Sick Chickens...Need everyone's thoughts!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Chicken Lady 87, Oct 9, 2014.

  1. Chicken Lady 87

    Chicken Lady 87 New Egg

    Aug 31, 2014
    I have 2-3 chickens at the moment that have nasal drainage, coughing and sneezing and are lethargic! We have had one die within a day of noticing that it was sick. The other chickens (about 25-30) at the moment seem to be ok, they are eating and drinking. The ones that are sick will not eat or drink and just stand around and sleep. I am using oxytetracycline in there water at the moment. Any ideas or thoughts?

    We did buy some new ducks and birds a couple weeks ago that didn't appear to be sick!

    Thanks for everyone's input in advance!
  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Overrun With Chickens

    Jul 24, 2013
    Your birds almost certainly have a respiratory disease. It is possible that the new ducks and birds were carriers (even though they didn't show symptoms), and introduced it to your birds. Or your birds may have had it all along, but a stressful situation brought it on.

    If you haven't already, isolate the sick birds. Continue providing the oxytetracycline. If it is a bacterial respiratory disease, the antibiotics should help. However, viral respiratory disease have to just go away on their own. You can provide supportive treatment, such as electrolytes and vitamins, but viral diseases can't be cured by antibiotics.

    Even bacterial respiratory diseases might not respond to the oxytetracycline. A stronger antibiotic, like Tylan50, may become needed. But, I'd first finish the course of oxytetracycline.

    It is hard to tell exactly what respiratory disease your birds have. It could be Infectious Bronchitis, Chronic Respiratory Disease, or Coryza, among others. Is there a bad smell around the birds' faces? This usually indicates Coryza.

    Keep in mind that the birds, even if they recover from the disease, are never fully "cured". They may show symptoms again in times of stress, and can spread it to other birds in the flock. You should not sell any of these birds to other people, as they could infect another flock. Ideally, keep a closed flock from now on (to protect others, and to prevent introducing a weaker bird into the flock where it can succumb to disease).
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2014

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