Respitory Illness going through my flock.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by HankB, Dec 15, 2015.

  1. HankB

    HankB Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 19, 2015
    Three days ago I let my chickens out to free range. And noticed my rooster was lethargic in the head hanging down. I isolated him the very next day. He would just stay hunched over in the sleep all the time also had runny nose etc.
    Then I'm in my coop and I hear one of my hens gurgling. So I remove her from the coop indoors to a dog pen. And I start treating her in the rooster with Tylan 50. Also they were not drinking so I tried to hydrate them with anabiotic water. Then the next day another one of my chickens was coughing and sneezing and so I brought her in an isolated her and started treating her with Tylan 50. I had one of my hens died yesterday. The department of agriculture in Oklahoma gave me an amazing service and came out to my house. they had me refrigerate the first dead chicken so they can test it. And even though the rooster was still alive he had remained hunched over without eating or drinking for four days. So the department of agriculture decided to take him and euthanize him and test him as well. That was this morning. Going out to my cute today I noticed 2 to 3 other hands displaying mild symptoms. So it is reach the point where so many of them seem to have it that I cannot keep up treating them with Tylan 50 Orally. So has about made the decision to just treat the ones I already have isolated with Tylan and leaving anabiotic water in with the rest of the girls. I can't keep up with grabbing and treating each and every one that's displaying symptoms.
    My chickens have always been extremely healthy. I added chickens to my flock about a week ago. I receive those chickens from someone who was very trustworthy and very conscientious about chicken health. In those chickens never showed any signs of illness. I did not quarantine them before I release them with my chickens. Which I thought at first was a mistake.
    When I talk to the department of agriculture they said that those chickens may not have ever showed any signs of illness but had built up and immunity and brought in a virus that my chickens had never been exposed to before.. So my thinking is really even if you quarantine them they made shown no signs of illness but still bring something into the flock.
    The last few days has been exhausting and heartbreaking. I've lost the rooster in one hen so far. I still have three in isolation. But at least three others in the Cooper showing symptoms and I just can't stay on top of it. And I'm just going to treat the rest of the flock with anabiotic water.
    The Department of Agriculture is going to run test they said it would take about two weeks to get back with me. I'm just sick that I thought when one or two chickens were sick I could treat them by hand but now that so many have become sick with this I just can't keep up with it so I'm gonna do my best and hope for the best.
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchi Wan Kenobi Premium Member

    Mar 27, 2012
    My Coop
    So sorry about all this :hugs I know how you feel - I had a run in with mycoplasma gallisepticum (CRD) a couple years ago myself. I ended up having to cull the whole flock, which is the only way to get rid of the illness. Once they have something like this, they carry it for life, and they get sick again whenever they are stressed, such as when coming into lay, during molt, if the temperature suddenly drops or rises, etc. They will also infect any new birds that you bring into the flock. It's good that you're getting them tested and will know for sure what this is, but from your descriptions I would suspect some type of mycoplasma.

    If you want to be proactive, you can try treating them with Denagard. Mycoplasma has no resistance to it, and while it is a medicine that is technically for pigs, it works really well for chickens that have mycoplasma. It won't cure them, but it will help alleviate their symptoms.
  3. HankB

    HankB Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 19, 2015
    Well I just got finished culling my whole flock, 19 birds. Very painful. I used the dry ice in a plastic storage container. I'm not convinced it was the most humane way. I could hear the birds. It was easier on me to just throw them in a box and shut the lid. I know the government uses a co2 method. But I'm leaning toward better for the bird and harder on me approach next time by using axe or neck breaking.
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon
  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    Sorry you have had such a crummy time. At least you will get some solid answers from the necropsy that is being done on the birds you sent in. That is always very helpful. And you are right, even quarantining new birds does not guarantee they are not carriers of some disease they were exposed to in the past. I've been down that road too and I now have a no-new-adult-birds rule here. The only new birds brought in are brand new, day old chicks from a hatchery. For me personally and my own peace of mind new adult birds are just to risky.
  6. HankB

