What is going wrong with my flock? UPDATE: It's CORYZA !!!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by JulieZ, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. JulieZ

    JulieZ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2010
    Trenton, Florida
    Today I buried "Leghorn". A sweet, gentle, dark brahma hen. She stopped eating 3 days ago but was drinking lots of fluid while lathargic. Not egg bound, no respitory issues so I checked on the boards last night. Possible worms based on the poop indentifier page. I was too late. But I treated the water for the other chickens "just in case".

    A storm blows in with nothing more then a sprinkle. My chickens have amazing shelter but they will start sneezing, sniffling, coughing & I'm off to medicate them AGAIN. Everytime it rains.

    Nothing comes around but perfect weather. Someone will end up with a cold, coughing and off I go to medicate again as to stop it from going around.

    I clean the chicken house/run out every 1-2 days. They get fresh, clean, crisp water everyday - sometimes twice a day depending upon them.
    Their pen is the typical sand with no vegetation. I let them out to graze every 1-2 days for up to an hour ONLY because they want back in their home.

    Yet today ... another bout of sickness. My chickens are always sick it seems. We've laid fresh sand, scooped out the old, sterilized, squirted bleach on the ground in hopes to kill off anything (while they are out playing). This has been going on since I started in Feb.

    How often does someone lose a chicken during each season? (I'm in FL) Maybe this is "normal" & what comes with raising chickens but down deep, medication all the time doesn't seem right to me. Right now ... about 6 of them are sneezing since the weather has cooled off. A never ending battle.

    I LOVE raising chickens but at this point I do not know if the agony is worth it. I MUST be doing something wrong ??

    I just read Speckledhen's Ten Commandments of Good Flock Management ... #8 says birds do not get colds, they carry diseases & are like that for the rest of their life. The way to handle this is to cull them. Seriously? Could this be the issue to my birds? But if so, what would make the next new batch any different ??
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2010
  2. bburn

    bburn Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 9, 2010
    Delaware, Arkansas
    Someone here will help you. Good advice from people who are experienced. That would not be me!

    Wait, they will come.
  3. slackwater

    slackwater Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2010
    I had an upper respiratory infection hit my chicks in the brooder once (no idea how they got it, unless it was something that they hatched with). SpeckledHen recommended culling; I opted to isolate and treat. Everyone who had been affected died anyway, so I don't know what I would have done if anyone had recovered (ie, cull or re-introduce).

    That being said, I lose chickens on a semi-regular basis. Recently, I had lost quite a few in a short period of time (5 in 3-4 weeks) to a basic lethargy & lack of coordination - eventually they withered away & died, no matter what I gave them. Sent one off to the state lab to be necropsied and found out it was leukoid leukosis. Nothing I could have prevented or treated, and not a very fast-spreading infection (doesn't transmit horizontally well - is mainly transmitted vertically, or hen to egg/chick)...which makes sense, because the birds that I lost were all from two breeders...and no one else, including hatchery stock, has been affected. Anyway, in my research, I have found that it is ubiquitous, and there is basically no way to isolate your flock from it - in face, they probably came with it. Not only that, but it weakens the immune system. So, birds that have it, but might have survived the disease itself, die from a secondary infection. THAT BEING SAID - the death rate in normal flocks is only about 4-5%. Which means that many, many of the "random" chicken deaths may actually be explained by this disease - I just happened to see it all at one (losing 5 birds out of 100 was right on target). Everyone else has been fine since then.

    But...to answer your original question, it is not unusual to lose birds on occasion. Even apparently healthy birds. Birds are programmed to try to appear as healthy as possible until it is too late, which means it is often hard to treat them and have them recover. Plus, it seems that sometimes, just breathing on them stresses them out and they die. Unless you are having a major die off, or you can't get rid of a "cold" (which sounds like it may be a problem for you)...it's probably normal.

    Good luck. it sucks to be where you are right now [​IMG]
  4. Elite Silkies

    Elite Silkies Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 17, 2009
    My Coop
    You should not medicate birds with Antibiotics unless it is absolutely necessary. They will become immune to the antibiotic and you could cause more harm than good.

    You said a big storm came in with just a sprinkle of rain, but did the sand blow around? They could have gotten the sand in their throat or up their noses, and like a human, it has to come out. So, naturally they will sneeze or cough.

    Also, if you use crumbles, it gets pretty dusty when they are scratching in it.

    Do they have runny noses? Do they have any bubbles in their eyes? If you can answer yes to these questions, then you need to Cull. CRD is a Chronic Resp. Disease that they will carry for life and they will infect any new birds that are brought in.

    I would not recommend using bleach, but I would recommend using Oxine. It kills several diff viruses and you can fog it or spray it.
  5. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    You stated you clean their house/run every 1-2 days. This can cause stress among your chickens...continuous interruptions and changes...possibly causing them to get sick. Chickens are pretty much like us, creatures of habit, we dont like constant changes...it stresses us out as well. Try cleaning their house and run out once every 7-10 days. I agree with Elite Silkies, clean or spray their house with oxine and mist it over your chickens, it should help them get better real quick. Antibiotics should be a last resort. Good luck.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010
  6. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 23, 2009
    It may not be you, so much as the stock you started with. Where did you get your chickens from?
  7. Miss Lydia

    Miss Lydia Loving this country life Premium Member

    I would like to know what oxine is please?
  8. JulieZ

    JulieZ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2010
    Trenton, Florida
    Quote:Elmo ... I bought my chickens at 3 different times but close together ... feed & seed store. Hockey, my BO, has sneezed from get go. I kept saying I should let her go but couldn't find the heart. What a stupid move !!

    Should I watch for the ones that are sick & cull them or do the entire flock? Someone is always sneezing, wheezing, dripping. But what is an "eye bubble"?
  9. JulieZ

    JulieZ Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 5, 2010
    Trenton, Florida
    Quote:Someone always seems to have a runny nose. Not sure what a bubble is but 3 of them right now have some white going over their eye. Like a cat with an eye infection. This is not looking good, is it? ANd with the amount of antibiotics they have had, there should be no problem I would think.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2010

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