New chicken owners are told a lot about the fears of coryza. They hear how it can infect an entire flock within a week. And about how difficult it is to treat. But how to treat coryza in chickens? Is this something that should be feared by all chicken owners? And how is it treated? We will answer all of this and more below.
What Is Coryza In Chickens?
Coryza medical definition is an acute respiratory infection caused by bacteria, also called infectious coryza. The specific bacteria that spread this illness is called the Avibacterium paragallinarum. But it is not specific to only chickens. If you own quail or pheasants, they can also carry and transmit this disease.
Coryza in chickens symptoms may include:
- Nose and eye discharge with a pungent smell
- Sneezing and coughing
- Swelling of face, wattles, and eyes
- Difficulty breathing
- Drop-in egg production
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- And lethargy
Your chicken may display all of these symptoms, or only some of them, depending on the case severity.
How Is It Transmitted?
Infectious coryza in chicken is mostly spread from bird to bird. Once one chicken contracts the disease, it takes about three days to show symptoms. In that time, they are carrying it to the entire flock.
Most chicken owners notice that their whole flock has it within ten days of the first known case. But this transmission usually happens from adding new birds to the flock that has the illness already.
Less likely, but still probable, is transmission by contaminated food and water. If a sick bird has a discharge that lands inside the food and water supply, your other birds will get it too. While it is least likely to come from this source, it is crucial to keep all food and water containers clean.
Coryza In Chickens Treatment
The first thing that you need to do if you suspect coryza is to isolate the sick chicken. While it is likely that the rest of the flock has already been exposed to it, it is more for the sick chicken’s safety. If the chicken that is sick with infectious coryza gets worse, the others might pick on her.
If the coryza has already progressed into later stages, you will want to immediately take her to the vet. The vet will treat her with antibiotics that aren’t resistant in your area through injections. These injections are more powerful and better absorbed by the bloodstream.
But you will want to treat the rest of your flock as well for good measure. They are likely carriers of coryza now, and treating them early will help fight the illness before it gets worse. Here are some home remedies you can try.
A popular coryza treatment is to syringe feed colloidal silver. Colloidal silver is long-hailed as an excellent antibacterial in both animals and people. And some research has found some truth in this. The best colloidal silver to use for chickens is a 30 PPM suspension. 30 PPM is a low enough dose that you don’t have to worry about overdosing. And should your recouping hen start to regress, you can increase the dosing easily.
Most people put a few teaspoons of this silver into their healthy chicken’s drinking water to prevent the illness from spreading. For sick chickens, you will need to give them half a dropper full orally at least twice a day. For infections like coryza, you will want to treat for at least ten days to ensure that the bacteria are long gone. But you won’t start to see any real improvement until after five days.
Tylan for coryza is a tried and true treatment for coryza. Tylan is an antibiotic that you can buy over the counter at most feed stores. And most vets will prescribe this as well. Tylan can come in a powdered form that is water-soluble or an oral suspension. For sick chickens, we recommend using 1/2 cc of the oral suspension for five days to make sure that they are getting the full dosing. As for the rest of your flock, adding the Tylan to their drinking water should prevent it from spreading.
VetRX Poultry Remedy
A natural medicine is VetRX to treat coryza in chickens, which you can find at most feed stores. While this remedy does not cure the infection, it does relieve some of the symptoms. VetRX is like a chicken vapor rub that helps reduce breathing issues.
If your chicken has a lot of discharge around the nose, you might want to add a drop to the nostrils. VetRX will help clear away the infection from the nose so your hen can breathe easy. But you do need to use this treatment along with other medications.
Herbal Remedies For Coryza In Poultry
Once a chicken tests positive for coryza, they are a carrier for life. Any time that your chicken’s immune system is down, they could start experiencing symptoms of it again. Because of this, most owners look for herbal remedies to prevent flare-ups and reduce the risk of infection. Below are a few natural herbs that decrease the likelihood of re-infection.
Many backyard chicken owners plant oregano in their runs for their hens to forage. Oregano is excellent for boosting the immune system and is also known to be a natural antibiotic. Your chickens will love to peck around at the oregano, and some have the instincts to seek it out when feeling unwell. You can also buy oregano oil to use as a supplement in your chicken feed for extra precaution.
Thyme smells lovely and has many practical uses. Many owners use it as a natural bug deterrent. But did you know that it also has antibiotic properties to it? You might want to plant a little thyme along with your oregano in the run for exceptional immune fighting powers.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
Grapefruit seed extract is high in antioxidants and is known to boost your immune system. It is also high in vitamin C, which is proven to prevent illnesses and speed up the recovery time. You can give your chickens grapefruit seed extract through their water or directly if one starts showing symptoms of the disease.
Garlic has many uses in people and animals. And most of those uses are universal, no matter the breed. Garlic is known to keep pests away, act as an anti-inflammatory, and can fight off cold symptoms.
You can give your flock freshly peeled garlic daily in their feed to see even more benefits such as a reduction in smells, increased egg production, and growth enhancement.
Now that we know how to treat coryza in chickens, we can talk about prevention. The first step that every chicken owner should take in prevention is vaccination. The infectious coryza vaccine is given through the breast or thigh starting at 8-16 weeks old. Then your hens will need a second booster four weeks later. It is important to vaccinate them before they are laying age for effectiveness. You will want to vaccinate all of your existing hens and any new ones before introducing them to the flock.
The second step to treat coryza in chickens is to keep all new hens isolated for 30 days. If you have bought a new chicken, they will usually show signs within 3-10 days. If your new hen tests positive for coryza, it should not be introduced to the flock.
Most people choose to either contact the seller or culling if no other choice. Remember that even if you treat the chicken and it recovers, they are a carrier for life. Some owners see culling as no other choice to protect the lines of their other birds. It is a hard decision, and only you will know what the right choice will be.
The third step in preventing coryza from infecting your flock is keeping everything clean. When you do get new birds, make sure that their food and water containers get cleaned daily with soap and water. And be sure to wash your hands before touching anything for your other flock.
While it is not as common for coryza to be transmitted by a carrier, its not impossible. With daily health checks, you will be able to spot the signs early. After you isolate any sick birds, you will want to disinfect everything in the runs, coops, or brooders.
Can You Eat Chickens With Coryza?
If your flock has had coryza at some point or another, you might wonder if their meat and eggs are safe. The eggs of a positive coryza bird are safe to eat as long as they are not on antibiotics.
To be safe, you should always wait a week after the antibiotics have finished before eating the eggs again. There are some antibiotics, such as Baytril, that are not safe to use in chickens.
Baytril is not approved for chickens, and it will make their eggs inedible along with their meat for life.
Eating the meat from a chicken with coryza is also safe. Chicken coryza is not transferrable to humans. So there is no reason that you can’t enjoy your farm-raised meat and eggs.
How to treat coryza in chickens? It’s a nasty bacterial infection that is hard to get rid of. But, it is entirely preventable with the proper precautions. By taking care to keep new chickens isolated and vaccinated, you shouldn’t have any issues.
Below is a Pinterest friendly photo…. so you can pin it to your Backyard Chicken Board!!