Fallout from the Feb/Mar avian encephalomyelitis stuff

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Fredster, May 4, 2008.

  1. Fredster

    Fredster Songster

    Feb 21, 2007
    I got a batch of chicks from McMurray back at the beginning of March, when the AE stuff was going on, and ultimately lost nine chicks out of 22. Eight of those chicks were white orpingtons, which we'd ordered to become meat. We lost every single orpington they'd shipped.

    After some discussion, my wife and I decided to hatch a batch of our own eggs and raise those chicks as meat to replace the ones we'd lost. We hatched 22 eggs this past Weds/Thurs, and all but one were wonderfully healthy. We lost the sickly one Friday, but it was expected.

    I moved the new chicks from the incubator to our brooder, which had been scrubbed down twice with bleach. The AE had been gone from the previous chicks for almost 5 weeks.

    You probably know where this is going.

    Yesterday morning, I noticed one chick doing the all-too-familiar lurch on stiff shaky legs. He can't hold his wings up too well, and he has trouble keeping his balance. I've moved him to sick bay, to keep him away from the other chicks, but they're all still in the brooder that apparently still has AE in it. I'll keep watch on them, and if any more develop it I'm going to just burn the dang thing and build a new one.

    I guess the moral of the story is: just because you think something is clean, it isn't.
  2. Gindee77

    Gindee77 Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    QCA, Illinois
    Wow, that's terrible!! How did MM ship sick chicks?? Wouldn't they know they had it? I just got here the end of March, so I have only gotten bits and pieces of all of this. I hope you don't lose anymore chicks.

    I agree that you should burn and rebuild!! If your brooder is made of wood, it would probably be tough to get it sanitized completely.
  3. reallemons1

    reallemons1 Songster

    Mar 31, 2008
    Gloucester, VA
    Sorry for your sufferings:(. I guess everyone who had the AE chicks will have to be extra careful when using their brooders, feeders and such again.
    Last edited: May 4, 2008
  4. Fredster

    Fredster Songster

    Feb 21, 2007
    Quote:It came from one of their breeders. The only sign in adult chickens is a brief drop in egg production, and they thought the problem was just some contaminated water. McMurray was great through it all, and refunded my money for all the sick chicks. I don't fault them.

    The brooder is all wood, and the inside is painted with an epoxy paint to make it easier to clean.
  5. jimnjay

    jimnjay Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Bryant Alabama
    There is a product called Vircon. I believe it is available through
    Jeffers Supply. It is an extream disinfectant. Test has shown it to be effective on almost any bacteria or virus out there including Mereks. I don't have the links any longer but you can google Vircon. Bleach is no longer that effective on many bacteria. My DIL just did a Lab Report as part of her studies on bacterial growth. Bleach was the least effective on the bacteria in her studies over 5 products. Pinesol was the best. If you experience any type of serious illness such as AE, it might be worth it to invest in a super disinfectant such as Vircon or Oxine or Tecktrol. A little of these goes a very long way in cleaning but it is most likely worth having around just to be safe.

    I have to laugh about when I bought Vircon, I was in a panic about the possibility of Mereks, I googled Mereks and found the reference to Vircon and without doing a lot more research, I bought it from the closest place I could find. It is a supplier to the Large Poultry growers. I got a Gallon Bucket of the dry product. Needless to say, I have a three lifetime supply for my little backyard operation. I do use it to clean out the incubator and brooders between the hatches and to clean the coops out but I have not made a dent in my supply.
  6. MissPrissy

    MissPrissy Crowing

    May 7, 2007
    Forks, Virginia
    Sorry for your problems. Alot of chick illness symptoms can be similar. Without a necropsy you can't be sure that is what it is.

    With that in mind I wonder if one of your layers hasn't been sick and you didn't notice it and passed it to the egg you hatched. That is how the previous chicks you had got through MM contracted it.

    I believe if I remember the research correctly that is why most recommendations where to cull any chicks with it and burn most everything it contact with those chicks - carcasses, the bedding, etc.
  7. 55885100

    55885100 Songster

    May 3, 2008
    thats so sade fortinatly for me all of my chicks are healthy and happy.
  8. farm_mom

    farm_mom Songster

    Mar 11, 2008
    Fredster, I'm so sorry to hear you're going through this again! And I don't doubt that that is what your dealing with. Those of us who have dealt with AE first hand know what is we're looking at. It has really changed the casual nature of raising a backyard flock and turned it into a biosecurity nightmare. I really feel bad for all those people who got the sick chicks as their first batch ever. I think the experience would put me off from raising chickens for life. Anyway, thanks for sharing your experiences, it's a good reminder to be vigilant. We burned the brooder we used for our AE sick chicks, and so far the chicks, ducks and turkeys we've gotten since haven't gotten sick. Good luck Fredster!

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