, to my quarantine coop, gave him Rooster Booster in his water and Vet Rx in his bedding/under his wings. He got better after a week and a half. That same week, two of my other free ranging roosters went missing, I assumed predators. None of my other chickens showed signs of illness at the time.
I had an acquaintance I sold my first chicks to years ago, and she updates me with pics every holiday season. Very sweet of her. Her update this year said she bought some pullets, around September, they had a bad case of mites and respiratory disease, a few died. I got in touch with her and it turns out we bought pullets from the same person. She thinks they have Mycoplasma Gallisepticum, and she advised injecting .1cc/lb of Tylan to the breast muscle for five days.
A week after her update, two of my serama hens start wheezing. This was the beginning of November. I bring them inside, Vet Rx in the bedding and under wings, vitamins/electrolytes in their water, kept them warm with a space heater. I gave Tylan to the sickest hen, for five days. After the Tylan injections, I swapped the vitamins/electrolytes in the water for Premoxil powder (five days). The sick hen is better but still wheezing, she is still indoors, making friends with my cat/puppy.
About mid November, my friend/acquaintance who advised the Tylan, had her favorite hen (one that I sold her as a chick) pass away suddenly. The hen acted lethargic that morning, so she brought her inside, and by that evening she passed away in her lap. No respiratory symptoms, she said her poop looked normal, she would not eat but drank some water at first.
The three pullets I originally bought seemed healthy, so a month after they came home (October) I put them with my three bigger hens. They were cooped separately from the seramas. On Wednesday, one of the pullets starts acting lethargic. I put together a large box so she would be separate from my wheezing girl, brought her inside, gave her a warm bath, put electrolytes/vitamins in her water. She wasn't breathing funny, just fluffed up like she is sick and sleeping alot. Thursday night she had passed away. It sounded very similar to the way my friend's hen passed.
I contacted the guy we both bought the pullets from, asked if he had anything similar happen to his chickens. He responded by saying he thinks it was caused by mites, and has no idea besides that. He also said he bought the pullets as chicks from Meyer's Hatchery, and they are vaccinated against Mereks. I haven't noticed mites, but I cover the runs with a mix of diaotamaceous earth/ash/soil. My friend said she had a bad case of mites from the pullets she purchased.
My questions are, can mites cause death over 48hours like that? Is there another parasite that might? The lack of symptoms has us baffled, and sad, it was so sudden. I am worried whatever it is is contagious. Would it be safe to administer a de-worming medication along with Premoxil in their water, just to try and prevent further death.
It feels like our chickens are getting hit hard in our little corner of the world, just sucks. All advise is appreciated, thanks ahead.
When you lose a chicken in CA, you can send the body to 1 of 4 state poultry labs for a necropsy for about $20. That would be the best way to get a diagnosis of what is going through your flock. Mites can kill over time from anemia. Permethrin spray or garden dust will treat mites if used at 7 day intervals at least twice.

Respiratory disease in a flock will remain there until all chickens are gone. There are are different kind of respiratory diseases including bacterial, viral, and fungal illnesses. Tylan treats MG. Coccidiosis is also something that can kill quickly. Symptoms are puffing up, lethargy, poor appetite, and runny droppings. Corid (amprollium) will treat that. Sorry for your loss.
In addition to what @Eggcessive stated and specifically regarding red chicken mites, they can carry and pass Avian Influenza A-virus to other chickens:

Additionally it can also carry encephalitis and possibly fowl mite dermatitis.
Red mites also carry spirochetes. When antibiotics are given to a spirochete infected chicken, a massive spirochete "kill off" occurs and can kill the chicken.
Thank you so much for this information. If I lose another, I'll send it for a necropsy. Really sucks that respiratory disease never leaves a flock... what a bummer. I'm still keeping a close eye out for mite activity, my pullet that passed did have Premoxil in her water, was hoping to prevent the other hens from getting sick. I'm so upset with the person that sold us the sick pullets, it doesn't seem right that they can continue to purchase chicks for resale later when their hens are diseased.
My wheezing indoor quarantined girl is now on day 5 of her second round of Tylan, she seems to be doing better. I can't have a permanent indoor chicken, but its so cold out, and she's just a love... she might be the indoor Christmas hen.
Anyways, thanks again :)
I'm so upset with the person that sold us the sick pullets, it doesn't seem right that they can continue to purchase chicks for resale later when their hens are diseased.

I know what you feel cause i passed trough the same thing. I bought a chicken, she arrived at home sneezing, i quarantined her and, when she was well, i put her with my old hens. The silent disease spreaded and killed two of my old hens. :hit
Now i cant dare to hatch new babies (it was my dream), cause i dont know if the infection of babies could increase the viral charge and hurt my loved about 8,5 years old hen. When i called the people who sold me the ill hen (in a "reliable" local shop) to ask for help they said me they didnt know and other hasty things. It's frustrating:hugs:hugs:hugs:hugs:hugsbest whishes for your hen:fl:hugs

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