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#87002 - 06/15/05 06:01 PM Really bad wet cough
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
Hello! Well, I have about 9 chicks, three of which are Americanas. When I got home from work today, I noticed that one of my Americana girls had a very wet sounding cough. She does not have a runny nose, nor swollen eyes and seems to be acting normal otherwise.....at least so far. Now that they are all fluffed up and ready for sleep, I can hear her and it just sounds awful. Definitely worse. She coughs and then shakes her head as though really congested, but nothing comes out of her. I checked her mouth and throat to make sure she wasn't choking on something---can anyone help me figure out what to do?? I am new to chickens and all my babies are about a month old. I would just cry if anything happened to them. Do I need to seperate her? I don't know what to do. I read several of the past postings, but no one mentions a very 'wet' sounding cough. I don't want to lose her and know how quickly birds go downhill.... Thanks, Monica

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#87003 - 06/15/05 09:44 PM Re: Really bad wet cough
Mr. Magoo Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 11/20/04
Posts: 397
Loc: Southern Pacific
yes if one of your birds gets sick you should separate it to protect the others and to help it rest etc.
not sneezing but coughing right? and just little chicks still at 1 month. looks like you are in florida so it must be warm, but are they still inside?
i wish i could recommend one of the antibiotics added to water that are commonly used for chicken respiratory problems (myacins), but i havent used them for chicks before, maybe some other visitor here will have some experience with chick illnesses.
definitely separate, give clean water food and make sure the bedding is cleaned out for her and for the others.

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#87004 - 06/15/05 11:16 PM Re: Really bad wet cough
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
There is a sickness that my Orpington went through that she survived. It is called Laryngotracheitis. I know...big name. lol. If you do a google search it should bring up some information. However, my Flock Health book says that the most common symptoms are coughing, sneezing, shaking of the head to dislodge plugs in the lower trachea. The bird will find it more and more difficult to breathe.

I found that an antibiotic, if used VERY sparingly and sort of dribbled down the throat worked very well. It's name was Teramycin? I think that's the name of it. Just use a little bit in the drinking water of the entire clutch to help boost the immune system of the others. It should help them be sort of "safe-guarded." Make sure the other one is drinking. If not, dribble a little bit of the water antibiotic mixture down his throat, but don't drown him! Good luck!

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#87005 - 06/16/05 03:18 AM Re: Really bad wet cough
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
I have to respectfully disagree with "safe guarding" by using antibiotics. If you are not targeting a bacterial infection with the correct antibiotic you are doing more harm than good. Antibiotics kill the micro-flora (good bacteria) in the gut. This allows the bad bacteria to colonize after antibiotic use has ended. I can't say if the sick chick needs antibiotics or not, that is up to you but I would not treat birds with no symptoms. Give them poultry vitamins and a little plain live culture yogurt to "Boost" their immune system.

Bill L

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#87006 - 06/16/05 05:45 AM Re: Really bad wet cough
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
Well, she survived the night, no worse, but no better. Still the weird cough, but otherwise, she is eating and acting normal.
I am heading to the feed store this morning to see what they suggest. I will seperate h er---I guess I was just afraid to add more stress to her--they are all so bonded and hate to be apart. I will also wait to see if the other birds develop symptoms before I dose them with antibiotics--thank you for your advice.

As far as where they are housed--yes, they are outside during the day, and even in the shade it is really hot! I bring them in when evening falls, but make sure that the a/c is set very high so that they don't come into a refrigerator. The temp in the house is about 77 and they have a heating pad set on low hanging on an outside corner of the cage that they snuggle up to at night. All in all, everyone seemed to be doing really well, but this has thrown me for a loop. I will let you all know what the feed store says. Thanks for your time and advice. Don't know what I would do without you all!

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#87007 - 06/17/05 06:26 PM Re: Really bad wet cough
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
Just wanted to let everyone that helped know that my Americana is still coughing, but doing better. The following day (after I started her on meds) the entire flock started sneezing (cheep-cheep-achooo!) and so I put them all on medicated feed. So far, the sneezing stopped and my Americana still has her wet cough, but not nearly as often. How long should I wait before putting her on something other than medicated feed? Its been 48 hours and the feed store said that if she wasn't getting better, that I should put her on more medication. I don't necessarily trust their advice entirely so if anyone disagrees, I am all ears! M

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#87008 - 06/17/05 06:41 PM Re: Really bad wet cough
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
Oh, and by the way, how do you get chicks to eat yogurt?? M

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#87009 - 06/17/05 07:06 PM Re: Really bad wet cough
Mr. Magoo Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 11/20/04
Posts: 397
Loc: Southern Pacific
id just keep the chick warm, separate and clean. medicated feed (at least the kind i have seen) is for coccidiocis (sp?) not a cough. but it is tiny crumble size just right for chicks...
what were your chicks eating before?
i still dont have any info on chick coughing medication.

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#87010 - 06/17/05 07:18 PM Re: Really bad wet cough
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
Hmmm....The feed I had them on before was just starter feed--not medicated. When I talked to the guy at the feed store, he told me the mdicated feed had antibiotics in it. OK, lets see....Its called 'Start&Grow medicated'....Just read the entire bag and its says NOTHING about antibiotics! Its just vitamins. Oh, I really want to kill the guy at the feed store. Okay, so now what? M

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#87011 - 06/17/05 07:38 PM Re: Really bad wet cough
CJR Online   content
Coop Master

Registered: 07/16/02
Posts: 8483
Loc: Montana
Hate to tell y ou that Feed Store guys are strong backs to load feed and are there to SELL their stuff--I have never met one who knew a thing about poultry diseases.(or feed either, you have to know what to ask for!) Medicated feed, as Mr Magoo stated has nothing to do with anything except to develop an immunity to Coccidiosis--an intestinal problem, that can be fatal to chicks, very hard on older birds.

