Needing advice: What to do with my 3 month old silkie?

PITSNPEEPS

In the Brooder
Feb 24, 2016
9
6
34
Phoenix, AZ
Hello BYC friends!

I am looking for some advice but thought I would introduce myself first because I never took the time to when I joined and since I am starting a new chapter in my chicken story and enjoy reading other people's chicken stories I thought I would also share.

I started with my first bantam cochins about 9 years ago. I had been breeding fancy pigeons and doves for over 15 years and decided to get my first couple hens to eat the fallen seed and few insects that were in my aviaries as soon as I moved to an area that actually allowed chickens. I decided on bantams because they were small and cochins because I was told they were friendly, docile, and quiet. We also were not actually interested in egg layers because my husband and I were not big egg eaters. Turns out they are also funny as heck, full of personality, and addictive!

I now have no pigeons or doves because I wanted more chickens, although I am limited by residential zoning to 6 hens, and my husband said that if I wanted to expand my coop and runs I would have to use the aviary space so.... yep, no more aviaries! Chickens are way more friendly and entertaining than pigeons or doves and although their cackles are not as soothing as the cooing, their antics and cuddles make up for it!

I am now down to my last original bantam cochin hen, CiCi, after losing her long-time friend Pip at the end of May. Since they don't do well by themselves I decided to get some new chicks three months ago. Being summer in Arizona my feed store only had two bantam cochin chicks left and weren't planning on ordering any more until fall but made some suggestions on new bantam breeds to try that met my 'residential' criteria. That said my latest batch of straight run bantam chicks ended up consisting of: 2 cochins, 3 silkies, 1 frizzle, and 4 D'Uccles. Quite a mix, huh? One silkie and two D'Uccles ended up being early blooming roosters so I had to sell them last week. The two cochins, the frizzle, two of the silkies, and one D'Uccle are large enough and are beginning the intro to CiCi in the big coop, fingers crossed!

That said, here is the part of my story where I am asking for some advice/guidance:
The last silkie, Pixie, and D'Uccle, Cindy, were much smaller than the rest of the crew and are still in the brooder coop on the patio. The silkie had developed a 'sneeze' at about 3 weeks old so I went to the vet where they said Pixie sounded congested and gave me some antibiotics to give for 10 days. I asked if whatever it was may be contagious and was told they could not tell at this time but to keep an eye on the rest of the chicks. Pixie seemed to get better, only an occasional sneeze, and none of the other chicks ever developed symptoms. I then noticed there seemed to be a growth under one of Pixie's upper eyelids but it didn't seem to be a bother so I left it alone. A couple weeks later I separated them all because they didn't fit in the nursery brooder tub together. I put them into two larger tubs and changed the bedding from pine shavings to an alfalfa as I had done in the past. Pixie again seemed to develop a frequent sneeze so I changed that tub back to pine shavings and went back to the vet where I had them also look at the growth. The vet could not tell me for sure what the growth was but did say it looked to be on the third eyelid and didn't really seem to bother or affect Pixie's sight. They said they could remove it but being that I am currently not working due to having surgery myself I could not afford nor justify the almost $400 bill on a $4 chick. For the 'sneezing' I was again given antibiotics but was told it is possible that Pixie just has a compromised respiratory system and will always have a congestion issue. The sneeze again cleared up but Pixie still sounded congested but was eating and drinking fine and was active. Pixie and Cindy, who was just really small but never sick, were finally moved to the brooder coop on my patio two weeks ago to get used to the outdoors. I was afraid that with Pixie's congestion issues he (yep, most likely a rooster per pictures I showed to some chicken friends) probably wouldn't make it outside with the heat but he actually seemed to start doing better. Still sounds congested but not quite as bad no sneezing since the last round of antibiotics and is still very active and eating and drinking well. The growth on his eye seems to be getting smaller, or maybe it's just that he has gotten so much bigger, and it still doesn't seem to bother him at all. I unfortunately cannot keep Pixie because I am not allowed to have roosters in my neighborhood, but I cannot sell him because of his respiratory issue, it doesn't seem to be contagious but you can tell it's there Does anyone in the Phoenix area have any ideas or know anyone in 4-H or a rescue or just a good soul with a soft spot for the underdog, that would be willing to take my little Pixie and give him a good home? Cindy looks like she will remain a she but I already have reached my 6 hen limit so I am going to have to sell her or just give her to whomever takes Pixie so they can remain together since they are so bonded. My only other option will be to put Pixie to sleep but he has fought so hard and is doing so well, other than the congestion, that it just would be so sad to have to resort to that but I am running out of options.

Sorry for rambling on and any advice will be appreciated.


Thank you!

 

BlueBaby

Chicken math has me!
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Mar 21, 2016
17,433
93,156
1,462
Maricopa, AZ. (near Phoenix)
Sorry that is happening to your little Pixie. I do have some silkies here, but I already have a roo, and I don't want to bring in any sick one's to my flock. Maybe you can ask in our AZ. state thread, but it's hard to even re-home a healthy roo, let alone one that is having problem's. Your health question about the roo, might be better asked over in the link below as maybe someone can give you better advice on how to get him healthy again.
https://www.backyardchickens.com/forums/emergencies-diseases-injuries-and-cures.10/
 

NNYchick

Crowing
Jun 15, 2017
1,529
2,578
271
Harrisville, NY
Welcome. I can only tell you what I would do and that is cull pixie. Most of the time respiratory illness in poultry is contagious and you do not know what it is, even if he gets better any stress can make him sympathetic and risk exposing the rest of the flock. Please do not give him to a 4H that can risk their flock and if brought to a show any other kiddos chickens. Frankly it would be unwise and unethically to rehome him period, this is my opinion someone else may have better advice for you.
 

PITSNPEEPS

In the Brooder
Feb 24, 2016
9
6
34
Phoenix, AZ
Thank you for your replies, they have given me the kick in the pants I needed to realize that I have done all I can. My intention was to never to endanger anyone else's feather babies, I was just desperate, so I have decided to suck it up and spoil my baby for a few more days, then Monday I have an appointment to have him put to sleep. I tried, sometimes I guess you just can't beat Mother Nature no matter how bad you want to.:hit
 

NNYchick

Crowing
Jun 15, 2017
1,529
2,578
271
Harrisville, NY
Thank you for your replies, they have given me the kick in the pants I needed to realize that I have done all I can. My intention was to never to endanger anyone else's feather babies, I was just desperate, so I have decided to suck it up and spoil my baby for a few more days, then Monday I have an appointment to have him put to sleep. I tried, sometimes I guess you just can't beat Mother Nature no matter how bad you want to.:hit
:hugs I’m sorry you are going through this. Culling is the dark side of chicken keeping or animal husbandry in a whole no one likes to talk about but everyone ends up having to deal with at some point. You are doing what is best for pixie and the flock. You truly did do all you could find him.
 

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