To treat or not to treat


In the Brooder
6 Years
Sep 10, 2013
We recently had a dramatic change in tempature and lots and lots of rain. I let the girls out in the yard today for the first time since the rain stopped. . When I picked one of them up i noticed a small wheeze come out. She didn't make another wheenzing noise until a few minutes later. After a quick check on the others I noticed only a couple of he girls had it to.

I am wondering if they maybe got a small respiratory infection from the weather. It does not sound bad and you have to really listen for it. Other than that they act happy and healthly and enjoying the sunshine!

Should I just watch them or start some kind of treatment ASAP?
If I were you I would treat ASAP, and check up on what their exact symptoms are if you can match them, so as to get a positive ID on what disease it is.

Wet weather does not make respiratory infections; a weakened immune system allows that to happen. My birds have gone through floods and nonstop monsoonal rain and been soaked overnight while living in a humid tropical area, without ever getting a single lung infection. I feed them raw minced garlic pretty much daily and this is one of the most simple yet effective ways to combat and prevent respiratory infections and other infections and diseases. What you have sounds like an infectious disease.

Wet weather does not equal wheezing, even if wet weather contributed to it; it's a symptom of a weakness which has allowed a disease to take hold. As I'm sure many people on this site will tell you, chickens don't get colds. Their respiratory systems are different to ours. Since I'm only experienced in natural remedies I can't advise you on chemical ones, but if you've not raised your birds naturally then a sudden switch onto natural remedies can be less effective than it is for naturally raised birds. If you've started with mainstream rearing it's possibly best for the bird's sakes to finish that way too, as changing diet and reversing that physical history is rough on their bodies as they go into immediate detox and rebuild.

Some things are still a good idea even if the birds are reared without natural feeding and care. If I were you I'd feed them all freshly minced raw garlic in as large a dose as they want to eat, probably around two cloves per bird, and probably mix it with plain yogurt (unsweetened/unflavored) or some other treat to encourage them to eat it if they're unfamiliar with it. Raw freshly crushed or cut/minced garlic contains Allicin and 34-plus other antibiotic compounds which have been used in hospitals to treat viruses and infections (etc) that even the strongest man made antibiotics failed to combat. If in doubt, do a search on Allicin. In Russia they call garlic 'Russian Penicillin' and it's still used all over the world as one of the safest and most reliable antibiotics.

But, given that some quite nasty diseases in poultry start with wheezing, you may want to take a much stronger stance with it, i.e. a chemical one, and as quickly as possible too, if that's your preference. But either way I would definitely not wait, but treat. Best wishes with your flock.
Thank you for advice. I have lots of raw garlic on hand and will start with tonight! I thank you!
I just gave some to them. Boy was that a hit! I never knew they love that stuff!
It's your call but it would be best to at least have antibiotic's on hand in case this gets ugly. They have most likely picked up some respiratory disease, they are many and are easily spread, on the air, by wild birds, on people, you name it. Many of the symptoms of these diseases mimic each other so making a definite diagnosis usually requires lab testing. This can get quite spendy in a hurry so many people opt to just treat symptomatically and go from there. If you have a bird die some state labs will do a free necropsy. It's always very helpful to know exactly what you are dealing with whenever possible.

You can watch this and see if there are any changes in the next day or so. Sometimes birds will recover quickly from a mild outbreak, but many times what starts as a mild wheeze, sneeze or cough morph's quickly into pneumonia and secondary bacterial infections. Those are what kill the birds. The diseases themselves are mostly viral so antibiotic's won't cure them but will prevent the complications that kill. Whatever it is will likely move through the whole flock though it may take days or a week to see more symptomatic birds.

If you can get some Tylan 50 from a feed store that would be a good one to use.
Quote: Good to hear. It should help them quite a lot. Chickens love hot things in general and it does them a lot of good.

I use hot things like cayenne to worm them naturally, once a month, before the moon hits its fullest point, since at that time worms are moving into the digestive tract to reproduce, even those species that normally inhabit organs instead of the gut. Some have different life-cycles but having hot ingredients in the feed regularly interrupts basically all of their cycles and prevents them from completing them, and the sulfur in garlic is toxic to smaller organisms than the host, while helping the host heal quicker.

I also agree with cafarmgirl. I don't have any experience with antibiotics but I do know that what she says about diseases is true and well worth being aware of. Another thing is that some people have reported recurring symptoms every single year after they first show. This can persist even if you destroy the whole flock and start again, since it can live on in the soil depending on what it is, and as cafarmgirl said the symptoms for many things can be identical. There may even be no symptoms. Some things are bad enough to get a destruction notice even if the flock looks healthy. Personally I am a fan of allowing them to build natural immunity but legally this is not always an option. I hope it's nothing serious with yours.

I would recommend you get some hydrated agricultural lime and sprinkle some over every bit of ground around your place, wherever you and your poultry walk. This will kill parasite eggs, bad bacteria, spores and diseases that are persisting in the soil. During a wet time is a great time to do this as it will wash the lime into the ground instead of leaving it lying about on the surface to possibly irritate lungs and eyes. It will also sweeten the soil and break down any clay soils you've got.

All the best.

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