Hatching eggs and disease transfer

Discussion in 'Hatch-A-Longs' started by phishless13, Feb 4, 2015.

  1. phishless13

    phishless13 Out Of The Brooder

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    Old Lyme, CT
    Hello anyone and everyone. So my question is if i hatch eggs and add chicks to my flock can diseases be spread that way or is it only when adding already grown or hatched birds from another flock? I am using medicated starter/grower...
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    There are very few diseases that can be spread by hatching eggs. Pullorum is one but if you get your hatching eggs from an NPIP source you take care if that worry. Off the top of my head Pullorum is the only one I can think of but I’m sure there are one or two others. Still, NPIP hatching eggs are about as safe a way as you can go.

    Getting day old chicks from a hatchery is also a very safe way to go. On very rare occasions you do hear of a certain hatchery having problem, such as Mt. Healthy with Salmonella, but other than Mt. Healthy I haven’t heard of any major hatchery having any problems with this for years. I don’t hesitate to add hatchery chicks.

    Medicated feed has no relationship to this. It is used to lessen the likelihood of a coccidiosis outbreak but will not prevent anything.
     
  3. CanuckBock

    CanuckBock THE Village Ijit

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    Yes, most definitely you may spread diseases to your current flock thru hatching eggs. There are many issues to be concerned about when acquiring hatching eggs.


    From the Chicken Health Book by Gail Damerow, page 215:
    Her article goes on to discuss diseases transferred in hatching eggs such as:

    - Bacterial diseases like Chlamydia psittaci, Salmonella, Staphylococcus bacteria, and E. coli.
    - Mycoplasma is a HUGE concern for poultry persons...this one is uncurable according to many here on BYC.
    - Viral diseases like Newcastle's Disease, Herpesviruses, etc.
    - Parasites like adult ascarids (roundworms) can even be passed on in hatching eggs.

    Whilst this quote above is more an avian type based source for pet birds, Margaret A. Wissman, D.V.M., D.A.B.V.P. is a very good resource since she is an exotic bird vet. Her explanation is educated, concise and easily understood. I have chosen this small quote as an example of her good advice...you may go to the link I have posted to read more should you wish to.


    Some of the disease are zoonoses which simply means they are diseases that humans may get from animals...and birds. Chlamydia is one of those as are E. coli and Staph. Good hygiene is a great deterrent after being around any poultry and livestock...never mind the family dog or cat! [​IMG]


    This is also a great source to have a read up on...

    Common Poultry Diseases
    University Of Florida IFAS Extension - Authors: G.D. Butcher, J.P. Jacob, and F.B. Mather

    http://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/pdffiles/PS/PS04400.pdf


    I would far sooner purchase adult birds (two year olds are divine...by simply living that long, they have already proven their worth) from a reliable breeder that I had built up a good rapport with than deal with all the hassles and potential diseases found in hatching eggs. Most often if the breeder has any scruples about the betterment of their choice in breeds and varieties, they are not at all interested in sending you hatching eggs--that avenue usually results in people thinking they may get something for very little and we all know nothing good ever comes easy for nothing invested. Quality needs to be worked at because hard work and working smart nets rewards! A real true breeder would want to set you up with what they deem is a good start and see you succeed and continue the existence and progression forward with their cherished lines. Many of us breeders do this as a passionate labour of love and we all know that love knows no bounds.

    There are no 100% guarantees for no diseases when acquiring new stock. What lives in my yard here might outright harm & kill your yard fulla chooks. It is what it is and the reason why many of us breed for natural resistance to the factors & situations our birds are exposed to on a daily basis. You have to decide for yourself if the risks warrant the acquisition of new blood. [​IMG]

    To get a good start in birds, one would be well advised to keep back the top three percent for potential breeders. So with the hatching rate of shipped eggs being hopefully fifty percent on a very good day, you would require at minimum 214 hatching eggs to incubate so that 107 day old chicks are hatched out. With a good average of seven percent mortality rate expected in a vigorous strain...that would leave you 100 birds to have grown out. Then you may select down to a good trio or quad of prospective breeder birds from these potential 100 choices. One needs that many for selection from if you are to begin to make and retain any improvements within a line of poultry. Jest because US humans decide some trait is desirable don't always mean the birds agree and will oblige us with our desires, eh.

