Raspy, sneezing hens - a few questions

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by capow21, Sep 13, 2014.

  1. capow21

    capow21 Out Of The Brooder

    55
    2
    41
    Jan 27, 2012
    SITUATION:
    So, about three months ago I bought some copper marans chicks from a lady. Those did well and are healthy and beautiful, nobody got sick, so I trusted to get a few more. I put them in a separate run under a broody hen. Three died the first day. One is left and seems to be healthy and thriving since I switched it to medicated feed. Yesterday the mother hen started to sound raspy while clucking and was sneezing and her breathing was loud and raspy. I thought, oh great, here we go...

    Today she is still raspy, but not as bad and is eating, drinking and acting fine otherwise. Then, I was outside looking over the others and another hen slept in and didn't get off the roost like she usually does and she is raspy sounding and sneezing. I noticed a few others were sneezing. So, I'm assuming the chicks have brought in some kind of respiratory disease. I currently have a mixed flock of 22. Ages chicks to almost three years old, so my plan is to treat them and keep a closed flock rather than cull them all.

    QUESTIONS:
    This is my first time with any sick birds, other than one chick that had Coccidiosis when I first started chicken keeping.

    I have Sulmet on hand. Is this okay to use until I can get something else Monday or Tuesday?
    What is the doesage?
    How long do I treat them?
    Should I try to get Tylan500 or something else next week?
    How long should I discard the eggs?
    I have three Marans roosters that will need butchered in about 8 weeks, especially not that I can't get rid of them. Will they be safe to eat?

    Or, another thought I just had...my neighbors down the street had a rooster that had some kind of respiratory disease and it died, I wonder if their last hen wandered up and came in contact with some of mine. Mine are free-range, so...anyway, I know have some kind of respiratory thing going on...lame...
     
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    If there were sick chickens at the neighbors then that is very possibly where this came from. Many of these respiratory diseases are very easily spread on the air as well as by wild birds.

    I don't know about using Sulmet for respiratory disease, I'm sure someone can comment on that, I use Tylan 50. I prefer dosing birds individually and only those that are symptomatic but since you have quite a few birds and this could take a while to work through your flock you might want to try the Tylan powder that can be put in their water.

    Good luck, respiratory diseases are no fun. If you have one that dies or if you have a sick one you are willing to give up, a necropsy by a state lab is a very good idea. Some states do them for free. If you can deliver a live bird they can do additional testing with a fresh blood sample before euthanizing and doing the necropsy and other testing.
     
  3. capow21

    capow21 Out Of The Brooder

    55
    2
    41
    Jan 27, 2012
    Thank you for your input. It has been a few months since the neighbor's rooster died. I know they didn't treat it at all. I will get some Tylan 50 and treat them all in their water. More and more are getting that raspy congested sounding.
     
  4. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

    30,753
    5,124
    561
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Sulmet is more for treating coryza, which has a bad odor and causes facial swelling and thick nasal drainage. You could be dealing with infectious bronchitis or MG. Tylan soluble powder is what you need for treating chickens in the water. Tylan 50 is for injections or for giving individual oral doses to each chicken. Oxytetracycline can also be used in the water, but remember that sometimes sick chickens won't always drink enough of the medicated water to help themselves. It is best to get a necropsy done to know what you are dealing with.
     
  5. capow21

    capow21 Out Of The Brooder

    55
    2
    41
    Jan 27, 2012
    Thank you for replying. After reading last night, I'm almost certain it is Coryza. A few of them have one side of their face swollen, pale, with one eye swollen at least half way shut. Runny nose, sneezing, and raspyness. It spread like wildfire. I first noticed one hen with it Friday and this morning I would say at least 70% of the flock have it.

    So, my Sulmet will treat Coryza? Do you know the dosage? Is there something I can get them tomorrow to administer orally. I'm not doing shots.

    So, now I'm trying to decide if I want to treat them and keep a closed flock or not. The only thing is I don't know how it was brought in. The only other chickens around is one hen down the street from us. Mine don't have direct contact with her though. Those neighbors were down to two roosters and one hen. One rooster moved up to my place (he wouldn't stay home and they wouldn't do anything about it) and the other rooster died. I think from a respiratory illness, because they told me he lost his crow and sounded funny. That was at least four months ago. Or, it could have been brought in by some new birds I bought, but the lady I purchased them from swears hers are all healthy and has had nothing wrong. The older ones that I got from her that are about four months old are getting sick, so I assume they weren't a carrier. So, maybe a wild bird carried it. There has been a new pair of pigeons around in the last week or two.

    So my concern about culling all 22 of mine is what if the new ones get it again from either the hen down the street or a wild bird?

    It really stinks when you feed and care for your flock so well and keep them healthy and then this happens. Especially if it was the new chicks I bought. I should have just kept hatching my own eggs. Lesson learned.

    Also, how does one go about getting a necropsy done?
     
