Respiratory illness spreading through my flock

fmh

Chirping
Apr 3, 2018
32
60
84
One of my hens (Bovan Brown) started showing signs of a respiratory illness that has seemed to improve and worsen over the past two weeks and has also spread to three others in her pen. These are all production brown breeds (2 Bovan about 9 months old and 2 mystery mixes just over a year old).

The symptoms are sneezing crusty mucus buildup on their noses (photo below). I have to wipe the snot off or else they can start gasping. There is an infection-like smell in their nostrils. They're still eating and drinking and three of the four are still laying quite regularly. Haven't noticed significant swelling or ocular symptoms. It started after a heat wave. Poop looks pretty normal.

It also may have spread to two of my younger birds in the next run over (a 3-month old jersey giant (not sure of the weight, but quite large) and a 3-month old wyandotte/polish mix, bantam so quite small). These are just sneezing and have runny noses, but no infection smell and sneezing much less.

The birds spend the night in a coop with wood shavings bedding and the older ones free range during the day.

My 2 older leghorns and 3 chanteclers haven't shown any signs. They're all over 2 years.

I'd like to treat but haven't yet. There aren't many chicken vets around, and the ones I know are the very practical "just cull the whole flock and start over" type. I've quarantined the sick birds. We may cull "Patient Zero" the sickest Bovan Brown and send her for a necropsy, but would obviously like to avoid that if possible.

IMG_1962.JPG
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
40,108
57,626
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Southern N.C. Mountains
Where are you located in the world?

It would be good to seek vet care so you know what you are dealing with. There are several respiratory diseases that affect chickens. Infectious Bronchitis, Mycoplasma, Infectious Coryza and ILT are a few of the more common ones.
You can try treating with antibiotics to see if that helps treat the symptoms, but keep in mind that most respiratory diseases make birds carriers for life. Even the ones that never show any symptoms would be carriers.

If you are in the US, you can find Tylan50 at feed stores like Tractor Supply or online.

"Patient Zero" may not necessarily be the "cause" of the illness. You have older hens that have not shown symptoms - they may actually be the initial carriers and your "newer" birds got it from them. But, it would not be a bad idea to get some testing done. Either through testing/necropsy at your state lab or by using an independent test lab like Zoologix
 

Abbey K

Hatching
Aug 19, 2019
3
4
9
Hi, I'm having sort of a similar problem. I have one bantam hen with crackly lungs. She's still active and eating and I've been treating her with antibiotics. I plan to switch to Tylan 50 as I've read it's very effective. The other chickens in her coop seem ok, but I've heard a little sneezing. I'm wondering if I should go ahead and treat the other three chickens in her own prophylactically. There are also a couple free range chickens that go near the bantams coop. There's no contact, but I wondered if they ought to be treated as well, or just keep an eye on them.

Thank you so much!
 

Wyorp Rock

🐓 ❤ 🐛
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Sep 20, 2015
40,108
57,626
1,362
Southern N.C. Mountains
Hi, I'm having sort of a similar problem. I have one bantam hen with crackly lungs. She's still active and eating and I've been treating her with antibiotics. I plan to switch to Tylan 50 as I've read it's very effective. The other chickens in her coop seem ok, but I've heard a little sneezing. I'm wondering if I should go ahead and treat the other three chickens in her own prophylactically. There are also a couple free range chickens that go near the bantams coop. There's no contact, but I wondered if they ought to be treated as well, or just keep an eye on them.

Thank you so much!
Hi @Abbey K :frow Welcome To BYC
Which antibiotic have you been using for treatment?

Tylan50 is usually effective if you are treating symptoms of Mycoplasma. Not all respiratory diseases are bacterial.

Don't treat birds prophylactically, only treat ones that have clear symptoms of illness.
 

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