Please Help!

Peeps1926

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 17, 2014
6
0
7
I have a flock of birds that are coughing ,sneezing and rattly breathing. They are eating fine drinking fine and act normal other than that. I did add 2 birds to that flock and they seem to not be affected Im not sure if the illness started before i added the new birds or after i added them. what ever it is i beleave it is spreading slowly. this has been going on for maybe 3 weeks. Im on my 3rd day of treating them with the antibiotic Tetracycline. so far not much if any improvement. What is this illness ? What else can i do ? How long can i expect this illness to last? Thanks.
 

Eggcessive

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9 Years
Apr 3, 2011
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This scenario sounds familiar to other stories here on BYC about bringing other birds into a healthy flock which are carriers of a respiratory disease. All new birds should be quarantined for at least 30-45 days to watch for symptoms. A lot of people will choose 1 of their birds to put in with new birds as a guinea pig to see if the old bird gets sick. Infectious bronchitis, Mycoplasma Gallisepticum, coryza, and ILT are some common diseases. Culling sick birds is the only way to get rid of them, but if you choose to treat with antibiotics you should close your flock to new birds, or not selling any birds or hatching eggs since MG can be transmitted through eggs. Here is a link to read about those diseases: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044
 
Last edited:

Sonya9

Songster
5 Years
Feb 7, 2014
1,259
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211
Jones County, Georgia
Culling sick birds is the only way to get rid of them, but if you choose to treat with antibiotics you should close your flock to new birds, or not selling and birds. Here is a link to read about those diseases:
At this point his whole flock has been exposed plus from what I understand respiratory infections are pretty common when buying birds from unknown sources and many ARE very curable.

If a definitive diagnosis has not been made and he doesn't know if this disease is curable or not it seems culling is rather extreme.

To the op make sure the birds stay warm. If they were showing signs for 3 weeks then I would think it may take a while for them to fully recover, I would also consult a vet.
 

Eggcessive

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Apr 3, 2011
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At this point his whole flock has been exposed plus from what I understand respiratory infections are pretty common when buying birds from unknown sources and many ARE very curable.

If a definitive diagnosis has not been made and he doesn't know if this disease is curable or not it seems culling is rather extreme.

To the op make sure the birds stay warm. If they were showing signs for 3 weeks then I would think it may take a while for them to fully recover, I would also consult a vet.
Respiratory diseases are not common from reputable and responsible breeders--their reputations and business would be ruined. If a good breeder had a sick bird from a contagious disease, they would kill it, and burn or bury the carcass very deeply far away from their chickens. Most respiratory diseases are chronic, never cured. That's why MG is called chronic respiratory disease or CRD. The symptoms may go away after antibiotics, but the chicken is still a carrier and each chicken around it also becomes a carrier whether or not it gets symptoms. Many backyard breeders choose not to cull, and that is fine as long as it is pointed out that their flocks are now carriers. Getting tested by your local state vet or Dept of Agriculture will indeed tell you what you are dealing with. That is best done before antibiotics are used. Also a necropsy can be performed on a bird that dies.
 

dawg53

Humble
Premium member
11 Years
Nov 27, 2008
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Glen St Mary, Florida
At this point his whole flock has been exposed plus from what I understand respiratory infections are pretty common when buying birds from unknown sources and many ARE very curable.

Eggcessive is correct. Respiratory diseases might be treatable, but not curable. Birds that survive after treatment remain carriers for life. Culling sick birds is best.
 

Peeps1926

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 17, 2014
6
0
7
If i got rid of the birds would i also need to decontaminate the coop some way?
 

Eggcessive

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Of course without a test, you can't know for sure what your chickens have. If your chickens have MG, that disease can be spread through chickens to the eggs. That why a test is worthwhile. You might take your sickest bird, and sacrifice it by letting your state vet euthanize it to diagnose what it has with a necropsy. Most respiratory diseases like MG, Coryza will only be alive for 3-4 days, but ILT can last up to 6 weeks in the environment. Here are a few links to read about MG and disinfection of coops:
http://www.gapoultrylab.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/Mycoplasma%20handout%20for%20Backyard%20Flocks%204-12.pdf

http://www.agf.gov.bc.ca/ahc/poultry/MG.Infection.pdf
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps034
http://umaine.edu/livestock/poultry/mycoplasma-gallisepticum-faq/
 

Peeps1926

Hatching
5 Years
Apr 17, 2014
6
0
7
How much does that usually cost to have a vet euthanize and diagnose the illness?
 
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