  6. capow21

    capow21 Out Of The Brooder

    55
    2
    41
    Jan 27, 2012
    So, I suppose no matter which they have I should just cull all of them tonight? I don't want a chance of spreading it to any of my friends that have chickens and my are free-range, so it would be all over.

    After observing all of my chickens today, the only ones that don't seem to be sick are the three new pullets.

    How stupid. I've learned after I obtain my original chicks, I will only hatch my own. Which is what I was doing until I really wanted some pretty Copper Marans. Uhg!
     
  7. Nambroth

    Nambroth Fud Lady

    2,771
    605
    261
    Apr 7, 2011
    Western NY
    My Coop
    Culling is a personal decision. It all matters on your plans for your flock, your ability to manage illness, and if you are willing to have a closed flock or not. If I may suggest looking into getting your flock tested (or sacrificing a bird for necropsy) before culling, it might give you a clearer answer on exactly what ailment you have in your birds. This will help you decide if it is worth it to cull or not (as you mentioned, some diseases are very virulent and can live in the environment anyhow, even if you are careful, clean, and start fresh). There is a link in my signature as to finding your state's lab-- where do you live?
     
  8. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

    30,753
    5,124
    561
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    So is there a bad odor around your sick chicken's heads? It is very hard to tell coryza apart from a bad strain of MG, because they both can cause all of those symptoms you describe EXCEPT that coryza may have a rotten odor. Sulmet will treat coryza--Tylan will treat MG. Sulmet dosage is 2 tablespoonsful or 1 ounce to 1 gallon of water, and treat for 2 consecutive days for coryza. I would think things through before I cull--one more day to decide how to proceed won't hurt. You may want to call the state vet about the symptoms you are seeing, and ask how to get a necropsy. Here is a link to help you find your state vet or dept. of agriculture: http://agr.wa.gov/FoodAnimal/AnimalHealth/statevets.aspx
     
  9. KayTee

    KayTee Chillin' With My Peeps

    926
    157
    171
    Sep 21, 2012
    South West France
    I have just gone through a very similar experience to you , but with point of lay pullets.

    I got 2 (a cuckoo marans and a limousin) from a 'reputable' breeder earlier this year. I quarantined them but they were in perfect health, no problems at all, so I went back to her 2 months ago to get 3 copper black marans, because I really wanted the breed.

    Unfortunately I no longer have my quarantine facility, but knowing how clean and perfectly healthy the last girls were, I saw no reason to think that a few months later there would be any difference, so I stupidly took the risk of buying them anyway. However, when I got them home I found they had lice the size of termites crawling all over them, and the following day all 3 started sneezing badly.

    When I had picked my girls from the free range flock the woman had pointed one girl out to me and said that she was 'out of sorts', so not to pick her. I phoned to explain the state the 3 girls were in, and to ask if any more of her girls were sick. First she denied having had a sick chicken, and then said "Yes, one of them was a bit off, but I gave her grapefruit seed extract for a couple of days and she's fine now - that's all you need to do. It's been cold and wet the last few days - that's all that's wrong - it's not a respiratory infection".

    Unfortunately that wasn't the case - they kept getting sicker, and then my grey marans caught it really badly (she was in the middle of a moult, which didn't help). I ended up getting antibiotics from the vet, and having Cinders as a house chicken for almost a week - she was so sick I thought I was going to lose her.

    What annoys me is that the breeder didn't want to believe that it was a respiratory infection. She had a flock of about 60 pullets running about and I picked out 3 at random - I can't believe I chose the only 3 that were sick! I went to a county show this weekend, and there was a chicken show - guess who had the main pen with around 20 girls in that she was selling! I had a good look at them and couldn't see any signs of disease, but my 3 new girls are all fine now as well. It is my original flock that still show some signs. However, I am certain that all my birds are now carriers, and that she is selling birds that are carriers too. She just doesn't want to admit it, because then she wouldn't be able to sell them. Since she is one of the main 'movers and shakers' in the breeding society, (and a national medal winner), it is pretty pointless for me to say anything - I am a newbie chicken keeper and a foreigner here, so it wouldn't be any use at all. [​IMG]
     
  10. capow21

    capow21 Out Of The Brooder

    55
    2
    41
    Jan 27, 2012
    Well, I tried to smell around there heads. I picked one up and she didn't really smell. One of the hens that has a super swollen eye has a lot of goopy white stuff in her eye. The rooster whose eye was swollen shut yesterday is much better today. If they have something they're going to be carriers of and I am able to leave it or pass on through my shoes and clothes, then I need to cull them all. I have friends who come over that have chickens and my husband works with numerous people who have chickens.

    I am in Oregon. There are three roosters we were going to butcher to eat. One of them is pretty sick with this. I can sacrifice him for a necropsy. Then if it comes back as one of these diseases that is spreadable I'm just going to have to cull them.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by