Respiratory diseases are numerous and are always very serious-- years ago, I lost most of my Silkies (all the chicks)to Laryngotracheitis that arrived with some Silkie chicks from Florida! Vet diagnosed by necropsy. That is not good news for you.

TYLAN is one treatment that is for Respiratory Disease--but you may have a RED ALERT and little time for mail order. Maybe your feed store will have it on the shelf for Hogs or Sheep (directions for Poultry is on the same container). It is a powder added to the water.(also comes injectable--not suitable for chicks.) Good luck, CJR
And Yoghurt is stirred into their feed, to make a wet-mash--only as much as they will eat at a time, as it spoils quickly. Most birds like it.

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#87012 - 06/18/05 04:55 AM Re: Really bad wet cough
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
Thanks. I am headed to the feed store this morn to get antibiotics for her water. Ugh! How frustrating! M

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#87013 - 06/18/05 07:30 AM Re: Really bad wet cough
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
Ok.....This is what I came home with. Oh, and by the way, one of my chicks has bloody stool this morn, and I am not sure who yet---
So, I have Sulmet for the drinking water. It says 'antibacterial' and is for the bloody stools.

I also bought 'terramycin' an antibiotic that is for the respiratory problem.

My big question is, can these 2 medications be administered to the sick chick together? Not mixed together. I mean, 2 seperate waterers with the different meds. I am not sure which one to start first. What is more deadly? The bloody stool or the cough???

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#87014 - 06/18/05 08:24 AM Re: Really bad wet cough
Mr. Magoo Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 11/20/04
Posts: 397
Loc: Southern Pacific
maybe cjr has something there...the little guys seem like they are going downhill? how bloody is the stool..
ive never used sulmet, but have given the mycin to older birds.
there may be a warning on the label about making medicine coctails, if not check the manufacturers web site.

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#87015 - 06/18/05 09:29 AM Re: Really bad wet cough
Jrsygntbrdr1 Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 06/12/05
Posts: 2601
Loc: Arkansas
I don't know..I've never mixed the drugs in different waterers and given them at the same time. The drugs, may not will, react to each other adversely. I'm not sure about that though. Have you tried consulting your vet? Usually they can give you a general idea what to do with the medicines. They may not know much about chickens though.

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#87016 - 06/18/05 07:33 PM Re: Really bad wet cough
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
The birds themselves are doing really well. No one is acting funny--all cheeping and eating and drinking. I was gone all day and when I got home I could find no more bloody stool. Soooo, I am kind of at a stalemate until more symptoms arise. Until then, I am going to continue on the antibiotics which will hopefully clear up the coughing and sneezing. I will let you know what happens! m

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#87017 - 06/19/05 04:13 AM Re: Really bad wet cough
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio
Shoofly

I understand your concern and desire to do all you can for these chicks. Take a deep breath and go slow. You will get confusing and contradicting information. This is because we all have had different experiences and none of us are professional avian vets and I agree that the feed store people don't know squat.
The medicated chick starter is good. As mentioned above, it is to help prevent cocci. No problem using it with the Terramycin. How are you mixing Terramycin? It should be about 3/4 tablespoon to a gallon of water. Since you have started it I would continue for at least 5 days. The yogurt will help their digestive tract during the medication. Like CJR said you can mix it with their starter ration. Once a day so each gets some.

How old are they? What are you using for litter? Where in the home are they being kept? Many things cause respiratory trouble in chickens. Molds are a big issue. I noticed you have A/C in your home. Thatís what I do for a living and can tell you that molds will invade that coil and become air born. Wet litter is a problem. Cleaning products in the air, candles and many other things can all cause trouble. Just changing environments from coming in and out can cause sneezing.

Bill L

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#87018 - 06/19/05 03:42 PM Re: Really bad wet cough
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
Okay, deep breath....Thanks for the reminder! Again, there was blood in the stool this morning, but as the day wears on, I cannot find any more of the red droppings. I have ruled out at least 3 of the chicks and I am systematically figuring out who is the culprit. The good news is that the cough is nearly gone. Sneezing too. Phew.

The chicks are about 2 months old...a combination of Americanas (3), cochins (4), and a Houdan and Sultan. The cage is a large wire cage--the litter is wood shavings but the cage is above the shavings tray. The a/c is fine--I check my filters often and it is a brand new house. I use all natural cleaning products and candles very very little. I think the coming in and out--(outside they are in a wire enclosure on the grass)--and I have turned the a/c up for them so that its not cold at all.

I am keeping them on the antibiotic and hoping for the best....M

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#87019 - 06/20/05 05:32 AM Re: Really bad wet cough
Shoofly Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 05/05/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Florida
Welllllll, everyone seems to be on the mend. No more bloody droppings and no more coughing. Yay! I will keep them on the antibiotics for another 4 days or so. Thanks for all of your help!

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#87020 - 06/20/05 07:19 AM Re: Really bad wet cough
Mr. Magoo Offline
Flock Leader

Registered: 11/20/04
Posts: 397
Loc: Southern Pacific
thats the way to end a trip to the coop emergency room...good news.

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