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When can sick chickens be added back to the flock?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

I recently bought a few 1 year old hens that all turned out to have a respiratory disease. The vet gave me some baytril and I have been injecting it every day and tomorrow is the last day of treatment. How long should I wait before introducing them back to the rest of the flock? How should I sterilizing their quarantine area?


Also. some people have told me that I can't sell chickens/hatching eggs from my flock anymore because "they will always be carriers" is this true?


thankyou all.

post #2 of 8

I'm sorry about your troubles. :hugs


What organism caused the respiratory disease? Without a definitive answer to that question, most people assume it is MG/MS (Mycoplasm gallisepticum/Mycoplasm synoviae) or some other contagious disease. And yes, they will be carriers for life. MG/MS can be spread through hatching eggs so selling hatching eggs/offspring from infected birds can infect flocks of those you sell them to - something I am sure you do not want to risk. Without ruling out MG/MS it would be highly irresponsible to sell eggs or offspring. 


In this state (KY) and many others, a diagnosis of MG/MS is a death sentence for all the birds on the farm (or lifetime quarantine for the farm). It is a reportable disease and spreads rapidly. Carriers can appear healthy for long periods of time, only becoming sick during times of stress. Since you ask about adding them back to the flock, I assume that your other birds were exposed to the new birds at some point. It is possible that all your birds have been exposed now. 


You have a couple of options. You can assume your birds are infected and keep a closed flock, letting no birds or hatching eggs leave your property. Or, if you want to be sure, call your local Dept. of Ag and inquire about having your birds tested to rule it out. If you decide to have them tested, just know that a "positive" will likely mean depopulation of the birds on your farm. Since MG/MS does not live long without a host, after sanitizing everything, you could begin to repopulate after about a month.


As for sterilizing the quarantine area, clean out thoroughly using Oxine (recommended) or bleach solution. Your local Ag dept may have other suggestions.


Good luck and keep us posted.

post #3 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thankyou for your reply. The veterinarian told me what he believed it was, and I don't think he said MG/MS but I cannot remember. That best that I can tell you is that the symptoms of their illness were a slight gurling noise to their breathing (this was only for a couple days until I started the antibiotics) and they had blockage on their nostrils. The only symptoms they have to this point in time is that they will be standing still then close their eyes and slowly look towards the ground.


I will probably get them tested. And yes, all of the chickens were exposed to them. 

post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 

They never had watery eyes, and they never coughed or sneezed. They never had any development of "Gook" on their eyes or sinuses which I was told to look out for. 

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Update, I was doing some research and remembered the the vet. told me it sounded like they have Coryza. I forgot to mention, the hens did have diarrhea prior to antibiotics and the diarrhea subsided today. Also, they never had any discharge at all from  eyes. I've been doing research all night and it just doesn't seem like they have MG/MS based on the symptoms I saw. I will probably get them tested anyways.... So, based on the symptoms I described to you, what do you think?

Edited by drewskimac - 9/27/15 at 6:23pm
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 

I've been researching all night, and at this point i've accepted the fact that regardless of what disease they had/have, they are most likely carriers for life. So, I will have them tested to make sure (if it's not expensive) and I will have the rest of my flock tested. I am prepared to start from scratch if that's what I need to do. I refuse to sell chickens and guarantee they are disease free while I know i'm just going to wreck a the buyer's flock. That's what happened to me, so I guess that's what I get for being trustworthy.


Oh, also, the person that sold them to me still claims "I've never had a sick bird on this property, I don't know where yours got sick from" Right, they managed to pick up the illness an begin showing symptoms on the 6 minute drive from their house to mine. 

post #7 of 8
I am glad your chickens are getting better. I kept losing chickens and sent one to state lab and was told it displayed symptoms of 3 things. All curable but 1. And the ones that lived would always be carriers. I can never sell my birds. Nor bring anymore to my yard. The heartbreaking diagnosis that stole my hope to have and love chickens forever was MARECKS. Not spelled properly, but devastating. My birds are pets and I will cherish each one as long as I can. I was told that there is nothing that will kill this disease. My yard will always be contaminated.
Edited by pulp2paper - 9/29/15 at 1:09am
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 

Your yard will be? You can't spray your yard and let it it sun dry?

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