Please help, my chickens seem to be all getting sick

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chido, Oct 4, 2011.

  1. Chido

    Chido Chillin' With My Peeps

    294
    3
    119
    Apr 16, 2011
    El Monte
    A couple of days ago one of my pullets got a really swollen face with nasal discharge. She's doing better, but now things are getting worse for my other hens.

    Today I noticed my Barred rock hen is really ill. She is less than two years old, has a very runny nose and sounds very congested, and makes a nasty sound when she breathes and she kinda gasps through her mouth. She has clear eyes and the nasal discharge is clear, but the poor thing is not eating much and she sounds so congested, her chest sound like it's rattling. I got her to eat mealworms, but she wouldn't eat anything else, and her poop was mostly a clear, yellowish liquid with a bit of feces in it.

    I've also noticed that another of my pullets (the pullets are 6 month old gamey mutts), looks fine and acts normal except for a lot of clear, liquid, nasal discharge. By now I think I should expect most of my hens to get sick, but I don't know how to treat them. I've been doing some Google searches on what fits her symptoms, and it seems most respiratory infections have these symptoms. What kind of broad spectrum treatment can I give them to help them fight this problem? Would terramycin work, or should I go for baytril?

    This is the first time I've had chickens, and I hadn't had any pets since I had to put my dog to sleep some years ago, I'm really worried the barred rock might die, not only because i'm really attached to her, but because these are also my nieces' first pets ever, and they were so upset when their pullet got a swollen face a couple of days ago. Please, if there's any advice any of you guys can give me, please do so.
     
  2. Cloverleaf Farm

    Cloverleaf Farm Bearded Birds are Best

    10,367
    82
    328
    Sep 16, 2008
    Levan, UT
    You need to separate the sick ones from the others ASAP, and look up laryngeotracheitis, or ILT. [​IMG]
     
  3. georgeandmildredgoose

    georgeandmildredgoose Chillin' With My Peeps

    136
    0
    79
    Jul 12, 2011
    Gloucestershire UK
    you need to isolate the ones with symptoms straight away, this may help limit the number that get sick.
    in my opinion i would start antibiotics but different ones are best for different things.......im really not sure what to say.
    so sorry you are going through this.
     
  4. Chido

    Chido Chillin' With My Peeps

    294
    3
    119
    Apr 16, 2011
    El Monte
    Well I have the bared rock, Spaghetti, sleeping in the garage for tonight. I took another look at her when I got home from school, it was already 9 pm and she was sleeping, but she still sounds very congested and has a runny nose. Good thing is that she doesn't have any eye discharge, her eyes look good and bright. I'm gonna see if I can get her to eat mor mealworms tomorrow and some tuna or cheese, and I'm gonna try to make her eat some cooked oatmeal. I was also thinking of giving her a bit of honey diluted in warm weater, it might help sooth her throat, and it might help strengthen her body a bit.

    From all that I've read about respiratory illnesses, most are viral, so there isn't much point in giving her antibiotics as they don't work on viruses, and without knowiong exactly what she has, I might end up medicating her with the wrong medicine [​IMG]. I'm just gonna try to make her eat and be as comfortable as possible while she deals with the infection, and I hope she makes it until tomorrow.



    I didn't know how attached I am to this grumpy lady until I saw her so sick. I managed to control myself in front of my nieces, but I just started to cry once I was in my room. I wish I could afford taking her to a vet, [​IMG].
     
  5. Pickaduck

    Pickaduck Chillin' With My Peeps

    232
    0
    79
    May 21, 2011
    Alabama
    First off, I'm so sorry you and your nieces are going through this - I know how hard it is when our pets become sick, they are family members too! [​IMG]

    Secondly, you are doing the right thing keeping her isolated. It might help to give her some electrolytes in her water (like gatorade, etc) or children's poly-vi-sol without iron (you can get this at walmart for relatively cheap). You can also try feeding her some scrambled eggs or other protein like the tuna as that will help her body fight this illness.

