sick chickens! Help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Betty Gilbert, Aug 18, 2013.

  1. Betty Gilbert

    Betty Gilbert New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Jun 28, 2013
    I was so stupid in bringing home a rooster...to think my beautiful girls needed a man was such a mistake! He doesn't show any sign of being ill, but evidently was a carrier of something! He has gotten a few of my girls very sick the last 4 days. They all have a cough, and some are worse with a horrible weezing, and slightly swollen face. I have them on Duramycin 10, and vitamins & electrolytes.... which are working very well. I actually thought I was going to lose a couple of them and didn't expect them to live through the night. This morning they are all thriving, still a cough, but faces look much better! There are 6 total with the rooster. I have debated the last 2 days in culling them. I just hate to think of them as being carriers of this, and then hearing it could flare up again if they have any stress at all, and then to have to go through this again would be so upsetting to me. I have some 9 week old orpingtons that I have in a separate pen on the other side of our yard, and they all are fine. I sit with them daily so am sure they did not pick any of this up... not even a cough or sneeze...they are perfect. Just needing a little advice, and reassurance of what I should do.
     
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

    11,581
    5,197
    501
    Mar 27, 2012
    Vermont
    My Coop
    It's up to you. Can you deal with the fact that your birds will always be carriers, and it will flare up whenever they are stressed and you will have to treat again? And it sounds like mycoplasma, so can you also deal with never selling any birds, or any chicks they hatch, or even giving eggs to others to hatch because mycoplasma can pass through the egg to the embryo inside? You will also need to set up some serious biosecurity if you hope to have any chance of keeping the other chickens from getting sick. The disease can be tracked to them on the bottom of your shoes, on your clothes, on you yourself if you handle the birds and their feeders and waterers. You'd have to implement a system that keeps that from happening.

    So if they're just pets, and you don't mind never being able to sell any and can deal with all your chicks also having the disease and don't mind taking the above steps, then keep them! If they're just pets for you and you just do it for eating eggs, as long as you take steps to make sure you don't spread it any farther, then there's no reason you have to cull them. If, however, you don't feel able to do all the above things, culling will be your best option. Sorry :( It's truly a nasty disease.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2013
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

    29,389
    3,447
    501
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    It sounds like mycoplasma, but if you notice a very bad odor around there faces it might be coryza. If you choose to cull these chickens you would need to clean out the litter, disinfect with 10% bleach or another disinfectant, then wait at least 3 weeks before getting new birds or moving your others into that area. Even though your others are away from the sick ones, they may still have been exposed through the air.
     
  4. Betty Gilbert

    Betty Gilbert New Egg

    4
    0
    7
    Jun 28, 2013
    Luckily I don't hatch or sell just have my girls for some eggs. I have been so careful with the little orpingtons to always go to their pen first to take care of them, and I see absolutely no sign in any of them what so ever after sitting with them for days now. Not a sneeze or anything out of them. We have 5 acres so they are a couple acres away with buildings in between! It is a small pen though so planned on when they got a little bigger putting them in with the others. Now that is not even possible as I know they will get sick, and I will be going through this again! They are all just pets, and I do it just for eggs really! I am scared to death now of this though! I have had chickens my whole life, and have never seen this before or maybe I just have been lucky. Its just so sad to see them sick. The antibiotics are working though! Just so angry at myself for bringing home a bird that seemed healthy, and not for keeping him under watch for a while! I really don't know if I'm strong enough to keep going through this. It is a very horrible sickness to see them go through. Thank you so much for responding!
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict Premium Member

    29,389
    3,447
    501
    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    I would try to find out about getting a bird tested to make sure of what ii is. If one dies you can directly send the body to your state vet to get them necropsied--that way, you will know the proper med to treat, or how to deal with it. Here is a link for your state vet: http://agr.wa.gov/FoodAnimal/AnimalHealth/statevets.aspx
     
  6. Pyxis

    Pyxis Dark Sider Premium Member

    11,581
    5,197
    501
    Mar 27, 2012
    Vermont
    My Coop

    I had a mycoplasma scare once when I brought home a chick from the feed store and his eye started swelling and watering. I took him to the vet and the vet said mycoplasma. He was wrong, though, thank goodness, and it turned out to just be that the chick got pecked in the eye (I have since found out that the vet is not very experienced with poultry and says mycoplasma for the slightest things :rolleyes: ). Still, I know that feeling of awfulness and panic because I too had not quarantined the chick and just put it in with the other chicks. They all got a dose of tetracycline for no reason. Now I ALWAYS quarantine. I learned from my close call. Seriously, I was mad at the vet for a while. The chick had no signs of respiratory distress and only had the swollen runny eye and I medicated my flock for no reason. Still, it taught me to always quarantine, so I guess that's good.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by