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#16 2012-01-02 20:05:27

geri
Growing Member
From: Chilliwack, BC
Registered: 2011-03-06
Posts: 53

Re: Classic respiratory symtoms

When I went into my coop last night I heard some rattly snoring sounds which I hadn't heard before. This morning, my three Wyandottes had rattly breathing, two hens and a rooster. They don't have any other symptoms so far that I can see. It's actually a gurgly sound in the upper airway - sounds like it's fluid in their throats. No watery discharge or mucous, their eyes look normal. The one hen has been broody for several weeks and still is, the other hen has been active and laid an egg first thing and then went outside, and the rooster seems his normal self. Later in the morning I noticed that the two Wheaten Marans now also have symptoms - the hen has the gurgly throat rattle, and the rooster has a high pitched crow, so a change in his voice. The Wheaten Marans hen just laid an egg and they're all eating and drinking and activity is as usual.

Any idea what would explain the sudden onset rattly respirations? My chickens are in a clean coop, well ventilated, outside daily unless it's really wet out there. We've had a lot of rain here, but also a lot of decent days, not too cold, and they have been outside most days. They get clean water regularly, usually with ACV but I had not been adding that the last few weeks. I've started that again, as well as extra vitamins, and  colloidal silver to the water. I had a bottle of silver that I bought from a health food store last year ($50 for a litre) which had a little left, and am now going to visit a guy down the road who makes his own, and have to learn to make my own. I did have success in clearing up a respiratory "snick" in a previous flock of chickens, with colloidal silver.

I've checked out several poultry diagnostic charts and don't see that this fits any of the common respiratory poultry illnesses. Any idea what this rattly, gurgly respiration issue is and what causes it? I use pine shavings, not cedar, and keep the coop clean. There wasn't a strong ammonia smell in there.

What I've read on this chat session suggests that this might not be a deadly thing, and it seems I'm on the right track. I was happy to read  that when you, Cynthia, had a similar situation a few years ago it cleared up with silver. Any thoughts, advise, suggestions from anyone? I'm assuming that if it was more serious, I'd be seeing chickens going down.

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#17 2012-01-03 00:40:58

CynthiaM
I Love A.C.E.
From: Grindrod, B.C. Okanagan
Registered: 2009-08-19
Posts: 4176

Re: Classic respiratory symtoms

Taken to email format


Two breeding groups of large fowl -- blue, splash and black cochins and buff orpingtons.     Located one half hour north of Vernon.  Also a keeper of the honeybees.

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#18 2012-01-03 00:52:46

geri
Growing Member
From: Chilliwack, BC
Registered: 2011-03-06
Posts: 53

Re: Classic respiratory symtoms

thanks for your email, Cynthia, suggesting that this might be gape worm, rather than a respiratory issue. I think you could be right, as it really is a throat gurgle, and no other symptoms, except the roosters are not crowing as well as usual, and have a different sound, which could also be due to gape worm. I have fenbendazole, and will give them all a round of treatment tonight, and again in 7-10 days. Too bad, we'll have to throw the eggs out. But thanks for suggesting this, as I may have been going down the wrong track. Will let you know how they do.

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#19 2012-01-03 01:00:33

CynthiaM
I Love A.C.E.
From: Grindrod, B.C. Okanagan
Registered: 2009-08-19
Posts: 4176

Re: Classic respiratory symtoms

Geri, I have to respond to this.  When I treated the birds for gapeworm, the fenbendazol (panacur) was in the water, for three days.  You need to read what the post about gapeworm speaks to.  I think I mentioned it in the post here, not sure, do a search for the gapeworm post I made.  The treatment with fenbendazol in the water is 5ml per 4 litres for three days...it worked, the rooster in question gurgly sounds were gone in a few days, he was the only one among 40 or birds that had symptoms......it is much easier to give water than to cram liquid down a chicken mouth....

Please go to this post and look at topic #7

http://albertachickensetc.punbb-hosting … p?id=26278

This is a very good discussion on using fenbendazol (I used panacur which is the same thing, but just a different brand name).  It is important, read please.  Good luck, and have a most wonderful day, CynthiaM.


Two breeding groups of large fowl -- blue, splash and black cochins and buff orpingtons.     Located one half hour north of Vernon.  Also a keeper of the honeybees.

