Treating upper respiratory infections

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by JBarringerNC, Mar 17, 2013.

  1. JBarringerNC

    JBarringerNC Chirping

    I need help here, I recently bought 2 pullets to add into our small backyard flock of chickens.
    One was obviously sick because I heard one sneezing here and there, and now my ROOSTER has been having trouble breathing and has been picked on from his flock.. He was at the top of the pecking order, now he's last.

    I picked him up to hear his breathing, I put my ear to his back and you can hear the congestion in his body just like someone with Bronchitis

    What do i give him ??

    What will make him better, and what steps should I take from this point to increase his health.

    I've never vaccinated a chicken, I've been giving them medicated chick food since day 1, now they're going on 15 weeks old and this crap happens. I should've known better than to introduce chickens form somewhere else.

    Any advice and/or help here is really appreciated.
  2. BuffOrpington88

    BuffOrpington88 Non-Stop

    Mar 20, 2012
    For a respiratory infection, they don't need a vaccination, they need antibiotics. Terramycin and Duramycin are two antibiotics that are readily available at your local feed store. Separate the affected birds, and it will help if you lower the dust levels in their environment. A humidifier can be beneficial, if you have access to one (however, this isn't necessary). Make sure they're eating and drinking, and use the antibiotic for the time period indicated on the package. If the antibiotic is taken away before that, the infection can come back even worse.
    Good luck!
    jaks2578 and Jillio like this.
  3. JBarringerNC

    JBarringerNC Chirping

    But how do I diagnose what exactly he's come down with?

    He's not sneezing, but he's very congested (i put my ear to his back to listen to his breathing) and you can hear the flem when he breathes.
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    You won't know what disease this is without lab tests. Or a necropsy on one that dies. Some state labs will do it for free. There are quite a few poultry respiratory diseases, many of them mimick each other in terms of symptoms. Infectious bronchitis is common but is just one of many.

    Whatever this is, it is most likely going to spread through your whole flock. Keep them warm, especially at night and they do need antibiotic's. Poultry respiratory diseases are caused by a virus so you won't kill it, but they very easily morph right into pneumonia and secondary bacterial infections, that's why they need antibiotics.

    I would suggest Tylan 50, either injected or orally. If you do oral the dose is 1/2 cc daily for 5 to 7 days for standard size birds. Generally they will recover provided they are kept warm and given their medications. For birds who are very congested, wheezing, rattling breathing, I've found that a little VetRX rubbed on their nose helps, you can also give them some orally.

    Birds that do recover will remain carriers of whatever this is. They also usually relapse when under stress.
  5. JBarringerNC

    JBarringerNC Chirping

    I'm going to go get some Terramycin and / or Duramycin tomorrow and put it into their water from this point forward. Hopefully he'll get better, he's so gentle and hasn't ever picked on even one of the others in the flock, so I'm going to do my best to help him.

    I would like to vaccinate the entire flock though, is there any all around vaccination that I can buy that will help them against this and any other similar problems in the future?
    I've never vaccinated chickens before (nor anything else for that matter) so anyone that's got experience with vaccinations on chickens please give me the run-down.

    -I appreciate the feedback guys, I'll keep yall updated as to what I end up doing and how he reacts to it.
    thesanguinesaint likes this.
  6. Michael Apple

    Michael Apple Crowing

    Mar 6, 2008
    Northern California
  7. BuffOrpington88

    BuffOrpington88 Non-Stop

    Mar 20, 2012
    Just as a heads up, lots of vaccines need to be given when the chickens are days or weeks old.
  8. RooRidgeFarm

    RooRidgeFarm Chirping

    Mar 5, 2013
    You should probably bypass the Terramycin and Duramycin-those versions are less strong, less effective than the Tylan 50-your goal right now is to subdue the symptoms so no secondary illness can take hold also
    Tylan 50 will help your birds heal/recover from the cough, sneezing etc. BUT it will not cure it. Bottom line is your entire flock has been exposed now even though only some are showing outward signs of the illness. Chickens don't get 'colds', they get viruses and bacterial infections etc. MS and MG are the biggest offenders of respiratory issues. But you will only be guessing at what your birds have unless you take some live birds and dead birds to be necropsied by your local agricultural vet or exchange.

    The best you can do besides testing for illness is to disinfect your waterers, feeders DAILY, and clean your roosts etc. and keep bedding as clean as possible. Give Tylan 50 injections (which work quickest & are more effective than oral doses) at a rate of 1/2cc subcutaneously into the breast for full size chickens & 1/4cc for bantam size (switching breast sides each injection) or to inject behind the neck between the shoulder blades subcutaneously 2x's per day for a duration of 5 days. The reason you inject 2x's a day is that Tylan 50 is effective in the system for a period of only about 8 hours. In more severe cases where your bird is struggling to breathe or is very very lethargic, you can give Tylan 50 every 3x's daily.

    Injections can be intimidating. Google how to give a chicken an injection and you should find the exact step by step instructions. Tractor supply carries tylan 50, syringes, and you should use about a 22 gauge needle.

    Isolating your sick from the 'healthy' ones while under treatment (even though they have all been exposed now) is recommended in order to reduce the airborne and direct swapping of fluids. Isolating will help control the spread of the symptoms, but your birds will always be carriers-there is no cure-no vaccinations to cure what disease they may have. "Vaccinations", only help control and reduce the symptoms of the illnesses=they do not eradicate the disease. You can reduce illness outbreaks by minimizing stress, practicing cleanliness, good nutrition, and antibiotics to reduce the chance of any secondary issues occurring.
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2013
  9. JBarringerNC

    JBarringerNC Chirping

    I went today and bought some Duramycin-10, also bought some of that Electrolyte mix that goes into their water.
    I mixed the antibiotic into all waterers and also put in some electrolyte mix.

    I'm hoping that my little silky rooster is going to improve, but he's now sneezing (just like the one I suspect brought in the virus)

    He's not looking his best, and I can tell he feels yucky! I can't blame him though, the original flock he came from has completely shunned him from their inner circle.

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