pullets in quarantine--one with bad sneeze. please advise next step

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by haTHOR, Jun 7, 2010.

  1. haTHOR

    haTHOR Chillin' With My Peeps

    744
    6
    148
    Mar 28, 2009
    Near Asheville, NC
    got cuckoo marans (3) 2.5 weeks ago, and they have been in isolation since. in an ark with upstairs roost/scratch area, downstairs on grass which gets moved every few days so they have lots of grass/grit. they have 24 sf grass for the three birds.

    they are ~4 mos old and appear healthy.
    feeding layena pellets, ACV and chicken vitamins in water.
    feeding yogurt with pellets every other day.

    eyes are clear and bright, combs are not as bright as i would like but they aren't laying yet and change throughout the day from grayish to reddish, so i guess that's ok. no discharge from nose or eyes.

    one pullet coughs/sneezes OFTEN, esp after drinking water. wheezes occasionally, not often. her sneeze or cough has a bit of a wet sound to it.

    not lethargic.

    i gave vetRx one night and read the next day on here how it could add to irritation and have not used again--up in the air about this.

    my issue is i don't want to treat unless it's needed (i try to be VERY careful about overuse of abx for my family and animals). at the same time, i need to think about my strategy for treatment soon. i have ~20 chicks that need to go out soon as they are causing some major family stress being in my teenager's room. they are 3.5 wks. so at the end of the 30 day quarantine for the pullets, chicks will be ready to take over the ark.

    i want to treat in a timely manner (IF NEEDED) so that the pullets are healthy by the time they leave the ark, and so that any sickness they have won't infect chicks coming in. so i am considering treating now rather than at end of 30 days quarantine.

    i have searched and searched and have not seen a definitive answer. what would you do, given my situation and constraints? i know what would be OPTIMAL--having another coop/pen for the chicks so i could extend quarantine on pullets, so that this would not be an issue. it's definitely the next project i will work on. but for now, how can i make the best of a less than ideal situation?

    and yes, i am willing to cull if i don't have a better option for the sneezing pullet maran. i can't take a chance on infecting my flock.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  2. haTHOR

    haTHOR Chillin' With My Peeps

    744
    6
    148
    Mar 28, 2009
    Near Asheville, NC
    any thoughts, from you seasoned chicken people?
     
  3. chickeepoo

    chickeepoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    319
    0
    139
    Mar 10, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    Not seasoned enough myself, but I'm reading up on Oxine and going to order today online- I have sneezing and maybe sanitation issues with my 4 mo old pullets, so this product sounds safe and effective. Maybe someone else will jump in with experience in this.
     
  4. haTHOR

    haTHOR Chillin' With My Peeps

    744
    6
    148
    Mar 28, 2009
    Near Asheville, NC
    tell me more about sanitation issues? i wasn't thrilled with how these girls were being kept, but i took a chance b/c they looked strong and healthy and i know they were hatched out in good conditions (i know the original breeder). and the price was GREAT for near point of lay marans.
     
  5. chickeepoo

    chickeepoo Chillin' With My Peeps

    319
    0
    139
    Mar 10, 2008
    Orlando, FL
    I keep trying to sift/strain the sand in the run to clear out the feathers and poop- which ISN'T always the "prettiest", keep the wood shavings in the little hen house dry and clean, and keep changing their water since they foul it several times daily… 6 pullets, and I think 2 I had to swap out may have brought something in when they came in a month ago in exchange for 2 roos I'd gotten from same breeder. Things just seem dirtier and smellier than what I experienced with my first flock of Reds 2 years back, and I keep hearing that Oxine added to the drinking water and fogged in the coop, on roosts, and even in the birds faces, kills pathogens on direct contact 200 times better than bleach, yet is safe for the birds. Maybe there's just more weird stuff out there this last couple of years… as a precaution, I've already run them all through terramycin in their water for over a week, and I'll worm them next as I work at keeping things clean and dry in their coop. High heat plus rain blowing from thunderstorms down here hasn't helped my case against microbes, but I'll try the Oxine as a new weapon. Plus more fresh sand. A wet coop is disease waiting to happen.
     
