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Does cleaning after your flock cause YOU any upper respiratory issues?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Aneesa's Muse, Dec 26, 2008.

  1. Aneesa's Muse

    Aneesa's Muse Songster

    Jun 8, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    Every time I clean up after my tiny little city flock.. a roo and 3 hens... I get some aggravation in my own upper respiratory. Immediately, I have some scratchy irritation in my nasal passage and throat ...followed by a build up of colorful mucous the next day.

    Does anyone else have this problem? Am I reacting to the "chicken dust" or is there a bacteria, fungus, virus, "bug" or whatever.. to blame for this reaction?

    I have been wearing a dust mask, but I think I may actually need a respirator from now on [​IMG]

    Thanks for any insight!

    Getting rid of my "chicken kids" is not an option, so solutions are welcome... [​IMG]

  2. kstaven

    kstaven Crowing Premium Member

    Jan 26, 2007
    BC, Washington Border
    Never had a problem and have cleaned up after over 300 of them in the coops.

    If your coops are damp then it may be mold you are reacting to.
  3. buckeye lady

    buckeye lady Songster

    Sep 29, 2008
    Rootstown Ohio
    First time I cleaned the coop I ended up with a bad sinus/bronchitis. I didn't wear a mask. I now where a mask EVERY time I clean in the coop. I use a disposable Respirator. It can be used several times. I have it marked "Chix" and I keep it in a plastic bag on the back porch. You can buy them at the home improvement store for around $5. They a much thicker than dust masks and they fit better.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2008
  4. Aneesa's Muse

    Aneesa's Muse Songster

    Jun 8, 2008
    SF Bay Area
    The area I cleaned last night was BONE dry.. and I do have a very mild reaction.. sneezing and so on.. to other types of dust (random household dust, etc.) ...so I wonder if it's just that, in general.

    I've never had a reaction to molds ..the ones I've been exposed to, that is (and I worked in a Microbiology lab for several years).
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2008
  5. soonerdog

    soonerdog Songster

    I'm the same way. I wear a dust mask during clean up and most often it isn't enough. I try not to handle my birds much because if I do I get to where I can hardly breath. Oh, when I have to move chickens from coop to coop that really gets me choked up. I think like you, I will just have to learn ways of dealing with this. I don't like to even consider getting rid of my chickens. Although, sometimes I do. [​IMG] And the odd thing, I have had chickens all of my life and working with them has never bothered me until recent years.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2008
  6. kinnip

    kinnip Songster

    Feb 24, 2008
    Carrollton, GA
    Jeez Sooner, that sucks! It sounds like you're just plain allergic to feathers.
    Aneesa's Muse, I get some pretty fantastic respiratory inflammation when I clean the coop, or even the goat houses. I wear a mask, and it helps. It just doesn't stop the irritation. Every now and again, I get a sinus infection. It goes away without meds, mostly. If I'm honest, it isn't different enough from my life-w/o-chickens to complain. If you're an allergy prone person, wear a mask and buy extra tissue. I don't have much confidence that a respirator will help me, but "humility is endless".
  7. Wow, sorry to hear this. Are you using some products that keep the bedding very dry, like Stable Boy powder? They're supposed to keep airborne allergens and spores at ground level because the power has a density of 2. I agree you need to keep using the mask and/or respirator but I'm wondering if you can minimize your reaction by using a product designed for barn/coop management. I also mix mine with DE so the wood shavings are well-treated.

  8. Just some NASTY boogers![​IMG]
  9. lurky

    lurky Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Western MA
    Guess it was someone else.......sorry [​IMG]
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2008
  10. I think that I'm allergic to chicken feathers too. Why do I have to be allergic to my baby's feathers?! Getting rid of my baby's is NOT a option. I just got over a sinus infection and so it is not the sickness that is the problem.

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