1. If this is your first time on BYC, we suggest you start with one of these three options:
    Raising Chickens Chicken Coops Join BYC
    If you're already a member of our community, click here to login & click here to learn what's new!

Wheezing and Snot in a closed flock

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by possumblossum, Mar 6, 2011.

  1. possumblossum

    possumblossum Chillin' With My Peeps

    142
    0
    117
    Mar 11, 2010
    Blount Co., TN
    Ok, I've researching this for a couple of days and haven't found what I'm looking for.

    I have a bout of respiratory infection going through my flock of nine hens and two roosters. I've seen several posts about these conditions, but here's the kicker....these aren't new birds. I've had everyone of them for at least 10 months. I've had all of the hens for over a year and I added both roosters in May. I quarantined the roosters for a month before gradually introducing them to the flock through June. I haven't had any problems through the winter. Over the last month, it got really warm here in East TN, like April-May warm, and then all of a sudden turned cold this week.

    On Thursday, a couple of hens started sneezing; Friday, one of them had mucus in the feathers on her back and one eye was crusted over. I quarantined her immediately. Today, five of the hens are all wheezing and one of my roosters is craning his neck and gasping.

    I haven't had any contact with other birds or even other bird owners since back in the fall. A few of the hens have clear mucus in their nostrils, but the roosters that's struggling isn't showing any signs of distress other than the gasping. Everyone is eating and drinking normally and my egg production is limited, but no worse than it's been all winter.

    Other than the sudden weather change there have no other stressors on the flock, just business as usual. The whole group free-ranges over four acres from sunrise until they roost in the evening and their coop is 8'x16' and well ventilated. I haven't changed diet or feeding/watering schedule.....The more I type the more aggravating this gets because I've done everything I'm supposed to do to keep my flock from being exposed to these types of infections.

    Thanks,
    Justin
     
  2. Randy

    Randy Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2009
    AR
    They could have been carriers since you got them but it didn't flare up until they became stressed. Also it's possible a wild bird could have infected them. I've read that even mice and rats can spread MS/MG.
     
  3. possumblossum

    possumblossum Chillin' With My Peeps

    142
    0
    117
    Mar 11, 2010
    Blount Co., TN
    Ok,
    So here's the next question. I've seen several posts talking about increasing resistance instead of just cull, cull, cull. But I haven't seen anyone discuss how to increase resistance to these diseases.
    Thoughts or references??
     
  4. dirtsaver

    dirtsaver Chillin' With My Peeps

    567
    9
    133
    Mar 20, 2010
    Northern Kentucky
    Quote:The free-rangig over four acres is what would be my guess. That's a lot of area for them to come in contact with wild birds and wild bird droppings or,since chickens will eat darn near anything,diseased bird carcasses.

    I wish you luck with your flock.

    Larry
     
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    You can only make sure immune systems are strong through proper nutrition and management. You can't increase resistance by keeping birds that are not resistant, if you understand what I'm saying. Culling out birds that become ill is the only way to do it; you keep birds who have never had any symptoms. The ones that never become ill are the ones you must assume have strong immune systems. There is an excellent thread on breeding for resistance by kathyinmo where we had a big discussion, if you haven't already seen it.
     
  6. dirtsaver

    dirtsaver Chillin' With My Peeps

    567
    9
    133
    Mar 20, 2010
    Northern Kentucky
    Quote:The only way I know to increase resistance is the natural way. Cull(or let nature cull)the ones that get sick and do not recover. The ones that do recover will have increased resistance and would be the breed stock for your flock.
     
  7. possumblossum

    possumblossum Chillin' With My Peeps

    142
    0
    117
    Mar 11, 2010
    Blount Co., TN
    Quote:Isn't "increased resistance", in this sense, another term for "carrier"?
     
  8. aprophet

    aprophet Chillin' With My Peeps

    3,799
    10
    209
    Jan 12, 2010
    chesapeake Va.
    waterfowl carry/spread a lot of disease mostly AI, like someone else said you could have just had carriers until they got stressed

    it kina depends on the strain of what ever they have some types only affect a few birds other types affect a lot all at once . have any of their combs darkened or turned purpleish ?
     
  9. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Quote:Isn't "increased resistance", in this sense, another term for "carrier"?

    No. A carrier is not resistant at all. It just survived the last outbreak. It may die during the next one. A carrier will infect the rest of your flock eventually. That isn't what you want.
     
  10. dirtsaver

    dirtsaver Chillin' With My Peeps

    567
    9
    133
    Mar 20, 2010
    Northern Kentucky
    Quote:Isn't "increased resistance", in this sense, another term for "carrier"?

    It would seem that way,although many of us had things like chicken pox when we were kids and carry some immunity to that now but I don't think I've ever infected anyone with it since then. I "assume" most chicken disease works the same way. If I'm wrong in this assumption please set me on the right track.

    Larry
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by