  6. haTHOR

    haTHOR Chillin' With My Peeps

    744
    6
    148
    Mar 28, 2009
    Near Asheville, NC
    ok, my coops are DLM and dry, and the pen is dry, and there is lots of grass, so i think i am ok in that regard. on the other hand these pullets were kept by previous owner in a chain link pen with a triangle of tarp on one corner above a stick roost. just bare damp dirt. [​IMG] maybe that's where the issue came from. i also have a suspicion they had been in a very very very dirty coop for the last 4 months, as they have poop built up and stuck to their feet. [​IMG]

    what's the best way to build up immunity? anything besides ACV vitamins/electrolytes, fresh green grass, yogurt regularly, and a few greens from my garden? i'm trying, but i feel the clock ticking as the chicks are growing fast and the sneeze has not improved as i had hoped over the last two weeks.
     
  7. MotherJean

    MotherJean Chillin' With My Peeps

    You posted a similar thread almost a week ago. I stand by what I offered the first time around:

    "Given where she came from, I might suspect gapeworm. If she were mine, I'd worm her. If she doesn't improve fairly quickly after that, I'd turn to antibiotics to treat possible respiratory disease."

    Since another week has gone by without resolution of your problem, I would now suggest that you worm all those pullets AND give a 7-10 day course of a broad spectrum antibiotic (like Duramycin or Tyan) to any that are sneezing, coughing, or otherwise showing signs of illness. Dose them with the antibiotic individually. Don't put it in the water because there's no way to know for sure that they are getting enough of the antibiotic to be effective.

    Frankly, I don't understand your reluctance to treat the symptoms you've been seeing. You should be really concerned seeing pale colored combs, if only occasionally. It is a pretty common sign of a bird that isn't getting enough oxygen. There is absolutely no harm in giving obviously sick birds antibiotics. Drug resistant bacteria results from using antibiotics repeatedly over a substantial period of time, so that's not a risk. These birds are not laying and it doesn't sound like you intend to butcher for your table, so you're not putting any antibiotics into your food supply. So, what's the concern?

    By the by, I would NOT feed layena to pullets that have not started laying and probably won't for at least another month. Too much calcium can destroy both kidneys and liver. Put these girls on a good stater/grower feed and start making oyster shell available to them AFTER you see your first eggs. I think you're playing Russian roulette by feeding them a lot of green grass, too. Grass is notorious for compacting into a great sour mass in the crop. So long as you're providing a good balanced feed, greens from your garden, some nice leafy weeds like chickweed, and the occasional table scrap, they don't need all that grass anyway.

    Good luck. Hope your birds get better quickly.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  8. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Quote:I disagree that's there no harm in giving sick birds antibiotics. Giving a sick bird antibiotics when you don't know what they're sick with is a waste of money......and if it's virus, which it more than likely is, you may well mask symptoms that you want to come out while they're in quarentine.....not after you add them to your flock.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2010
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Since most diseases of chickens make the recovered bird a carrier, there is actually much harm in using antibiotics, even for bacterial ailments. The question is, do you want birds with weakened immune systems that you have to treat and re-treat and that can make others ill? That is what you often get when you treat anything other than an injury or reproductive infection with antibiotics.

    As far as sneezing, I do have one hen who is just a sneezer. She has no discharge, has never been ill (no respiratory illness here, ever), but she gets into sneezing fits. I have one hen who is dying from internal laying and her lungs are compromised. Pressure from all the fluid in her abdomen causes her to choke and gag when she has pressure applied to her abdomen. Sounds awful, but it's not a disease, per se.

    Never treat a bird in quarantine with antibiotics. That may mask symptoms you need to surface if there is disease present. What you can do in quarantine is to worm and treat for lice/mites. The whole point of quarantine is to keep illness out of your flock, not to treat symptoms. If they were malnourished, some salmon or other fish would be great extra protein.

    If you think they may have something contagious, it's best to never add them to the flock.
     
  10. haTHOR

    haTHOR Chillin' With My Peeps

    744
    6
    148
    Mar 28, 2009
    Near Asheville, NC
    motherjean, i read your opinion before, and i immediately searched threads on gapeworm. the pullet does not shake her head or yawn, etc. i did not find threads talking about sneezing being a symptom of gapeworm. so i did not pursue that suggestion.

    i was not aware that 4 mo olds could not eat layena. i will read more on that but am happy to switch them to my chick starter if that would be better.

    i'm confused about the grass thing though. i mean, how does one keep chickens from eating grass? they aren't in cages, nor would i want them to be...don't all birds that have access to green grass eat it? isn't that natural?

    i just can't agree with you about the abx use...i will use it if i have to, but without additional symptoms it is hard to see exactly what the infection is (from reading the aviary disease sites, etc).
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by