Respiratory Illness or Bad Genes?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Breac, Mar 13, 2012.

  1. Breac

    Breac Chillin' With My Peeps

    213
    2
    113
    Apr 20, 2010
    Wisconsin
    I've got myself in a bit of a quandary. My almost three year old rooster, Truffle, is having some breathing difficulties. He's gotten weak and lethargic, his tail is drooping, and he doesn't eat or drink very much. The end of his comb is a dark purple/blue, which I think is due to a lack of oxygen. He's not panting/choking/rattling/coughing etc. He only gasps when he's super stressed. For the most part, it just seems like his body 'inflates' more than it should. It's like he's breathing deeper with each breath, even if he's still silent. No gunky eyes or nose, but is poop is watery green with lots of urates.

    My biggest concern is that his father, a Phoenix, had similar lifelong breathing problems. The vet could never find anything 'wrong' with the old boy, and it eventually killed him. Could Truffle's problems be the result of bad genes?

    There's not much to go on besides lethargy, green poop, and deep, silent breathing. Most respiratory diseases I've looked up have some other component, like discharge or strange noises. He's got none of that.

    Is this something curable, or did Truffle get the short end of the gene stick?
     
  2. oddbirdranch

    oddbirdranch Chillin' With My Peeps

    107
    7
    81
    Mar 2, 2012
    Southern CA
    green poop makes me think he could have eaten some bad food or something foreign. Look up botulism and hardware disease. I would start antibiotic and vitamins right away. Liquid B complex will give him an energy boost and appetite and has been a lifesaver for me in the past. Lethargy is always a bad sign with chickens, birds hide their symptoms until they can't so when you see them you need to act quickly. Good luck.
     
  3. Breac

    Breac Chillin' With My Peeps

    213
    2
    113
    Apr 20, 2010
    Wisconsin
    Just giving a little update on Truffle. He hasn't improved much, but he hasn't gotten worse either. He's still breathing very deeply and only gasps when he gets really stressed. I tried putting him on Tetroxy HCA 280 three days ago, but he refuses to drink the solution. (I can't blame him either, it looks like apple juice left in the sun for a week :sick ) I'm trying to give it to him via syringe, but he hates it. At this point, it's either let him have regular water or let him get super dehydrated, so he's obviously getting normal water.

    He's not drinking or eating much, but I'm trying to coax him with a variety of goodies. Nevertheless, he's loosing a fair amount of weight and is sleeping a lot more than is normal.

    I've also noticed something concerning when I listen closely to his chest: When he breathes heavily, I can sometimes hear a dull thumping sound inside him. It sounds a bit like something popping.

    He's somewhat stable, but still pretty sick.

    EDIT: forgot to mention: his poop isn't as vibrant green as before, but there is still a greenish tinge.He still isn't going as much as is normal, which makes sense since he isn't eating much.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2012
  4. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend... Staff Member

    32,015
    4,675
    581
    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    I can relate to your situation and wonder about my own flock having bad genes. Seems like somebody always has something in my flock.

    I have been talking to some pro breeders and have learned that many times birds that originated from hatcheries do indeed have weaker systems and tend to have more health problems. And many things are passed down in the genes. Some birds are better at resisting disease and others not so much.

    I am sorry about your rooster. Many things can cause green poop or diarrhea. Lately I am dealing with a similar situation in that 2 of my girls are both becoming quite anorexic. One of them has lost a ton of weight over the past few months, along with green diarrhea. I have done tons of research and of course there are many things these two could have. Antibiotics seems to get her back to eating and drinking again, but what ever it is, it reoccurs. She too breaths very heavy at times, goes days barely eating or drinking.

    But I have come to the conclusion that once you have to start in with antibiotics, it is all down hill from there on. Rarely do they recuperate enough to deem well. And using antibiotics on your birds can devistate the entire flock. I have taken to syringing antibiotics if I need to dose one of them.

    In the future, should I continue adding to my flock, I will never again go to the feed store to pick up chicks. You never know what their parent history has been. But I will breed my healthiest hen or hens to my healthiest rooster and raise them from my own stock. That way I can work out any bad genes that might be lurking.

    I hope your rooster pulls thru, I know how hard it is to see them waste away. [​IMG]
     
  5. Breac

    Breac Chillin' With My Peeps

    213
    2
    113
    Apr 20, 2010
    Wisconsin
    Thank you. It's really tough since Mr. Burby, Truffle's father, was my favorite rooster. Truffle is my favorite of his few offspring, so I really don't want him to waste away.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by