Those Fall Chicks and Treating Resperatory / Sinus Infections

by - October 16, 2018

In September, we picked up five new pullets of various breeds. The following Saturday morning, one began crowing, and we promptly drove down to the Selma Tractor Supply to swap him out for another pullet. Our Chicken Man (I don't mean that as an insult, it's just what role this kind gentleman has played in our lives), didn't have any unusual breeds on hand like our Pavlovskaya Roo, so his buddy in the next parking spot offered us an Apenzeller Spitzhauben, whom we named "Spitz".

Quick disclaimer: I'm not a vet, and I'm still new to chicken keeping. Take this post as a recounting of how we handled sickness and not prescriptive of how you should handle flock issues. I've linked up to what I bought at Tractor Supply, but those are not affiliate links.

The next week, I noticed a roundworm in a dropping on top of their coop. Also, a couple of the pullets were coughing or sneezing. I mixed in diatomaceous earth into their feed as a way to treat the worms, and I did the same for the older hens as well. Over the next few days, there was a whole mess of coughing and sneezing and rattling in most of the flocks chests. I'm sure the diatomaceous earth (a very finely ground powder) likely irritated their respiratory systems. I've included a video of Penny's rattling sound. This type of irritation is supposed to settle down in a couple days, but all of my  older hens were showing signs of really struggling to breathe, they were gaping and rattling and snot bubbling and shaking their heads trying to clear out the mucus. I went to Tractor Supply and talked to an employee who advised seeing if they improved over the next couple days before starting them on antibiotics. I added electrolytes, crushed garlic and apple cider vinegar to their water and rubbed VetRx around their nostrils.

Then my sweet Tweedle Dum's eye swelled completely shut. We brought her inside, and she was very lethargic and her neck was sinking in with every breath. It was Sunday morning, Joe also had a bad cold, so I went to Tractor Supply (it was my second trip in three days) to purchase of an antibiotic, Tylan50, and a box 22 gauge needles and syringes. I had never done this before, so I watched a few YouTube videos to learn how to give the injections, weighed each bird, measured the medicine, and then gave it a stab... not the eye, the injection process. 

After three days of injections twice a day, all nine members of the two flocks were making great strides. Now a full week later, Dum's eye looks almost normal and everyone is breathing well. Went camping for two nights this past weekend, and when we returned home, the pullets looked like they had doubled in size. Just this morning Penny flew over to their side of the run and was tormented the lot of them. She's very ready to establish the pecking order with them. It will be interesting to see how Daphne the Lavender Orpington responds. She's been hard at work establishing herself as head hen among the pullets.

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