Allergy to New Chickens

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by KerenR, Jan 6, 2014.

  1. KerenR

    KerenR Out Of The Brooder

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    I bought my first group of Buff Orpington chicks 4 or 5 months ago. Ever since then my eyes have been driving me crazy pretty much all day every day. They get so bad that fluid builds up and has had me make an emergency visit to the ophthalmologist. I was told I was having a severe allergic reaction to something.

    I wan;t totally sure what it was. I went out of town for the holidays, and my eyes were totally normal. When I came home I was fine the first day. Well, today I went in my back yard where my chickens free range, and my eyes went crazy again. It has to e the chickens… I am so sad.

    Does this sound like a chicken allergy?

    Are certain breeds more allergy friendly than others?
     
  2. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    i would recommend a skin test. it could be something else in your yard. does it affect your breathing? my son has a lot of allergies and his biggest one is feathers.
     
  3. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I have no experience or useful input here at all, but got to thinking. If it's feathers, would silkies affect one the same? I know they're still feathers, but would the difference in type help mitigate an allergy? Anyone know?
     
  4. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    hmmm, good point donrae. i could go get some and stick them under my sons nose and see? heheh most people with allergies have a reaction to the dander on animals. so if it was an allergy i would think it would of showed up already. the feathers are all i can think of. could try a feather pillow and see if it does the same thing if not i dont think its the chickens because she would have to have her face buried in the chicken to make her eyes swell like that.
     
  5. sarahswank

    sarahswank Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I happen to be a person who is highly allergic to many things, so when i thought I had a chicken allergy (I found out I dont, I have a reaction to one of the ingredients in their feed), I did some quick research on what to do.

    To start off, get yourself some glasses (sunglasses, safety glasses with the foam on the edges, whatever) that fit close to the skin and either a bandana you can tie around your mouth and nose, or a dusk mask. Start by wear these anytime you have to go into close contact with the birds, like when you work in the coop, or if you have to physically pick up a bird and do something.Seriously, do this TODAY. Avoiding exposure as much as possible is truly the best first step. (and cheapest too).

    I too would suggest asking about allergy testing. You might be allergic to the dander, the mites they are carrying (all chickens have mites or other parasites on them, Usually they are kept under control through natural bird behaviors and proper housing, but even low numbers can cause allergic reactions in humans), something that you feed them, or even something else totally unrelated! You might not think anything has changed except the chickens, but neighbors can change things, or even the wildlife and weather changing the types of plants that flourished that year. the information can help you reduce exposure and possibly keep the reactions under control where you can keep the birds.

    Depending on how much you really want to keep chickens, there are more options, but they start getting more and more expensive, such as specialized allergy shots, immunotherapy, and some mast-cell inhibitor medications.
     
  6. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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  7. Roxannemc

    Roxannemc Chillin' With My Peeps

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    You can preform your own experiment at home too .
    I would stay inside until eyes are well. Let someone else take care of the chooks for a while until you try to find the problem.
    When eyes are well...Then try a feather pillow or down coat Put your face in it....If the same reaction then maybe the chickens are the culprit.

    If you dont get a reaction.... could be as someone said, something in your yard not related to the chickens.
    Also before you go out again and stir your eyes up... if no reaction to the pillow, then sniff and handle the feed
    See if that does it.
    Might even then try some chicken poo..... Have someone bring it inside.. see what happens around it

    If nothing to all 3 .... you have ruled out 3 chicken related things and can look into other things like grasses, .allergy tests etc..
    If one sets you off then you know for sure what it is .

    Good luck!.
     
  8. sarahswank

    sarahswank Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Actual allergies to feathers is EXTREMELY rare. Most people are in fact allergic to either the dander, the dust mites found within feather pillows or both. If your truely allergic to feathers themselves, silkies might offer a relief.... It depends on which protein specifically your body reacts too. If it is reacting the the barbel protein, you might be ok with silkies, but considering how truely rare the allergy is, I doubt there is more then 1 or 2 people who have tried it.
    Actually, you have to be exposed to an allergen at least twice, and there is a requirement that the two exposures have to have some time in between them. Your body has to first be exposed to a foreign protein to create antibodies which do take a little bit of time to make. The second exposure to that protein will be the time your antibodies kick in, and you actually have an allergic reaction. if you have exposure to the protein between the first exposure and the "second" reaction exposure, you dont have a reaction, but you do increase your bodies awareness of this foreign substance and building of antibodies. This is the same reason, it appears people can develop allergies over time. This might be why her allergies did not really appear right away, but they did develop and become worse over time.

    The actual severity of a reaction is not the same for all people (as we all are aware of). There are people who cant even SMELL peanut butter in the same room because it causes throat swelling.
     
  9. granny hatchet

    granny hatchet Tastes like chicken Premium Member

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    i do miss my feather pillows and my warm down coat.
     

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