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#20 2012-01-03 05:35:38

geri
Growing Member
From: Chilliwack, BC
Registered: 2011-03-06
Posts: 53

Re: Classic respiratory symtoms

Thanks, Cynthia, for your response and advise. I read this only now, and had already given the fenbendazole to individual birds. I had actually studied this issue of worms and fenbendazole and dosing quite thoroughly a while ago, and at that time never came across anything saying to give it in water. Is that a 10% solution you're using? I came across a site that mentioned giving it in feed, but since liquid won't mix uniformly through feed, I chose to dose the birds individually, and it was very manageable since there are only a dozen. And I can then also give it by weight. I used the 10-50 mg/kg dosing (which was the most specific dosing I could find, on the Mississippi State University poultry disease site, and which was referred to by other poultry owners on another forum), and for the first dose, gave the maximum dose, as at that time I was getting rid of capillaria (hairworm) which can be hard to get rid of, and I read warnings against underdosing, which can lead to resistance. So, tonight I weighed the different breeds, a male and female of each, and dosed accordingly.

I have to confess, however, that as of tonight, I have not dosed all of them. I came into the coop a few times and each time was struck by the fact that the gurgling sounds were gone at times, and when I did hear a bit, it was less than this morning. And none of the birds that are gurgling are gaping. One rooster is shaking his head a bit at times, but no gaping or gurgling. So... I was thinking... did the colloidal silver possibly help? I gave the three hens that were gurgly in the morning a direct dose of colloidal silver orally this morning, and for the rest, put the colloidal silver in water. The one hen is not gurgling at all anymore. The other two still have occasional gurgles. So....I went back to the internet and did a search on colloidal silver and parasites. I read in two places that colloidal silver can/does kill parasites. Can't believe everything you read, but, it might just be true. So....  I decided to give fenbendazole only to the two roosters that were crowing a different tune today, and to the one hen that is gurgling a bit and is broody, as she is not drinking much. I decided to see if the other two that had silver directly do continue to improve with the silver treatment in their water. If in the morning they seem worse, I'll give them fenbendazole, as I don't want to take any chances. But I checked the coop again just now and it is definitely very quiet there, compared to last night. No snoring sounds. This is a bit of an experiment, but I thought it would be worth trying, to see if colloidal silver might indeed get rid of the gape worms, which I'm assuming to be the cause. I'll keep you posted.

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#21 2012-01-03 12:23:07

Martin Grove Farm
Administrator
From: Waterloo/St. Jacobs, Ontario
Registered: 2009-11-02
Posts: 15399

Re: Classic respiratory symtoms

very interesting and detailed.  I'm going to keep watch on this thread as I want to know the results of your testing process.  Thanks for bringing this back to the open forum rather than keeping it in email format.


It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.    ~Charles Darwin~

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#22 2012-01-03 14:55:40

CynthiaM
I Love A.C.E.
From: Grindrod, B.C. Okanagan
Registered: 2009-08-19
Posts: 4176

Re: Classic respiratory symtoms

I guess keeping it in email format does not help others to learn, so my apology, sometimes I just wonder if people really care and read posts, guess I am a little lazy in that manner.

Geri, I have to honestly say that if the culprit is gapeworm here, I really don't think the silver water would affect the parasite.  I really don't, and this is why I don't believe that.  As you said, you can't believe everything you see or hear in this world.  Silver affects basically the molecule that allows the bacteria or virus to "breath", it suffocates, to put it in layman's term.  Now this is only my understanding of how silver colloided in water works.  But pretty sure studies corroborate that.  I really don't think that the silver water would kill or rid of any worms in anything.  Bacteria/virus yes, worms no.  Just a personal thought on it, knowing what it does to kill bacteria.

Quite possibly, if you see improvement using the silver water, there was a virus or bacteria that the water is combating, that I would believe, but again, not for worms.

I did some studying on the use of panacur as well, and it appears that a dosage in the water for three days was sufficient to kill the worms.  I don't know, the rooster's gurlging and head shaking did diminish after about 2 days of use of the medication, I did see worms in some feces in the chickenyards (I did ALL of the birds as a precautionary measure), and the gurgling stop, as did the head shaking.  So pretty sure that it worked. 

I do not know much about this stuff really, just trying to get a handle on things.  The water medicated with fenbendazole (I used panacur) worked for my yard.   And I guess that if I saw worms in the feces, that that this drug was effective and of course, the results with the rooster.

I remember your issues with the hairworm, clearly, you have had your bout of worms with the birds this past fall eh?  Anyways, would love to hear the results, regardless of what you have used, your postings are valuable to all of us learning to keep our birds healthy and parasite free, good on you!!

