Don't risk your lungs. Use a mask when coop cleaning!!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by ChooksChick, Sep 26, 2012.

  1. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    Well, for many parts of the country, this is the worst season for pollen and mold counts ON RECORD. At least, that's what I was told when I went, panicked, to the doctor Monday.

    You see, I had life-threatening asthma as a child, triggered by dander, feathers, molds, pollens, dust, eggs, dairy, etc. If it was an allergen, it would cause me to go into an anaphylaxis or asthma attack. I took years of allergy shots and was cured- never to have a reaction to anything as an adult.

    Sooooo....I've had trouble breathing lately, and I went to the Dr. because I could feel my chest closing in when I went anywhere near my coops. BADLY.

    I'm now on a rescue inhaler, a sinus steroid, an inhaled steroid, prescription antihistamines and medical grade particle masks. That's sexy!!

    Fortunately, Dr. thinks it's simply a cumulative response to the overwhelming numbers of allergens in the atmosphere right now, and she is seeing tons of patients without any prior allergic response. It's everyone, not just me.

    At any rate, don't ignore your body's response if you feel a bit tight in the chest around your flock. Even if this is a recurrence of the feather allergy, which is unlikely since all other allergens are equally or more greatly at play here, it can be mitigated and doesn't have to turn into a problem.

    Protect yourself.

    A mask worn when cleaning will also protect your from histoplasmosis and hantavirus, both of which can be life-threatening. They are in the air, and you won't know until later if you've inhaled a particle of doom.

    Cover your face to cover your butt.
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Thank you for the reminder!

  3. Big A Chickens

    Big A Chickens Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 29, 2012
    Palmetto, Georgia
    Great post. Thanks[​IMG]
  4. spud1035

    spud1035 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 25, 2009
    nw ohio
    Great reminder, my friend got histo so bad it affected his vision and had to get shots in his eye, ouch!!!!!! Remember the more exposure you get this worse it is. Also, its also worse for those that are immuno supressed.
  5. ChooksChick

    ChooksChick BeakHouse's Mad Chicken Scientist

    Aug 17, 2008
    Larry, KS
    My Coop
    I think it's really important just to wear a mask each time, because it IS a cumulative thing, so while you may not EVER have had an allergy, you will increase your chances of developing one over time if you disregard good cleaning safety.
  6. hallerlake

    hallerlake Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 30, 2010
    Another disease one can develope from exposure to bird poop is hypersensitivity pneumonitis.It is an autoimmune response. It causes an emphesema like condition. It can be fatal. It is sometimes called bird fanciers lung. My sister, the allergist, called it bird dung lung. Once you have it, no mask will help. The protien particles are very small. I have had to hire someone to come clean my coops for me. Otherwise, I'd have to give up my chickens.
  7. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    I noticed my voice getting a little raspy and I was shaking sweet pdz everywhere and scraping the coop floor every day with no mask (for at least 2 years after I ditched shavings in that coop). So I switched to a thick layer of pdz and no scraping of the floor except every few days to lightly stir it. My voice has gone back to normal. I was almost a goner.
    Last edited: Sep 29, 2012

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