We gave the sick chicken the antibiotics for three days and thought we might be seeing some improvement but yesterday it was evident that the chicken care was not working as we had hoped. I did a little research on the internet, along with a little help from my husband who is educated in raising animals, we have determined that the respiratory illness is a common illness in poultry called Coryza (coriza) or Infectious Coryza.
Coryza is essentially a respiratory illness that is common in flocks of chickens. It is predominately found in small noncommercial or hobby type flocks. Some of the signs of the illness are characterized by nasal discharge, facial swelling normally in the eye area, sneezing, labored breathing, and matted eyes. It is written that the course of the disease is 4 to 12 weeks as it works through the flock. So I have a longtime before it will be getting better; I’m only on week two!
Flock medication with a sulfonamide or antibiotic is recommended. We had already been giving an antibiotic so we changed over to Sulmet. It is a stronger type of sulfonamide and is given full strength for a couple of days and then cut the dose in half. We started the treatment of this drinking water solution yesterday.
This morning I am thinking I am seeing some improvement. Yesterday I had at least five baby chickens who were unable to see due to their eyes being matted shut. Today I only saw about three. Today is day two of the Sulmet treatment so I changed out the water and gave them more of the full strength. Tomorrow I am to cut the dose in half. From what I read mortality rate is about 20% and so far I have lost none but I can tell some of the birds are not doing very well.
As I work through my chicken care with you, I hope that this information will be of benefit to those who are caring for chickens and might come across this common illness in the future.
Maybe as the chickens start improving a little I will post pictures. I turns my stomach just to look at them. Things out the ordinary make me a little queasy. I was not gifted with the skill of nursing but I am learning (my husband makes me do it). And if I want to keep expanding my flock and caring for chickens, I need learn how to deal with it.