    Back fifteen years ago when we began here with many of our foundation stocks on our Conservation Farm, we paid $100 per bird for a prospective breeder from persons with 65 and 70 years working with a strain. If you do the math, that was a reasonable amount considering the acquisition of 214 hatching eggs and all the work involved to produce one good trio or quad in a breed and variety. If one uses the price of feed to judge where prices of decent breeder chickens should be today...I would expect to pay $340 for a good bird seeing as the price of a bag of chicken layer ration fifteen years ago was $7...and now a bag of ration is near $24 a bag. Our chickens remain productive for us running some five years for males and eight and such for females. We do select for longevity and adore our reliable oldsters.
    [​IMG]


    The most worrisome hatching egg disorder to me personally is the spread of the Chronic Respiratory Diseases. These are called stress diseases and are long, noxious, debilitating diseases that affect production of meat and eggs and generally make poultry like chickens and turkeys unthrifty and often quite a miserable existence for them; eating but not gaining weight, ruffled up and unhappy to say the least. While some may tout that these CRD problems are curable...I have yet to see any scientific proof to these claims and many of the supposed off label cures render the eggs produced unfit for human consumption and the bird itself should never be processed as food either. Personally, if I had to treat a bird (which thankfully, I have never had to do), I would solemnly vow never to eat its eggs, its meat or any of the production from the next generation it produced either. Might eat the F3's production perhaps...

    I would only medicate a line of birds (Ampro is fine in turkey and chicken starters but never for waterfowl!) as a very last ditch effort to save the strain if it warranted such dramatic and drastic measures. I did not get birds to taint what they produce for my family with antibiotics and other unsavory and scary remedies. Factory farms might feed antibiotics to get their products to market, but we choose not to and want healthy good foods from our happy and healthy birds.


    BRAVO...You are very wise to question the transfer of diseases you may risk exposing your current birds to. A very admirable expression of your responsible duty of care towards your current flock and your family's well being.
    [​IMG]

    Doggone & Chicken UP!

    Tara Lee Higgins
    Higgins Rat Ranch Conservation Farm, Alberta, Canada
     
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  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    That’s a nice long list. I wonder how long the list would be for diseases you could possibly get from adult birds. I’m sure statistics are not available for how often they actually happen.

    A lot of different things “can” happen. A piece of space junk could fall out of the sky and hit your house today. You might have a fender bender next time you drive to the store. It might be a sunny day. Some things are more likely than others. I’m not spending the rest of my life in a cave for fear of falling space junk. And I will drive to the store today.

    Life is not without risks, but from a practical viewpoint, hatching eggs is about the safest way you have of bringing new chickens into your flock from a diseases perspective. Most of the more common diseases are not spread by hatching eggs. The reliability of your source is important. Would they recognize a disease if they saw it? Are they ethical? The same questions apply to people you buy adult birds from.

    NPIP is different in each state, with about the only consistency being that they all check for pullorum. Some states check for other things, some don’t. Pullorum used to be a fairly common disease spread from hatching eggs but the NPIP program has changed that. Now several states are essentially pullorum-free, at least as far as reported cases. On Gail’s list, Pullorum is called typhoid.

    I suggest an NPIP source for hatching eggs because if people are NPIP you have an indication they care about preventing the spread of diseases. It’s not a guarantee, life does not come with a guarantee, but it is an indication that your odds are better.
     
  5. phishless13

    phishless13 Out Of The Brooder

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    Oct 18, 2014
    Old Lyme, CT
    I appreciate all the responses. Here in CT I have contacted the department of agriculture and already have a scheduled appointment for all my birds to get tested. The woman at the CT DOA was very helpful and also informed me that NPIP sometimes takes a while to catch up with testing and compliancy to NPIP standards. So even if they say they are NPIP they might not be up to date. The reaponses i get here are very helpful and i want happy healthy chickens!!! :)
     
  6. CanuckBock

    CanuckBock THE Village Ijit

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    NO the list has absolutely nothing NICE about it; it's a terrible horrible list that people contemplating hatching eggs should be made fully aware of. Feel free to cut and past and post it with full credit to Gail for compiling it and for me to have bothered to type it out so it could be read and understood for what risks there are in hatching eggs. Knowledge is power and power gives one options to select from.

    I have also listed a link that lists many of the more common poultry diseases that affect adult birds too. There is no happy happy, safe safeness in bringing in new genetics...only by being educated will one be able to take precautions and make EDUCATED decisions for each individual situation.

    And why I posted the same. We would agree here and I sure hope nobody feels obliged to live in cave or an igloo pending your location. [​IMG]

    I will continue to expose my birds to compromising situations so they prove by simply living thru the natural pressures on their immune system they got the scruples to live into old age and hopefully pass those excellent potential genetics on to their progeny.
    [​IMG]

    Keeping live poultry specimens is about living, not being fearful of the potentials for death. We should all well know the oldtimer saying that "owning LIVEstock you will have some DEADstocks." Facing the fear armed to the teeth with knowing the risks is a great thing. By addressing diseases, one is less likely to be fearful. Knowing is powerful and certainly makes poultry husbandry a much more enjoyable endeavour as far as I personally perceive it to be. As the human in the equation, it is OUR duty of care to protect the innocent chooks...our responsibility to care for the precious, heart tugging feathered fun ones as they did not ask to be acquired by us and do not deserve to be harmed because we did not bother to educate ourselves about the real realities of having birds. Some will die and some will live to make more of the same and so we hope, it continues.

