by Nancy jacobi
(Molino florida)

I bought six Buff Orpington pullets two weeks ago from a local breeder. On Wednesday I came home to find two with eyes swollen and matted shut. I got warm water and clean rags and wiped matting off their eyes. One chick was significantly worse than the other. Hard white pus came out of each eye with a large almost dime sized out of the right eye. I also noticed that they kept opening and closing their beak although there was no coughing or gasping for breath. I cleaned the eyes out again yesterday morning and both girls are able to partially open their eyes, although they preferred to keep them shut. And I started them last night on Oxytetracycline and eye drops v.....,,? I added electrolytes to water this morning too. They do shiver as if cold and stay under heat lamp so I put their food and water in their house close by. Really sick one is hanging in there and will drink if I put her in front of the water and dip her beak so she knows it's there. She will drink and does stop when she's through. She ate some vanilla Greek yogurt last night and this morning. The rest are eating and drinking OK but are beginning to exhibit symptoms like the two sick ones. Any ideas of what this could be? And am I treating correctly? I love my girls and don't want to lose them. They are in a coop by themselves.


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by: Sharon

Wish we could tell you what this is and if that is the right antibiotic for it. Oxy. is for bacterial infections. If this is a virus, the Oxy. might help with secondary infections. Sounds like they might have an upper respiratory infection.

This is not good news so young in their lives and I would suspect the possibility that they brought the problem with them, especially if you have other chickens that are well. Two weeks in is unusual, as generally the stress of moving to a new location can bring on signs of illness soon after bringing them home. You didn't say how old they are, but I suspect still young since they have a heat lamp.

Giving yogurt is a good idea to possibly help balance their digestive systems when you have to give antibiotics. Electrolytes & vitamins are good too, to try to keep their strength up.

You will need to keep them plenty warm, especially at night when temperatures cool. Keep encouraging fluids and any nutrition you can get them to take. I wish there were a magic cure & I could tell you how to cure it. What you are doing to support them is good.

I don't know how they were raised and if they have had access to sunshine and fresh foods. Sounds like their immune systems are weak. I've had more success with injected antibiotics for birds than oral, but it has to be one that will address the problem. Upper respiratory infections can be fungal or bacterial.

Chickens are tough creatures, but when they get this sick it is serious, as I'm sure you can tell.
I've never had chicks get sick like this. Possibly others will have suggestions.

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