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Histoplasmosis and chickens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by dkvart1, Mar 22, 2011.

  1. dkvart1

    dkvart1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2010
    I read a thread in the past couple of days about dust in the coop but couldn't find it this morning (maybe just not enough coffee yet)

    This got me to thinking about histoplasmosis, which comes from bird and bat droppings. I honestly don't know why I didn't think about this sooner, as I've had parakeets years ago and am well aware of this infection (which can cause some serious health problems). I've never seen it mentioned here, of course I've only been a member a short time and can only visit sporadically so I may have missed it.

    Since I'm soon to be a new chicken keeper and I know there are many other "newbies" out there, I'm wondering how many of them and current chicken owners are aware of this infection and what if any precautions you take to limit exposure. Dust is one concern as well as outside ground becoming infected, but I suspect if you give your chickens plenty of room to roam and don't overcrowd and employ good cleaning practices the risk shouldn't be significant.

    What does concern me is exposure within the coop, since dust carries the infection as well (even in birds such as parakeets, canaries, etc), and from what little I've read dust seems to be a quite common problem in coops. I'm very glad I saw the thread about dust in the coop and that it jogged my memory.

    I wasn't considering nest boxes I could access from the outside, but now I think I am going to opt for them. I have small grandchildren and I know they would LOVE to help collect the eggs, but as youngsters are more susceptible as are older folks, I think I'll opt for that type of nestbox, to limit their exposure and my own as much as possible. I also intend to wear a mask when working inside the coop, as a precaution, and will insist that anyone that enters the coop wear one as well, just to be safe.

    I don't want to scare anyone off chickens (if that's possible) just wanted to mention it for those who aren't aware so they can be informed and make decisions that suit them.
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011
  2. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    It's been talked about on here numerous times in the past. I always wear a mask when I'm cleaning the coops, but I don't on a day to day basis.
     
  3. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    Same here. When I'm going to be cleaning out a roost house, brooder, grow out pen, whatever where I know I'll be raising a lot of dust I wear a dust mask. Not for any other time though.
     
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    I clean my coop once a week and wear my "decon" gear as well as 2 masks.
     
  5. dewey

    dewey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    This is what some of my peeps wear. I kid you not. Full face high grade NIOSH-approved respirator. [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. dkvart1

    dkvart1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2010
    Quote:Okay, so I'm being a little cautious, maybe even overly cautious... [​IMG] I just know how absolutely horrible I would feel if my little grandkids fell sick because of an oversight on my part. Think I can relax a bit and just gear up when cleaning and go with outside access to the nest boxes to keep the youngsters out of the coop altogether.
     
  7. dewey

    dewey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    H. capsulatum fungus is already present in the soil, and grows in the droppings...according to the CDC the spores can be carried on wings, feet, and beaks, and carried on the wind. My little grandkids aren't allowed to clean the chicken area. I'm not sure how, but none of us ever contracted any diseases after having animals our entire lives. [​IMG] CDC link: http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/hi97146.html
     
  8. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    Kansas
    I let my grand daughters get eggs out of the coop when I clean then they stay back. My new coop does have the nest boxes where I can get to them from the outside. I think as long as they are just getting eggs and such it should be fine. I would wear a mask when cleaning the coop but that is all.
     
  9. dkvart1

    dkvart1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2010
    dewey, I know most folks never have a problem with stuff like this. It was just something that crossed my mind after reading about dust in the coop and I wondered about it, and how others dealt with it, if it even concerned them at all.

    thanks for your input and the input of others.

    edited to add: was never this worried when it was my kids and parakeets! lol, but I'm older and maybe a bit wiser and more cautious, especially when it's my grandkids!
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011
  10. dewey

    dewey Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:That's so funny -- I hear ya! LOL

    eta: and I was serious about wondering how we never got any disease related to animal husbandry, or swimmin' in the rivers or canals, or green horse troughs, or..or..or...especially after talking to a specialist doc! LOL I'm way more careful with my grandkids, and my kids never let me forget it. LOL
     
    Last edited: Mar 22, 2011

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