1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login, otherwise join BYC here!

New Pullet Sneezing, Wheezing, Coughing - Has she infected the rest?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by katiek, Dec 20, 2008.

  1. katiek

    katiek Chillin' With My Peeps

    367
    0
    131
    Nov 4, 2008
    Wildwood, GA
    We got two Buff Orpington pullets today (about 5 or 6 months) at a market an hour away. It's been raining here in the south for about two weeks, and today it was a chilly rainy day. She was in a pen, covered, but still had gotten pretty wet.

    Of the two pullets, one seems fine, and the other not so much. At first they seemed fine, but then, she started shaking her head and then stretching out her neck and opening her mouth (like she was going to hack something out). But she did this without making any noises and without hacking anything up. Weird.

    Because we don't really have any extra space and we thought they were healthy, we checked them for mites and stuff, gave them both a good look over, and put them in with our flock. The man we bought them to promised us that they were healthy and wouldn't need to be quarantined. I don't think he was a scamer because he gave us a great deal. I think he's just an old-schooler.

    After we got the two pullets in with our other flock, the one hen started sneezing a lot, and would get little snot bubbles. We thought maybe she was reacting to our hay. Then we thought maybe she caught a cold from being so wet lately.

    Now she's sneezing a ton and wheezing a lot. We immediately pulled her out of the flock and separated her.

    Her eyes are clear, she doesn't seem lethargic, not sure about her stool yet.

    After doing research here, there seem to be two opinions. One is that it's probably just a cold and that everything will be okay. Maybe give her the vet rx and some garlic and apple cider vinegar in her water. The other opinions seem to be that I could have potentially just doomed my whole entire flock. What do you guys think?

    Should we bring her inside to warm up? Should we medicate or somehow vaccinate the rest of our flock for something? Is there anything else to do?

    I'll give more information when we see how she is tomorrow morning.

    Thanks for everything!

    -Katie
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    First take them away from your birds. When you get new birds, you MUST quarantine them for a month or more away from the flock. This is why I never get started birds. People sell sick ones all the time, some are devious but some are just ignorant of the facts. Me, I'd put her down and pray your others wont get anything. And disinfect everything. Do not medicate her. You want the symptoms to come out, not be masked. If she is ill, cull her.

    P.S. Chickens dont get colds, they get communicable diseases, many that make them carriers for life, meaning they will never be really healthy and can infect all other birds.
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2008
  3. swtangel321

    swtangel321 ~Crazy Egg Lady~

    Jul 11, 2008
    awwww, that stinks !!! Wonder if the crap head that sold her knew she was sick [​IMG]


    I had a sick hen not to long ago, I treated her with anti's but a few others in my flock still got sick. I had to treat the whole flock... Thank god everyone got better pretty quick !!

    Hope she just has a little problem due to the stress !!! Wish you the best of luck [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2008
  4. katiek

    katiek Chillin' With My Peeps

    367
    0
    131
    Nov 4, 2008
    Wildwood, GA
    Thank you.

    That's what I was afraid of.

    If we cull her, I assume we can't eat her. Is that correct?

    If we can't eat her, how should we dispose of her safely?

    Also, how do we know if the other pullet is okay? Should would just wait for symptoms?
     
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    You may not know about the other one for awhile. Remove her from your flock's breathing area entirely and watch. I take a tough stance with disease. I will never, ever treat respiratory illness. For one, antibiotics do not kill viruses, so you really haven't cured them at all, even if they get better. And you are weakening your flock overall by keeping birds with weak immune systems. Since you dont know what she has, I wouldnt eat her. I'd cull then burn the body so no animals can dig it up. Some will tell you to treat her, but I just cant in good conscience tell you that. Sorry, if I sound harsh, I dont mean to. I've just seen way too much heartache.
     
  6. katiek

    katiek Chillin' With My Peeps

    367
    0
    131
    Nov 4, 2008
    Wildwood, GA
    We've never culled our flock before, but we have intended to for meat birds in the future.

    It seems like such a hard thing to do right now. But I know it's for the best.

