Upper respiratory disease?????

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Plain Old Dee, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. Plain Old Dee

    Plain Old Dee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 30, 2009
    Seminole, OK
    I know next to nothing about chickens, but we recently acquired several. I've never had this problem, but it suddenly seems to be running rampant through my little flock.

    The chickens will be fine one day, and struggling to breath the next. Some of them are coughing and sneezing. Some get better, but a couple have died. We were using Tetracycline in their water, and there was some general improvement. Now I have another one struggling to breath. Her comb is blueish and her poo is very watery.

    Any ideas on something else I can try?

    Could this be why they aren't laying yet? Most of my chickens are six months old by now, but they aren't laying.
     
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Sadly, it sounds like you may have Chronic Respiratory Disease in your flock but could be a number of things. Here is a chart for you. Most diseases will not respond to antibiotics as they are viruses. And if they were bacterial, Terramycin is very weak anyway.

    http://www.welphatchery.com/poultry_health.asp
     
  3. Plain Old Dee

    Plain Old Dee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Seminole, OK
    Is there anything that can be done?

    Should I expect to lose the whole flock?
     
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    This is a tricky question. Some treat, some dont. They may survive with supportive therapy, but may remain carriers for life. I can't tell you exactly what they have, but my own personal decision is to euthanize any birds who come down with anything respiratory. Many think that is too harsh. I don't buy birds, folks who come here must disinfect their shoes, etc. To know what they have, you'd have to do testing, which requires a necropsy, usually.
     
  5. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

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    Depending on what they have, most likely MG, they can recover but will become carriers and from time to time the disease will show up.

    Tylan is the best antibiotic. It will not cure the disease but will help the secondary infections. This is assuming it is MG they have.

    Read through those links I just posted.
     
  6. Plain Old Dee

    Plain Old Dee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Seminole, OK
    It does sound like MG. There's no facial swelling, just the runny stools and upper respiratory stuff. Their eyes are all clear.

    Sounds like the problem came from the original pullets I bought - from a breeder. [​IMG] I noticed that one of the pullets was a bit wheezy when we first brought her home. She seemed to recover - but a couple more got sick and died. Most of the ones that got sick got better. Even though Terramyacin isn't the best antibiotic in the world - I guess it helped keep the rest of the sick ones from getting worse with secondary infections. I only have the one sick hen at the moment - that I know of.

    If I euthanize the sick birds - can the rest of the flock be salvaged? I'm not planning on selling any - just the eggs and meat.
     
  7. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

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    You don't have to euthanize any if you plan on keeping them away from other birds. Most will beat it. MG weakens them allowing the other infections to flourish.

    Terramycin, to my understanding, will not help. I tried it on my birds and it did nothing.

    My story ended with me culling all my birds, waiting a few months, and starting a new, MG free, flock.

    You can get Tylan at a Tractor Supply. If you keep these birds some will get sick again during their molt.

    Best of luck.
     
  8. Plain Old Dee

    Plain Old Dee Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 30, 2009
    Seminole, OK
    Well, I feel a little better then. I'll go to TSC and get some Tylan for them and quit with the Terramycin.

    I'll just have to watch and wait. If it looks like I'm going to have to fight this forever, I may do what you did and scrap the whole flock and start over.

    If I have to start over, where can I get MG free birds? From the info in the links, not all hatcheries even test for it?
     
  9. PurpleChicken

    PurpleChicken Tolerated.....Mostly

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    The chances of getting MG from day old hatchery chicks is very low.

    There are many members here who sell eggs who are almost certainly MG free.


    If you ordered chicks from a hatchery ad they were MG positive they would almost definately show signs early on. I found MG hits young birds the hardest, especially silkies.
     
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2009

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