Carriers for life?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by WiseOwl5, Aug 18, 2016.

  1. WiseOwl5

    WiseOwl5 Out Of The Brooder

    Recently we had a chicken come down with some sort of respiratory infection and die.

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/1127966/13-week-old-chicken-labored-breathing

    We gave all of our birds antibiotics as recommended by a member on this forum but we have a problem. We have recently read that if chickens are exposed to a respiratory illness they are carriers for life. Is this true? Because that would mean all our birds have it permanently.

    We were going to sell some roosters but do we dare sell them now? Won't they get someone else's flock sick? Also, will it pass down if we raise chicks next spring? Can we eat the eggs once they start laying? We're very worried we are going to have cull them all and start over now.
     
  2. heatherlaw

    heatherlaw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I've never dealt with respritory in my own flock but my father-in-law has one sick with something right now. Yes, it's bad and they can be carriers for life. He almost came and dropped his sick hen off with my flock and I freaked out. Fortunately I was able to explain before he showed up and exposed my birds.
    If I were you I would have your birds tested. I don't think most vets will do it but most states have a state laboratory that will do necropsys on dead birds and they may test you live flock and at least tell you if they are carrying anything or not. If the results are negative then you can breath easy, but if they find something then you will need to have a closed flock, or else destroy your flock, build a new coop and clean everything before you get more birds. It's a huge bummer I know, but getting them tested would at least let you know what you are up against, if anything.
    Do you know what exact disease your chicken had?
     
  3. heatherlaw

    heatherlaw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just saw you are from Canada :) sorry. Guess a state lab won't do you any good but I would start checking around. I live in California and there is a university that will do those sorts of things for free so their students can practice. See if one of your local university's will do that, and check with your local vets
     
  4. WiseOwl5

    WiseOwl5 Out Of The Brooder

    No, we don't. I don't think it was Chronic Respiratory Disease because it wasn't the same symptoms. We can't afford to have testing done though. How much would it cost? We live in Canada so I'm not sure if we even have such a lab.

    Edit: I didn't see your latest reply. I don't think we would have a university close by, maybe 3 hours away. We do have a college though. We didn't keep the dead body of the chicken if that's what your saying.
     
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2016
  5. heatherlaw

    heatherlaw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The cost depends on the vet or lab. My guess would be that it's expensive. I read your other thread and it didn't sound like it was anything too bad. I'd suggest waiting a few months to see if anyone else gets sick before you sell any birds and when you do, be sure to disclose that there was respritory illness in the flock. The other thing you could try is the add some unvaccinated birds to your flock and see if they get sick. I don't know that there's much else you could do without testing. And I don't know anything about vets or labs in Canada
     
  6. WiseOwl5

    WiseOwl5 Out Of The Brooder

    Well, we were going to buy a Black Wyandotte rooster to darken up a Splash Wyandotte's genetics a bit. So we could try that with him. We can also ask the breeder we got some of our chickens from, he seems pretty knowledgable. Thanks for the help.
     
  7. Wyorp Rock

    Wyorp Rock Overrun With Chickens Premium Member

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    Respiratory illness are contagious. Chickens do not get colds.

    Regardless if a chicken recovers and shows no symptoms, they still are carriers. Other chickens exposed - even if they never show symptoms are still carriers.

    Bringing in new chickens or selling/giving away chicks, started pullets and hatching eggs would not be a good idea until you get a handle on what you are dealing with. As far as breeding - some illnesses can be transmitted transovarian as well - so hatching eggs risk having the disease as well.

    Necropsy and testing would be your best bet. This way you know what you are dealing with.

    Here is a list of some of the most common illnesses:
    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/ps044
     
  8. WiseOwl5

    WiseOwl5 Out Of The Brooder

    Ok, well we can't afford to have testing because we are REALLY short of money. I guess the only thing we can do is cull the extra roosters. We kind of wanted to breed them and sell chicks but I guess we can't do that now :(.

    I guess the only thing left to aske is can we eat the meat and can we eat the eggs? I mean it's harsh to cull the roosters but I guess that is only thing we can do.

    I think our neighbor might have the same infection in their coop because they keep having some die. Maybe the infection is from the hatchery because we both got them from the same place. I guess we will never know without testing though. We can't afford that.
     
  9. WiseOwl5

    WiseOwl5 Out Of The Brooder

    But say if I were to get one of my flock tested, is there any respiratory diseases that don't make them carriers for life? I thought there was one that I heard of but I can't remember what it was or where I read it.
     
  10. heatherlaw

    heatherlaw Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Yes, there are some respritory illnesses that don't cause them to be carriers. They can get fungal infections in the lungs, irritation from airborne stuff (like mold, excess dust, etc), and worms can get in their lungs as well. Respritory is tricky. It's sometimes difficult to diagnose because the symptoms are all so similar.
     

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