Sickness moving through flock...

Jandsloch

Songster
Apr 3, 2019
517
889
181
Nw pa
One of my hens started sneezing a week or so ago. I thought nothing of it as many things cause sneezes. Last Friday she was gasping for air I quarantine her. Saturday I was advised by a respectable chicken keeper (don’t know how else to put it lol) to administer oxytetracycline. My rooster started sneezing and wheezing. Hen passed. He isn’t gasping so I start the antibiotics. Sunday morning another. Keep with me that’s now 2 sneezing and 1 dead. Ok 24-48 hours for antibiotics to take effect. My roo started crowing again Sunday afternoon....my thoughts awesome...he’s getting better. Monday morning another sneezing. Quarantine for her. Now 3 sneezing 1 dead. I sat and listened and heard a lot of fluid rumbling from my boy. No crowing or clucking. Everyone eating and drinking and just has the sneezes and “coughs” if u will. By afternoon Monday my boy was back to crowing and heard no fluid in his breathing. No one is sounding as bad as the one I lost. Everyone still eating and drinking. This morning I let everyone out (quarantine aside no release) and found 3 more sneezing. In quarantine they go. That’s now 6 sick and 1 death. No one is with runny nose or fluids in eyes. Just the sneezing and “coughing” if u call it that. I’m out of space for quarantine. Ok so on the 23rd I bought a brahmas 2.5 mo old from a breeder. Set him up in quarantine. Next day I had a wedding and was gone all day. Got home he had busted out of his quarent8ne and was roosting with everyone in the coop. Stupid bird..I was not happy. He has injured foot and beak in the process and spent all day with them. At his time I’m not certain if my deceased was sneezing before or after this incident and he is not showing any signs of illness. A week before that I brought 4 chicks home. They are not with the flock. Also we had 2 4h brids at the fair and didn’t come home until, the 25th in quarantine. Still after the deceased was sneezing. I’ve called around to try and get blood done to see what I’m dealing with and nothing open until next week. Again everyone seems ok. Eating, drinking, and the layers are newish and seem to lay on “their” schedule. No one is in distress. Question 1. Is this worth all my efforts or should I cull the flock and start anew next spring....and by flock including new boy and chicks?
Question 2. I’m out of quarantine space is quarantining even working since they slept together and now 3 new are sick. Roosting together makes them exposed. Question 3. Should I continue antibiotics. The course was 4tsp per gallon for 4 days then 2 tsp. Per gallon for 3 days. Thank you for any advice or insight you may have. It’s discouraging. My first flock. I took pride in the fact I hadn’t lost a single one until now.
 

slordaz

hatchaholic
5 Years
Apr 15, 2015
3,456
6,394
602
Idaho
I agree if hen dies keep body cool and contact to have necropsy done, but would just treat the whole flock and make it a flock quarantine, will be less stress on the flock, if it's, also depending on what your giving you will need to withdraw all eggs and toss them but not sure for how long
@casportpony
@Eggcessive
 

Jandsloch

Songster
Apr 3, 2019
517
889
181
Nw pa
I agree if hen dies keep body cool and contact to have necropsy done, but would just treat the whole flock and make it a flock quarantine, will be less stress on the flock, if it's, also depending on what your giving you will need to withdraw all eggs and toss them but not sure for how long
@casportpony
@Eggcessive
I’m tossing eggs for at least next 3 weeks as advised by my “chicken lady” she said 2 I’m doing 3
IMO your best (only!) best option is to have testing, best by necropsy, done ASAP. Call your state veterinary lab, at the state vet school, for directions.
I'm so sorry, Mary
I plan on necropsy if another passes. I couldn’t do the first as I was at work and my wonderful husband disposed of prior to me getting home because he didn’t want me to see her.
 

