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Bad luck with birds...

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lieselanne, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. lieselanne

    lieselanne In the Brooder

    Jul 12, 2011
    Hello forum. I've been coming to this site for a few weeks now and decided I better sign up so I can add to the knowledge here. This is my first post and I'd like to post a little bit about my flock so that I feel like a part of the group.

    I've had birds twice before my current flock, with no problems whatsoever. No coughs, no diseases, prolific egg layers...just wonderful birds. I never had more than three at a time and, unfortunately, I lost them all to predators when my roommate didn't lock them up at night while I was away. Twice. (First word of advise: only trust your birds to very responsible people).

    But now I am living on a farm and have fixed up an old coop on the property and am having nothing BUT problems. For both my other flocks I bought all the birds as very small chicks, together. This time, however, I bought my birds at a chicken swap. I know now that it was a mistake, bringing all those birds together from all different places, but I had never had to worry about the health of my birds before and had not researched the ills of non-quarantined birds being thrown together.

    So, I've fought against cocci (losing three birds). I've lost two birds to snakes (a VERY real danger as black snakes can slither right through standard chicken wire). I've lost three to an unknown, very violent predator (I've since reinforced the run outside the coop). And I just had to cull two roosters that were going to be dinner but had some sort of respiratory disease.

    My question concerns the last two birds. I am not sure what the disease was but the first signs of illness were very congested breathing out of one of the roosters and stuffed, dirty looking nostrils and lightly congested breathing in the other. I'd had so much tragedy with disease that I removed them immediately and put them into a tractor I had built for broilers we plan on getting. I put them on the antibiotic we had used for the cocci because it said it also treated coryza, a respiratory disease. I don't think that was what the birds had but I wanted to react quickly with something. They did get better for a couple days, but I kept them separated and they went right back to where they had been.

    I didn't know what to do at this point. I'd done more research but still couldn't definitively say what they had. I saw that they could be ill for weeks, even months, and would most likely always be carriers. I didn't want to give away or try to sell sick birds. I didn't want my remaining flock to get what they had so I didn't feel like I'd ever be able to reintroduce them to the coop and had nowhere else to keep them. But I knew that they had already been sick while they were with the other birds. So, I had my fiance cull them for me and am now watching the other birds for symptoms. None have yet appeared and it has been over a week.

    Finally, my question. I am figuring that the birds still in the coop have been exposed to the disease, whatever it is, despite the fact that I cleaned it very well after removing the sick birds. I have lost so many birds that I plan on bringing more in, though with all the trauma I've experienced I thought I should wait until next spring to do so. I only have the one coop, so I am wondering if I should bring new birds into this same flock, or if my best bet would be to completely start over? As long as the living birds don't show any symptoms of the respiratory disease, I would really like to keep them, as they all look very healthy. But I had planned on starting a breeding operation of threatened breeds. If I can start my breeding program earlier than next spring, I will. What do you guys think? Has anyone had a problem like this before? How long should I wait to bring in new birds? I know the safest thing would be to just start over but I have spent so much time and money on these birds I would really hate to lose them. HELP ME! Lol. Thanks guys!

  2. chickenjoefan

    chickenjoefan Chirping

    Jan 19, 2011
    Western Isles, Scotland
    you could always get a blood test done on one of the remaining flock just to be sure nothing awful is lurking.

    I have a flock full of carriers (mycoplasma) but couldn't bring myself to cull them and start again. It is a personal choice and i know one that not everyone would agree with but my birds are pets.

    the bird that infected my flock came from an auction and i quarantined her for 2 weeks but thought she was ok.just the very occasional sneeze. ithought it was the bedding as there was no other outward sign of illness. wish i had got a vet to check now.

    don't know if that's any help. but the cost of a test might be cheaper than replacing the birds or treating sick ones in the future.

    good luck
  3. TnChickHen

    TnChickHen Chirping

    Jun 14, 2011
    I've had a HORRIBLE time with my birds this year. We've had to cull 3, just did one this morning. Most of them have CRD, and of course, I too mixed my flocks. All my chicks are in a separate area, and don't have contact with the others. But when the time comes, it'll probably be CRD again. I'm getting tylan-50 tomorrow and vaccinating every single one of them!!!! The one I culled today, looked absolutely horrible, and no one around here will take the time to take my bird to do the necropsy. So, than again, I have to burn. It's horrible to watch.

    I hope you have good luck with the last remaining ones you have.... [​IMG]

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