I think my biggest thing about worming the birds via the mouth is that I am going to aspirate them.  I really am a chicken when it comes to things and have never had this method of medication application shown to me.  I have heard people say you just squirt it down their throat, eeks, but that is daunting to me.  I know the airway to the lungs is at the base of the tongue, I am so terrified that the liquid would go down there and drown my bird.  Could you pleeeeeeze tell me exactly how you did this, and I mean elaborate deeply, so I can clearly understand.  I do have another med that I will be giving in the spring for parasite combate and it is oral, so bring that on girl.  When you have a spare moment in time, please.  In detail, as much detail as you can give, I need to read things several times before methods sink in....Good luck with the birds!!  Have a most wonderful day, CynthiaM.


Two breeding groups of large fowl -- blue, splash and black cochins and buff orpingtons.     Located one half hour north of Vernon.  Also a keeper of the honeybees.

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#23 2012-01-03 15:05:55

geri
Growing Member
From: Chilliwack, BC
Registered: 2011-03-06
Posts: 53

Re: Classic respiratory symtoms

I will give a more detailed response later, but for now, just a quick update and question. The roosters are crowing, and sounding fairly normal, and I don't see them doing any head shaking this morning. The two hens that I did not treat with fenbendazole, which were gurgly yesterday, are up and about and I didn't hear gurgling, but didn't hold my head against them to listen. The one I'm concerned about is the broody hen, which is still gurgly. She did have the fenbendazole last night. Is it too soon to see results yet? I'm concerned about her, as she's broody, and not eating and drinking much. I took her off her next and she walked and cackled for a bit (sounded normal), took a peck at the food, passed by the water unfortunately, and then went back to her nest, and resumed the gurgling. I'm afraid she might not do well in light of the fact that she's been broody for at least three weeks, and is not eating and drinking much. I'll take her off the nest again, but you can lead a hen to water, but you can't make her drink. So if it's worms, and she's not drinking, the fenbendazole might take longer to work, I imagine. And if it's a virus or bacteria, she needs the water and what's in it. I'm going to buy some more colloidal silver today as I haven't time to make the generator to make my own at this point. Have to go off to work, and will be worrying about my hen. I'll tell you how I give the medication later today.

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#24 2012-01-03 15:22:18

CynthiaM
I Love A.C.E.
From: Grindrod, B.C. Okanagan
Registered: 2009-08-19
Posts: 4176

Re: Classic respiratory symtoms

Geri, I know you have gone to work, but you will read this later.  I think when any chicken yard is in suspect for worms, that all birds should be treated.  If one has worms, you can bet your bottom dollar that they all do.  Worm eggs are excreted in feces and get on the ground, we all know how much ground picking chickens do whizzle , blah, the things they eat.  Anyways, we don't even know if the birds at your place have gapeworm, but I do not take these things for granted, that there are no worms present.  Gapeworm is more prevalent in the moister months.  There was a post elsewhere, where someone was talking about this fall being particularly bad for this species of parasite in question here.  I think that if you see one with a sign of the gaping, head shaking, gurgling, that all the birds should be treated.  What month was it that you were treating for hairworm, I don't think it was that long ago.  If there were gapeworm present at that time, your treatment for the hairworm would have got the gapeworm too.  But...on the other hand, the birds may have picked the gapeworm up after you had done this treatment anyways.

This is all going on the premise that the birds have gapeworm.  Me, as I said, will treat for worms in the entire flock if I suspect that these boogers are present.  It is hygiene.  Birds get parasites, that cannot be helped, they come from the birds in the air, the come from the intermmediate hosts on the ground, everywhere, they come from everywhere, smiling.  Such a sitting-on-the-fence thing, we can only sometimes GUESS what is wrong, without testing.  I remember you had your birds tested for worms and they turned out to be hairworms, which my understanding is that this type is a little harder to get rid of if you have them...I don't know, maybe your birds don't even have the gapeworm.  I am pretty positive my cockerel had it because of the quick response after medicating.

The gapeworm lives in the throat and can cause a blockage, since the bird "gapes" to get air, drawing the air in with an open mouth to get more air in.  What a horrible thing eh?  Picture something in your throat that you can feel and it is blocking the airway, oh man, what a nasty thing.  I feel so sorry for any bird that may get this nasty parasite.  Did I ever mention my hatred for parasites of any kind....yich...I can't stand them, and the body parasites, like lice and mites get me even more upset.  Oh brother.  Anyways, good luck, I know you will make decisions and I would love for you to impart everything that you do (and especially the indepth explanation of how to get the medications down the gullet of the birds without drowning them).  Obviously you have success, otherwise you would have dead birds, smiling that big smile.  There must a a sure-fired, safe way of doing this, and you have clearly done it.  Have that wonderful day, with those to follow, CynthiaM.


