Hatching Helper
13 Years
Jun 13, 2009
Diamond, Ohio
I have a white Silkie Rooster, when I first got him, I noticed he made a crackling noise. I was told he was only 10 months old, the crackling got worst and he was breathing kind of funny, his nose was runny and it smelled really really bad. I went to the feed store and ask them if anyone knew what was going on with him. They suggested giving him some Summit this antibotic so I did, amazingly enough I noticed the bad order went away and so did the crackling. So I stopped giving him the antibotic, I only gave it to him for 2 days. Wednesday was the last day, Thursday he sounded great, Friday comes and I notice the crackling is back, there's no bad odor yet. But his chest you can feel his bones really bad, he does eat a lot, he does drink fine, and he never had any type of swelling at the face. Does anyone know what this could be and should I put him back on the antibotic??? I have had him now for almost 1 month.... If someone knows what this is please give me some advice on what to do next.. I really don't need my other chickens getting sick, but I would think after a month they would show some sort of signs and they are all doing great.....I just got some baby chicks that I am keeping away from him until I can figure out how to clear him up...
You need to have him seperated from the rest of the chickens!
It sounds like a respiratory infection and most of them are contagious. He needs to be back on the antibiotic and do not stop the antibiotics untill the package says, usually 7-10 days.
If you start then stop antibiotics, they will loose effect! The infection builds up a tolerance to it so it will not work.
Kepp him segregated untill the infection is gone!
You may still end up with all of them showing signs of the same illness later and have to medicate them all, but dont do that unless they show symptoms. Then keep them on the meds for the full term.

Edited to add..
After the full time on antibiotics, feed him some yogurt along with his regular feed to help build good gut flora.
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Well first off - never ever stop using an antibiotic before the number of days they tell you to, even if the symptoms cease. That just causes antibiotic resistance - next time you need that antibiotic (like now) it might not work for you.

But I'd start it up right away again.

On the chest, how old is he, what is he eating, etc?

You'll want to get some probiotics (living beneficial bacteria) to replace what's going to be killed off by the antibiotic medicine. You can use yogurt (plain unflavored), acidophilus capsules/tablets from the grocer/pharmacy, or a livestock probiotic if you have a good feedstore. But yogurt will do just fine with this particular med.

Give him yogurt (1 teaspoon or a little less) daily at the opposite time of when you give the fresh Sulmet water. Also, he needs to have more protein and nutrition so give him half of a boiled egg yolk, or more, daily. Make sure he's eating pellets/crumbles right now because he'll need all those vitamins. Give this every day of medication, and then every other day for two weeks after the last dose of sulmet.

If you fear he needs additional vitamins, I would recommend very very few of the ones at the feedstore. Instead try Polyvisol from the baby section of walmart (the one without iron). Use it directly, not in the water.

He should be completely separate from the others, with you caring for him last in different clothing (including shoes). Disinfect all the feeders and waterers as well. Keep him confined to a small area so you'll have less to clean afterwards and make sure he continues to eat and drink.

Do the SUlmet as if you hadn't done it at all: for at least 5 days to 7 days as per the label. *** Don't skip one single day, don't end it early*** I can't stress that enough. This is likely infectious coryza which is usually most evident by the horrendous scent of the drainage. Sulmet's active ingredient is active against it, as you saw with the improvement. Let's hope it still is.
There is no such thing as a chicken with a cold. It is ALWAYS something more serious. I would recommend culling any bird with cold-like symptoms immediately.

If I wasn't scary enough for you (sorry
), PLEASE watch PurpleChicken's recent video on his thread. Good info on the thread, too.

Sounds like you've encountered Infectious Coryza. It's a horrible thing. There is NO cure for this diesease and it's highly contagious. Odds are that your other birds are already infected if that rooster has been ANYWHERE near them. You can either have a flock that is sick every other week or cull every one of them, spray EVERYTHING with bleach and start over.
Infectious Coryza
Infectious coryza is a specific respiratory disease in chickens that occurs most often in semi-mature or adult birds. Infection may result in a slow-spreading, chronic disease that affects only a small number of birds at one time, or in a rapid spreading disease with a higher percentage of birds being affected. The occurrence of infectious coryza is not widespread and the incidence is relatively low.

The disease is caused by a bacterium known as Hemophilus gallinarum. Outbreaks usually result from the introduction of infected or carrier birds into a flock. Transmission of the infection occurs by direct contact, airborne infection by dust or respiratory discharge droplets and drinking water contaminated by infective nasal exudate. Susceptible birds usually develop symptoms within three days after exposure to the disease. Recovered individuals may appear normal but remain carriers of the organism for long periods. Once a flock is infected, all birds must be considered as carriers.

