1. French chook

    French chook New Egg

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    Oct 3, 2014
    Hello all; I am in need of advice;

    Two weeks ago one of my geese started to lose weight, went downhill rapidly and died. As she had seen the vet the day she died, they offered to do an autopsy; how I wish I had refused!

    The lab results showed avian TB. So the vet visited my house and told me I had to destroy the rest of the geese and my chickens and disinfect the coop and I would not be able to keep any poultry for 6 months. I was devastated.

    However, he clearly had done a quick search on the internet for this information and I felt it really only applied to large, commercial breeders; which I am not. It is obviously a contagious disease, but from what I can find out, it is not dangerous to cattle (I live in a large cattle rearing community) and only to humans who have a compromised immune system. My chooks are not overcrowded, or stressed and I am scrupulous with hygiene, worming and coccoid treatment. All my chickens look well, are laying and are feathering up nicely after a bit of a moult.

    So I have decided to keep them and watch carefully for any signs of illness. I chatted to my neighbour, a cattle farmer, who also thought the vet was a little extreme..

    I would be very interested to hear your thoughts and experiences, if any.

    Thank you in advance.
     
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    I would be concerned that children, or immuno-compromised adults as well as your local wild bird population could become infected, since it is considered a zoonotic disease. It's not severly infectious to cattle, but it is a risk. It's quite shocking to be told to kill your flock, but this is a little different than deciding to keep and medicate sick birds with simple poultry diseases, especially since there is no treatment that works. Here are some good articles about avian tuberculosis for any interested:
    http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/poultry/tuberculosis/overview_of_tuberculosis_in_poultry.html
    http://www.nwhc.usgs.gov/publications/field_manual/chapter_8.pdf
    http://www.avianbiotech.com/diseases/AvianTuberculosis.htm
     
  3. Suzie

    Suzie Overrun With Chickens

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    So French Chook where are you exactly ?

    I have a compromised immune system and I live in France...if you are not a neighbour I am not concerned..however I do care about my immune system..I have enough health problems without any potential additional help...

    I do empathise with you...and hope you can keep your flock..

    sincerely

    Suzie
     
  4. French chook

    French chook New Egg

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    Oct 3, 2014
    Hi there, Suzie,
    Don't worry, you are nowhere near me. Obviously I would not let anyone who had health problems near my chickens, or my terrain.
    However, it seems to be the wild bird population that you should also be concerned about as that seems to be the main vector of infection.
     
  5. Suzie

    Suzie Overrun With Chickens

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    I totally agree...the wild birds here give so many problems to my flocks...lice. mites and anything they can offer in the ways of disease..luckily I am at a point where they are migrating...Summer here is a nightmare..despite all of the treatment I can give here to help my birds the persistent mites remain until it gets colder...c'est la vie!
     
  6. French chook

    French chook New Egg

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    Oct 3, 2014
    Thank you for your advice Excessive and Suzie.

    I am starting to accept that my whole flock will have to be culled after reading about the human risk; however, I know many chicken keepers, who have a chicken who goes downhill and dies will just pick them up and bury/burn the carcass and never know why they died. How are they to know it wasnt TB? I see so many chickens kept in suboptimal conditions. Many people round here just give their chickens household scraps and stale bread, and let them scratch around a bare patch of earth. They dont bother with worming, supplements, good quality feed....
    I guess I am saying ITS NOT FAIR!!; but, I am an adult, so I have to accept it and get on with my life without poultry.
     
  7. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    Did you do any research on the type of mycobacterium they have and whether humans or cows can get that specific one? TB in birds is not like human TB.
     
  8. French chook

    French chook New Egg

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    Oct 3, 2014
    No, I didnt get to see the autopsy report.
    From what I've read Avian TB is a different strain from that which affects cows, and humans.
    The decision to cull and disinfect seems to stem from the big producers, where an infection can spread through a barn of chickens who are living in close proximity.
     
  9. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

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    I was reading out of the big book last night (Saif) and Avian Mycobacterium (AM) seems to only be a problem for backyard flocks and zoos. The only people that should not be near them is people with AIDS (mostly). The birds with it would take up to 18 months to treat. It was interesting to read that it mostly starts with wasting, and leads to paralysis. There are quite a few different strains with different names that are more likely to affect cows, pigs, and humans. It can live in the ground for months or years and is very resistant to disinfectants.
     
  10. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    People on chemotherapy, young children, HIV, and any other person who is immunocompromised would be at risk.
     

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