New Poultry Respiratory Disease

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Elaine Elder, Oct 29, 2013.

  1. Elaine Elder

    Elaine Elder Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 18, 2013
    Kingston, Georgia
    Apparently I'm dealing with a new Upper Respiratory infection in poultry.

    1st symptoms: Day 1 - 3
    Chicks and pullets affected.
    They hunch up and look cold.

    Easy to catch, like they don't care if you catch them.
    Body warm but feet are cold.

    2nd Symptoms: Days 2 - 4
    Eyes slow to open or do not open at all.
    Birds are laying down and will not move

    3rd Symptom:

    This is what has been recommended by a member on this forum.

    Oxine approx $ 35 Gallon with shipping included.

    Probiotic $ 19.95 per pound.

    Sulfadimethoxine $15 per packet that makes 50 gallons or off the shelf premixed $38
    Mix 1 packet in 1 gallon of water. Use 2 tablespoon mixture per gallon of drinking water. 1 tablespoon = 15cc.

    Sulfadimethoxine premixed use 1 Tablespoon (15 cc/ml) per gallon of water for 5 days.

    vetRx $10 $12 most feed stores

    I got a bunch of Barnevelders, all different ages and sizes. I have a 12x18 Horse stall converted to a coop.
    This is the only one Chick safe with wood walls so they can't escape. I had several Silkie hens fostering their adopted chicks in the stall. Chicks are mostly Easter Eggers. I have Blue egg laying Ameraucanas that free range with an assortment of roos. If its a blue egg. I put it under a silkie. They are sitting on golf balls and rocks. so I put eggs under them so they can get on with their lives. Concerning the hens... If you have ever had silkies, you know how broody they are.

    I have at least 10 hens that will be so broody they will sit on rocks. The 3 hens that I put with these guys are notorious chick hoarders. If it peeps, they will adopt it. I call one Mother Hubbard. They took every chick that wanted taken. There is even a roo with little Barnevelder heads poking out of his wings. There is a heater in the end. But the little ones have been adopted by 3 silkie hens and a roo. I've watched them for hours. Looking for symptoms. The mamas don't let the bigger ones pick on the little ones.
    The adopted chicks don't seem to get sick. Maybe with a mamma they are not stressed or maybe they are just the right temp to keep them healthy I dont know why the ones adopted by the hens don't seem to be sick.

    The symptoms include sitting in one spot while the rest run around and act like chickens. Their head is down close to the body or tucked under a wing. I can just reach down and pick it up. They are slow to open their eyes. The main eyelid opens first and a half second later, the inner eyelid opens and it realizes it's being held. There is a slight sense of fright but it's like it's just too tired to bother struggling. Then they just die. No runny nose. No glassy eyes. Nothing odd about them until they just stop moving. I have a few blue laced in the bunch. They are few enough for me to keep track of. They are fine one day. Sluggish the next. Dead the next.

    I have had contact with several people experiencing the same thing. So I'm not alone. I just don't know where it came from. I also don't know why the silkies seem to be immune to it. And the chicks they had with them were all easter eggers or mutts. They have not been affected. The barn has horse stalls I split and converted to chicken coops. None of the other chickens inside the barn have been affected.

    It appears my existing birds were exposed during the summer. And are okay. I had a shipment from cackle hatchery arrive with half dead on arrival in early summer. The rest were sickly and had these symptoms. I lost almost all of that shipment over the next two weeks. But they were never inside the barn. Even the few survivors of that batch are not inside the barn. By the time I got these birds. I had totally cleaned out the barn and had used straight bleach on all the inside coops after pressure washing the entire inside of the barn. The floor is concrete. According to cackle hatchery, the dead chicks were the fault of the post office.

    1 week later...
    I had no dead chickens today.!!!..

