Re: Itchy Chicken/ Respiratory Issues

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Zanna, Nov 12, 2010.

  1. Zanna

    Zanna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 14, 2010
    Jefferson, Oregon
    Would love some advice if anyone has any ideas........ First some history: long story but I ended up receiving 8 BFCM 4ish week old chicks (plus a few other breeds) in the mail from a reputable breeder mailed from Georgia and received by me in Oregon (two days in the mail). They were fully feathered and all seemed healthy so I immediately put them in my main coop, separated from my grown flock of about 40 other chickens who free range 10 acres all daylight hours. About week 2 I noticed some sneezing/rattle sounding breathing in two of these chicks. I immediately moved them into the house for quarantine and put some ACV in their water, but no other treatment (hesitant to use antibiotics). One died the next day (smelled very bad) and I attributed it to a crop problem. The other one seemed fully recovered from the sneezing after a week so I moved her back to the outside coop. Another week later, two more were sneezing/rattle breathing, very sleepy seeming (only the FBCM). Moved them both into the house for quarantine as I was down to 7 of this breed and did not want to lose another. One seemed much worse than the other, about 1/3 smaller in size and did not want to eat or drink. She died 2 days later. Picked up some Duramyacin and started the other chick on it in her water with some rooster booster as well (vits and electrolytes). She is still sneezing occasionally and sometimes (not very often) the breathing sounds very rattly but most of the time normal. She occasionally does the stretch/upward swing with her neck like she is choking. I get to thinking she is doing well and then am not so sure again. She seems very itchy, especially on her feathered feet, she is constantly pulling/scratching at them with her beak. Wherever she stands for a period of time she leaves quite a dusting of small, scaly, dandruff looking like stuff from scratching herself. She does not have mites or fleas that I can tell. She is active but not as active as I think she should be. Eating/drinking well, no watery eyes, normal poop, does not sneeze anything up, no discharges of any kind ( all details go for all four that were sick). I have her bedded on small alfalfa pellets (great for no dust in the house and soaking up the runny poops!). She spends the evening on the couch on hubbys belly [​IMG] (my chickens are livestock not pets, livestock not pets, livestock not pets.......) I plan to keep her on the antibiotics for a total of 10 days (today is day 7) but not sure they have really helped. Does anyone know if the itching could indicate anything I may have missed?? Could her feet hurt?? She walks just fine and also scratches under her wings a lot and other parts of her body. Thanks in advance!!
     
  2. CMV

    CMV Flock Mistress

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    Apr 15, 2009
    Chicks scratch a lot! Growing in new feathers is itchy business- ask any bird that is well into a hard molt and they'll agree. (Actually, they'll just give you an evil glare and go "BOCK!", but trust me it's itchy business!) The "dandruff" thing gives me pause, though, because one of the signs of mites is this gray powdery smutz (egg sacs? mite poop?) that appears in the feathers of a heavily infested bird. I'm going to include a link in my post that I have found to be very helpful in parasite ID.

    http://ohioline.osu.edu/vme-fact/0018.html

    Next, respiratory issues. I am not going to belabor the point about QUARANTINE, too much. There is a very sound reason why quarantine is necessary, though. I think in your particular case is slightly unusual in that I believe your current flock may have something that has infected your new birds. It's only the new birds that are getting ill? They have been around your regular flock for several weeks at this point? I fear you may have a disease that you could have been unaware of. Did you ever notice any signs of illness in your current flock?
     
  3. Zanna

    Zanna Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 14, 2010
    Jefferson, Oregon
    The chick is doing sooo much better, no more sneezing for 24 hours at least, normal breathing and much more active. She will not stay in her tote if the lid is off and wants to fly/roam all over the place. I think we are pulling through.......... It was only 4 of the new chicks with the respiratory issues, and of the 4 breeds of month old chicks that came in the mail, only the FBCM showed any sign of sickness. My main flock is over a year old and have never shown any signs of sickness.

    Upon further look of the dandruff, it is white, almost clear, looks like very miniscule parts of the feather stem so I believe you to be correct. Just an itchy process of the feather growth. I am hopefull!

    Thanks!!!
     

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