Only my second year with chickens and I am getting frustrated! Respiratory problems and lice?!

butterfliesdoku

Songster
Mar 11, 2015
509
35
116
The first year I got chickens I started off with two pullets a Silver Grey Dorking and a Black Sumatra and everything was perfect until this year. The year I decided to add chicks to the flock. My oldest chicks are 9 weeks old while my youngest is 2 weeks old. I have 6 black sex links and two started showing symptoms of a respiratory illness. They had a weird croak and sounded congested and occasionally would sneeze. I did not treat with antibiotics or medication but I did add peppermint leaves and garlic to their water and within two weeks all symptoms were gone. I added those two to my outdoor flock as they were big enough to leave the brooder and my outdoor flock is doing well. Now one more black sex link is sneezing but has a softer croaking sound, only this time the chick appears pale? I know with a sick and possibly contagious chick I shouldn't get anymore chicks but when I saw one of the chicks on my wishlist on Craigslist, how could I refuse... I brought said wishlist chick (Frizzled Dominique) and a Bantam Cochin Mix home and it wasn't till I got home and held the Frizzled Dominique to transfer from the carrier that I noticed a slightly runny nose and a horrid smell coming just from her face. The Bantam does not smell as bad but it is not that pleasant chick smell either. The Bantam gasps quite a lot especially after drinking water and has some yellow crust on his/her nostrils though not a lot. They are both eating and drinking and are very lively. I am worried the two new chicks may have Coryza. They are not in the same cage as my other baby chicks but they are very close (about 2 feet) could my other chicks become infected? The Dominique is 9 weeks old and the Bantam is 8 weeks old. Also a friend left me her only hen to watch over and she is very separate from my baby chicks but she is outside with my two hens and the older chicks. While giving my friend's hen a neck scratch I noticed that her hen has lice! I quickly checked a few different birds in my flock and none of them have any lice or any that I could see anyway. Could my birds get the lice from my friend's hen? What do I do about the lice already on my friend's hen and what could I do to make sure my flock doesn't get it? I'm sorry this is really long. This is all so frustrating to me. I just want them all to grow up and be healthy :( but it seems that I get one problem after another. I need advice!
 

gander007

Crowing
6 Years
Oct 9, 2013
15,522
1,348
446
South Western Death Valley, Ca.
The first year I got chickens I started off with two pullets a Silver Grey Dorking and a Black Sumatra and everything was perfect until this year. The year I decided to add chicks to the flock. My oldest chicks are 9 weeks old while my youngest is 2 weeks old. I have 6 black sex links and two started showing symptoms of a respiratory illness. They had a weird croak and sounded congested and occasionally would sneeze. I did not treat with antibiotics or medication but I did add peppermint leaves and garlic to their water and within two weeks all symptoms were gone. I added those two to my outdoor flock as they were big enough to leave the brooder and my outdoor flock is doing well. Now one more black sex link is sneezing but has a softer croaking sound, only this time the chick appears pale? I know with a sick and possibly contagious chick I shouldn't get anymore chicks but when I saw one of the chicks on my wishlist on Craigslist, how could I refuse... I brought said wishlist chick (Frizzled Dominique) and a Bantam Cochin Mix home and it wasn't till I got home and held the Frizzled Dominique to transfer from the carrier that I noticed a slightly runny nose and a horrid smell coming just from her face. The Bantam does not smell as bad but it is not that pleasant chick smell either. The Bantam gasps quite a lot especially after drinking water and has some yellow crust on his/her nostrils though not a lot. They are both eating and drinking and are very lively. I am worried the two new chicks may have Coryza. They are not in the same cage as my other baby chicks but they are very close (about 2 feet) could my other chicks become infected? The Dominique is 9 weeks old and the Bantam is 8 weeks old. Also a friend left me her only hen to watch over and she is very separate from my baby chicks but she is outside with my two hens and the older chicks. While giving my friend's hen a neck scratch I noticed that her hen has lice! I quickly checked a few different birds in my flock and none of them have any lice or any that I could see anyway. Could my birds get the lice from my friend's hen? What do I do about the lice already on my friend's hen and what could I do to make sure my flock doesn't get it? I'm sorry this is really long. This is all so frustrating to me. I just want them all to grow up and be healthy :( but it seems that I get one problem after another. I need advice!

