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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Veterinarian
Category: Bird Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 7938
Experience:  35 years in general practice, including avian.
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I have a chicken with foaming liquid from one eye. We had

Customer Question

I have a chicken with foaming liquid from one eye. We had previously 2 other chickens with this condition. When they got worse more foaming liquid came out of their eyes. They later had trouble breathing and wheezing. They were lethargic and weren't eating or drinking. The other two chickens died. I have quarantined the sick chicken. I have twenty other chickens. I am afraid they will get sick also. Please help!!!
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Bird Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 6 years ago.
Hello, I'm Dr. Bob.
I'm sorry to read of your losses and Sweetie's condition.
Although there are many possible causes of eye conditions, one, in particular, causes the frothy appearance you've described, and is quite common: Chronic respiratory disease.
This disease is caused by a bacteria called Mycoplasma, and is highly contagious, often affecting all the members of a flock. You've certainly done the right thing in isolating her, and disinfecting the feeders and waters. This organism is spread by contact with infected individuals, inhaled infectious dust, and can be spread from breeders through hatching eggs. Shoes and tools must also be disinfected after being close to her.
Unfortunately, although Tylan (tylosin) or Gallimycin (erythromycin) may help infected birds survive, they will be life-long carriers, and able to infect others.
There are other similar disease that should be considered including infectious coryza, cholera, infectious bronchitis and Newcastle disease. You can Google each of these and print out the details. This will produce a starter health handbook for future reference, if saved.
If you should have further questions, please let me know.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.



Thanks for the info. I suspected after reading online that this was what the chickens had. If I bring in new chickens into the flock will they also get this? Should I not eat the eggs from these chickens??? Also, should I just cull the flock and start over? Can humans get sick from these chickens? What is the best disinfectant for the coop area? Thanks!

Expert:  Dr. Bob replied 6 years ago.
hello again!
These are great questions! There is a good chance that one or more of the flock are non-symptomatic carriers of this disease. Culling the flock, disinfecting the premises and pen or coop furniture, and letting the premises stay empty for thirty days is the best way to assure this disease will not infect new birds.
Fortunately, this disease is highly species specific, and doesn't affect humans, either through direct contact or eating eggs.
The best disinfectant is 1/4 cup of a chlorine-type bleach (Clorox) per gallon of warm water. If there are built-up deposits of any kind these should be scraped, or broken up and removed, to eliminate them as hiding places for the bacteria.
If you should have further questions, please let me know.
Best regards,
Dr. Bob