Chronic Respiratory Disease?

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Tweetypie
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Chronic Respiratory Disease?

Post by Tweetypie » Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:16 pm

Sorry to write again, but just wanted some more advice please.
Barbie "ex batt" has had a runny nose and sneezing for 10 days. It seemed to be clearing up, but today I noticed the clear (and bubbled) discharge is coming from both nasal passages. She is still perky, eating normal, alert and laying every day. The others are all well and no signs of similar.

Barbie sleeps on the floor of the coop (upstairs, not on the perch) and always has.
4 weeks ago I changed her bedding from dust free sawdust to aubiose. No other changes have been made. The coop is cleaned every single day and the doors left open to "air".

All hens have been wormed with flubenvet.

Considering her symptoms are worse today, as the discharge is now from both nostrils, any idea what it might be? She seems Ok, but I don't like to see her like this and wondered if she was in need of antiobiotics, which I am reluctant to give her unless absolutely necessary, plus it means a visit to a poultry vet. $$$

Just a thought, but do you think I should put a low perch where she normally sleeps in the corner, to discourage her from sitting on the floor? My thoughts are that any wee and poo she does during the night, might be giving off ammonia, despite being cleaned and new aubiose put down there daily. The floor part she sleep on is metal, as it slides out to clean, so cannot be soaked with urine, but the side of the coop is wood, so some might get in there. That's the only thing I can think of.

Barbie is my favourite bird, I know I shouldn't say that, but I really don't like to think she is unwell.
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chrismahon
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Re: Chronic Respiratory Disease?

Post by chrismahon » Sat Aug 11, 2018 12:40 pm

Aubiose is very dusty in my experience, so we only used it in the damp Winters. Sounds like a respiratory irritation, rather than any disease, although it could be inherent in her and triggered by any dust in the environment- a problem we've had repeatedly in the past. Forget the ammonia theory- takes a long time for poo to deteriorate to that stage.

I'd change the bedding to dust extracted wood shavings or even better remove it completely and put down newspaper. Sounds like you may not have enough ventilation through the coop so that needs to be looked at, also check you have no black mould under the roof as that can cause major problems indeed.

This needs to be addressed quickly as the symptoms can get much worse and overtake her ability to cope.
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Tweetypie
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Re: Chronic Respiratory Disease?

Post by Tweetypie » Sat Aug 11, 2018 1:51 pm

Hi Chris
The coops are only a few months old and very clean, no mould anywhere, dry even in those storms we had before this dry spell. My OH is pedantic about cleanliness.
It's very well ventilated (I assume), as all the bottom part of the pen, which is attached to the coop, has that metal wire around the bottom and sides. There is an air vent inside the actual coop, too. The small door to the coop is left open all night, as the attached pen is fox proof, so air gets through the coop all night.
I am not sure if it is aubiose causing it, but that is the only thing I have changed. I think Marigold mentioned it should be dampened down, so maybe I should have done that? My husband always cleans them out when I am at work, so I will get him to spray it, see if that helps, otherwise back to dust free sawdust again pronto and see if she improves again.
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Re: Chronic Respiratory Disease?

Post by Marigold » Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:03 pm

Poor Barbie!
I haven't found aubiose to be dusty myself, but I think Chris' idea of using newspaper on the floor is good. Just wrap up the top sheet as a poo parcel in the morning. If you're worried about her sleeping on the floor, you could try going down after dark when they've roosted and are asleep, and lift her on to the higher perch for the rest of the night. Exbatts, and also new pullets who have never experienced perching in their previous homes, often need to be taught to perch by lifting them on to one for a few nights. Once the perching reflex is established, they generally come to accept it as normal.

