Friday, March 18, 2011

Fab Five Remain Undefeated!

Mario this morning

After reading my last post, it seemed like the problem with the imported German Rollers was over. The birds look so good that I waited till the following Sunday and then at 11 am I took them off the Enrofloxyn(Baytril) and watched.

By 3 pm I could see lower abdominal breathing, especially on Mario. How could symptoms reappear in only four hours? After more research it seems that the drug peak levels last four hours.

Immediately, I put them back on the full dose. Mario was very effected showing heavy lower abdominal breathing when he had never shown any symptoms before. He also quit singing totally.

One who was very thin but had never shown symptoms before succumbed immediately to full gasping breathing and when she was not eating and puffed up and dying, I mistakenly tried to hand feed her which resulted in her death.

This is the male who was gasping before I started them on Enrofloxyn. He showed lower abdominal breathing also when I took them off the drug last Sunday.

This male has never shown any other lower respiratory symptom except weak song volume. Loss of song volume is a sign but it is possible that he never was a strong singer.

He was the one who dropped some long feathers signaling he wanted to molt. This stopped almost immediately when I lengthened their days to 13.5 hours. His feathering in the flanks is not as tight as I would like.

This is the bird with the best breeding and the only one now completely free from all symptoms since the beginning.

The capped hen who recovered from gasping during the first round. She really seems to have gotten over it.

Frustrated and disappointed I am totally focused on these birds while the others are waiting but not patiently waiting. I have spent quite a bit of time visiting and thinking out loud with Doyle and Margaret and then I left a message on the phone mail at The very next morning, Joanne called and we went all over the case and what might be done.

She was very helpful and at the conclusion of the call she said that this problem of the birds relapsing when being taken off Enrofloxyn was perplexing and one she would like to get input from Dr. Rob Marshall in Australia. She would forward my e-mail directly to him.

The very next day, yesterday, she called back and reported that he thought I should consider and rule out Toxoplasma (parasite), fungi and thrush (yeast). I had placed an order to re-order more enrofloxyn, some doxycylineMegamix (back up), and some 12% Ronex S which she was really excited about to use for breeding birds losing chicks. She is also sending me several complimentary items that Dr. Rob recommended included the KD to treat for thrush and a copy of his book. Help just does not get better than that! To personally e-mail directly to Joanne send to

Margaret called after that and she had spent some time researching baytril use in dogs and learned that peak dosing is a very effective treatment in dogs. So I am trying that in the meantime while I wait for the package from Lady Gouldian Finch to arrive probably Saturday.

This morning I gave a second peak dose, each bird got .4 cc straight enrofloxyn in a teaspoon of egg food in addition to the full dose in the water. Preliminary results look good.

The best news is that Mario sang a little to me about an hour after this morning peak dose!!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Big Bird Singing "Happy Days Are Here Again"

Today, for the first time in two weeks, Big Bird is Singing because at last, the imports are over the hump and on the road to recovery! Indeed it is a HAPPY DAY!

In review of my four casualties and another breeder who lost three in his shipment, all but one were from the same breeder in Germany. Of seven from that breeder, this is the only survivor. Finally today, he is breathing normally for the first time in two weeks. Originally I thought it was a hen and put it in with the capped hen. Then I saw him feeding her and acting macho and later that afternoon he was exhibiting labored breathing. The capped hen the following day had the same symptoms.

The capped hen is looking great now! Her symptoms were never as bad as the male above whom she caught it from.

Mario, on top of the stack, sings to me every morning. When the table light comes on at 6:30, I see how far I can count before Mario starts singing. Today, I only counted to 2 and Mario was serenading me as I lay snuggled up in my bed. His hollow bell continues to be excellent as well as his hollow roll. He is also trying to bring a schockel laughing hoo hoo hoo but he has given me only one good flute duu duu in two weeks. Thinking about my other roller males, Mario is the best overall singer I have!! Perhaps in a couple of weeks, he will be making calls in hens cages in the aviary!

My good friend, Tony Schlott from Canada, has talked with Mario's breeder. Turns out two of the hens are his sisters and the best bird is not Mario but the one that I previously had on the top of the stack! Looks like I really hit the jack pot on the surviving birds!

Bottom bird still has not sang much but what I have heard is very good. I have found a few long feathers and the battle here is whether he is going to give me a full molt in about a month or if I can use his breeding hormones to block it.

The bird on the right was previously the top bird in the stack but it started having loose feathers in the flanks and not being so happy in the show cage and I think now the problem is he is a she! Moved her yesterday and she has tightened a bit but will watch her today as I might need to move her to her own separate tray... It is always good to separate birds at the first signs of stress as often just de-stressing will prevent them from getting sick. Why wait till afternoon, I think I will do it right now after I publish this blog.

Many of you know I am avid KU Basketball Fan! Last Wednesday, I went to Lawrence for Senior Night and took my Grandson, Kevin out to eat and to the final home game this season. For Christmas, my daughter Kellie gave me three sets of tickets to KU Basketball games and with all my recent bird stress with the imports, this last game was really special!

Beautiful Rhodendrum I photographed at the Wichita Lawn and Garden Show. Top photo Dendrobium orchid from the same show.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Questions and Tips for Big Bird!

Please post your questions and tips for Big Bird here.