3 new hens - 1 coughing/sneezing, 1 very quiet, 1 ok!

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Chuckling

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Hi to everyone,

I am new to the boards so please bare with me if I ask something that has been asked before!

I got 3 different hybrid hens on Saturday which had previously been kept in different pens. I expected a little 'argy-bargy' until they sorted themselves out but they are very quiet. 1 in particular (a Red Ranger) is being a little picked on (nothing major - just a little pecking at the back of the head but not enough to damage her feathers and definitely not drawing blood). The Speckeldy seems to be going for 'Top Hen' and the Blue Ranger seems to stay out of her way but have the odd go at the Red Ranger. No major concerns here, I am sure it will all settle down but my concern is that all 3 are very quiet. They don't seem to be eating a great deal but drinking ok. They have not been put in with any existing hens.

Also, the Speckeldy occaisionally kind of coughs/sneezes and then shakes her head and sometimes (but not always) a small amount of clear mucus comes flying out. It was very hot when I collected them on Saturday and although only half an hour journey to get them home in a car with air-con, I initially thought this might be due to them getting hot in transit. The breeder put them all in 1 box as he said they would travel more safely that way. Will this settle down?

The breeder had lots of hens but all were active and immaculately clean, he said they were 18-22 weeks old and had been vaccinated / wormed etc. I have emailed regarding my concerns but can anyone offer any advice until I get a reply?

Many thanks in anticipation!

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Aunt Sally

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Re: 3 new hens - 1 coughing/sneezing, 1 very quiet, 1 ok!
« Reply #1 on: July 05, 2010, 14:38 »
The best advice I could give you would be to take them back.  It's a really good job that you have not put them with your other hens as I suspect that the coughing sneezing hen may have a respiratory infection possibly mycoplasma as she it splashing mucous.

Give their accomodation and run area a thorough cleaning and leave it empty for a few weeks before trying again.

Does the supplier get his hens from one of the big hybrid breeders ?
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Chuckling

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Re: 3 new hens - 1 coughing/sneezing, 1 very quiet, 1 ok!
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2010, 16:09 »
Thank you Aunt Sally for your advice.

The breeder has come back to me and to be fair immediately said I could take all 3 hens back and swap them.

However - everyone at home is mortified at the thought of them being returned, so I called the breeder back and he has agreed to give me the necessary antibiotics and instructions to treat the hens at home. Should any of the hens not make it (although he says they should all be fine) he will replace them free of charge.

I'm not sure where he gets the hybrids from or if he breeds his own (will ask when I get there to pick the antibiotics up) but I think he is being very fair.

Thank you for reply, most appreciated x

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Aunt Sally

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Re: 3 new hens - 1 coughing/sneezing, 1 very quiet, 1 ok!
« Reply #3 on: July 05, 2010, 17:00 »
If it is a mycoplasma infection it can be treated with antibiotic but it can NEVER be cured. 

The birds carry it for life and fall ill with it whenever under stress - such as hot weather or a moult.  They will infect any other chickens they come into contact with and you will always have to be aware that you have it in your flock and have to treat them for it whenever you suspect a flare up. 

Mycoplasma infection is not in itself a very serious condition but it opens the bird up to secondary infections which can be very serious.

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lisa80

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Re: 3 new hens - 1 coughing/sneezing, 1 very quiet, 1 ok!
« Reply #4 on: July 05, 2010, 19:29 »
Aunt sally is right but if you have decided to keep them and your happy with the breeders offer fair enough :).
  Regardless of how clean and well the birds looked there is always a risk as myco often rears its ugly head when birds become stressed i.e transportation /new enviroment.
   Also birds that have had myco should NEVER be used for breeding as it passes to the egg and so maybe in your case this is where it has come from.
  I would never sell or breed from a bird that has had myco but have heard of and know some people that would and dont care >:(



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