RESPIRATORY DISEASE - rales, sneezing in all and egg production decline in laying pullets

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by BlazeJester, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. BlazeJester

    BlazeJester Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2011
    Midway, GA
    I'm looking for a diagnosis for what seems to be ailing my chickens - I would like to know bacterial vs viral before deciding to treat with antibiotics. I greatly prefer treating with natural remedies such as garlic or ACV in the water, electrolytes and feed supplements. I'm not above using antibiotics but do not believe in treating with them for what is almost definitely a viral condition. Any guidance is greatly appreciated.

    I have 4-6wk chicks as well as 8 month old pullets. All are affected despite the fact that the chicks have not been exposed directly to the older birds. I do not change clothes or wash hands between environments, however. Chicks were obtained from various sources between 1 day and 3 weeks of age. Half came from Tractor Supply, while others were obtained from individuals hatching their own. Symptoms developed after individually-hatched chicks were obtained.

    Symptoms are sneezing, rales (in several indoor chicks this includes "clicking" noises while breathing) and a significant decline in egg production.

    I have noticed egg production decline in my laying pullets over the past month. Sneezing I had attributed to pollen counts (in the thousands) but this has persisted far beyond pollen. Some of the chicks had watery discharge from the nose - no odor - but that has ceased. Hens never showed signs of discharge but now have hoarse/off-key voices, particularly when *talking* at night. Some chicks had hoarse chirping quite a while back, near when the issue began 4 weeks ago. Sneezing and "nose wiping" is still frequent in all birds.

    I believe it *could* be an environmental disease brought in by migratory birds. We currently have cardinals, bluebirds, mockingbirds, robins and wrens breeding as well as several other species. All chickens have been in environments where they could easily come in contact with these birds or their droppings.

    I have several chicks that were on dirt for a couple days but have been inside for several weeks and continue to show symptoms. The indoor chicks are the ones in which I can hear the rales. One of the indoor chicks had beet-red poo for a while (did NOT appear bloody, as color did not change over time as with heme).

    I have had no death or signs of decreased appetite. Eggs appear the same as ordinary except that there are far fewer of them. Chicks seem to be growing ok. If anything are eating more than seems ordinary.

    What is the best course of action for persistent respiratory ailments? I have no idea how to tell if this is bacterial (I think unlikely as it has gone on so long) or viral, and do not know how best to treat a viral respiratory infection other than immune boosters such as garlic and electrolytes.

    As a side note, hens were wormed with Valbazen in January, so the likelihood this is parasitic seems quite low. Their environment has been kept quite dry since that time.
  2. mcwooten

    mcwooten Out Of The Brooder

    Feb 11, 2012
    North Carolina
    It sounds like Infectious Bronchitis or Infectious Coryza.

    Read more HERE

    Hope this helps! [​IMG]
  3. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    You will have to have a necropsy performed or perhaps a blood test done to verify what you're dealing with. My thoughts are that you might be dealing with MG.
  4. BlazeJester

    BlazeJester Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 2, 2011
    Midway, GA
    Dawg - I found Tylan at my local feed store for an affordable price - would that be of use with MG? What is the dosage for poultry (it is labeled for cattle)? I have 5-6wk old chicks, 5 month bantams and 8 month laying pullets.

    Unfortunately good ol' South Carolina only has one vet office that does necropsy, in Columbia, and they charge a leg for it. I still have GA residency and may be able to find an extension office that would do it for me? I have several rooster chicks I have no problem sacrificing for diagnostic purposes.

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