Sick flock.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Raccoonrider, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. Raccoonrider

    Raccoonrider Out Of The Brooder

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    Id say this is a very fast acting infection. I just bought 2 roosters and a hen and introduced them into the flock without giving them 30 days isolation. I dont really have a place to keep them other than in the pen. But even then...they all seemed healthy and showed no signs of sickness. Up until about 3 days ago when I noticed my chickens sneezing a lot. I would say all of them at this point are sneezing and sitting with their ruffled and neck hiding inside feathers. Still eating but not very active at all.
    The first couple of days I thought it was due to the weather change. Most nights it only got down to 50 degrees or so but the past 3 or 4 days it got down to the upper 20's. Anyways....theyre sneezing a lot. No snot on their beaks as far as i can see. but their eyes arent staying opened...they shut them often either fully or at least halfway.
    So to the internet I went and saw it was recommended that I give them Duramycin. Main ingredient is tetracycline...which i have some fish cycline. 250mg packets. I put one packet into 8 cups of water and put it out for the chickens. This should do the trick right?

    As I approached the pen this morning i noticed my youngest rooster (about 13 weeks) was still in the coop and all the others were already out and eating. His comb was very dark red insead of bright ...i knew something was up with him. So i picked him up (no fight in him) and put him near the water...he wouldnt drink so i got a syringe and force fed him some of the water with antibiotics. He died right in my arms. Not sure if i choked him with water or if he really was that far gone. Pretty upset he was by far the friendliest of my flock. Like i said this seems to be very fast acting...its only been a few days.

    But I figured I would post on here and see if anyone has any recommendations on anything else i should do to get them back on the mend. Its been a rough couple of months with them and dont think i can take losing anymore.

    I know not to eat any eggs for at least 21 days after theyre better because of the antibiotics being in their system. But any other tips would be great....Thanks.
     
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    What state do you live in?
    The best thing you can do is send the sickest one to your stat poultry lab for euthanasia and necropsy. That way, you'll know exactly what's wrong, how to treat or even if there is no treatment other than culling the whole flock.
    Just guessing won't help and will prolong everyone's misery.
    Going into winter with sick chickens will possibly cause more losses.
    Some sneezing things that are bacterial can't be cured with antibiotics. Other things that can cause respiratory problems could be viral, fungal, protozoal, environmental and even nutritional. None of those are cured with antibiotics either.

    Do you have a means of keeping them warm? Healthy chickens can take 20 below but sick chickens can't really handle 20F.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015
  3. Raccoonrider

    Raccoonrider Out Of The Brooder

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    I live in KY. Warmer weather for the next several days...50's. I have no means of heat for them but they do keep sheltered and out of the elements. I have spent most of the morning out with them and I can see now they do have a lot of snot which they are basically flinging everywhere when they sneeze. Roosters sound the worst, you can hear it when theyre breathing. I dont even know where a poultry lab is around here, and I honestly dont have the money if I did. This is my first year of chickens, and its been costly. Some antibiotics for $20 is about the most i can throw at this...and its sad because I have watched all these guys grow from day old chicks (except for the 2 new roosters)....I guess all I can do is give it a couple days and if I see no improvement I will do what I have to.
     
  4. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...often-underestimated-part-of-raising-chickens

    Here are your labs. Necropsy is free in some states, not sure about KY. Whatever they charge will be cheaper in the long run. You don't want to guess.

    Kentucky

    Breathitt Veterinary Center
    Murray State University
    715 North Drive
    Hopkinsville, Kentucky 42240
    Phone: 270-886-3959 Fax 270-886-4295
    AI, CSF, ND, FMD, PRV, IAV-S*




    University of Kentucky, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory
    1490 Bull Lea Rd
    Lexington, Kentucky 40511
    Phone: 859-257-7489 Fax 859-255-1624
    AI, CSF, ND, FMD
     
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  5. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    IMHO, even taking them to a vet isn't the best course of action. They can be very expensive and unless you're one of the lucky individuals who has nearby a good avian vet with vast poultry experience, sometimes they are just guessing.
     
  6. Sonya9

    Sonya9 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Her rooster just died. Why kill a bird when she could refrigerate the body of the rooster and take that to a lab?

    Also at least around here the state labs are very SLOW and they test for everything, the results take weeks and by that time the problem has resolved itself one way or the other.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015
  7. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Good point, if she hasn't already buried the bird. One needs to refrigerate quickly. A live bird will give more conclusive results.
    When I took a bird to my state vet school, it was a 4 hour trip each way. I got it there in the early afternoon and they called me late the next day with their preliminary conclusion.
    The final paperwork came about 4 days later.
    It turned out to be cancer.
     
  8. Raccoonrider

    Raccoonrider Out Of The Brooder

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    Just an update on whats going on. No more of my flock has died. . Yesterday was day 2 of tetracycline and at the end of the day i noticed a huge improvement. All the 6+ month chickens are now fine. Roosters crowing no congestion...and yesterday the hen was fine too. They were all jumping to eat crackers out of my hand. However, when i came out this morning one hen was looking really bad. She was the same age as the rooster that died (his sister in fact...around 13 weeks or so). I had to force feed her some of the antibiotics. She was doing so well yesterday to look this bad today....I really am at a loss for why she went downhill. Other than the fact it was chilly last night...it wasnt cold it only probably got down to the lower 40's.
    So i have brought her in the house and i figure ill let her stay in where its warmer for the next several days. I will probably extend the time she will be on antibiotics to 10 days...if she survives. But i guess im left with a new issue. What am i going to do with her if she cant survive outside. Im sure 8 days from now the nights are going to be colder than they were this morning. And shes going to be much too large to be a house chicken when shes full grown. any ideas on how to get her cold ready?
     
  9. Raccoonrider

    Raccoonrider Out Of The Brooder

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    Sorry...I have another question too. When i still had my hen outside this morning and i was trying to get her to drink from their bowl (she wasnt she was much too ill)...The other hens were attacking her. They did this to my rooster right before he passed too. They arent aggressive towards each other...So i was hoping someone would have some insight as to why they were doing it. I remember seeing a video of a mother pigeon pecking her dead young that passed in the nest hours after they hatched...hoping to revive them. Is this what the hens were doing?
     
  10. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Chicken Obsessed

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    Basically when you bring in new birds, they are strangers. They don't want them around. They either ignore them, try to drive them off or kill them.
    Additionally, a sick bird is a threat to the health of the flock, so they'll kill them too.
    You may have 2 types of infection going on (common). The tetracycline is probably helping the one it can work on. Never give a short course of antibiotics. If you don't do the full course, you'll only create superbugs.
     

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