A blessing and a Curse

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SteadfastFarm, Apr 14, 2012.

  1. SteadfastFarm

    SteadfastFarm New Egg

    Mar 20, 2012
    Sonoma County, CA
    I have found that my being an ER nurse is a blessing and a curse when raising animals. I have a good working knowledge of physiology (animals are pretty similar to humans in many ways) and before nursing I studied animal science. I know pathophysiology well and have been told good critical thinking skills. My issues come into play when my mind jumps to "the worse case scenario" right off the bat. What turns out as a "hurt leg" has already been diagnosed in my mind as Mareks, until proven otherwise. At the first sign of abnormal I have already done a beak to toe assessment and wonder what to do with what I found. I just need to chill out! How can I be so calm with humans and so freaked out with a chicken? I am so thankful for everyones contributions on this site. I can find anything here. Am I alone on this or do others feel the same way?

    Obsessive, Over-analyzing Chicken Mom
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    It's human nature to think every time a chicken sneezes that it's a dreaded killer respiratory disease and want to automatically treat the bird with antibiotics. When in fact it's just a simple sneeze or two and that's it.
    Another one is when a chicken yawns or stretches its neck, people automatically assume it's gapeworm. When in fact the chicken is simply adjusting its crop or stretching its neck to help food move on down the esophagus. They automatically want to know how to treat for gapeworm.
    After awhile you learn to recognize these things that chickens do are just everyday normalities that chickens do.
    Humans yawn and stretch, does that mean we're doomed with some dreaded disease? We sneeze without having a cold or allergy symptoms, is that the onset of some nasty contageous flu bug? You get the picture; it's part of our daily lives and part of chicken lives as well.
    Last edited: Apr 14, 2012
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    I'm with Dawg. In a word, RELAX! They sneeze due to dust, pollen and even chemicals in new plywood. They stretch their beaks open and necks up to dislodge a piece of stuck food, etc. Don't go to the worst case scenario.

    If you really think something may be wrong, separate the bird from the others and observe for 24 hours without medicating at all. You'll probably find nothing is wrong.

    Use normal caution in exposing your birds to pathogens by not allowing other chicken keepers to go into your coops/pens, not buying birds from just anyone and when and if you do buy them, quarantine away from the flock for 4-6 weeks to mitigate the risk of bringing in a carrier bird. Just be sensible, but don't make yourself nuts!
  4. williamsl77

    williamsl77 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 15, 2011
    Haha... I'm exactly the same way!! I work in the medical field and as I've gotten experience with humans, that's what made me chill out in the long run. I KNOW what I'm looking for with the people sicknesses I specialize in. I'm new to chickens and when they sneeze, I worry it's Marek's, too.

    I think I'll chill out when I've seen more of the usual stuff that chickens do at different parts of their life stages. The first my hens to lay an egg made a bunch of odd sounds right before she laid. I isolated her and started her on antibiotics. The next day she laid an egg and was totally fine. And, of course, since I gave her antibiotics, we couldn't eat her eggs for two weeks!!

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