April 14, 2008 at 10:49 pm #242822
It is Russell again with yet another question relating to his chickens (who still haven’t laid an egg mind you). I have noticed the girls are shaking their heads and even making a kind of sneezing sound, especially in the morning when I let them out. It is hard to see in the bright morning sun, but I think I even saw a few droplets of discharge when they shook their heads. I did see one of my youngest chooks ‘blowing bubbles’ from her nostrils a couple of weeks ago, but that seemed to clear itself up.
They don’t seem too distressed about it, and they still appear super heathy when you look at their colour, but is it something I should be concerned about??
RussellApril 14, 2008 at 11:08 pm #335625
I would be concerned, Russell. It may be just a cold which may clear up quickly, it may be signs of something more, so I’d get on to it asap.
I must be very lucky for in all the years of chook keeping I’ve hardly had any disease or problem.
I’m just doing some work in another window, will look up my chookie bible and get back to you.
In the meantime, if it’s just some of the girls, can you separate them from the others fairly quickly? Keep them warm, give them some hot porridge with chopped up garlic, parsley. You may not have other (medicinal) things you could put in there, but I’ll get back with other signs to look for and actions.
Hopefully others will help out too.
ReeApril 15, 2008 at 1:16 am #335626
Not sure if I’m much further ahead here today. :confused:
Do the above – separate them, keep them warm…
Add some chilli to that hot porridge, good for colds, and I forgot earlier. I keep some chilli flakes to put in my chook food and tonics since my chilli bush died. Garlic is a good all-rounder so put that in everything you give them!
It could be a cold, it could be bronchitis. Read the following which I looked up at Backyard Poultry. If infectious bronchitis, you need to get on to it straight away, and if several or all of your birds are affected, then it may also be affecting their egg laying. Otherwise they should be starting soon, Russell!
Go to IB, Infectious Bronchitis at the following and have a read:
The effect on egg laying is discussed at the following, in case you’re interested:
The following is a good page for information on a wide range of chooky related problems although they tend to favour commercial preparations and antibiotics at the drop of a hat with little mention of natural remedies. I’m not saying you shouldn’t use commercial preparations at all, as if your chooks have been unwell for a while they may need something really strong to kick start their recovery. At the same time, give them things such as garlic, echinacea etc to boost their immune systems (see below re homeopathic remedies):
I prefer to take preventative measures however if I get some new chooks in I most often worm them with a commercial wormer, then shift to natural remedies. I have several chook books and the best to get in my opinion is Alanna Moore’s “Backyard Poultry Naturally“.
She says for colds, to fast your chooks followed by a laxative diet, feed them garlic, chopped onion and mustard greens, teaspoons of strong sage tea, with eucalyptus inhalations (get those chooks inhaling over the bathroom basin NOW!) 😆 , horseradish pills and give them the chilli or pepper in food to heat them. Keep ’em warm.
My homeopathic chook book says this for colds:
Herbal treatment: give echinacea for 2 weeks, with garlic, fast for one day followed by laxative diet which should include daily Cod Liver Oil, plenty of chopped onions and mustard greens. Eucalyptus inhalations also, plus the sage tea. Fenugreek is a good mucous thinning herb as well as a lymphatic cleanser.
Homeopathic treatment suggests Aconitum being given asap and it may prevent the problem worsening.
Other homeopathic treatments (6 in all) are suggested but without a correct diagnosis and knowing exactly what stage your chooks are at, it may be tricky to determine the best course of action. However if you want me to I’ll retype that info out too.
Think I’m done for now. Fire away with further questions if you like!
ReeApril 15, 2008 at 2:47 am #335627
We have a chook called Sneezy because she had those symptoms when we got her as an 11 week old chicken. When I threw some mixed greens into the chook pen she went for the dill in it and ate it all. The other chooks wouldn’t touch the dill. Seeing this, I gave her some more dill, which she ate with alacrity and then she stopped sneezing. Try giving them some dill, if you have it, it can’t do any harm!
PApril 15, 2008 at 12:15 pm #335628
That’s interesting, KD!
I had some dill growing once, not sure what happened to it…
Certainly worth a try. :tup:April 15, 2008 at 12:36 pm #335629
THANKYOU Mumchook for your very generous response. I do however have a rather dumb question:confused: and that is how does one administer echinacea and garlic to fussy girls who have the run of the backyard during the day.
Thanks again for such an informative response
Also, I have discovered that Aconitum (that you mentioned is a good remedy) appears to be a natural remedy available in pill form from health food shops. Would this do, and if so how would I administer it. Alternatively, would it be better to try and find it at a nursery.
Also, also, thanks for the dill tip. I will also try that Kookaburra Dreaming.April 15, 2008 at 1:03 pm #335630
No such thing as a dumb question! 😆
I have liquid Echinacea and you can give it to your chooks, carefully, with a dropper or syringe from the chemist. Hold the chook firmly and close to you with one arm whilst sitting down and give it to her using the other hand. Better still is to have someone else hold her! Make sure the wings are held firmly. Maybe do it at night when they’re sleepy and dopey if you have trouble catching them during the day.
Garlic I just chop up and crush with the flat of the knife and mix in with food. I’d separate the sick ones (unless they’re all showing signs of this, in which case, dose them all up with tonic food) and feed them a hot mashy mix of something yummy (no set recipe, just whatever you have and that they may find yummy). Mashed potato, oats, bit of bran and/or pollard or Weet Bix or similar, chopped parsley, garlic, chopped onions, etc, bit of those chilli flakes, mixed with hot milk or powdered milk or milk/water. I wouldnt feed them anything else until all of the above is gone. Won’t take long if mine are anything to go by!
I also give mine a bit of yoghurt in the mix too sometimes, as well as some chopped comfrey. Always garlic!
All the best. Let us know how they go.
Aconitum – would you also be able to get this in liquid form? If not, scrape a little off the tablet perhaps.April 23, 2008 at 1:44 pm #335631
Hi Mumchook & Kookaburra Dreaming,
I have tried nearly all of the remedies suggested, to no avail. Please don’t hate me but I have had to resort to western medicine and I am now trying anti biotics. I just want the girls to be better. It is very frustrating.
Also, I rang the produce store I bought the girls from and asked them about the fact they are still not laying, and they told me that lots of people have rung and said the same and even that some that had started laying had gone off the lay. Must be something to do with planet alignment or something.
Anyway, I have my fingers crossed that the girls will feel better soon & thank me with some eggs.
RussellApril 23, 2008 at 2:05 pm #335632
Russell, you do what you have to do, and if antibiotics are the next step, then no problems from these quarters.
Sometimes if something is entrenched the natural remedies may not work so well or so quickly. Antibiotics can be useful if nothing else is working and you’re having them only irregularly.
Get those girls feeling better then you can continue giving them some chooky tonic foods to get their immune systems up and fighting.
Let us know how they go. All the best,
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