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Pullet With Barking Cough; Rooster Eating Eggshells With Hens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by OlyChickenGuy, Dec 17, 2011.

  1. OlyChickenGuy

    OlyChickenGuy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Firstly, this post has two inquiries, the first one being MUCH more important than the latter, but I really didn't want to make two different posts about all this.




    FIRST INQUIRY - potential emergency? Please help?

    I rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome chickens and offer chicken training services. One woman who has adopted chickens from me keeps in very, very close contact with me - close enough that my chickens go out for play-dates to her house. We've been doing this for well over a year now, and since all but one of her chickens came from my flock to begin with and keep in frequent contact with one another, the need for quarantine is moot.

    However, our most recent play-date had to be cancelled due to one of her pullets developing what she describes as a "barking cough". She expresses that the pullet, Caramel, does NOT cough all the time, but over the past few days it's become every-so-slowly slightly more noticeable. Caramel is reported to be eating and drinking well, active, energetic, and all around behaving perfectly normally save for said cough. The cough is described as sounding like a "guttural bark" or "yap", but it's so short and abrupt that it's hard to catch her in the process of coughing.

    One concern of Caramel's owner is that the three girls don't have much to do with each other. They don't snuggle up together at night or anything, and though they HAD been sleeping indoors for a good part of the winter, as days have become longer, and their owner has had to stay out later for work, the girls have been putting themselves to bed in a tiny coop ( it's not INSULATED by any stretch, but precautions have been taken to keep it from being drafty ) at night, but they're still forced to be outside.

    What could this coughing be? What are some treatments some might suggest for it? MY birds have NOT been exposed to Caramel, even remotely, so it's not a worry for me, and the three chickens that my friend has are an Easter-Egger, to the best of MY guessing an American-Serama mutt of some sort ( she is TINY - not much bigger than a cockatiel ), and then Caramel who dwarfs the two bantams, being a standard-size herself, who's 1/2 Ameraucana, 1/8 barred Plymouth Rock, 3/8 Rhode Island Red ( her father's mother is a Blackstar ). She has the Ameraucana muffs and beard, and the VERY poofy and insulated Ameraucana feathering, with pea comb, but yellow legs and beak, and a VERY Red colouration. She is clean-legged.

    I don't have any photos of Caramel, herself, but she looks pretty much like her siblings, save colouration.

    [link] <-- Here's her siblings, Lightning ( the cockerel ), and Quincy ( pullet ). Quincy and Lightning have been separated from their sister for several weeks now. I'd guess... at LEAST a few weeks before Thanksgiving. Neither sibling show any symptoms remotely similar to Caramel's current condition.
    [link] <-- This is Quincy right up close to the camera, and Lightning snuggled against me so you all can see just how INSULATED these guys are!
    [link] <-- The black one is Pepper, the buff-white one is Marshmallow, and these are Caramel's flock-mates. Both are a little over a year or a year-and-a-half old. Keep in mind Marshmallow's the one that's about the size of a cockatiel. I've added this picture for the sole purpose that everyone reading this knows what the WHOLE FLOCK looks like.




    INQUIRY TWO - absolutely not urgent, just curious

    My rooster, Bo, who's two-and-a-half years old has recently taken a strong interest in his two girl's daily intake of eggshell. Whenever I bring out the eggshell, the girls come running, and so does he. The girls are WILD and absolutely ECSTATIC about the eggshell, and pull it out of the yoghurt container that I've converted into an eggshell waste recycling container, and toss it all around. Then Bo comes up right with them, keeping his place between them. He curiously pushes his head into the container and pulls out some eggshell. Not NEARLY as energetic or "into" the activity as the girls, but he still participates. He pulls some out, drops it on the ground, toss it around before eating a little. He never eats MUCH, but other than the TWO girls I have laying, he's the only chicken I have that shows interest in eggshells. I'm just curious if anyone else has had a shell-curious rooster. My banty rooster has no interest in the eggshell ritual at all, and my herm-chicken ( she's closing in on two years old this spring, and hasn't developed any female sex characteristics so far as cloacal or hip development, but also shows no signs of male sex characteristics so far as comb size, feather pointiness or shininess, spurs... she's simply the softest chicken in the world, and a wonderful snuggler ) is also completely uninterested, and hangs out with the little man most of the time.

    Bo DOES NOT sing or dance while playing with the eggshell, so it's not like his usual antics with food and trying to attract a female's attention. He seems to simply play with it, in a similar manner as the girls do, but much less vigorously.
     
  2. OlyChickenGuy

    OlyChickenGuy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 5, 2010
    Olympia, Washington
    UPDATE: We have attained that typical all-purpose antibiotic you get from feed stores ( starts with "tetra", I believe, and you put it in water to make it look like urine... I can NEVER remember what it's called despite having some on hand ALWAYS and using it before ). Since my friend does not wish to medicate all of the birds at once ( she believes the other two are okay since they're showing no symptoms and they tend not to spend much time with the infected ), she's using an eyedropper to individually medicate Caramel a few times a day.

    The one question we have now is... how much? I know that it's hard to OVERDOSE with this stuff, and I know that typically you let the chickens medicate themselves by letting them choose to drink it out of their water sources, but my friend is really against medicating the other two chickens if they don't need it, and for the period in which she can't eat the eggs.

    So... how much would you make as a goal to dose a standard-sized pullet daily with?
     
  3. GreenMeadows

    GreenMeadows Chillin' With My Peeps

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    1 tsp to 1 gal on water and let her have it for 3 to 7 days and have it be the only water. Dont eat the eggs for a few weeks.
    Quote:
     
  4. OlyChickenGuy

    OlyChickenGuy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Aye, that's said on the packaging, but the chemicals, once in contact with water, break down after twenty-four hours and are no longer effective after that period. That means the medicinal properties are gone after a day, so one needs to switch out the water daily.

    Where our problem comes in is that there is NO WAY a singly pullet is going through a gallon of water in a single day. What I meant to ask is, "How much would one suggest for a single dosage?"

    Sorry for the confusion, but thanks for the reply.
     
  5. OlyChickenGuy

    OlyChickenGuy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, we've decided to play it by ear. My friend is just mixing up a little bit at a time to put in an eye-dropper and medicating Caramel the pullet twice daily. I've always been told that the ideal way to tell if the solution is well-balanced is if it "looks like urine".

    If anyone else has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them.
     
  6. GreenMeadows

    GreenMeadows Chillin' With My Peeps

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    yes make fresh daily. Good luck!
    Quote:
     
  7. OlyChickenGuy

    OlyChickenGuy Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Olympia, Washington
    Quote:Yes-indeedy, we are making sure to have fresh medicine available every day! Thank you for your reply! I'm keeping my fingers crossed that Caramel will recover quickly. I'm not too worried about her since she's not suffering and it looks like what she has, from my research, isn't all that fatal, I just know my friend will be freaking out and worrying over every little thing until Caramel isn't coughing anymore, so I hope her recovery is a hasty one!
     

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