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mullethunter

Intermittent violent sneezing

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I guess it serves me right for buying at auction - I said I wasn’t going to do it but I did it anyway.

Last Saturday I bought a pair of barred Plymouth Rock bantam pullets (along with a sablepoot and 3 Dutch bantams). They looked really healthy, neat, tidy active birds in their cage, they were fine on the 1 hour drive home (in a cat box with some easichick) and totally fine for the next couple of hours after we got home. They seemed at home straight away, bullied the smaller new bantams so I had to separate them. I now have the two Plymouth’s on their own but adjoining the smaller girls. 

After an hour or two (and lots of digging, eating and dustbathing) the more dominant one (Pepsi - the other is Shirley) started to sneeze really violently. It looks really uncomfortable and as if she’s struggling to breath between sneezes, and I’d say she’s sneezing out a bit of mucus because her beak gets soil stuck on it. She’ll sneeze for a minute or so, then stop and be totally back to normal. She’s still eating loads and throwing her weight around when she feels it necessary, but every now and again she has these horrendous sneezing fits. I thought it was easing off today but I just went out to shut them all in and I can hear her sneezing in ‘bed’. 

They have growers pellets to eat, but have also had a little mixed corn, some dandelion and grass, and today some meal worms. Their bit of run is on dry earth which was sprinkled with netted ground sanitising powder two days before they moved in, their sleeping quarters are a cat box with easichick bedding (which I have managed to suspend from he roof of their run so it doesn’t take up floor space).

So - any ideas what could be wrong with her? If she doesn’t improve tomorrow I’m going to have to take her to the vet I think but as it’s so intermittent they won’t be able to help too much.

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I was a bit worried about that :-(

It could just be stress though, so dose her up with NutriDrops (B vits in that are excellent for stress) and see how she is in the morning. I had one which did this once - from an excellent breeder, but she suddenly started to sneeze and wheeze as if she was about to drop. She soon recovered as if it was an asthma attack, but does it once in a while if she's stressed.

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It actually looks like an asthma-y type thing (I had it myself until I was in my early 20s) rather than an infection type thing - I couldn’t really put my finger on why though. From looking at Dr Google the only thing the symptoms really fit are air sac mites - but that seems a bit ‘far out’ and I’d have thought it’d be more constant.

They have lifeguard tonic in their water and yes, I’ll give her nutri drops today too. 

Thanks DM - I’ll see how she goes.

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One of my original lavender pekins used to sound asthmatic when I was trying to catch her.

The running away used to make her quite wheezy.

I'm much better at catching her these days and haven't heard her make any noises since.

At the time there was an awful lot of pollen coming from the neighbouring pine trees.

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My cat has asthma... :roll:

I hope the little doodle will be all right.

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I took her to the vet this afternoon. She hasn’t got any worse but no better either. After she’s sneezed for a while you can hear all the liquid in her airway and she has to breathe through her beak for a while before doing a big sneezy head shake to clear the gunk and then she’s fine again.

Anyway, the vet reckons it’s probably mycoplasma brought to the fore by the stress of auction day, so has given tylan to make sure she doesn’t get any secondary infection - hopefully she’ll sort herself out but compared to her sister she is very thin.

From the flock point of view it’s not the disaster it could be - she’s been isolated from my existing flock but I’ve always suspected that’s what Bern and Shell died from and so it’s in the flock anyway.

Hopefully she’ll come out the other side 🤞🏻

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Well at least the vet had an idea and treatment. Hope she recovers soon! 🤞🏻

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It's always good to have an idea of what you are up against.  I'm afraid that it will probably affect her laying  a6nility/egg quality, but ypu probs know that

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21 hours ago, The Dogmother said:

It's always good to have an idea of what you are up against.  I'm afraid that it will probably affect her laying  a6nility/egg quality, but ypu probs know that

Yep I know that - hopefully her sister and my young campine will provide the eggs - I don’t think the Dutch bantams or sablepoot will do much! Tbh the eggs are a nice perk but I have them as pets really so as long as she can be healthy enough to have a decent life I’m happy 😊 

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Don’t underestimate the Dutchies! Although they mine don’t lay every day, their eggs are normally very good quality shell wise. Just be prepared for a lot of broodyness... :roll:

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23 minutes ago, mullethunter said:

How big are their eggs cattails? I’m imagining not much bigger than quails 😂

Left is an egg of Merel, right shop bought “Large” egg.

02C2332B-474C-4FDB-9118-6BA34A6311CF.jpeg

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Sadly Pepsi didn’t make it. She was fine, then she ate some grass which set her off sneezing again - I didn’t think much of it and went off to plant some bulbs, but when I checked back half an hour later she was dead in the run in her back with her legs in the air :-( Her beak was full of mucus - I suspect she sneezed some up into her airway, was unable to clear it and suffocated. Poor chook. Not really sure what more I could’ve done though and I certainly didn’t think she was I’ll enough to cull.

No sneezes from any of the others yet 🤞🏻

(Thanks for the egg photo CT - that’s the best way to demonstrate - can’t believe how big it is 😯 )

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Poor Pepsi! It’s always sad to lose a bird. I would report back to the auction facility or breeder. You shouldn’t have to expect to lose a bird within a week of purchase.

(it does depend how big your bantams get. Merel is pretty typical in size for the breed, about 700 g. Leentje was absolutely tiny, about 450 g, and her eggs often slipped through the slit in the egg skelter. Pickwick2 is very large for the breed, must be over 1 kg, and her eggs are just as big as my New Hampshire.)

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That's a real shame :(

Sadly, it's part and parcel of buying at auctions; one of the reasons that I always steer clear. The sale pens at poultry shows are usually a better idea.

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11 hours ago, The Dogmother said:

The sale pens at poultry shows are usually a better idea.

That was my original plan for that actual day, but the show I had in mind (one of if not the biggest in Cornwall) didn’t have show pens. I’m not sure if any here do.

I think the only way to get a decent variety of healthy birds down here really is to hatch them yourself - so I need to get better at culling cockerels!

But, that’s ten hens now, so barring disasters I won’t need any more for a while.

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Sorry to hear it, as others have said that's why I tend to avoid auctions - I have been to the Melton graded auction where birds are judged before sale.

The best way to get pure breeds is to speak to breeders at shows. They often have pet quality birds for sale, those which are perfectly healthy but not up to breeding standard :) 

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