I'm new to chickens and I have stalked this forum for some time, and recently decided to become a member! :) I have a chicken health related question.
We bought a house this summer complete with a gorgeous coop and run area and 4 bright happy pullets. They all came into lay around the beginning to mid august, so I estimate their age now at around 27 weeks. They are healthy and vibrant. For our family, who eat A LOT, we wanted some more hens to make sure that we always had enough eggs, even when some hens were moulting or because of heat, so we trekked it down to Pratts and bought 5 baby chicks. They are doing great! We also came home from Pratts that day with 2 Ameraucana hens (or maybe they are EE's) that were in the middle of their first hard moult, so that would put them about 18 months old (or so said the 17 year old kid that was working that day.) I paid $20 a piece for them. I thought I would give them a good home, and soon would have 2 more layers while we wait for the babies to grow up.
I put them into quarantine in a separate area of my coop where they can see the others but not get to each other. They were subdued (I thought because of the change.) But they ate, drank and did everything you would expect a chiken to do. I didn't notice any symptoms of illness, so after 2 weeks I let them out of quarantine. There was no major bullying once everyone knew their place in the pecking order...and everything seemed peachy. Of course they look horendous because they are moulting, and maybe that masked some of the symptoms that slowly began to progress from there. They were showing signs of gape worms, so I treated them both with safeguard. A week later I saw lice on one of them, went out and got DE and dusted the whole flock, coop, nesting boxes, run. Then after that I noticed rattly breathing, a strange chirping from one of them at night (almost like a hiccup) and some drainage from eyes and nose. I got tetracyclene powder and mixed up a daily ration for them, which I syringed directly into the affected chickens mouths 3 times a day to use up the ration. Did that for 5 days. They improved, but not completely...one seemed worse then the other. So I began researching a next step. Learned about injecting Tylan antibiotic, but after calling for a week couldn't find a local source, so I decided to try some injectible penicillin instead. So, for the last 4 days I have given them each.5 ml of penicillin subcutaniously under the skin of their necks because they don't seem to have any breast tissue in which to inject..skinny laying hens.
One chicken (I'm still not sure who is who, they look exactly alike) seems almost completely well...a little wateryness to the eyes, but almost completely clear. The other seems to be acting like she feels better, but one of her eyes is swelled almost completely shut with lots of goop. Today along with her shot, I irrigated her eye with saline and put some triple antibiotic ointment in each eye.
Just wanted to ask the experts...Am I missing something that I should be doing? Is this a reasonable course of treatment? If you had to guess (because without lab tests, its really hard to be sure) what do you think they have? So far all the other chickens are healthy and everyone has been together more than a month. Sorry this is so long...I have no good excuse other than that I am trying to be a good chicken mom, and I don't want to lose these girls!