Two breeding groups of large fowl -- blue, splash and black cochins and buff orpingtons.     Located one half hour north of Vernon.  Also a keeper of the honeybees.

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#25 2012-01-04 04:18:56

geri
Growing Member
From: Chilliwack, BC
Registered: 2011-03-06
Posts: 53

Re: Classic respiratory symtoms

Thanks again for your message and for taking the time. First, an update, and I'll try to answer your questions about feeding medications orally.

I was worried about the gurgly broody hen this morning, as she wasn't drinking and I wanted to be sure she got some fluids and some silver, vitamins, garlic. So I put some in a syringe and gave her about 8 ccs by syringe. It's not something I like doing, as I agree that it's risky. I've never lost a hen feeding them by syringe. I have, however, lost one by tube feeding. But that was totally my fault. I was a bit stressed, as I was losing birds, and then another one went down (last year). I really wanted to save that one but she was already weak and I shouldn't have tried at that point anymore. Tube feeding is actually safer than feeding by syringe, if you're trying to give them fluids, but you first have to make sure the tube is in the stomach. If the chicken coughs as you're inserting the tube, you're probably in the trachea. And you can check the tube placement by putting the end of the tube (where you would attach a syringe) in water, and see if it bubbles, once you have inserted it. If it bubbles, you're in the trachea. But, I'm a nurse and I've tube fed babies, so I feel a bit more comfortable with that procedure than the average lay person might. And yet, I did it wrong, because I was feeling overly confident and was stressed and too determined to save the bird that time. Next time I will be sure to follow all the steps more slowly.

But, in this case, I did offer the hen fluids by syringe. I find that when a chicken is well, it will accept the fluid from the syringe. You put a drop on the side of the beak and that sometimes gets them to open their mouth and suckle a bit. If not, I put the finger of my left hand (holding the bird in my left arm) into the beak to keep it open slightly, make sure the tongue is down, and I put a drop or two on the front of the tongue with the syringe in my right hand, or I drop the liquid drops into the front of the beak. I don't put it "down the hatch". With the liquid medication (fenbendazole), I just give at most 2 mls (to the big roo) and only one ml or so to the hens, depending on their size, and less than a ml to a younger bird. I find the medication goes down better than water, and I'm less nervous about giving medication, as it's a bit thicker and they swallow it easily. Water can go down too quickly, so you have to make sure you only put in a drop or two at a time, and make sure they are swallowing. They typically will do the swallowing motion when you put a liquid in the beak or on the tongue. I wait until they swallow and then offer a bit more. Sometimes I just hold the syringe to the side of the beak and gently squeeze, and let the water go into the side, and they then sometimes will open up and make the swallowing motions. It's crucial to make sure you have good lighting, so you can see if the tongue is down and that they're swallowing. I've done a dozen birds x 2 with fenbendazole, and never lost one.

Back to the gurgly broody hen. She was quite gurgly first thing in the morning and she'd had a dose of fenbendazole last night, and seemed worse. So, I really wanted her to have some fluids and some silver, as she seemed to improve yesterday after the dose of colloidal silver. So, I gave her the mixture of water with oil, garlic, vitamins, (about 8 mls) and checked on her a half hour later, and she was no longer gurgly! I had let her down out of the nest after feeding her, and she had given me a good struggle, and took off outside, so the increased activity may have accounted for the fact that she wasn't gurgling anymore, as whatever was sitting in her throat had moved down. Maybe the bit of fluids helped. When I got home tonight, she was not gurgling. I gave her another dose of silver, as I picked up some more today. I wasn't able to get colloidal silver, and was told that ionic silver was better, smaller particles of silver, more effective. I know there are different opinions about whether ionic or colloidal silver is best, but today, I had to go with ionic, and I'll believe that camp for now.

As for the rest of the flock, they all seem well except the one Wyandotte hen that was gurgly yesterday morning. She was gurgly this evening. And she did not have fenbendazole last night. So, I debated. I'm just not sure if this is gape worm or if it's a respiratory thing. There are still no other symptoms. They are eating and drinking (except for Mrs Broody). And we had more eggs than usual today. The gurgly sound is a wet sound. Occasionally, I hear a bit of a snort. They're not gaping, not stretching their necks, no sign of distress. The other hen (Wheaten Marans) that was gurgly yesterday is fine today, and she didn't have fenbendazole. So, I decided to continue the silver, garlic and vitamins. I gave the gurgly hen another dose of silver directly by syringe (1 ml) and freshened the water, added silver, garlic extract from fresh garlic, and vitamins, so they're all getting that. I'll see how they are tomorrow.

