Respiratory illness in chickens

Henrysbarn

In the Brooder
Dec 11, 2018
8
12
26
Hi all - new to the group. Hoping for some thoughts. Treating our 12 wk. old sussex hens with Tetroxy HCA 280 for respiratory illness. Vet prescribed. Wondering if others have experience with this and how fast or effective it is. We have lost 4 of six hens and have one more with rattly sounds and another with no symptoms as of yet. Feeling desperate. Have used Vet RX, vitamins, electrolytes, etc. Vet was here today and said to keep them on the Tetroxy for 2 wks. Hoping it is not too late.
 

Eggcessive

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Welcome to BYC. That sounds like a pretty serious respiratory disease if it has killed most of your chickens. Do you see any bubbles in the eyes, swelling around an eye or the face, and nasal drainage, bloody drainage from the beak, or smell a bad odor? Tetroxy is oxytetracycline, one of many drugs that will treat symptoms of MG (mycoplasma.) They can get secondary diseases with any respiratory disease, and it can be complicated if the air circulation is not good, if there is mold, if they are not drinking well, or if they chill. It helps to know what disease you are seeing, so if you loss another chicken, send it in to the state vet for a necropsy (and keep the body refrigerated.) Here is some reading about diseases such as MG, coryza, ILT, and infectious bronchitis:
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044
 

Henrysbarn

In the Brooder
Dec 11, 2018
8
12
26
Thanks for your reply. We lost 2 chicks when they were 8 wks. old. Others seemed fine up until 12 wks. and then we lost 2 more. Weird thing is that they did not all have the same symptoms. None have had any of the symptoms you listed. A couple were listless and just stopped eating/drinking. One was wheezing and died within a few hours. The 2 that I have left have been eating/drinking well. But the one started rattling (different than the wheezing) this morning. Vet came and prescribed this drug. I checked on them about 8:00 this evening and both were at the feeder and drank some water. Hoping they will be ok in the morning. I will check out the link you posted.
 

Eggcessive

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Premium Feather Member
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With chickens under 8 weeks old who die, I would think that it could have been coccidiosis, but if it seemed more like a respiratory issue, mycoplasma (MG) could cause them to be listless and stop drinking, just as coccidiosis can. MG can be spread by parents through the hatching eggs, as well as from other chickens. It can make carriers of the flock. Chickens with coccidiosis may have lethargy, stand around hunched or hunched, stop eating, and have runny poops. Coccidiosis may be a problem until chicks start developing resistant to the organism as they grow up. Getting a necropsy by your state vet if you lose another one can get a diagnosis.
 

ashlierami

Songster
Feb 9, 2017
871
1,552
232
Alabama
Hi all - new to the group. Hoping for some thoughts. Treating our 12 wk. old sussex hens with Tetroxy HCA 280 for respiratory illness. Vet prescribed. Wondering if others have experience with this and how fast or effective it is. We have lost 4 of six hens and have one more with rattly sounds and another with no symptoms as of yet. Feeling desperate. Have used Vet RX, vitamins, electrolytes, etc. Vet was here today and said to keep them on the Tetroxy for 2 wks. Hoping it is not too late.
My flock of 15 just got thru the good ol respiratory illness. It hit like Dominos one sick after the other. However 2 of my 15 never showed any symptoms of sickness. All my birds survived and got thru it. I to used the tetroxy hca 280 prescribed by a vet. It didn't work. I went to tractor supply and got tylan. Within 3 days of this they were improving. Now it's been 2 weeks and all are well with no symptoms. One of my birds to get sick was a then broody. I thought she wouldn't make it considering she was sick and had 2 weeks left until hatch. I gave everyone tylan and they got well. I'm still baffled why 2 never became Ill. I also cleaned the coops out and disinfected them when this illness hit. Hope this helps and your birds get well. I forgot to mention but my flock of 15 are ages 12 weeks to 3 years old.
 

