Illness in the flock..what would you do?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by greenroofhill, Dec 9, 2014.

  1. greenroofhill

    greenroofhill Hatching

    Dec 9, 2014

    I have a flock of about 50 birds. My intention is to set up a small scale hatchery for my rural area. These first 50 birds were purchased as mostly young chicks under a month old, and a few older hens. The young chicks are approximately 3 to 4 months old now.

    Several of the older hens started having symptoms which included congestion, sinus type issues, and goopy eyes. This also occurred to a lesser degree in some of the young chicks. Any bird exhibiting symptoms was culled.

    I'm guessing that it was coryza that the birds had, but I'm not sure. I have cleaned and sanitized all of their feeding equipment, but 75% of the birds free range during the day and only go in the coop at night. The other 25% are pastured in a large chicken tractor.

    I have not treated the birds with anything at this point.

    I know that most (all?) respiratory illnesses can never be cured. What would you recommend we do? Some options we have considered is:

    Raising this flock for another month or two, and then butchering the whole flock, and starting over completely. The downside of this is that we would lose time we've put into these birds in terms of getting them to breeding age.

    We've also considered trying to have the birds tested to see if there is definitely something present before we cull all the birds.

    My preference, of course, would be not to lose this flock. Although I can handle culling birds, I definitely don't like it. I also don't want to pass sick birds, eggs, chicks etc on to my potential customers. We have 20 acres so if segregating this flock is an option, I could do that, since I read that coryza doesn't pass through eggs?

    Any advice/insight would be greatly appreciated.
  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Crossing the Road

    Apr 3, 2011
    southern Ohio
    Welcome to BYC. You should get the birds tested for whatever they have so that you aren't spreading mycoplasma in hatching eggs. Coryza is one of the worst diseases. Culling and starting over would clear diseases from your flock. A hatchery should have totally disease-free birds. I would do some reading on MG coryza, and other common diseases, then get tested. A necropsy by your state vet on any lost birds would give you a diagnosis. Here are links for common diseases with symptoms, testing centers, and state vets:
  3. greenroofhill

    greenroofhill Hatching

    Dec 9, 2014
    After doing some more reading, I feel it is probably MG. Two questions: Can birds be tested for MG prior to culling, or does the cost outweight the benefit? If we cull all those birds, is there any risk for human consumption? Thanks for your help.

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