sick chickens

gadus

Songster
Jul 28, 2015
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Maine
About four days ago, I noticed a few of my birds were acting a bit slow. Then the next day several birds started to "cough" as if there was something caught in their throat. Today, when I started the antibiotic (forget the same, it was recommended by my feed store as a "cure-all"), I noticed one bird had white mucus at the edges of her eyes. Many of them now seem listless and they were very slow getting off the roost this morning.

Please advise.

Also, what is standard procedure with regard to eggs when theres a illness in the flock?
 
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Pork Pie

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When using antibiotics, there is a withdrawal period - it should be stated on the treatment being used.

I'm no expert, but the symptoms you describe could suggest a respiratory issue. If it's viral, then antibiotics will not solve it, but they will help prevent secondary infections.

Pending expert advice, this link may be of interest:
http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044
 

gadus

Songster
Jul 28, 2015
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Maine
Thanks for that. At a glance, it seems most like mycoplasma syno. Crossing fingers here.
 

Wyorp Rock

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Today, when I started the antibiotic (forget the same, it was recommended by my feed store as a "cure-all")

one bird had white mucus at the edges of her eyes. Many of them now seem listless and they were very slow getting off the roost this morning.

I'm sorry you are having trouble.

How old are they?
Have you added new birds to your flock recently?

The name of the antibiotic and the dosage you are using would be helpful:)

Try to keep the mucous cleared from the eyes. Flush with saline and remove any pus/mucous that you see. If the eyes become swollen, you can apply some Vetericyn Ophthalmic gel or Terramycin eye ointment to the eyes.

As @CTKen mentions, antibiotics won't cure respiratory disease, but can help with secondary infections. There are many respiratory diseases and most will make birds carriers of the illness for life, even when they recover and show no symptoms the illness can be passed along. Consider your long term chicken keeping goals - if you are breeding, selling/trading/giving away hatching eggs, chicks, started pullets, etc., it would be best to have some testing performed to know what illness you are dealing with.

Since they are lethargic, offer them some poultry vitamins in their water, see that they are staying hydrated. Wet feed is sometimes more palatable to sick birds, you can also give some chopped egg, tuna or meat for extra protein.

Keep us posted.
 

gadus

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Jul 28, 2015
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Duramycin-10 (1/8 teaspoon/gal) as per : https://www.backyardchickens.com/th...in-a-teaspoon-chick-meds-please.208838/page-2
is what I started them on; I have been fermenting their food for several months now so it is wet.

They are all just over a year old, have been brought up together, with no birds added.

Yesterday, they were still making some funny noises but all are up and about, though it does look like the appetite is down. Egg production was slightly above normal (typically 12 for 18 birds) so perhaps it is not as dire as it seemed two days ago. Very little mucus showing up now in eyes; one bird seems to "sneeze". That's all for now, thanks for looking in.
 
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Wyorp Rock

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Duramycin-10 (1/8 teaspoon) is what I started them on; I have been fermenting their food for several months now so it is wet.

They are all just over a year old, have been brought up together, with no birds added.

Yesterday, they were still making some funny noises but all are up and about, though it does look like the appetite is down. Egg production was slightly above normal (typically 12 for 18 birds) so perhaps it is not as dire as it seemed two days ago. Very little mucus showing up now in eyes; one bird seems to "sneeze". That's all for now, thanks for looking in.

Could they possibly be getting into something moldy? Sometimes exposure to mold/fungus can have similar respiratory symptoms as well.

FWIW - For respiratory illness, Duramycin-10 is 800 mg dose for one gallon = 1.5 tablespoons
https://www.backyardchickens.com/threads/oxytetracyline-and-tetracycline-powder-doses.1022878/
 

gadus

Songster
Jul 28, 2015
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Maine
I'm sorry to be late in updating...chickens seem better now, though a few are acting a bit "slow"; I continue to administer the antibiotic. Oddly, they are not really eating much of the fermented food they normally gobble up and I'm not sure why this is. Egg production seems about normal, perhaps a little slower. This is my first summer with full-grown layers (they are now slightly over one year old) so the feed requirements may still be something that I will have to learn about as they grow.

The respiratory answer seems most probable and I wonder even if it's related to the coop atmosphere...In the hotter weather (70s/80s), the ventilation issue is obviously more pronounced as ammonia smell develops almost immediately after one night of pooping; I plan to add two vents up high when I get a chance and clean more frequently (than in colder weather).

Thanks again for everyone's input.
 
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Wyorp Rock

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respiratory answer seems most probable and I wonder even if it's related to the coop atmosphere...In the hotter weather (70s/80s), the ventilation issue is obviously more pronounced as ammonia smell develops almost immediately after one night of pooping; I plan to add two vents up high when I get a chance and clean more frequently (than in colder weather).

I think you are onto something there. If you are noticing ammonia smell after just one night of droppings, then more ventilation will hopefully alleviate most the problems you are seeing.

Is your coop your avatar? Do those windows open?

https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...-there-and-cut-more-holes-in-your-coop.47774/
 

gadus

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Jul 28, 2015
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Those upper windows are fixed but the lower, central one is just a screen. So my ventilation comes from the two lower openings that you see on my avatar plus a small doorway on the opposite site and that's it. So, my plan is, has been, to add two 12" X 12" vents on the gable ends, hopefully soon.
 

Wyorp Rock

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Adding the vents would be great.

Consider making those upper windows where they can open as well. The more ventilation you have the better. You may determine you need more:)

Even in winter air flow is needed.
I'm not as cold as you are, so one window on the North side I do screw shut to keep out the wind. But the other 3 I leave where i can open them to varying degrees if needed. Also the eaves on the front of my coop are open year round to improve air flow. So that is about 12ft x 10" left open year round. So that's around 9sq. ft. of continuous ventilation even when I have windows closed.
 

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