Whistling Chick? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 8 Old 03-21-2012, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
 
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    This round of chicks has been hard. My daughter and I bought 25 Ameracaunas to raise as a homeschool project - thinking we would keep 5 and sell the rest at 6 weeks. We had 3 die in the first few days - at least they went relatively quickly, as any sick poultry we have had in the past has done. Then about 2 weeks into raising them one started whistling each time it breathed. In researching it, an upper respiratory infection seemed the most likely cause. We isolated her and began apple cider vinegar in her water and then switched to a powerful garlic antibiotic. She was not horribly sick, but seemed to be breathing fast and hard. That passed after a few weeks but we were just left with whistling and the occasional sneeze. After three weeks she seemed better so I reintroduced her to the flock but after 3 days the whistling began again. Back to isolation. This time I opted for the antibiotics, giving her Sulmet. Its hard to run an extra light for one chick indefinitely. She again seemed better, I put her with the others and within an hour she began whistling and sneezing horribly. Now she is segregated and a 2nd chick has come down whistling and sneezing!  We were just reaching the point of thinking we would have to give up on her as after so many weeks she is smaller than the others and I don't think she'll ever be quite right. But now there are 2! I have them both back on the garlic (and all the others as well, preventatively) and am listening carefully to be sure no others sound sick. We are supposed to sell 15 of the chicks this weekend. I don't want to sell sick chicks! 

    Has anyone ever had a whistling chick or experience with upper respiratory infections? All advice is welcome.....


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#2 of 8 Old 03-22-2012, 07:07 AM
 
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Yes, I've had experience with this.  I hate to tell you this, but it is very likely the rest of your flock will either get sick or be carriers of this respiratory infection.  I have gone as far as taking a chicken to the vet years ago when we were first starting out.  This chick and any other sick ones need to be culled, and soon.  You can either drown them or use a big rock.  I'm sorry, but this is not something I would ever try to fix.  Respiratory stuff in chickens is so contagious.

 

Very glad to see that you don't want to sell sick chicks.  And any you do sell may be carriers.  I would personally not plan to sell any of these.  I'd cull the sick ones, and keep the rest until they are old enough to butcher out.  Try again w/another batch after you deal with these, but you must clean everything they came in contact with very well and sanitize with 30% bleach solution (30% bleach to 70% water).  All water containers, feeders, ect.  Spray brooder w/bleach solution and air out well.  Replace all bedding.  And obviously if you eat any of them, they must not be showing signs of an infection at the time of butchering.


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#3 of 8 Old 03-22-2012, 08:45 AM - Thread Starter
 
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That is very bad news....


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#4 of 8 Old 03-22-2012, 01:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Well I culled the 2 sick ones, who had been in quarantine since the first moment I thought they were sick. Still no others seemed sick (and I spend hours just listening to them and watching) so I cleaned their coop, scrubbed it down with eco bleach, sterilized all the feeders and waterers. Told the people buying them what is going on and agreed to wait two weeks and see if any others get sick....I'm hoping this is enough. I don't feel I can give up on all of them. 


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#5 of 8 Old 03-23-2012, 03:42 PM
 
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I'm sorry you are going thru that.  Once we had to cull almost our entire herd of rabbits due to a genetic condition that caused a twisted gut.  Awful and sad, but it had to be done, so I know how you are feeling!


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#6 of 8 Old 03-31-2012, 11:49 PM
 
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Any update?


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#7 of 8 Old 04-01-2012, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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It's been 11 days since I culled the two sick chicks and sterilized the coop. All the others seem perfectly healthy and happy. No signs of illness. If all goes well, we will be selling some this Friday as the buyers think a 2 week wait time is acceptable....I think the fact that we isolated the sick ones right away helped keep the others healthy. We also did the garlic antibiotics preventatively in the healthy chicks for 2 weeks....


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#8 of 8 Old 04-02-2012, 03:51 PM
 
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awesome!


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