hen had avian leukosis...I have questions...new chicks coming THIS WEEK! Help, please!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by hensonly, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. hensonly

    hensonly Songster

    May 15, 2008
    upstate NY
    I have three hens and a roo, four years old, gold sex links. I have six Dorkings, about a year and a half old. The Dorkings were dying young and quickly. I sent the latest one out for necropsy, preliminary report came back today: Avian Leukosis.

    I understand it's a virus, so no vaccine available. I did a search on BYC and it seems that it's mainly passed into the egg by an infected hen. so where is this likely to have come from? My birds do not free range. A year and a half before the Dorkings went into that coop, I had Freedom Rangers in there. Would the virus survive that long with no chickens in the coop? Or did it more likely come with the Dorkings? Might the virus have come with the four year old flock? Should I notify the hatchery I got any of these birds from? Will it eventually kill all my birds? Do I need to destroy all the birds I have here now? Is it safe to eat the eggs (we've been eating them all along with no problems). How do I disinfect the runs? How about the coops? What about the chicken poop we've put in the garden as compost? Will that re infect future birds?

    Now the other really big question: I have a new batch of Dorkings due this coming week, from a different hatchery than any other of my birds are from (McMurray's). Their brooder box is on the enclosed back porch...can I keep them safe by using basic infection control measures ( clean clothes/shoes/hands, etc.) ? Do I need to buiild a new coop for them, or can I truly disinfect the existing ones so new birds will be safe?

    Anyone who can help me with information on how to handle this, please, please help!
  2. chickensbythesea

    chickensbythesea Chirping

    Jan 1, 2011
    I don't know much about any of this (I'm reading up to answer you, so my answers aren't from a very experienced source) you ought to spray down everything possible with a bleach solution to kill any lingering germs, and keep any existing hens isolated from the new ones. Young birds appear to be especially susceptible to bird-to-bird transmission.

    If there is ANY fecal matter from a possibly infected bird in an area, do not expose your new birds to it, that is the route of lateral (bird to bird) transmission.
    Also, I'd avoid using any of your hens (maybe future hens too) as breeding stock, since they could be carriers.

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