    I am using the treatment I described with a couple additions.
    I am giving any really sluggish birds a 1 cc dose of the sulfa med undiluted. Then...
    I am using vetRx as per directions, massage into eyes and over beak and head feathers and put a couple drops into the inside of mouth into the v shape in the top beak.
    The first I did this to was almost comatose. Little bitty guy. I don't know if it helped immediately or if I just annoyed him into perking up enough to get away from me. I treated 2 others and managed to keep hold of them long enough to put into a cage, where I put 30 cc of the into a quart of water. Instead of 30 cc per gallon. I fully expected them to be dead this morning. But they are eating and drinking and are not all hunched up.
    I treated 3 more today and by the end of the day they were eating and acting more normal.
    Something else I noticed. Their feet were cold. After i treated the sicker ones this morning, I caught a couple of normal acting ones and checked. Their feet were the same temp as their body. I even caught the puny little guy I had treated first. His feet were same as body temp. I could tell it was him because his head was still covered in the vetRx. It's oily so his head was slicked back like a rock n roll star of the 50's. He was pretty spry. Even with a net he was hard to catch.
    I'm keeping the sickest ones in cages outside the rest of the coops. With heat lamp. I had some barred rock chicks in an out door coop. They are about 6 weeks old. It just turned cool here a couple weeks ago and I think the hen was not being attentive to the chicks so they were cuddled up with a silkie roo and she had stopped clucking. They all looked miserable. All hunched up. It may be the sudden drop in temp and the hen deciding today was the day they were grown. But I decided to treat them quick. With the 1 cc straight med followed by the vetRx they were fine in an hour.

    Also: 7.5 oz of Oxine in 1.25 gallon water in Vaporizer purchased at drugstore. runs all night. I put a heat lamp close to output and covered the area so steam stays close to ground for birds laying down to breathe.
    1 Teaspoon Oxine in drinking water every time its changed, keeps molds and slime from forming.
    Oxine at 1Tbsp per gallon is preventative for non sick birds from getting this.
    Oxine mixed with Citric Acid "Activator" is a premise only sanitizer. Do not treat live animals with mixture. It is used to kill every pathogen known before putting animals into a place where other animals have been. Whether the previous tenants were sick or healthy. Its a good idea to sanitize any area before putting new inhabitants into it.

    From what I've read about mareks, there is no cure.
    I think I might have an antibiotic resistant infection.
    Because I think it is responding to this treatment, especially if I get really aggressive with treatment. 4 more days of antibiotic. I think the vetRx is like vapor rub for us. It certainly perks them up. Maybe it's a catalyst for the Sulfadimethoxine antibiotic. speeds it up. Or maybe they need that initial dose of 1 cc in their system quick. Or maybe it's all of the above.

    I think I am at the end of this now. Probiotics on order. I've gone through all I had. After antibiotics kill everything in their system probiotics are essential to getting their gut working properly again. Without Probiotics the treated animals will get diarrhea and die anyway. Start treating the day meds start and keep up for a week after with a boost once a month for all animals. Even humans need probiotics, otherwise yogurt companies wouldn't need Jackie Lee Curtis to tell you about them.

    Please respond to me personally to keep this post prominent.
    I dont know how many people have had this problem.
    But it broke my heart all summer and now into the fall.
    All the Sulmet was sold out in the local stores and on the internet. So I think it was a widely spread illness.

  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Flock Master Premium Member

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    You really need to get one of your sick chickens necropsied by your state vet or tested by your local NPIP person. You are probably dealing with at least 2 diseases--maybe coccidiosis as well as a respiratory disease. The sulfadimethoxine will treat coccidiosis and coryza. Here is a link for diseases to read, and the second link is to locate your state vet:
  3. Elaine Elder

    Elaine Elder Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 18, 2013
    Kingston, Georgia
    I have done everything.
    I'm done. I'm only posting past tense.
    I posted because someone asked me to.
    I went back to the other forum from a couple weeks ago and copied and pasted.
    I apologize if there was any sense of urgency on my part.
    If someone with 5 chickens gets this, they don't have time for a necropsy.
    I was told not to expect results for 3-6 weeks.
    Again, I apologize if my post seemed urgent.
    This is just information I was asked to share.
    This Is no longer an ongoing issue for me.
    I was only trying to pass on what I had learned.
    Again - I do not need help or advise at this time.
    My previous post was informational only.

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