    I do not believe one should be candy coat hatching eggs (it is not Easter quite yet, nope, not yet) and pretend they are not vectors of diseases that may infect your established flock of already there adult birds and such. The same may be said of introducing new hatched birds but at least with them, you may EXAMINE the bird (not look pondering whimsical at the egg shell) and have the live specimen tested if you prefer by a veterinary for diseases should that be what you choose to have done.


    People armed with the knowledge of the potential risks make excellent owners and should be treated as capable upstanding persons in our poultry community. In my honest opinion, the spread of CRD is horrific and while a hatchery egg is usually much more disease free than other sources, there are still risks and mainly because you cannot examine a hatching egg for healthfulness by its shell alone and usually testing a hatching egg renders it UNhatchable so what is the real point one may say. [​IMG]

    All things that live will die. Sorta like taxes, eh...an inevitable outcome. [​IMG]

    One of THE most common and frightful diseases IS transferred in hatching eggs. Chronic Respiratory Disease is running rampant through the backyard flocks of America. This is a stress disease that compromises production traits and why so many will post that such&such breed/variety of dual purpose poultry is doing such a pathetic job at producing eggs and meat for our consumption. One or two eggs a week, in medium grade size for Standard sized chickens. Cockerel culls taking months to reach decent processing weights if ever...the news is very bad out there and surely the decline we see in heritage poultry stocks is hinged largely on the rampant misconception that hatching eggs are a safe alternative to decently raised non-CRD exposed adult stocks. A chicken is only as pretty outside as it is on the inside regarding healthful productive capacities...PRODUCTION combined with longevity and fertility, vigour and disease resistance, and temperament all precede phenotypes but still are hindered by CRD so hugely ingrained into being an acceptable item to have encased in a hatching egg.

    The source of your hatching eggs is under NO obligation to you the purchaser...period. No ethical or moral values will likely stand up in a court of law in the business sale of hatching eggs. Caveat emptor wears heavy on the shoulders of the people with flocks already well established and under their care. As the buyer, you are under the strict code of taking care of your own needs when purchasing. A seller is under judicious compliance of meeting the terms of their sales agreement. There is rarely any monetary reward in pursuing legal action against immoral hatching egg sales.

    Whilst many of us oldtime breeders are responsible and very aware of our duty of care towards the breeds and varieties we choose to sell so others will succeed with them, hatching eggs seem to attract a real business focus more so on the bottom line. The buyer wants something for little to nothing and the seller wants to make a profit on those egg sales without risking their enterprise's existence to make more money in the future. Lots sell eggs to justify buying feed to sustain the flock with. I know some sellers that even state the pens they make up to sell hatching eggs from are not intended to provide any more than chooks for the yard or ducks for the ponds. Not quality Standard of Perfection complaint breed/variety representations. Businesses sell product to make money to stay in business...an ongoing entity with a concern to make profit. A stellar name warrants a good business plan but not necessarily a prerequisite so many take their lumps dealing with hatching egg sales. There are far too many variables from how the eggs are shipped to the success rate and experience of the person hatching that commodity.


    Why not suggest day old hatchlings from a hatchery over the hatching eggs? There is no more quality expectations in a hatching egg compared to a day old if the source is merely hatchery stocks.

    The special attention that good breeders pay to the poultry breeds and varieties that they raise often shows up from day one.

    Here are some pictures of FOUR day old hatchery chicks (bantam Dark Brahmas) compared to ONE day old Higgins Rat Ranch chicks (again bantam Dark Brahmas). Let the photos speak for themselves regarding what a breeder is capable compared to what hatcheries have on offer.

    [​IMG]
    Dark Brahma Bantam Chicks
    LEFT - Hatchery FOUR day old Chick / RIGHT - Higgins ONE day old Chick


    [​IMG]
    Dark Brahma Bantam Chicks
    LEFT - Hatchery four day old Chicks / RIGHT - Higgins one day old Chicks


    [​IMG]
    Dark Brahma Bantam Chicks
    LEFT - Higgins ONE day old Chick / RIGHT - Hatchery FOUR day old Chick


    [​IMG]
    Some of our peas in a pod Dark Brahma Bantams...all growed up

    Some of the hatcheries even run with statements that say:
    There was nothing wrong with the information and perspective you posted about. It just is focussed on one aspect of many in the diseases one can expect to run a risk of getting from hatching eggs.

     

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