Chicken immune systems

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Gville_Wellies, Sep 3, 2011.

  1. Gville_Wellies

    Gville_Wellies Out Of The Brooder

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    After reading all the posts about biosecurity/quarantine/diseases; it makes me wonder about how strong chicken's immune systems are. I mean, do chickens regularly get colds like we do, and then eventually get over them as long as they are not stressed? Or is every chicken that gets an infection at risk of dying with no intervention? Many times it seems like use (or rather misuse) of antibiotics can cause additional problems that compound the situation. Any thoughts?
     
  2. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    They can get over viruses without intervention. We probably don't notice mild illnesses that they get over quickly.
    Chickens actually seem to have an amazing immune system in terms of fighting off wound infection. We had a hen who was practically scalped, and she only got good wound cleaning and topical triple antibiotic ointment. Such a wound probably would have cause a raging infection in a human without systemic antibiotics.

    Although antibiotics can be helpful, I believe they need to be used prudently and it is so hard to know if they are getting the right dosage when you put it in the water.
     
  3. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    scratch'n'peck :

    They can get over viruses without intervention. We probably don't notice mild illnesses that they get over quickly.
    Chickens actually seem to have an amazing immune system in terms of fighting off wound infection. We had a hen who was practically scalped, and she only got good wound cleaning and topical triple antibiotic ointment. Such a wound probably would have cause a raging infection in a human without systemic antibiotics.

    Although antibiotics can be helpful, I believe they need to be used prudently and it is so hard to know if they are getting the right dosage when you put it in the water.

    "They can get over viruses without intervention." This is not necessarily true. There are only a few that they can get over without intervention such as fowl pox. The rest require intervention either treating or culling. If treated they remain carriers. Mild illnesses are never gotten over with and require immediate attention before they spread to other birds. Bacterial infections require intervention with antibiotics in birds and humans, whether it be internal or external.....and I agree that they only be used if required and not needlessly. For example; if a chicken sneezes, we dont immediately dose her with duramycin...it could be feed dust or something environmental causing her to sneeze. Same with humans.​
     
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Quote:Chickens dont get colds like humans. It is a specific disease. When a chickens immune system is compromised with a disease, it opens the door for other diseases to infect them as well, complicating matters. Depending on the disease, there is always the possibility of death. More importantly is that the majority of diseases can spread to other birds especially if it's a virus. Bacterial infections have a less chance of spreading if it's localized...bumblefoot is a good example, or a cut/scrape. However, bacterial infections can be spread as well...in feces and other bodily fluids. Antibiotics will usually take care of a bacterial infection if caught early. They will treat symptoms of a viral disease but wont cure it and the bird can be a carrier for life.
    Sometimes chickens die without disease or infection, they just drop dead. It can be attributed to just about anything...a malformed organ, weak heart or heart muscles, something genetical etc...
     
  5. scratch'n'peck

    scratch'n'peck Overrun With Chickens

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    Good point about chickens becoming carriers of disease.
     

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