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How Long Until My Chickens Die and Are Some Immune?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Cheesay, May 3, 2017.

  1. Cheesay

    Cheesay Chirping

    Jul 7, 2014
    Long story short, I was sold a sick chicken. I bought 3 from the same guy and one was constantly sneezing and having a hard time catching her breath.

    And, in an even longer story, I could not keep her separate from my 3 other birds, and now 2 others are sick.

    Reading up on chicken illnesses, it seems like the type of illness that they will never recover from. I know they should be culled, but I don't know how to do it and don't know anyone else that will. I know it isn't hard, but I just don't have it in me right now nor do I have the proper tools for it.

    I bought some VetRX to hopefully give the chickens some relief, but it doesn't seem to be helping. When I picked them up, they felt thin. Their crop was full, and they are still eating.

    I don't know what illness it is, but it took a month for the initial infected bird to infect 2 others. However, I do have 2 other hens and a rooster that remain symptom free. Is it possible they are immune? If they are immune, would they still be carriers?

    And, lastly, will a chicken live long with this type of respiratory illness? I'm kind of hoping to just be a hospice home for them, cut my losses and start over when they're gone. But if that's going to be years, then I'll have to find someone to cull them for me.

    On a side note, the birds all looked healthy when I bought them. They were alert, looking around, making noises. But since they were bunched together, and there was so much noise, I could not see or hear the sneezing until after. Makes me so mad. If you're selling birds, you need to make sure they're healthy! Take a second to inspect them. And of course it was at a swap meet with lots of other birds that may now be potentially infected. Grrr!!

  2. Laya egg

    Laya egg In the Brooder

    May 2, 2017
    With some types of chicken "issues" they have them for life. Stronger chickens can live long natural lives and be carriers; while others will exhibit signs immediately. Some chickens do not fall ill until they hit stressful times such as starting to lay or molting, or even weather changes. There is no way to tell when or if your chickens will ever fall ill. Just when you think everything is good, someone will fall ill. If you know you have a "herpes" like disease in your flock, it is best to keep a closed flock until they are all gone naturally (or by cull if you choose) before introducing new chickens. Life spans and egg production are said to be reduced if your chickens carry one of these herpes like viruses, but I do not feel that a decreased egg production is necessarily the case. I think your best bet, if you want to keep them is to do a throat swab and send it to a lab. I sent mine to zoologix based on a backyard chicken recommendation, but I am sure there are others out there. If you have an avian vet I would go that route first. Most places will test for the common herpes like viruses and you may be pleasantly or unpleasantly surprised.

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