Adding a new chicken - disease concerns, and what meds to keep on hand?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by xpchick, Oct 30, 2016.

  1. xpchick

    xpchick Out Of The Brooder

    56
    1
    41
    Jan 12, 2016
    NY
    The more I read about illness the more concerned I am about adding a new rooster. Our current rooster attacks us at times so we are getting ready to dispatch him and get a new rooster for our 6 hens. All were hatched in early April. A local farm rescue has roosters - I'm assuming if I adopt one of those then I have no idea if they are a carrier of any type of respiratory illness? Does that matter since my flock free ranges on our property and there are tons of wild birds/animals?

    What is the best way to pick a new rooster (or more hens to add) health wise? Wait until spring and get a young one or buying an adult from someone - does that matter? I know to quarantine, but that won't tell me if he's a carrier of a disease and just not ill currently, correct?

    Also, with the water soluble antibiotics being pulled, is there one that is best to keep on hand for the just in case situation? Or am I shooting in the dark here and better off just not having any hand? There have to be farm vets around me, my current vet is dog/cat only though I believe.

    I've been reading the many threads on the antibiotics over the years and it is hard to decipher if one is better than others or which meds to keep on hand.

    Thank you for any help!
     
  2. Eggsoteric

    Eggsoteric Chillin' With My Peeps

    795
    162
    176
    Nov 25, 2010
    Maryland
    Is there a reason you need a rooster?
     
  3. xpchick

    xpchick Out Of The Brooder

    56
    1
    41
    Jan 12, 2016
    NY
    We hope to let our hens hatch their own eggs next year if someone goes broody. We have all large breed, winter hardy dual purpose breeds. Our plan to try is to then use some of the chicks as meat. From what I've seen/read of meat birds I don't think we want to raise them.

    Also we free range when we are home and the big guy really does a good job of watching out for the girls (too good since he sees humans as an issue also).
     
  4. ECSandCCFS

    ECSandCCFS Chillin' With My Peeps

    1,015
    356
    221
    Jul 23, 2013
    Georgia
    I have heard that if you whistle near a flock, they will be quiet and you could hear any coughing or wheezing. It might be a good idea to pick up the roo you want to buy and listen to his breathing. Try to pick birds that are active and look healthy. One thing though, if you are able to pick up the roo, check for lice. The last time we integrated some birds into our flock, one(May have been all three but I don't think so) had lice and it spread to our flock. So also keep something to treat that if need be. If you are worried about him carrying a disease, you could put a less-beloved member of your current flock in there with him to see if they catch anything.
     
  5. xpchick

    xpchick Out Of The Brooder

    56
    1
    41
    Jan 12, 2016
    NY
    Thank you. My one big concern is I keep reading that once they've had certain respiratory issues they are carriers for life even if they show no symptoms. I don't want to introduce something like that into my flock if that is the only way they'd catch it. Does that make sense? I just don't know if I'm understanding the biology side of these illnesses correctly.
     
  6. coach723

    coach723 Chillin' With My Peeps

    610
    309
    141
    Feb 12, 2015
    North Florida
    Just my two cents.....If you add a bird or birds, quarantine it or them for at least 30 days. Don't let your birds and new birds breathe the same air.
    Moving is stressful on them and can trigger illness, and if they are carrying anything infectious this gives you a chance to find out before you spread it to your entire flock. It's not fool proof, but much safer than just chucking them all in together and hoping for the best.
    I'd also be picky about where you get your bird. Make it someone you know well, and know how the birds are kept, or someone very reputable. Find out if they are vaccinated and for what. There are unfortunately lots of people who will pass off sick birds to unsuspecting people. It is better to be cautious than it is to be sorry. If they can't or won't answer your questions, I would not take a bird from them. Not worth the risk to me.
    My preferred method for adding outside birds is to get chicks, and raise them in a brooder. By the time they are big enough to go out with the big birds most health issues would be noticed.
     
  7. xpchick

    xpchick Out Of The Brooder

    56
    1
    41
    Jan 12, 2016
    NY
    Thanks Coach. Good ideas. I hadn't given much thought to a new addition being a 'carrier' before so now I'm thinking we shouldn't get one from the rescue since they won't know the history and all of theirs interact. One ill bird could make them all carriers at the rescue :(

    The rooster is a jerk though so I do need to replace him.

    Any thoughts on which antibiotic I should be trying to get before they are vet prescription only? Or don't worry about it and just wait to see if my birds get ill? It seems that there is a lot of confusing info out there on which antibiotic is better for what, if it is safe, the withdrawal time, etc.
     
  8. coach723

    coach723 Chillin' With My Peeps

    610
    309
    141
    Feb 12, 2015
    North Florida
    It is far better to follow good practices and prevention. For antibiotics the withdrawl is dependent on the type of antibiotic. Many used are not actually approved for chickens, so you will not find a withdrawl recommendation for chickens. Also, antibiotics are not effective on virus's, they are for bacterial infections. And antibiotics can be really hard on birds. They should be a last resort and you should be sure what you are treating for when using them. I keep wormers, Corid, neosporin, veterycin, betadine, chlorhexadine, and other wound care supplies on hand, along with vitamins, electrolites and probiotics.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. xpchick

    xpchick Out Of The Brooder

    56
    1
    41
    Jan 12, 2016
    NY
    Thank you. Prevention is where I'm now really wondering what the best way is to replace my rooster. As I stated above, a rescue seems unwise. As for antibiotics I'm leaning towards not worrying about getting any that are being changed to Rx only and deal with it if we have an issue.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by