1. free ranging

    free ranging New Egg

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    Oct 13, 2015
    Ripley, NY
    Hello everyone! I come to you folks on a daily basis looking for help on this website, and you always have great advice. My issue is my daughter started raising chickens about 2 years ago. This will be her 2nd winter with them. She has gone from having 15 to 169 (I believe is what she's at now). My daughter (being 13) takes very good care of them with my help. While she's in school I tend to them through out the day & she tends to them after school & weekends. Sadly, I know nothing to very little about chickens. This year they seem to be very sick (this is how I came across this website). I've been reading up on every little thing to do for them. It breaks my heart to see them not feeling well
    Having so many, makes it extremely hard to vaccinate each one or to put medicine in the waterers not knowing if they are all getting the medicine they need! I'm convinced they have a respiratory infection. Those of you with larger flocks, what is the best way to go about making sure they all get the meds they need? I've isolated some of the weaker ones & have even brought a couple in the house to get better, but it seems like a never ending battle...any advice would be great!
    They sneeze & cough. Some have icky eyes, while others "seem" perfectly fine. We have had 3 die so far, by (what seems to be) no apparent reason?? I go let them out in the morning & everyone seems good by 10am when I check on them again 1 would be down? I'm at a complete loss.
     
  2. abenardini

    abenardini Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2015
    Hi there,

    Sorry to hear your daughter's birds are ill. It sounds as though they could have contracted Mycoplasma gallisepticum, a chronic bacterial infection. It is treatable with antibiotics but not curable.

    One of my birds I quarantined for more than a month and seemed healthy during that time also has started sneezing/coughing, rattling breathing...a good indication of the disease. I'm treating my entire flock with antibiotics in the water for seven days. Now I have to deal with the fact my flock will be closed because the disease doesn't have a cure.

    if possible, I'd take the sickest bird to a vet and get a firm diagnosis (if it's possible). The bad and sad part though, is there often aren't that many poultry vets in our midst. That is what I've run into, and have had to research things on my own to use my best judgment.

    If it were me, I would definitely provide electrolytes in the water at the very least and maybe probiotics too.

    What kind of housing do you have for the birds?
     
  3. MESOFRUFFEH

    MESOFRUFFEH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 15, 2015
    East Texas
    [​IMG] Welcome!!!

    I too am going through the same thing with my flock. I don't have much help to offer because I do not have a vet around here that deals with poultry so I am having to sift through information here and online to try and figure things out. That certainly is a lot of birds to have to care for if they all get sick. I have so far lost 2 and have one that has been very sick but seems to be getting better. I was not able to send off the body of the deceased birds due to several different factors, but maybe you would have better luck with that than me. https://www.aphis.usda.gov/animal_health/nahln/downloads/all_nahln_lab_list.pdf Here is the list of the labs that do testing, maybe you can send off one of the bodies and find out exactly what it is you have going around? With that many birds it may be worth it for you to do so. If you want to do that, as soon as you find them dead, put them in a container and put the body in the refrigerator, not the freezer. They need bodies that are as fresh as possible, so they have to be overnighted and packed on ice or someting else to keep them cold. I was going to send mine off, but everything happened at the last part of the week and i was not able to get them sent off in time to make it there fresh and I also didn't have the money at the time.

    I have been separating the sickest birds from the rest and giving them a lot of electrolytes, probiotics, rest, and as much TLC as possible without spreading it to everyone else. Been doing a lot of bleaching and hand sanitizing! Last night I gave all of my adult chickens a shot of antibiotics to hopefully ward off any infection from their illness. Everything I have done for my flock, I have learned from this forum. hopefully some more folks with more information and experience will come along and give you more to work with that I can. I'm sorry this is happening with your daughters flock, hugs from across the miles [​IMG], I know it can be stressful!! keep us updated on how your flock is doing, especially if you get any testing done.
     
  4. free ranging

    free ranging New Egg

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    Oct 13, 2015
    Ripley, NY
    Tha
    Thank you so much! I will try that tomorrow for sure!
    We had some Amish build them a coop, it's wooden and has the design of a huge shed. It has 2 windows & double doors with a ramp. We have built about 40 nesting boxes and placed them inside. They also have 3 sets (2 wide) of perches. My daughter & I clean it completely out once a week. We also wash their waterers & feeders when we clean, but I do rinse them off daily.
     
  5. free ranging

    free ranging New Egg

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    Oct 13, 2015
    Ripley, NY
    Thank you much! I need as much advice as possible. I do believe we are going through the same thing...I've been doing everything basically the same as you. It's frustrating :(
    I will save the link, thank you...hopefully we won't have another one to send to them, tho! I will keep everyone updated, thank you again! And best of luck with your flock as well...
     
  6. free ranging

    free ranging New Egg

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    Oct 13, 2015
    Ripley, NY
    What
    What do you mean by your flock will be "closed"?
     
  7. abenardini

    abenardini Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2015
    Hey there, when a flock is closed, that means I can't rehome birds or allow new birds to join the flock. I'm sure there are slightly alternate definitions but that's what it basically means. Since the bacterial infection in the aforementioned post isn't curable, I can't in good conscience add more or allow birds to leave my premises.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2015
  8. free ranging

    free ranging New Egg

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    Oct 13, 2015
    Ripley, NY
    Ok thank you. Are the eggs still usable?
     
  9. abenardini

    abenardini Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2015
    Not curing the course of antibiotics. Once they've had the drugs out of their systems for a day, resume eating eggs (that is what my antibiotics say on the package).
     
  10. MESOFRUFFEH

    MESOFRUFFEH Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 15, 2015
    East Texas
    Thank you!! Sending positive thoughts, vibes, prayers, etc., your direction!!! [​IMG] I hope yours are doing better today, and if not better, hopefully not worse, and I really hope too that you don't have another body to send!
     

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