You need to have these chicks in different rooms for a few weeks and I am aware not every one has the room I do and some have more room but for now you need to get some distance between them like different rooms ....

Some Apple Cider Vinegar in the drinking water and just a tea spoon will do ,,,, this will help make a difference in a week or so ..... Change water daily ... ACV can be purchased at most any store ..

Lice a hole big ball game of cleaning ,, you need to go to the feed store and explain your problem and they will get you what you need ,,,, that is one problem we don't get much in the desert but sand flees can be just as bad ...

Good luck .....
 

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
10 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,455
5,444
502
NW Oregon
This is the number one reason it is always essential to isolate any new bird from your flock. The risk of transmission of disease is simply not worth it. (I brought in Infectious Bronchitis one year with the purchase of a desired breed...I lost 2 birds and had to cull another. My egg loss was weeks.)

It is essential the 2 new birds are in isolation that is completely separate from your flock. You also should not touch or handle any of the new or fostered birds and then touch or handle your flock. I would change shoes too as well as your coat (complete clothing change would be safest, but most of us backyard farmers don't do that). Wash your hands between handling them.

While I am a user and believe in the worth of ACV to help boost the gut flora and thereby help the immune system, it will do absolutely nothing in your case for the two new sick birds. I would put antibiotics in the water for Coryza and keep the 2 new ones completely separate until 2 weeks after ALL symptoms disappear.
http://www.thepoultrysite.com/diseaseinfo/82/infectious-coryza/

As to the lice, keep that bird completely separate and do NOT handle her then your other birds. You need to dust her down completely with something like Poultry Dust (permethrin) or Sevin, then do that again in about 5 days, then again in another 5 days. Sprinkle poultry dust out where your birds dust bathe and then in the coop/nest area and they will dust themselves and probably head off a flock infestation. The good news is that lice live on the bird and not in the environment (at least not for long), but it is essential you remove all litter and fallen feathers.

It is absolutely essential you clean and dispose of all litter away from your flock with the new birds that have the respiratory ailment which you believe to be Coryza. That is highly infectious.

Your flock probably had a mild case of Infectious bronchitis or possibly MG. For the flock I would keep ACV (raw, with mother, non-metal container) in the water along with putting out garlic with yogurt to keep their immune systems boosted during this time.

Good luck and let us know how you are doing.
LofMc
 
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dawg53

Humble
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Nov 27, 2008
27,729
14,047
906
Glen St Mary, Florida
Horrid smell coming from just her face, gasping, yellow crust on nostrils...sounds like Infectious Coryza and it WILL spread to other birds, and if they survive, they WILL be carriers for life and WILL infect your other birds. CULL them and bury them deep or incinerate them. You'll be glad you did.
 

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
10 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,455
5,444
502
NW Oregon
Horrid smell coming from just her face, gasping, yellow crust on nostrils...sounds like Infectious Coryza and it WILL spread to other birds, and if they survive, they WILL be carriers for life and WILL infect your other birds. CULL them and bury them deep or incinerate them. You'll be glad you did.
Best advice for the 2 sick birds.

Do the dust for the fostered bird and your flock for the lice.
LofMc
 

butterfliesdoku

Songster
Mar 11, 2015
509
35
116
Should I let the lady I bought them from know that they were sick? And could it be anything other than Coryza? Also, how long does it take to spread? With the other baby chicks being so close how will I know if they've been exposed?
 