As an exbatt, she will have been fully vaccinated against all sorts of diseases, including IB, and won't have come into contact with it from any of your other vaccinated chickens. As your premises hadn't had poultry before, there should be no problem of residual infection she could have picked up from your environment, and she's been with you for quite a while now, so I don't think it's very likely to be that. Your coop is very well ventilated; as Chris says, damp and mouldy conditions in poorly-ventilated coops are a common cause of respiratory infections, but this is more usual in winter when poor ventilation produces a lot of condensation and bacteria get passed around, like in a doctor's waiting room.
At this time of year, when it's been so hot and dusty, she may have an allergic reaction to something, and as we asthmatics all know from our own experience, once this is established all sorts of things can trigger further inflammation. Are you using dry diatomaceous earth in the coop to protect against redmite? If so, I would leave off this, or make it into a slurry and paint it on round the perch ends, as the dust is very irritant and dangerous to chickens and humans alike. What are you using to clean the coop? Apart from changing dirty bedding, I don't really think too much daily cleaning is actually necessary, certainly I don't bother. But if you want to, I would avoid any sprayed detergents which might leave airborne particles, and just use warm water and a rag. Does she like to dustbathe a lot under the bushes? Maybe you might restrict her access to dry dustbaths for a bit?
As she seems well in herself, I would concentrate on trying to cut out all possible sources of inflammation, damp down dusty areas and dry bedding, and observe her breathing for a few days. Keep notes and if possible take dated close-up photos of any discharge, for comparison. Ideally, she should be kept in isolation in case its something infectious, but on the other hand, if it is infectious the others will all have been exposed to it anyway by now. If she goes on getting worse, you will then have some evidence to share with the vet if it gets to that stage.
There's a version of sods law that states 'Children and chickens will always become ill over a weekend..."!
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Tweetypie
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Re: Chronic Respiratory Disease?

Post by Tweetypie » Sat Aug 11, 2018 2:11 pm

I've just cleaned her nose with tissue and water, got rid of the dust. She's such a happy little thing, she is so good at letting me help her.
I will remove the aubiose today and just use paper, see how it goes. OH has put a very low perch close to the corner where she sleeps, just so she is not on the actual floor. I am sure she used to use the perch when I first got her.
Let's hope it is just an allergy and not anything else. The others don't have any symptoms, thank goodness. :-)
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Tweetypie
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Re: Chronic Respiratory Disease?

Post by Tweetypie » Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:21 pm

Just back from town and had another read at your replies.
I never realised that diatamaceous earth could be dangerous. I know my Oh puts this around the edges and corners of the coop when he has cleaned out their poo. That could be one of the reasons - dusty inhalation of it...so now I will ensure this is only done once in a while and painted on, as suggested by Marigold. Luckily, he doesn't use any detergents, so isn't that, but I bet he has put too much of the DE in there.

I took some pics last weekend and will attempt to take some more today or tomorrow, as that's a good idea, Marigold.
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Re: Chronic Respiratory Disease?

Post by bigyetiman » Sat Aug 11, 2018 6:34 pm

OH uses dust extracted wood shavings in our coop and puts paper under the perches at night and picks them up in the morning.
We have noticed a few hens being a bit sneezy but otherwise well and just put it down to all the dust everywhere at the moment, since the rain Thursday not noticed one sneezing.
We always get a hen acting up just before we go away, I am sure they know and it's a "if I die when you are away, you only have yourself to blame" needless to say they are fine when we get back.
Like Marigold we make a slurry of the DE and spread around rather than just put the dust everywhere and risk it getting up their noses.
Hope Barbie gets better soon, and we all have favourites, the OH's is our Light Sussex that has survived a prolapse, and various encounters with stroppy hens, fences and the lake
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Marigold
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Re: Chronic Respiratory Disease?

Post by Marigold » Sat Aug 11, 2018 7:40 pm

D. Earth is a kind of silica, which dehydrates the mites by its abrasive action on their exoskeletons. If inhaled, it does the same thing to the lungs of people as well as chickens, hence probably carcinogenic as well as irritant.
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Tweetypie
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Re: Chronic Respiratory Disease?

Post by Tweetypie » Sat Aug 11, 2018 8:12 pm

I sat Barbie on my knee and did a very short video. I hadn't realised that her breathing now sounds a bit croaky, too. Hope the link works. If you copy and paste in your browser, it does work.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0D9IgdzXBuc
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Marigold
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Re: Chronic Respiratory Disease?

Post by Marigold » Sat Aug 11, 2018 9:50 pm

What a good idea, that video. Apart from the snicking noise, she looks OK, doesn't she? Comb bright red and erect, eyes alert, movements active.
Has anyone actually seen a hen with acute bronchitis? I would imagine an infected bird would be looking less lively by now. The snicking noise is very frequent, though - does she do that all the time?
As it's Sunday tomorrow, I expect you'll be observing her for the next 24 hours, and then decide next week whether you want to take her to the vet.
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