I guess the jury is out, as to whether it's gape worm or not. I'm kind of thinking not, which is why I'm choosing not to treat them all with fenbendazole at this point. But I'll be watching them closely. They get DE in their feed regularly. I know some people say it doesn't work, but others say it is a preventative. And I'll be diligent about putting ACV in the water again. They all had a good dose of pumpkins in the fall. I have a manure box under the roosting area, which I keep as clean as possible, so their exposure to worms is lessened that way.

My other concern now is to break the broodiness of the broody hen, as she's now into week four, and I want her to eat and drink and be active. But she persists in sitting, even though I've removed the eggs daily. Her sister would not give up last fall, and went on for five weeks until she finally stole a chick from this hen, who I'd given eggs. I don't really want to be raising chicks now in the winter, with the wet weather we have here, so haven't given this hen any eggs. But she won't give up!!

I'll keep you posted. =)

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#26 2012-01-04 07:12:17

city chick
A.C.E. Addicted
From: Airdrie, Alberta
Registered: 2009-10-27
Posts: 774

Re: Classic respiratory symtoms

I put my broody hens in a little cage with a wire bottom and prop that up on a couple of bricks.  Put in some food and water and leave the cage in the coop.  I usually leave them for about five days.  It's worked so far for my hens, even my stubborn Silkie that just wants to raise on clutch after another.


city farming with 1 buff brahma, 1 amercauna, 1 leggern, 1 penedesenca, 1 bantam cochin, 3 silkies, 2 barred rocks, 2 wyandottes, 3 sweet adorable S/G dorkings, 2 Black Australorps, 2 quail, 2 German Shepherds, 1 long haired cat and a very tolerant hubby.

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#27 2012-01-04 14:51:36

CynthiaM
I Love A.C.E.
From: Grindrod, B.C. Okanagan
Registered: 2009-08-19
Posts: 4176

Re: Classic respiratory symtoms

geri wrote:

Tube feeding is actually safer than feeding by syringe, if you're trying to give them fluids, but you first have to make sure the tube is in the stomach. If the chicken coughs as you're inserting the tube, you're probably in the trachea. And you can check the tube placement by putting the end of the tube (where you would attach a syringe) in water, and see if it bubbles, once you have inserted it. If it bubbles, you're in the trachea. But, I'm a nurse and I've tube fed babies, so I feel a bit more comfortable with that procedure than the average lay person might. And yet, I did it wrong, because I was feeling overly confident and was stressed and too determined to save the bird that time. Next time I will be sure to follow all the steps more slowly.

But, in this case, I did offer the hen fluids by syringe.

Well, girl, isn't that just a wonderful thing to know.  I admire that you are in the professional field of nursing and rely on alternative medicine, that makes me smile and clearly believe in it.

You have spent a great deal of time here to type out your experiences and your experiences (did I mention your experiences), with medicating your birds.  I appreciate that you spent so much time to try and teach me the methods to get liquids down into the very bowels of the birds, thank you, very much appreciated.  I learn by repetition.  I wish that I could have been by your side watching you, that is even a more keen tool for me to learn.  But for now, I must just read and re-read your instructions.  They have been copied into a word document so I can go over this, again and again, then instructions will be firm in this lil' ol' head, thankyou very much.

Tube feeding a chicken.  I would like to comment on that.  I think a review of chicken anatomy is required here, to help me and you and others to understand the throat of a chicken....I don't know that much, but I can get information by research.  So bear with me, I am heading elsewhere for a few minutes to understand how a chicken's trachea works.   I know you aren't here right now, and this statement may have sounded rather odd, but it is odd and I am an odd sort.  So heading off to do some research and report what I find.....

Oh my smokin' smokes!!  What an interesting read, and I now need to read and read and read.  I wonder when I will ever stop learning, probably never I guess, same as that school of hard knocks, still haven't graduated yet there.

There is a most incredible site that came up (a pdf file actually) when I typed in some keywords in my internet search 

http://www2.ca.uky.edu/afspoultry-files … estive.pdf

I spent only a few minutes there looking at things and the incredible anatomy of a chicken was displayed in a great picture and more pictures further down the page.  I have been enlightened even more about what the innards of a chicken look like and what they do.  I need to take time to read this information, as I think it extremely good.  I could go on about this, but need to stop here.  Something that did catch my eye was that chicks should not be fed oyster shell, as it can cause bone damage and kidney problems, oyster shell is for adult birds in the laying age.  I didn't know that, but now know just another thing.....off topic, need to start a topic about oyster shell I guess.