Henrysbarn

In the Brooder
Dec 11, 2018
8
12
26
With chickens under 8 weeks old who die, I would think that it could have been coccidiosis, but if it seemed more like a respiratory issue, mycoplasma (MG) could cause them to be listless and stop drinking, just as coccidiosis can. MG can be spread by parents through the hatching eggs, as well as from other chickens. It can make carriers of the flock. Chickens with coccidiosis may have lethargy, stand around hunched or hunched, stop eating, and have runny poops. Coccidiosis may be a problem until chicks start developing resistant to the organism as they grow up. Getting a necropsy by your state vet if you lose another one can get a diagnosis.

We did treat them for coccidiosis after the first two died at 8 wks. The others seemed fine for a while and then one became listless and one began wheezing. That is what is so confusing - different symptoms in different birds. I told the vet this and he felt the best thing now is the Tetroxy for 2 wks. and see how they are at that point. Someone below just posted that it didn't work for their chicks. This is a frustrating process but I am determined to learn even if I can't save them. I have considered the necropsy and I understand that is the only way we will know. Hoping I don't have to do that but if so, I most likely will.
 

Henrysbarn

In the Brooder
Dec 11, 2018
8
12
26
My flock of 15 just got thru the good ol respiratory illness. It hit like Dominos one sick after the other. However 2 of my 15 never showed any symptoms of sickness. All my birds survived and got thru it. I to used the tetroxy hca 280 prescribed by a vet. It didn't work. I went to tractor supply and got tylan. Within 3 days of this they were improving. Now it's been 2 weeks and all are well with no symptoms. One of my birds to get sick was a then broody. I thought she wouldn't make it considering she was sick and had 2 weeks left until hatch. I gave everyone tylan and they got well. I'm still baffled why 2 never became Ill. I also cleaned the coops out and disinfected them when this illness hit. Hope this helps and your birds get well. I forgot to mention but my flock of 15 are ages 12 weeks to 3 years old.

I have read other blogs where they said the same thing. Vet was very insistent that I try this first. This morning they are both eating/drinking and seeming normal except for the continued rattle in one bird. Everything about chickens seems baffling!! I have had other animals my whole life and never been this frustrated. Our coop is clean, well ventilated. I give them vitamins/electrolytes (not when I was treating them for cocci) herbs, change their water daily. If the rattling doesn't go away within a few more days, I may try the Tylan. I wonder if I have to have them off the Tetroxy for a period of time first.???
 

ashlierami

Songster
Feb 9, 2017
871
1,552
232
Alabama
I have read other blogs where they said the same thing. Vet was very insistent that I try this first. This morning they are both eating/drinking and seeming normal except for the continued rattle in one bird. Everything about chickens seems baffling!! I have had other animals my whole life and never been this frustrated. Our coop is clean, well ventilated. I give them vitamins/electrolytes (not when I was treating them for cocci) herbs, change their water daily. If the rattling doesn't go away within a few more days, I may try the Tylan. I wonder if I have to have them off the Tetroxy for a period of time first.???
I just waited a day between changing from the tetroxy to tylan. Long enough for me to go buy it and get time to medicate everyone. I treated all the sick ones for 5 days no skips even if on the 4th day their symptoms were gone. They are all better and no one is sick they are even picking their weight back up and the roosters are crowing again. They stopped crowing when they were sick and congested. I also would rub vet Rx onto their Combs and wattled when they were all stopped up and unable to breathe. I would pour a drop or 2 down their throats as well after it was warmed of course. This really helped I had a few struggling to breathe but after the vet Rx they opened up. I was able to save all 13 and 2 never came ill. The broody hen also got well within a week and hatched out her chicks the following week and all is well. Tylan saved my birds. I also thought of the fact that if they birds don't drink the tetroxy water then they can't get well. I understand it has a bitter taste but with tylan it's either injected or given orally so they don't have a choice of taking it.
 

Henrysbarn

In the Brooder
Dec 11, 2018
8
12
26
Read up on ILT in Chickens. A very common respiratory illness.

I actually had read quite a bit about various respiratory illness including ILT. The weird thing is however, they do not have any of the other symptoms. No discharge from anywhere. Just the rattle in the one bird and other birds didn't even have that.
 

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