The most characteristic symptoms of infectious coryza include edematous swelling of the face around the eyes and wattles, nasal discharge and swollen sinuses. Watery discharge from the eyes frequently results in the lids adhering together. Vision may be affected because of the swelling. The disease results in a decrease in feed and water consumption and an increase in the number of cull birds. An adverse effect on egg production usually occurs in proportion to the number of affected birds.

Diagnosis can be confirmed only by isolation and identification of the causative organism. The organism, Hemophilus gallinarum, is extremely fastidious and often difficult to isolate.

Prevention is the only sound approach in controlling infectious coryza. It usually can be prevented by management programs that eliminate contact between susceptible and infected birds. It requires only separating affected or carrier birds from the susceptible population. In order to prevent the infection, introduce started or adult birds only from sources known to be free of the infection. If infection occurs, complete depopulation followed by thorough cleaning/disinfecting is the only means for eliminating the disease.

A number of drugs are effective for treating the symptoms of the disease although the disease is never completely eliminated. Sulfadimethoxine or sulfathiazole in the feed or water or erythromycin administered in the drinking water can reduce the symptoms of this disease.

taken from http://msucares.com/poultry/diseases/diseases.html
Thank you all for your responses.....I read all the symtoms of the Infectious Coryza disease and he does not have all the symptoms. He never got swallowing eyes or discharge from the eyes in fact his face looks great. I did start him on the antibotic again. I smelled his face to see if he had that terrible odor and he does not have that smell to him. In fact he doesn't smell at all.. I have him confined in a dog crate in the garage, I must admit his is not a happy camper, he was free to run anywhere in our 2 1/2 acreas of land so now his not happy... Since he is only 11 months should I have him on the chicken scratch that's medicated (the kind you give baby chicks) or should I just give him crack corn or chicken scratch? I have all three of these. I did notice he would not hang out with the other chickens, he's kind of aloner.. I have 4 other's and they are all girls in fact even at night when it is bed time he wouldn't even sleep with the girls. Do you think he is trying to stay away from them because he's not feeling well... (Of course, I'm pertaining to when I had him out and about...) I do have him locked up now.....He is very very boney, I don't like that at all. He eats, he eats quite well but I don't see any weight gain.. I'm really worried about the little guy. When he tries to crow its very low and almost like an owl... If the Coryza is what he's got, would he be considered a carrier if it clears up? If so should he be mating with the girls?? Do I need to get rid of him??? I have 10 baby chicks and now I'm worried about them getting this... I can't disinfect my entire yard so what else can I do?
I assume by chicken scratch you mean crumbles? If so I would feed him the medicated chick food over crack corn or chicken scratch-they are not feed, they are treats. I can't answer the other questions but maybe this article will help.


Unfortunately it says that you don't have to have all of the symptoms. You need to keep him separated and watch to see if your others get it. Keep your babies separated. From what I read he will be a carrier but you need to verify this. The article also mentions a vaccine. I would look at that if I were you.
I just wanted to give everyone and update on my rooster. After reading the responses last night, I got really really scared about my Rooster. So this morning I called up a vet and asked them what they think, if he could have a disease etc... First they said after having him for a month and the other chickens aren't showing any signs or that no one is dead yet, they felt it was safe to say he doesn't have a disease. Then she then explained to me just recently they had a lady come in with a chicken who had the same exact symptoms, the chicken had died at the clinic. So they took the chicken and had some test done on him. When they got the results back it turned out the chicken had an pneumonia and had done some damage to his lungs. She suggested to bring him in and get him on Baytril. I told her what I had him on... She did say the baytril is a stronger antibotic but Sulmet should work. I told her the bottle says to give for 2 days and when I did that the next day the cracking came back. She said to keep him on the antibotic for 10 days..7cc mixed like the directions indicated for 10 days. If after 10 days and you take him off and then he gets the crackling back, it's strongly suggested he come in to be seen.. I started him back on the antibotics last night and went out to his cage today when I got home to give him some more (I give it to him orally plus its in his drinking water) and what a surprise the crackling is gone. Still no bad odor... Eating like a pig. So I will keep him on the antibotics for the full 10 days and crossing my fingers hope he can get over this... But thank you all for your responses.....
I hope he gets better too. There are a number of respiratory diseases that chickens can carry and suffer no apparent symptoms until they come under stress. The flock might be infected and yet able to live quite happily and give you lots of eggs.

The thing to be aware of is that if you sell eggs (for hatching purposes) or chicks to other people, they may be carrying this disease.

Again, I hope your roo returns to health and gets to live happily in your yard again.

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