This was about tubing the chicken.  The esophagus leads to the crop which leads to the proventriculus, the "true" stomach, this is the glandular stomach where digestion begins.  The crop is just the holding tank for food gathered.  When you tube the birds, you must get PAST the crop I would think.  I would like your comments on this please Geri.  This is important stuff to be learning, and I am all about that for surely.  Did you ever have any success with tubing the chickens?  I didn't get a sense if you did or did not, I understand you had an unsuccessful event with the one bird, but did you do others?  I am very curious and need to know this.  Your thoughts please (I know you like to talk, you have made this clear with the length of your post, smiling that big smile).

Oh brother, where am I going with this post, think I am getting lost on the way.  Anyways, this link that I linked to above has some of the most incredible diagramming and information in it, I think it worthy for my forum friends to have a gander and look and listen.....I know this is very important for me to be reading about, information is power!!

So....trying to get my thoughts here together and it just ain't happenin'.....for now I had best close this response and get my head back together and listen to what you have said and make comments in another post.  Right....guess I mostly want to know if you have made any judgement on if there was gapeworm or a respiratory thing.  Did colloidal silver water work after all?  You don't think gapeworm?  This is a most interesting topic and I am lovin' every minute of it. Speak Geri!!  Let it all out.  I know you are probably off to work today, so perhaps tonight when you look at birdies you will have a better idea.

Right...about broody mamma.  If you don't want her broodiness to carry on, I think City Chick has it bang on.   You need to disrupt her so that she is disrupted, smiling.  If she is disrupted she may be thinking hard about her disruptedness and forget about broodiness.  I know that I will have to work on some hens this spring.  I will have 9 cochin mammas that will probably want to go broody all at once, and we just can't be havin' that.....taking care of 4 of them gals in segregation so they could share chicks was enough, can't imagine 9 of them!!  Keep those wonderful comments coming Geri, you doin' a good job.  Have a beautiful day, CynthiaM.


Two breeding groups of large fowl -- blue, splash and black cochins and buff orpingtons.     Located one half hour north of Vernon.  Also a keeper of the honeybees.

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#28 2012-01-05 05:40:59

geri
Growing Member
From: Chilliwack, BC
Registered: 2011-03-06
Posts: 53

Re: Classic respiratory symtoms

Well, lots to respond to again. First an update. This morning, I was quite discouraged as I heard the two hens still gurgling/rattling with their breathing. The broody hen was off the nest, so I hoped she had a good drink of water. She's pretty feisty and strong, so must be getting enough nourishment. I gave her a bit of the ionic silver in the morning and had decided to put her in a small dog kennel tonight, on a grate, as suggested by city chick. I had thought of doing that a few times over the last weeks, but was reluctant to isolate her now, thinking it might stress her and she doesn't need more stress. But, she may be taking the matter into her own hands. This afternoon she came off the nest and was nicely sitting on the roosting area with the others by dusk.  She did go back in the nest, but hopefully she'll stay off longer tomorrow.

When I came into the coop this evening, I was greeted by a noise I didn't like. My little Easter Egger now has a respiratory noise, a loud stridor on inspiration and expiration (a high pitched loud wheezing sound, though it's more than a wheeze). She seems fine otherwise, no facial swelling, her comb and the skin on her face is pink, and she's active. But I guess she has a narrowing or spasm of her airway. The two Wyandotte hens sounded a bit rattly, but seemed well otherwise still also. No one has any nasal or eye discharge. I did see a lot of the others shaking their heads a fair bit though, and heard an occasional snort here and there. So, I think it's affecting all or most of them now.

I am fairly sure that this is not gape worm, as even the ones that did have fenbendazole two days ago are showing symptoms. And they are all very normal other than this head shaking and occasional snorting. It seems interesting to me that the Wyandottes are the only ones that are rattly. The Easter Egger is actually half Wyandotte also. The two Wheaten Marans had symptoms two days ago, and they both seemed to clear up quickly. The rooster had fenbendazole and the hen did not. The rooster's crow was high pitched, and yesterday and today was normal again. The hen is not rattly anymore. That also makes me think that it is more likely a respiratory infection of some sort, rather than worms, because both cleared up, though only one had fenbendazole, and because it seems to affect the Wyandottes more. It would make sense to me that certain breeds could be more susceptible to certain illnesses. But I would think that worms would be no respecter of breed, any bird can pick up worms. But I could be wrong. In humans, however, certain races can be more susceptible to certain diseases. Does that thinking make sense? Not sure, just a thought.