Noellereagan

Songster
Jun 20, 2018
860
1,919
242
Big Bend, Wisconsin
I agree with all that’s said. How do their droppings look?
Sick chickens is one of the things I find stressful as can be. Hang in there. I definitely would not cull the flock if I were you. Hang in there and realize that you are usually making progress even when it seems like you’re not it’s just very disheartening when one of the birds you care for dies. It’s almost like you ask yourself if you should put them all down rather than wait for them to die because at least it would be over with. It’s so nerve-racking my heart goes out to you. In your detailed description (which is so awesome by the way when asking for help! I should learn to be that detailed orientated when asking for help with a sick bird!) I sense urgency and worry. I have been in your shoes. Keep up the good work! Maybe let everyone know what the droppings look like even though it sounds like a respiratory ailment. I find the poop often holds a secret or two- Usually not in the case of a respiratory infection but you never know! There Are very definitive markers in chicken feces!
 

Jandsloch

Songster
Apr 3, 2019
517
889
181
Nw pa
I agree with all that’s said. How do their droppings look?
Sick chickens is one of the things I find stressful as can be. Hang in there. I definitely would not cull the flock if I were you. Hang in there and realize that you are usually making progress even when it seems like you’re not it’s just very disheartening when one of the birds you care for dies. It’s almost like you ask yourself if you should put them all down rather than wait for them to die because at least it would be over with. It’s so nerve-racking my heart goes out to you. In your detailed description (which is so awesome by the way when asking for help! I should learn to be that detailed orientated when asking for help with a sick bird!) I sense urgency and worry. I have been in your shoes. Keep up the good work! Maybe let everyone know what the droppings look like even though it sounds like a respiratory ailment. I find the poop often holds a secret or two- Usually not in the case of a respiratory infection but you never know! There Are very definitive markers in chicken feces!
Well no interesting changes in poop. I’ve seen a couple green solid poos with white. They free range and a couple venture not too far but at the neighbors. So I figured the green poo was from eating greens. I’ve read about the dreaded green poo. And only saw it once from the quarantined and I’m assuming it’s because she was foraging before I noticed the sneezes. I am trying to be as detailed because I’ve gone through my head over every possibility it could be since my first got Ill. (Friday). I saw a couple runny poos in the yard...I’ve seen these before so wasn’t much concerned. Aside from the green poo I’ve not seen anything I haven’t seen before and honestly I’m no poo expert lol ;) I was a bit worried about the green poo but read a lot of conflicting things and only 1 of the quarantined was green poo....once. Yes I’ve been looking. I probably look like a crazy chicken lady Saturday when I administered antibiotics in all the waters I put a chair in the middle of the yard and made sure they all drank it. Every morning when I open the coop I watch to see everyone eat and drink. I listen to see if anyone else sneezes. I spend about an hour with them before I have to get ready for work...who needs coffee...
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
61,183
53,465
1,322
southern Ohio
I agree with getting tested, so contact your state vet to learn how. There are commercial labs such as Zoologix, that will test, but it may be less expensive locally. It sounds like infectious bronchits which is a virus that would not respond to antibiotics, but testing would be the only way to know if that is what you are seeing. Infectious bronchitis makes the whole flock carriers for up to a year, while others may make them carriers for life, including ones who do not appear sick.This is a good link that gives symptoms of common diseases:
https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044
Here is a list of state vets:
https://www.metzerfarms.com/PoultryLabs.cfm
 

Jandsloch

Songster
Apr 3, 2019
517
889
181
Nw pa
The closet vet that does poulrty cant get a bird in till next week. And none of those are anywhere near me :( thank you for the info it was worth a check to see if I can get something sooner. The fact that they can be carriers is why I will have a necropsy done if another dies. I’m hoping no one dies and can get bloodwork done next week. And can figure out what it is I’m dealing with. I don’t want to have any issues in the future if I decide to add more to the flock. This is why I pondered if all this is even worth it...it’s sad very very sad and I’ve worked myself up over all this that I ponder if I’m doing all this and they have something they will be carriers for the rest of their life then I will have to cull the flock? Especially if I plan (and we all know one cannot resist) on adding more later. It’s tough....or cull those who get sick....ugh i just don’t know. At this point I’m making the best of what I CAN do. Antibiotics...quarantine...make them happy....they are all eating and drinking and no signs of distress.
 

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