Respiratory diseases in poultry

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by curioushen, Feb 26, 2008.

  1. curioushen

    curioushen Hatching

    Feb 26, 2008
    Hi everyone
    I am new to raising poultry and hope people with more experience will be able to give me some advice. I raise chickens , turkeys , peafowl and ducks. Two years ago my first batches of birds came from various hatcheries, never had any problems with them till last year when I bought some chicks at a local auction, I also got turkeys from a hatchery at the same time. And also at the same time I discovered eggbid and bought a bunch of eggs that I hatched. That was when my problem started.
    My turkeys weren't doing very well. They seemed sleepy. Their sinuses got very swollen, and their eyes were infected. I was giving them terrymicin, sulmet and using eye ointments. I was also keeping their coop as clean as possible. It wasn't helping much, a lot of my turkeys died , and on top of that my chickens that were housed in the same coop got the fomy eyes, runny noses and swollen sinuses. Some of the chickens got very stinky. After a lot of research, I figured out I was dealing with coryza and mycoplasma infections. I culled the sickest birds, the rest I treated with Aureomycin and Sulmet combination. It finally helped.
    My turkeys are fine now and I would like to hatch some eggs from them. I read that the mycoplasma disease spreads to the entire flock and is transmited through the egg to the next generation. I also read that the only way to get rid of the disease in a flock is to cull all the birds, and start with new birds and practice very strict biosecurity.

    I was wondering how other backyard breeders manage to stay away from coryza and mycoplazma? How do people that show their birds protect them from catching it at shows?
    Is it OK to hatch and sell chicks from infected flock?
    Does enybody know if it is possible for the mycoplasma virus to be lurking in hatchery chicks or turkeys?
    Is the virus wide spread among backyard breedes, or was I just unlucky?
    I would like to get some show quality birds this year, but I am affraid to make any investment if the virus spreads to them. I appreciate the time anyone takes to read this post and look forward to replays.
  2. lurky

    lurky Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    I have a friend who had the EXACT symptoms. She got a few birds at a poultry swap last fall. She had the foamy eye....then it swelled into a cone shape and she ended up culling all the worst birds (4) and there were just a few showing early symptoms. I gave her terrymicin and it did not work....then sulmet and it all went away and has not been back yet (knock on wood). I called Randallburkey co. and this is what i understand. There are many different types of respiratory issues that all are very similar in symptoms. Some stay in the bird even when they seem ok. Some do not. You really cannot be sure which it is. So i think its better to play it safe. My friend has 3 seperate runs for her 2 flocks. She keeps the ones that were sick away from the ones that were not infected. She would not put another bird into the pen with the questionable birds. I think time will tell. If they are a carrier will probably re-surface again. I suggest you call the randallburkey co. The people there are wicked knowledgeable about this stuff. You almost need to be a doctor to understand alot of it. google the name and find the site to get the phone #. cool thing is that during the business hours.... real people answer the phones. The people that answer are usually the owners and they are happy to help. Good luck.
  3. sammi

    sammi Songster

    Dec 21, 2007
    Southeast USA
    why not also check the merck veterinary manual on line?

    remember that much of the information out there is geared for big business..not for the backyarders.

    some treat these conditions with Tylan (tylosin), Baytril, erythromycin.

    sounds like your birds had Infectious Sinusitis..a mycoplasma..

    some info:

    click here

    and here
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2008
  4. raindrop

    raindrop Songster

    Feb 10, 2008
    Western Oregon
    From the Merck Manual, "the incidence of egg transmission is highly variable, rangine up to 30-40% during about the first 2 mo after infection of susceptible birds in production. The transmission rate then lessens and is inconsistent (0-5%) until the end of egg production." So I guess you can never be sure.

    Merck says it is a pretty common virus of chickens worldwide. Can be transmitted bird to bird and also through fomites (equipment, shoes, clothing, etc).

    Says the infection ranges from no clinical signs to varying degrees of respiratory distress. Infections with other bacteria at the same time are common and worsen clinical signs/outcome.

    It also says there is a way to treat eggs with heat or tylosin (no details given) in valuable breeding stock. You can't cure birds and they remain carriers for life, so yes, the only way to get rid of it would be to cull the birds and start over. Even keeping them in separate pens wouldn't work unless you had really strict biosecurity.
  5. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD

    Sorry for such a hard time. I am betting that you got the diseases from the auction birds. When ever brining in adults or chicks who have been hatched under a broody, it is always important to quarantine them for at least 30 days as they can carry diseases that are brought out during times of stress. It's hard to get rid of some things... and at times it can mean you have to start over.

    Good luck
  6. lurky

    lurky Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    I wonder if you have all your birds in one place? I think you need to decide if you think the infection could be all your birds or are they in different areas? I think each situation if going to be different based on how many were possibly much area you have to work with. You will know whats right for your situation. Good Luck in your decision [​IMG]
  7. lurky

    lurky Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    Quote:I think this is the biggest lesson i have learned from what my friend went through with this same illness. I think this is one of the most important things that anyone can not bring a strange bird in and add it right to your flock. Even the healthiest looking bird can be a carrier [​IMG]
  8. d.k

    d.k red-headed stepchild

    *I think mine had coryza after the possum attack; only in the left eye. I read that when it's gone the eye has what they called a "frosted glass" look. Hers is blue-grey-- sorta sounds like frosted glass, I guess. There'd been a big plug in her eye-- no respirtory symtoms at all. A big piece of gravel was in the eye. That came out & one morning the entire plug was just GONE completely, leaving the blue eye.
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2008
  9. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    In order to stop transmission to chicks tylosin (tylan) is either injected into the hens during their laying cycle or the eggs are dipped in a tylosin solution.

    At that point bio security is critical in order to avoid infecting the chicks.

    It is a lesson every breeder or chicken owner should learn. "Quarantine everything" and structure your activities to avoid cross contamination.
  10. curioushen

    curioushen Hatching

    Feb 26, 2008
    Thanks for all the great advice. I learned a lot from the info that was provided. I will watch my birds closely for any new outbreaks. So far they are fine. For now I will continue with my flock, if things get worse i will start over next year.

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