VERY SICK Rescued Hens in Quarantine

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ophelia3178, Jan 21, 2017.

  1. ophelia3178

    ophelia3178 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Montreal, QC, Canada
    Hello,
    I have a flock of 8 with a very young and active rooster. He really is too much for my girls, so I decided to rescue again since I have done that successfully once before. The ones I rescued (4) are terribly ill. They are eating and drinking but are sneezing, coughing, have watery bubbly eyes, leg mites and probably other external parasites as well as the trachea internal parasite. So far I am treating with Rooster Booster. Should I try using a broad antibiotic? How do I know what infection they have? I am very scared for my current flock. Although the new girls are quarantined far away I am still scared of contamination. Any help would be appreciated. I was planning to quarantine them for 34 days, but wasn't expecting them in such poor condition.
    Thank you!
     
  2. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    I'm sorry you're having trouble.

    I don't mean to sound horrible, but is there any way you can take them back?

    From the symptoms you describe they have a respiratory disease. The only way to know exactly which one is to have testing performed. The bubbly eyes (foamy eyes) could mean Mycoplasma, but other illnesses can look very similar. Almost all respiratory diseases are contagious - even if you get these 4 "healthy" and "symptom free" they would still be considered carriers.

    Antibiotics like Tylan50 or tetracycline(s) can sometimes successfully treat any secondary infections from respiratory illness but won't cure it.

    If you have a vet that can perform a fecal float test, this will be helpful as well. They can check for worms, cocci and bacterial infections. Since you are in Canada, I'm not sure who does testing for illness - we use state, university or independent labs the most here in the US, but your vet should be able to direct you to the correct place.

    Scaly leg mites - soak their feet in some epsom salts - this is soothing and helps with inflammation. After they have soaked a while, gently scrub the legs with a soft brush to loosen debris/clean the legs. You can then apply vaseline, coconut oil, castor oil, A+D ointment, etc. to the legs. This will help smother the mites.

    For mites/lice use a poultry dust or spray to treat them. Permethrin is good at treating pests. Also, if you haven't done so, provide them with enough space for dust bathing if possible. In winter a tub of dirt/sand mix with some wood ash or DE sprinkled in makes a nice dust bath.

    Internal parasite-your vet testing should let you know what type(s) if any they have so you can use the correct wormer. Valbazen or Fenbendazole both are good wormers and treat most worm infestations. Your vet may have something different/better to use.

    For chickens with respiratory illness, make sure they are drinking well - the rooster booster (vitamins?) is fine. Offer them some hard boiled eggs or tuna for added protein in addition to their normal feed.

    Keep us posted.


    List of diseases:
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044

    Bio-Security:
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2016/08/biosecurity-for-backyard-chickens.html
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/12/quarantine-of-backyard-chickens-why-and.html

    Mites:
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2013/03/scaly-leg-mites-in-chickens.html
    http://www.fresheggsdaily.com/2015/04/natural-treatment-for-scaly-leg-mites.html
    http://www.the-chicken-chick.com/2012/08/poultry-lice-and-mites-identification.html
    http://www.fresheggsdaily.com/2013/02/mites-how-to-prevent-them-and-treat.html
     
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  3. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Wyorp Rock is right on the money with the advice. I have a pullet that has a swollen eye with puss and I immediately isolated her and have been treating with Teramycin while removing the puss and keeping her eye clean. I was really in panic mode because I thought it could be coryza but there hasn't been any bad odors around her nose and absolutely no nasal discharge at all, so I think she just has a simple eye injury since no other birds are displaying any symptoms also. I did some research on eye symptoms and came across a lot related to respiratory problems, and just like Wyorp Rock said, many are highly contagious and the birds remain carriers afterwards if they recover. I know a lot of birds have been exposed anyway since some of these illnesses can be encountered from a lot of sources such as wild birds, poultry shows, etc., so it doesn't sound like these issues are rare or unusual, but of course I'd advise keeping your main flock safe by never exposing these birds to them. That's what I'd do anyway. I agree that it'd be best to return them if you can. If not you might want to consider culling them. I know here in the states if a veterinarian finds evidence of certain viral infections they are required by law to notify the Dept of Agriculture to ensure all the birds on your property are culled. If you're set on keeping them I'd at least get a veterinarian that specializes in poultry to take a look and test them since that's the only way you'll know for sure.
     
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  4. ophelia3178

    ophelia3178 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Montreal, QC, Canada
    Thank you so much @Wyorp Rock
    I have contacted my vet. I do not understand the carrier thing. What is the point of quarantine if the chickens are symptomless carriers...your hens would still get ill. Would these infections kill my birds? These new birds are older and it seems they have been living sick for a while. I really do not think it is Coryza, but my vet will help determine that. I did not expect sick chickens. Could it be the air they were breathing in the room they were kept? It was ammonia smelling, I could not even breathe.
     
  5. ejcrist

    ejcrist Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Regarding the quarantine question, it's only considered a reasonable step to help in keeping your birds safe. By keeping them separate you can observe and check them over good during the quarantine period to see if they have anything you might have missed on initial inspection, and also to see if they develop or have any symptoms of contagious issues. But you're right, it's definitely not a sure thing since they can still be carriers and you wouldn't know if they're asymptomatic. Personally I don't quarantine birds I get from my breeder/mentor since I know the health of his birds. I also didn't quarantine a cock I got from a breeder once that I didn't know well but I was increasing the risk to my layer flock when did that. I did inspect him very well but I still should've quarantined him to decrease the risk to my flock.