    I understand completely about wanting to be able to take her to the vet but keep in mind that as this is most likely viral there's not a whole lot a vet can do for her either since antibiotics don't work so don't feel bad about the vet because even if you could afford one it doesn't mean the vet would be able to do anything better than what you are doing.

    I wanted to add that I think it's sweet that you are being brave in front of your nieces and hopefully your Spaghetti (cute name, by the way) will be well soon.

    If any of the other chickens are showing symptoms it's important to isolate them as well because it will protect the ones who aren't sick.
     
  6. Clay Valley Farmer

    Clay Valley Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

    739
    6
    121
    Sep 7, 2010
    From all that I've read about respiratory illnesses, most are viral, so there isn't much point in giving her antibiotics as they don't work on viruses

    True that for the most part antibiotics are ineffective against viruses, but often it is a virus that takes out or overwhelms the immune deffences leaving suseptibility to bacterial infections. In the end it is these secondary infections that are often the killer as most viruses don't dirrectly kill their hosts seeing the viruses need the hosts to live and spread. In this respect antibiotics can be very effective in preventing or addressing secondary bacterial infections while the viral infection is in the acute phase. Very often illnesses are not single point problems. Example: coryza and MG go together, Cocci can be followed by enteritis infections, even a significant load of round worms can leave a bird open to other infections like sour crop as just one example.​
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011
  7. georgeandmildredgoose

    georgeandmildredgoose Chillin' With My Peeps

    136
    0
    79
    Jul 12, 2011
    Gloucestershire UK
    [​IMG]
    Quote:True that for the most part antibiotics are ineffective against viruses, but often it is a virus that takes out or overwhelms the immune deffences leaving suseptibility to bacterial infections. In the end it is these secondary infections that are often the killer as most viruses don't dirrectly kill their hosts seeing the viruses need the hosts to live and spread. In this respect antibiotics can be very effective in preventing or addressing secondary bacterial infections while the viral infection is in the acute phase. Very often illnesses are not single point problems. Example: coryza and MG go together, Cocci can be followed by enteritis infections, even a significant load of round worms can leave a bird open to other infections like sour crop as just one example.
     
  8. Chido

    Chido Chillin' With My Peeps

    294
    3
    119
    Apr 16, 2011
    El Monte
    Thank you guys for the replies! Spaghetti survived the night, but she isn't eating. I even showed her a bunch of mealworms but she wouldn't try to eat them. I'm gonna order Baytril and see if it arrives on time for her, if it's too late for her then at least I'll have some for the others just in case. I'm also gonna mix some tuna with water and see if I can force feed her with a dropper or syringe. Today her comb is a bit darker on the edges, but her breathing is not as loud as yesterday, although she still coughs/sneezes really hard. Her eyes are still free of discharge, so I guess that's good? [​IMG]

    Edit: I can't go check the other chickens today to make sure they are fine because it's raining (wht are the odds of raining in SoCal right now...), and I tried to catch them, but they just kept running in circles [​IMG]. I'll go see them once it stops raining and everybody is inside the coop.
     
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2011
  9. georgeandmildredgoose

    georgeandmildredgoose Chillin' With My Peeps

    136
    0
    79
    Jul 12, 2011
    Gloucestershire UK
    [​IMG] keep us posted.
     
  10. Chido

    Chido Chillin' With My Peeps

    294
    3
    119
    Apr 16, 2011
    El Monte
    Well I ordered the baytril, it should arrive tomorrow or Friday since it is shipped from another county here in California. I haven't got Spaghetti to eat anything, she seems alert and enough to fight with me when I try to feed her with a syringe, but she won't eat mealworms off the dish or my hand. I guess it bothers her to swallow. I've got her to drink water from a dropper without too much fuzz, so I'm gonna try to giver her a bit of tuna slurry with the dropper and see if she'll eat it.

    I hope my grumpy lady eats it, she's pooping mostly yellow liquid with tiny pieces of solid feces, she hasn't eaten much since yesterday [​IMG].
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by