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Respiratory illness, dead hen. Help, please.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Katydid2011, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I lost a pullet a few days ago. She was a bit depressed (inactive and slightly puffed up) one day and dead the next. A few hours before she died her rose-comb and wattles turned purple and I could hear a slight gurgling as she breathed (I had her inside under a light, giving her electrolytes and yogurt - as much as she would take, which wasn't a lot).

    The only sign that anything was wrong prior to that was a dramatic drop in the flocks egg production a day or two before. Unfortunately, we'd just had a cold snap and I attributed the reduction in egg production to that. I spent most of the day in and around the barn watching my remaining 48 hens and saw that two others were looking depressed. By the next day there were four sick, one near death. At that point, in fear for my entire flock and not knowing what else to do, I treated them with the maximum dose of water soluble tetracycline hydrochloride and saw immediate improvement. Today, none appear sick. I will treat for a full 7 days and hope that does the trick.

    The thing is, my girls symptoms are not consistent with Coryza or MG. Are there other respiratory ailments common to chickens? Do chickens get "colds"? Should I assume that it is Coryza or MG and that my entire flock will be contagious carriers forever? I could really use some help here. Thanks.
     
  2. BooBear

    BooBear Chicken Cuddler

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    Unfortunately, respitory illnesses are usually contagious in chickens. If it is respitory illness it may run through the whole flock. You can treat with antibiotics and Dr. Vet is a natural remedy that helps them breathe easier. It also makes a good preventative to help them not get sick. There are many different types of respitory illnesses which share different symptoms.

    Once a chicken catches one they are considered carriers for life.
     
  3. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    My Coop
  4. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:The tetracycline hydrochloride appears to have stopped it. [​IMG] All of the girls that were getting sick are lively and not showing any symptoms of illness. Do you know if only the handful of hens who showed symptoms are carriers for life or if the whole flock will be? Can I still use the carriers as layers (they're all pullets 5- to 9-months old) and just close the flock? I have so many questions and I'm having a hard time finding answers. Thank you for your response!
     
  5. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    scratch'n'peck :

    Sorry about the chicken you lost. I'm glad the others are improving. Here is a link that you might find helpful: http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044

    Thank you for your kindness and for the link!​
     
  6. aoxa

    aoxa Overrun With Chickens

    Everything I've read is to cull the birds, but I wouldn't. I have two cats that have chronic respiratory disease, and neither have had a flare up for at least a year. Just close your flock and treat the outbreaks. Unless culling them is an option.. Which wouldn't be to me.
     
  7. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:Culling is not an option for me either. Not only are the girls excellent layers and a substantial investment in our egg business, they're also pets that jump in our lap when we sit and beg to be picked up. I couldn't possibly kill them.

    I can't find anything that addresses the issue of whether or not it's just the sick birds that remain carriers or the whole flock. If it's just the birds that got sick that remain carriers I'll separate them into a smaller flock and close it. If it's all of them, I'll close the entire flock. I don't know where to find that information.

    Thankfully, I have two other flocks all well removed from the others that haven't showed any signs of sickness. (We practice strict bio-security and I'm bummed that the largest flock still got sick.)
     
  8. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Just my opinion and it has no bearing on your situation but I know around here many people coddle their birds so much (fear of them being cold) that they don't give adequate ventilation. Poor ventilation will cause respiratory issues and kill way more birds than cold.
    Good luck.
     
  9. Katydid2011

    Katydid2011 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I've seen plenty of poor ventilation and the resultant sick chickens. It's definitely not a ventilation problem here. I'm stumped.
     
  10. Wayne&Kim1963

    Wayne&Kim1963 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I think sometimes chickens are like us and just get sick and need cared for.
     

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