So, back to the little Easter Egger (part Ameraucana/Wyandotte - I think that makes her an EE). I decided not to fool around trying to decide if it's gape worms in her throat or a respiratory infection. I treated her for both, as she didn't sound good and I didn't want to waste time trying one or the other. So she had a dose of fenbendazole and ionic silver. I then went and did some searching to find out what I could give her in terms of a natural bronchodilator. I learned that there are various things that could relax the airway: licorice, cayenne pepper, bromelain, coffee, magnesium, anise seed oil, and ACV would help also, I read. I made a mixture of whatever I had available, and gave her a few mls. She took it well from the syringe, and I came back 20 min later. Not much improvement. I then gave magnesium powder mixed in coffee alone. I then decided to give the  mixture to the broody hen as well, as she was rattly. As I was doing that, I suddenly realized that the noise from the EE pullet had stopped. Her breathing was quiet. I came back later and she was making only the occasional slight noise, and the broody hen was no longer gurgly. So, maybe they have asthma or something that's affecting their airways, and it seems the natural bronchodilators may have helped (my theory). The older hens do sound like they have a wetter gurgle though, and the EE sounded dry.

Now I'm thinking I'll give them a dose of the mixture before I go to bed, and then, hopefully, they'll be good til morning. This is really quite a job, trying to figure out what's going on and trying different alternatives. I do hope they'll recover soon. The weather is very bad (wet, stormy), but their coop is dry without drafts. It's unseasonably warm lately. I wonder if colder weather would be better than this wet, mild weather.

About tube feeding: I did tube feed a rooster successfully a few times. He had been attacked by a dog, and I had taken him to a vet who works with birds. She suggested that I tube feed, as he had not been drinking much. She gave me a catheter to do the tube feed. You put the end that you're going to insert in water (or apply water soluble lubricant like KY jelly), to lubricate it slightly, and then open the beak, make sure the tongue is down, and slide the tube down. She didn't really have any specific instructions as to how to measure the length. In babies, if you put a tube via the mouth into the stomach, you measure the end of the tube from the mouth to the earlobe and then from earlobe to a point midway below the breastbone and above the navel. You mark the tube with a piece of tape and then start to insert until you get to the mark. I don't know how you would mark for the chicken, other than to see if you can measure externally from the end of the beak to where you think the stomach is, or at least the crop. I really don't think (this is my personal opinion) that you would need to go past the crop, as anything that goes into the crop goes into the stomach (proventriculus). So you could measure (externally) from the tip of the beak and follow the curve of the neck to the crop.  So then you mark the tube, lubricate and insert to the marking. The tube should slide down easily. If it doesn't go in easily, or if the chicken starts to cough or wheeze, pull the tube out and start over. And if you really want to double check, once the tube is in, put the open end in a cup of water and see if you get bubbles. If you do, you're in the trachea, so then pull the tube out and try again. I did not find it hard to do this on the rooster. He was healthy, but traumatized. Unfortunately he didn't make it as his injuries were fairly serious and he had been quite stressed, the poor guy (a beautiful cochin, the only one to survive a dog attack on my previous flock).

Have I addressed all the questions? Between the two of us, this is becoming quite a long chat. I'm not the only one who likes to talk. :veryfunny:

I very much hope that my chickens recover, that they recover soon, and that it doesn't turn into anything more serious. And I hope I'm on the right path in my approach to this, treating the symptoms and the cause, hopefully. And yes, I'm a nurse who prefers natural alternatives whenever possible. The medical approach just doesn't always make sense, as it often treats symptoms rather than causes, and doesn't support natural healing, and medications often interfere with normal functions, biofeedback mechanisms, etc. The medical approach has its place, but is not my first resort for myself or my animals. It does mean, however, that I have to do a lot of work to make sure I understand what's going on and am armed with enough knowledge and common sense to make good decisions. And forums like this are great, to bounce ideas off other people and learn from others.

Last edited by geri (2012-01-05 05:53:16)

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#29 2012-01-05 16:06:00

CynthiaM
I Love A.C.E.
From: Grindrod, B.C. Okanagan
Registered: 2009-08-19
Posts: 4176

Re: Classic respiratory symtoms

Phew, Geri, you ain't kiddin', you got that wiggle in the tongue for surely, only it is coming out the end of your fingers, on your keyboard, smiling.  This is good.  You are not afraid to spend a little time and tell it all, like it is, I am impressed (not sure where the thumbs up emoticon went, so I'll just type it out instead, probably faster, so thumbs up!!!).