    These infections could kill your birds depending on what the infections are and if they're treatable issues. There's no way to tell until you know what they have. It's also possible the air they were breathing could be the cause that lead to whatever they have. I know some pathogens are airborne via dander and the birds ingest them by both breathing them and picking up in the litter or off the ground. I'm definitely not an expert but this is what I've read.

    Once you get past this, in the future I highly recommend inspecting any birds you plan to buy or rescue extremely well before taking them home. If there's anything at all that is questionable I'd leave them be. It just ain't worth the trouble and risk to your flock. I think it's great that you want to rescue birds but you have to consider what's best for all parties involved (you, your flock, and other people's flocks). Even though your intentions are good the results could be worse than when you started.
     
  6. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Birds that have respiratory illness are generally considered carriers. Some birds may never show symptoms or symptoms may present when under stress (moving to new housing, molting, other illness, etc.). Quarantine allows you to monitor new birds to see if they become symptomatic. While not perfect, it can help you catch anything contagious and then help you make a determination of what is the next best step for your circumstances.

    Yes, sometimes new birds (if carriers) won't show symptoms, but when introduced to an existing flock, the "old" birds will become sick. One way to see if this may happen it to use a "canary" method. While new birds are still under quarantine, take a "least favorite" healthy bird from the existing flock and house it with the new ones. Allow up to 14 days to see if the "old" bird gets ill. If it does get ill, then the new birds would be considered carriers of an illness that your flock doesn't have/haven't been exposed to. Then you would need to decide how you want to proceed. Serious breeders would usually cull all (new + the "canary"). It really depends on your chicken keeping goals and what illness you are dealing with.

    If you plan on selling/giving away hatching eggs, chicks, started pullets, etc., then careful consideration and research would be in order. You don't want to further spread an illness if you can help it. You need to think about, not only the money spent, but reputation and ethical standpoint of selling/giving away potential carrier/ill birds.

    I hope it makes sense(?)

    From the symptoms you describe it most likely is not Infectious Coryza, you don't report a rotten/terrible smell coming from the new birds. Mycoplasma is more likely. Usually birds respond fairly well to antibiotic treatment for secondary infection and with supportive care (vitamins, good feed, clean water and properly ventilated housing), they can recover. Even if recovered they still are carriers, so you would need to be prepared to isolated and treat individual birds that become ill. Testing is the only way to know for sure what you are dealing with.
    It is possible that if they were housed in an unventilated area prior to you getting them, they could be suffering from ammonia toxicity or something similar. Your vet may be able to help you determine this. Another possibility is they could have respiratory illness that was aggravated by ammonia build up (a stressor).

    I'm glad you have contacted your vet. I know this must be hard, you are trying to help give these birds a better life, but you must also think about your current flock as well. Whatever decision you make, after some reading, research and "soul searching" will be the right one.

    Please keep us posted. I would be interested in what you find out and wish you the best.

    Ammonia Toxicity:
    http://www.poultrydvm.com/condition/ammonia-burn
    http://www.poultryworld.net/Breeders/Health/2010/10/Harmful-effects-of-ammonia-on-birds-WP008071W/
    https://www.merckvetmanual.com/poultry/poisonings/overview-of-poisonings-in-poultry
     
  7. ophelia3178

    ophelia3178 Out Of The Brooder

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    Montreal, QC, Canada
    Thank you so much for the help. I will be seeing my vet thursday and will keep you all posted. What you explained makes sense. I really appreciate the support @Wyorp Rock. So far their symptoms are getting better!!! It's only been two days. I still do worry for my flock... but I have a very good vet. She will tell me whether or not I should integrate them. I do not want to do the canary method. If my rooster attacks anyone I'll consider it, but for now I will see what the vet has to say. My other girls are very hardy birds and have had serious ilness before and pushed through (reproductive tract infection (lash eggs etc.). But they fought through without antibiotics. So if they become infected perhaps they will survive!! I gotta have positive hope. They are all pets, so I do not really have any responsibilities other than giving them a good life.
     
  8. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Southern N.C. Mountains
    Sounds good! I hope the vet will be able to give more definite answers.

    A lot of people keep flocks that carry illness. They just keep them "closed" or "all-in/all-out" meaning they don't sell/give away any birds, the birds live life and then die on the same property. So you are good in that area. When/if you do eventually decide to integrate, if any of your birds become ill, separate only those that get ill and treat them/give extra supportive care and see how it plays out.

    If they can recover without antibiotics - even better! Antibiotics will only help with any infections/complications, so if they can fight it that's good.

    I'm glad they are getting better, that is hopeful. Do they best you can, I know you will take care of them[​IMG]
     
  9. ophelia3178

    ophelia3178 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Montreal, QC, Canada
    Hello!! Seeing the vet today. I did a feces egg float exam and these girls are free of internal parasites. They do however have scaly leg mites but I am treating them and its grtting better. None of them have bubbly watery eyes anymore!!! And only one seems to really have a bad respiratory infection. The others rarely cough or sneeze as much anymore. I am very excited for these girls. One started to dust bathe in some diatomaceous earth and that made me really happy. They couldnt dust bathe or sunbathe before...
     
  10. ophelia3178

    ophelia3178 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 16, 2014
    Montreal, QC, Canada
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