Lady of McCamley

Free Ranging
10 Years
Mar 19, 2011
7,455
5,444
502
NW Oregon
I would notify the seller...I am surprised she didn't notice they were sick, but let's give her the benefit and assume somehow she had not noticed...chances are other birds in her flock were sick earlier but she thought these were fine or are sick now....it is very suspicious though that you noticed it when you got home...that meant she was not a careful knowledgeable seller, nor possibly scrupulous seller, and I would never use her again. Usually a diseased bird comes down with symptoms a few days after you brought them home as the seller didn't know they were infected....to notice upon bringing them home means they were noticeably sick when you bought them. ALWAYS carefully examine ANY bird before buying and ALWAYS carefully isolate any new bird for at least 2 weeks, a month best, before introducing to your flock.

As what to do now...Unless you want the expense of a vet who can do proper cultures and physical exam (or necropsy on a dead bird), which is the only way you can be certain of what you've got for a number of things, you can only go by a poultry symptom checker. No one here can nor should diagnose long distance; we can only state what it is most likely to be, then you observe with your own eyes, compare to symptom lists and make the judgment call.

Often it is best to cull sick birds as many things have the same symptoms and are so contagious as not to be worth trying to nurse a sick animal through it at risk of spreading one of the really bad diseases to your other flock.

Another scary thought is that Avian Influenza is also going through a number of places, and that is also a possibility...that will bring in the Ag Department with quarantines and mass culling of flocks....possibly for the whole COUNTY.

So you do not want to mess around with a lot of avian illnesses.

Now on the other hand, you don't want to cull a bird for simple issues that birds easily overcome...back to the symptom checker and gaining personal knowledge...that is just proper flock maintenance.

I like to use these (it will take some reading to be able to confidently track down what you think your birds have and then make an educated decision on what to do):
http://poultrykeeper.com/respiratory-problems/
http://www.clemson.edu/public/lph/ahp/disease_links/images/poultrydiseases.pdf

And a good simple article on Coryza in Poultry:
http://www.extension.org/pages/68127/infectious-coryza-in-poultry#.VVj4__lViko

The bad smell is a tip off it is likely Coryza, and honestly, if you suspicion one of the nasties, it is better to be safe than sorry as you can risk not only your flock but others around you as well for years to come.

Good Luck
LofMc
 
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KayTee

Songster
8 Years
Sep 21, 2012
941
257
211
South West France
I would definitely let the breeder know - how they react is another matter.

I bought 3 new pullets last August, and it wasn't until I got them home I realised they had runny noses, were sneezing, and were covered in lice the size of ants! I contacted the breeder, not to complain, but just to inform her (I had bought two girls from her a few months earlier that were in peak condition, so I assumed it was a recent thing in the flock, and that maybe she wasn't aware of how severe things had become). Her reply was to deny that they had anything wrong with them, but then to admit that other girls in her flock were sick and to tell me that grapefruit seed extract in the water for 5 days would cure everything! I ended up using permethrin dust for the lice and antibiotics to control the infection. Everything cleared up, and they are now fully integrated with my flock, but I still blame myself - I was so keen to buy them that I didn't check them over thoroughly.
 

mg15

Songster
8 Years
Aug 22, 2012
1,298
109
241
For myself, I would have returned them to that lady.
 
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butterfliesdoku

Songster
Mar 11, 2015
509
35
116
Ok so it's been 4 days since I brought them home. The two that are sick are in the same room as 8 baby chicks but in a separate enclosure. I am going to go get some Tylan today. Could powder be used? I will be moving the 8 baby chicks into the house and keeping the two sick birds in the room until I figure out what I want to really do (I keep going back and forth). Should I dose my 8 chicks as well and what would be the dosage for baby chicks? They range in ages 2-9 weeks old. So far the 8 aren't showing any symptoms of what is suspected to be Coryza. I talked to the lady about returning the chicks and she said she could take them back but I won't be getting my money back. I'm fine with that as I just want them gone but I don't want another unsuspecting customer getting them either.
 

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