Please help, IDK what to do!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by NikkisChix, Sep 27, 2015.

  1. NikkisChix

    NikkisChix Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 28, 2014
    Southwest Virginia
    Ok I have three 7mo old leghorns. I bought them from a lady 3 weeks ago. Several days after I brought them home, one started to cough, sneeze a little, and breathe with her mouth open. Almost two weeks later a second hen started sneezing. Now they all three have runny noses and two have runny eyes. It's clear and there's isn't a smell that I've noticed but I could be missing it. The hen that isn't sneezing laid her first egg today! I've been giving them VetRX in their water so it will get on their beaks. They aren't as tame as my other flock so I've had a very difficult time in trying any direct methods of medicating. I don't know what to do..... I've been keeping them in an XL dog crate bc I don't want to risk my other 3 hens. I just am at such a loss please someone help...
     
  2. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Are these birds in quarantine? Have they had any contact with your existing flock?

    Given the combination of recent stress + multiple typical symptoms, I would say your birds most likely have a contagious respiratory disease, in all likelihood one of the Mycoplasmas.

    There is a treatment (mind that it is a TREATMENT, not a cure) for myco. The best is Denagard, available from QC Supply (12.5% solution at around $44 a liter). Tetracyclines (Gallimycin, Duramycin) will treat Myco but they are not nearly as effective as Denagard (though it is possible to use Dena and Dura/Gallimycin in combination, which is a very effective treatmetment).

    Mycoplasma is a very contagious disease that stays with the flock for life - treatments like Denagard or Duramycin mask or remove the symptoms, and are not a cure. Many birds who recover become asymptomatic carriers, showing no signs of disease but spreading it to other birds. Therefore, even if you treat the birds, there is still a chance they can transmit it if added to a new flock.

    I would cull all three birds, burn the carcasses and contact the seller ASAP. While some people willingly ignore their flock's health issues and continue selling fowl, some are simply ignorant and do not understand the nature of their flock's issues. Either way, a complaint may help her realize what she is doing is wrong, or seek help and diagnosis for her flock's illness.
     
  3. NikkisChix

    NikkisChix Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 28, 2014
    Southwest Virginia
    They are in quarantine. I let the woman know and she swore they weren't sick before hand. She can't take them back bc she was selling all of her flock bc she's moving.

    Two of the birds started laying today. I don't think I can cull them...
     
  4. Mutt Farm

    Mutt Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    IMO, my respectful opinion, I wouldn't cull a bird or 2 for sneezing. IF I had a BYC flock and wasn't risking a known incurable disease to a huge flock. I'd take it easy. Stress and a new environment, particularity stale air can cause a cold. Can you get antibiotics on board? I'm not a chicken vet by any means. My point is that if they are eating, drinking and laying, I wouldn't throw the baby out with the bath water.
     
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  5. NikkisChix

    NikkisChix Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 28, 2014
    Southwest Virginia
    That's kinda what I'm thinking. I don't want to cull them, I want to get them better and then put them with my other three hens. If I have to end up treating everyone again I will. What do I need to get from tractor supply in terms of the antibiotic??
     
  6. Mutt Farm

    Mutt Farm Chillin' With My Peeps

    Gosh. I truly don't know If it's a virus, it'll run it's course regardless. This might not be good advice, just old farmer advice, but if they're eating and drinking, I'd just give vital pac or similar to support them, great quality food (scrambled eggs, etc) and wait it out. IF they stop eating/drinking, I'd have a closer look. I'm calling it shipping stress for right now.
     
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  7. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 14, 2015
    Northern Colorado
    I'm split down the middle on culling... You've got them quarantined, symptoms have been seen for 3 weeks, and now a second one showing symptoms. I'm going to assume you haven't treated with anything besides the vetRx?.. wormers, antibiotics, etc... At least it gives you a clean slate to work with.

    I would personally get a sample to a lab or vet and have them check for pathogens or parasites and in the meantime, keep them quarantined and see what the tests say.

    I run a closed herd and a closed flock, meaning that any time I want to bring in new specimens, they would be quarantined, just like yours, until I can see if they build resistance. It is likely that what has happened us THEY caught something from YOUR environment that they weren't used to, and now it must run its course before they are "immune".

    Culling would come if the first one goes downhill and the second gets worse. By then you should have results from the lab and know more if what to do as far as needing to cull them, or see if they improve. Antibiotics will slow down an infection for the time being, so that would be what I would do.

    Best of luck :)
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
  8. NikkisChix

    NikkisChix Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 28, 2014
    Southwest Virginia
    We're trying to get a pen built so I can get them out of the dog crate. It's not going to be ideal bc the other three hens in my back yard will then be able to walk up to them, only being separated by chicken wire. BUT even though I clean out the crate daily, I want to get them out of being in their own poop and giving them a little more room and some grass to scratch. I think all three of the new hens are sneezing and have clear watery noses but that's about it. The first one who got sick had been doing this cough thing but I think I've been hearing it less.
     
  9. shortgrass

    shortgrass Overrun With Chickens

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    Mar 14, 2015
    Northern Colorado
    Oh that will help immensely; getting them out of the crate, that is. Fresh air and sunshine can turn it right around; ammonia and germs run rampant in closed quarters, no matter how much you clean, fesh air will help a LOT.

    Problem with being right next to your healthy hens is:

    1. Contamination. Waterers, feeders, their dander is going to be everywhere, so aside from keeping the food and water separate, and trying to keep poo to a minimum, there is going to be cross contamination, if there hasn't been already from shoes and pans, etc...

    2. Resistance. If, in fact, your current flock is where the new gals got the pathogen, then no concern; they are already resistant. If NOT, you risk your healthy flock to a new pathogen. Which they might be resistant to, they might not.

    All in all, you risk losing all 6 birds. On a good note, you may end up with 6 birds with resistance. Odds are that you'll lose one.

    But it could easily be from being cooped up with inhaling stale air for 3 weeks and minor respiratory stress. That's where natural selection comes in; sometimes one is lost in an effort to build resistance in a stronger flock... It's entirely your call.
     
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2015
    1 person likes this.
  10. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    I suggested cull because few people want to pay for a blood test. If you want to be sure, get blood drawn and tested for MS/MG. It typically costs between $30 and $90. But for the love of God, please do not put the sick birds anywhere near your existing flock. I have made this mistake in the past, thinking it was "just a cold" and now have a MS/MG positive flock for my trouble. Living with a constantly quarantined flock is awful. You can't sell birds, rehome them, show them, you see big egg production drops (2-3 eggs a day for every 10 or so hens, peak season), and turkeys and meat birds get extremely hard hit. I've lost plenty of valuable birds to these diseases - they are no joke.
     

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