Chronic Respiratory Disease: When to Cull?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by katelk, Aug 8, 2013.

  1. katelk

    katelk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It is human nature to want to nurture and nurse a chick back to health. If a chick potentially has something like CRD, what are the risks/ future concerns I should be aware of if she recovers and is a carrier?
    When should you choose to cull within a small flock for protection?
    As someone who is new to chickens, I have never re-homed a bird, much less killed one. I have always known it was in the future, but never did I think it would be a chick... and hey, it's easy to not worry about things that are not happening at the moment! :p
    How do you go about preparing for that and deciding it is the right thing to do?
    Thanks!
     
  2. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    CRD is mycoplasma gallisepticum (MG.) There are different strain of the disease, mild to severe symptoms. Birds with CRD are carriers for life and will eventually spread the disease throughout a flock. The disease can be transmitted through eggs to be hatched. It can be carried on clothing, shoes etc. Treating or culling sick birds is your choice. I'd prefer to cull.
     
  3. katelk

    katelk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So if my other birds have been around the chick that has this prior to her isolation, does this mean they are automatically carriers even though they have shown no symptoms?
     
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    All you can do is observe them for symptoms. You can always have bloodwork done and have it submitted to a state or college vet lab to find out if it is in fact MG. You can contact your local extension agent or your state department of agriculture for info on how to go about doing this.
     
  5. katelk

    katelk Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am on the verge of panic now lol. I definitely want to maintain a healthy flock. Do you usually cull a chick at the first sign of any weakness? I think my mother instinct screwed me on this one :rolleyes:
    I just want to know what responsible chicken keeping is all about. I don't want to be nursing a diseased flock, but I don't want to be a crazed chicken serial killer either :lol:
     
  6. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Dont panic just yet. There are environmental issues that could have been going on that mimic certain respiratory diseases. For example; ammonia fumes from soiled bedding can cause sneezing, head shaking, runny nostrils. Removing soiled bedding or proper ventilation will correct this problem. Birds can inhale feed dust causing similar symptoms or even inhale a feed granule...I've had it happen in an adult Red Star. Birds love to take dust baths...same thing with dust or dirt in nostrils, pollen can be an issue as well as pesticides used on lawns etc...
    So, investigate environmental issues first before going into panic mode and treating or culling for diseases that may not exist....most environmental problems can be corrected or eliminated. Good luck.
     

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