    HankB Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 19, 2015
    Thank you so much for your kind words. I'm going to write an extensive account of what took place. Hopefully that'll be helpful to others. I will get it up in the next day or two . I have adopted your exact same role. I talked with my veterinarian and the Department of Agriculture and said what is the use of quarantine if you can still get sick birds they said the only way to guarantee that was to have less than a week old hatchlings for me in NPIP HATCHERY that's the only way you can guarantee your birds are safe . And or of course hatching within your own flock.
    Just a piece of advice never ever ever add new chickens to your flock even if you quarantine you still can bring sickness into your flock . That's what happen with mine I've been doing nothing but Dr. chickens K-1 chickens and now cleaning and disinfecting everything it's been a grueling relentless process. I'll post the events within the next couple days so hopefully other people can read it before they make the same mistakes I did .
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2015
  7. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I'm so sorry to hear about your having to cull your birds due to this illness. It's heartbreaking, I'm sure. Sorry for your loss, and thanks for posting.
  8. HankB

    HankB Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 19, 2015
    I had great relationship with my flock. I provided food, great shelter , plenty of room in and out doors and a comfortable life for them. In return I got fresh eggs, the calming effect of just watching and being with them, etc. They were a joy in my life.

    About a week 10 days ago I added new hens from a very trustworthy person. The hens never showed any signs of illness. 3 days after added them my rooster was the first one sick, we isolated him and started treating with antibiotics. Then a hen , and then the domino effect took place.
    At first I spent money on medicines, feed, electrolytes etc...
    I was draining myself trying to treat the first one and then the next etc... Not to mention trying not to cross contaminate, to a run next to theirs, etc....
    All of that took place the last 7 days. In the end I ended up culling the whole flock. I did not want to worry that I could carry it to my brothers chickens if I fed before I visited them. And many others reasons as well, local birds etc...
    I got a medium size plastic storage container and drilled a few holes in the lid.
    Then I bought dry ice at Walmart and cut of about 1/3 of the dry ice block, and put it in a plastic tea picture. This is the key - I filled the picture about 1/2 to 3/4 with water, as soon as u need that the dry ice started to turn into a gas and continued to emit large amounts of gas over the hour it took to add and remove birds from home made CO2 chamber.
    This was extremely difficult to do especially with the chickens I was close to.
    The hard decision was I had 5 beautiful chili cochin bantams that were in a seperate coop next to the large coop my egg layers were in. They were 8-10 weeks old and gorgeous. I was going to hatch and resell them. I had one of them show mild signs of the respiratory illness. As contagious as it was I was concerned not knowing for sure if they had been exposed. I chose to put them down as well. I'm a grown man, served my country in the arm services. I broke down and cried. When I looked deeper I wasn't just sad I was angry.
    I learned a lot from this experience, if I have any advice to give it would be this.
    1.never add new chickens to your healthy flock "even if they have been quaritined. The birds that brought it the virus never showed any sickness, through this whole process.
    2. Have a euthanasizing program in place.
    3. The only way to be sure you have a healthy flock is to get chicks or eggs from a NPIP hatchery.
    4. I went out and exhausted financial and emotional resources to try to stop it, for a week and in the end was the same result. The more educated I became the more I realized what I was going to have to do.
    5. I would use the dry ice CO2 chamber again. It was hard even with a lot of research to figure out what worked well. I wish I would have had someone I could communicate with and or text to walk me through it.
    It took a few attempts to figure out in order to get enough gas I needed to add a lot of water to the chunk of dry ice in the container. I used a tea picture so they wouldn't touch the dry ice inside the storage container.
    6. As difficult and exhausted as I am from this, I am glad this is the choice I made. I spent ALL DAY cleaning out coops , feeders etc,,, and spraying them down with Clorox mix.
    7. I got so much joy from my flock and loved them like pets.
    I have all of the infrastructure in place and will be adding new chickens sometime in the near future. Of course I know your suppose to wait at least 3- days to makes sure nothing is contagious. It will be a few weeks before I add some back when the weather starts to get a little better.
    If anyone is going through this and needs help please feel free to contact me, I would be more than happy to help walk you through it.
    This has been healing just being able to write this on this form and to hear from other members, thx for being there.
    4 people like this.
  9. FridayYet

    FridayYet Innocent Bystander

    Mar 3, 2011
    The Land of Enchantment
    Thank you for sharing your story. I'm sorry you had to go through such a horrible experience and wish you all the best for your next flock.
  10. Sally Sunshine

    Sally Sunshine Cattywampus Angel <straightens Halo> Premium Member Project Manager

    Aug 23, 2012
    My Coop
    awww Hank [​IMG]

    Your willingness to write and talk about this issue IS and WILL BE an unbelievable help to our BYC community.

    Your Advise is most likely the more important factors in raising chickens.

    I am grateful for your public openness Hank, sorry for such an experience and loss. [​IMG]

    I would love to follow along as you rebuild your flock. [​IMG] do you have plans on the restock? I would love to hear them.

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