    I just had my favorite hen recover from a dog bite, and I'd feel horrible if she died for something that was my own dumb fault.

    We're going to move the two new pullets far away from the flock. Should we keep the sick pullet away from the "healthy one" as well?

    We are thinking about culling the sick one tomorrow morning. Should we keep her in our house for the night so she's warm and comfy on her potentially last night? Or is that dangerous to us and our pets (cat and dogs)?

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  7. katiek

    katiek Chillin' With My Peeps

    367
    0
    131
    Nov 4, 2008
    Wildwood, GA
    swtangle,

    thanks so much for the good wishes!!

    yeah, the guys gave me the two pullets for $10. i thought it was such a good deal! ha! [​IMG]

    who knows.

    we're gonna see how she is in the morning.

    i'm hoping she just got water up her nose, but i know that's not likely realistic.
     
  8. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    It's not dangerous to bring her inside. Most things she could have are not passed to other species. Since the other pullet has been in contact with the sick one, I think I'd put them both together away from the flock. A dog crate in a bsmt or garage may work.
     
  9. cgmccary

    cgmccary Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,740
    216
    211
    Sep 14, 2007
    NE Alabama
    For one, antibiotics do not kill viruses, so you really haven't cured them at all, even if they get better. And you are weakening your flock overall by keeping birds with weak immune systems.

    I feel this way about people (humans) sometimes too. Realizing that sometimes living creatures are just victims of their circumstances, I still donate to my United Way every year (this year, my donations targeted paying troubled power bills for folks with kids-- probably better to let nature run its course & help our human gene pool) . . . but a pullet that recovers may be demonstrating a strong immune system . . . anyway, I digress.

    I'd separate the pullets & treat the sick one. It could also simply be a "luck" thing & the pullet caught a [viral] cold-- not because she is "weak" genetically but because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. This happens in life.

    Minimally: Get some Vet Rx (it is not an antibiotic or medicine but like Vicks for us it might be all the help she needs) -- rub it on her comb & wattles, her throat, put a drop in her nostrils & a couple of drops under each of her wings, rub her feet. My criteria is simple: If she is eating & drinking, then she is strong enough to be given a chance to make it. This is a sign of a strong bird. I've seen them well the next day after only Vet-RX.

    Sometimes antibiotics are helpful even when it is a virus involved (even though the antibiotic has no effect on the virus itself). Let me explain. The virus may be something that is nothing but a passing thing (like our common cold) -- but the virus weakens the immune system just enough that WHAM -- a bacteria, that normally would not get past GO, finds a way in during that little window of opportunity, and it is the combination of the initial (otherwise weak & passing) virus with the opportunistic bacterial infection that kills. If treated with a good, broad spectrum antibiotic timely and properly, the body would have mobilized sufficiently to thwart the bacteria and the weak little viral infection gets defeated.

    I suggest if you decide to also go medicinal then get something like an "antibacterial and antimycoplasmal" mix like "lincomycin-spectinomycin" -- (along with the Vet-Rx--should be available at your local feed-store or through First State Vet online or Jeffers. You'll mix it in their drinking water & change it daily (and important to mix in the right dosage)--

    IMHO, sometimes a pullet or hen that recovers quickly from "catching the cold" is the stronger and lives the longest. Yes, there are certain diseases that can be "carried" by the flock but if it is one of these, then your flock has already been exposed. It might just as easily not be one of these. Of course, it's your choice-- some cull their birds if they get a parasite (certainly a turn of luck) -- others will not cull a bird near death. Good Luck!​
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2008
  10. katiek

    katiek Chillin' With My Peeps

    367
    0
    131
    Nov 4, 2008
    Wildwood, GA
    Thanks for the advice! They two new pullets are quarantined. I brought them in the house, hoping that maybe warm dry conditions would help her.

    Still wheezing and sneezing. Not sure yet what to do. I'm gonna try some vet RX for now.

    As of now, my original flock seems healthy and happy [​IMG] let's hope they stay that way!

    Thanks.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by