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Dead young ones

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by jaysun, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. jaysun

    jaysun New Egg

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    I had raised Langshan for many years in the 80' & 90's and decided to get back into them now that I am living the country once again. Last fall I purchased 2 pair of Black Langshan at the Ohio National from a gentleman from VA. I set several eggs and came out with 17 chicks. The next batch did not fair so well, as I ran the incubator out of water. One chick hatched from that setting. As the cheaping was driving me crazy, I purchased 5 White Langshan from a local woman. At about 4 months of age of the first batch something crazy happend. (All of the these birds have access to open range.) The young blacks seemed like they had came down with several diseases. Some with swollen eyes, others with legs out to the side and stiff. From what I can remember, it seemed like Marek's Disease and Coryza. I tried several medications from a poultry supply, but it seems it did not help. All of the young blacks were dead, except for one and she has not grown and is physically not right and thin. This did not affect the 2 pair of the adults or the 5 white chicks. I'm going to give it a go again in Jan. and would hate for this to happen all over again. Help !!! Any thoughts or ideas as to what I can do to prevent a deja vu. Thanks
     
  2. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sep 14, 2012
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    Guessing, of course, but ... starting w/ what I know for certain:
    • Merek's is forever, in that any survivor is a carrier.
    • Innoculations are performed immediately upon hatching

    If, indeed, your experience was w/ Merek's, then:
    • It is most likely that the black ones were not innoculated, and the white ones had been (as I've never seen a 0% mortality rate).
    • You will have to deal w/ the subsequent losses w/in any hatch you raise, and will be producing birds that have survived, but are carriers of, Merek's disease.

    My flocks are not innoculated, and I've considered the possibilities, and my probable course of action should Merek's find my birds ... rather than culling 'em all, and making a fresh/clean start? I will continue, and simply add additional stock that has not been innoculated, so as to raise a flock that can never be harmed by it again.

    Also, in making your own decisions? Consider the possibility that you, or others that visit your birds, can transport what they have out, and what others have in ...
     
  3. jaysun

    jaysun New Egg

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    Sep 7, 2008
    Thanks for the reply. As I said, I have been out of the loop for a number of years and I maybe way off on the Merek's. The Blacks were bought from a man that bought Tommy Stanley's Flock. All are very nice birds and seem very healthy. I was talking to another breeder and he thought whatever it is/was may have been brought into the flock by birds. I do have several birds that fly into the coop and even a pair of fly catchers that built a nest in the coop. After a long discussion, he thought maybe the Black strain being bred for show may have a lower resistance to disease, whereas the Whites were more of a hatchery line. What are your views on this and what do you think may have infected the select line? Thank You
     
  4. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No problem, save for my inability to properly follow the order of things ...

    No matter how pretty/healthy birds appear, they may still be carriers of many diseases, or genetic traits that makes them more or less likely to contract them ... it could even be that the source of disease(s) were the whites, which carried in what they were survivors of, which (now that I better understand the chain of events) sounds very plausible. Flocks are generally very resilient, and commercial hatcheries have strength in numbers more so than dedicated efforts to improve the qualities of their stock (although, indeed, some do precisely that).

    Could it also be that black is a genetically recessive trait in this breed?

    I've never incubated/hatched before, or bred poultry, but I have heard that they can get some diseases w/in the egg/incubator ... not sure which, or even if it's true.

    And, bein' of the curious type, I googled 'em ... did you know your chickens are on McMurray's list of threatened breeds? Also, that they sell 'em ... you can order straight-run blacks 'n whites for this Spring, should you choose to restart, or simply add additional stock (about four bucks each ~'-)
     
  5. jaysun

    jaysun New Egg

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    Sep 7, 2008
    Thanks for the input. I never thought of the Whites being the carrier and bringing whatever it was/is into the flock. I really would like to keep the Blacks that I have and hope it is not them that would continue this trend. The Blacks are of good show quality that I paid $45.00 a piece for the four. Don't think it was the incubator as I had cleaned the entire unit with mild soap and then mild bleach before start up. I will get rid of the whites and hope that whatever it is/was is gone. That is my next move; get rid of the whites, clean the chicken house again, bird proof the area and give it another shot. Thank you again for your thoughts, it has given me quite a bit to think about. Any thought on what you think the disease, if that is what it is, may be? THANK YOU !!!
     
  6. cowcreekgeek

    cowcreekgeek Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm not sure I'd get rid of any, save for the wild ones ...

    If it was Merek's, all stock has been exposed, and are carriers. So, the whites offer no more threat than any other, at this point.

    If it was a passing disease, for which there is no potential for later exposure, then ... ho harm, no fowl ... foul ~'-)

    I would bleach absolutely everything, including the ground they'll later be put upon. I'd even consider painting, or oiling, the housing. There are some diseases that remain viable in their environment for a very long time.

    I believe there are tests for many of the diseases that birds could potentially carry for life ... might be worth lookin' into, w/ such good stock involved.
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2012

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