As you are thinking, I too am thinking now that you do not have gapeworm in the flock.  Good.  You wudda thunk that your treatment for hairworms last fall would have taken care of any gapeworms present, unless the chickens got into eating an intermediate host that had gapeworms, and that could easily have happened too.

I am thinking a mild form of respiratory thing too, as you are too now thinking.  I would put aside the fenbendazole and perhaps just focus on using the colloidal silver water, as you have.  Give it a few days.  The silver water will do no harm to the birds at all, period, just a bit of a time consuming thing.  If you ever get the chance to make the little generator, you can make large batches.  When I wish to treat my birds, I make a gallon at a time and give it to them as their sole source of drinking water.  I would give the birds this water for a couple of days, I place it inside their coop, so no sunlight is shone on it, in a glass bowl, just something about glass.  I am sure that food grade plastic would work too (that is what you buy the silver water in from the health food store anyways), but I kind of just like glass personally.  Do not EVER put silver water in contact with metal, that is not a good thing.

So Geri, treat your birds for only another day or so with the silver water.  This is my suggestion, listen or not, up to you.  If you don't see any improvement in those couple of days, I really think you need to bring out the big gun, which is antibiotic.  I do not treat my birds with antibiotics unless I feel it really necessary.  You will know if it is really necessary or not.  Antibiotics should not be the first thing to grab when one encounters illness.  But at the same time, there are absolutely times when we must rely on these things to help.  I believe in the use of antibiotic, but only as a last measure.

When I first began this post, some two years ago, we were living back on the coast.  The chickens got ill, the muscovy ducks got ill.  I had to use antibiotics on my drake, as he was very, very sick, nothing was really working, so I brought out the big gun, tylan, and that cleared it up so fast.

You live close to that Pharmasave in Cloverdale and I know that you have gone there to get things.  That is a very good pharmacy that caters to livestock as well as poultry.  Perhaps you already have tylan, I don't know, but get some of that.  It is a very good broad spectrum antibiotic and really works like a hot dam.

I really want to hear how things are progressing at your place.  Your experience is incredibly wonderful for us all to listen to.

Tubing, such an interesting thing.  The trachea opening for the chickens is at the base of the tongue.  I was looking more into this (actually knew this, but had forgotten).  It is like a hole at the base of the tongue (well, thinking that is what it is).  The esophogus (how do you spell that anyways) keeps going straight down after that trachea hole.  At least again, I think that is how it goes.  The tube would probably not fit down that little hole that goes to the windpipe regardless, so not too easy to aspirate the bird.  The more I thought about it, the more I thought it might not be so hard to do tubing, smiling.  Still don't think I could go there and do it, too squeamish.

Keep on keepin' on, I think you are doing a good job of figuring out what ails your birds, and we are all learning from your experience.  With that, have a wonderful day, CynthiaM.


Two breeding groups of large fowl -- blue, splash and black cochins and buff orpingtons.     Located one half hour north of Vernon.  Also a keeper of the honeybees.

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#30 2012-01-05 16:16:35

geri
Growing Member
From: Chilliwack, BC
Registered: 2011-03-06
Posts: 53

Re: Classic respiratory symtoms

A quick update - last night at last check, the coop was quiet!! No more sounds coming from the little EE, which was amazing, as earlier, I could hear her outside. The broody hen was quiet, the other wyandotte slightly gurgly, so I gave her a bit of the mixture I'd made for "bronchodilation". This morning at 5:30, the roosters were crowing and there was no other sound at all when I came into the coop. Again just now - no gurgling from the hens, no stridorous breathing from the EE, everyone looks and sounds normal! We may be on the mend here. I'll see when I get home tonight, there could be a few noises again, but I do think we're on the road to recovery.

So yes, I've put the fenbendazole aside and am still giving them ionic silver and garlic in water. And I've put a heat lamp in the coop as suggested by my mother last night, as we had an awful lot more rain yesterday and overnight, so a bit of drying in the coop won't be a bad thing.

It occurred to me that the headshaking I was seeing in most of the flock when I first came into the coop last night was possibly because they'd been outside for an hour, a bit earlier. It had stopped raining so mom let them out for a bit from 3-4. No headshaking later in the evening, and none this morning, except the EE a bit. And broody hen is off the nest this morning, eating and drinking.

Have a great day too!

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