Just got going...now am I out for the count?!?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by NeeleysAVLChicks, Aug 26, 2010.

  1. NeeleysAVLChicks

    NeeleysAVLChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2009
    Leicester, NC
    Uggg, rough day. SO, as you can see here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=391260 it appears my flock has been struck with some sort of respiratory disease. I'm in the process of treating, etc.

    But here's my question, am I totally out of the hatching egg/chick selling game with this flock, knowing now that my girls are potentially carriers should they recover?

    To start, I have been SUPER diligent about never getting started birds. My core flock I purchased as day olds from a hatchery and since then I have a strict policy of only getting hatching eggs, not even hatched chicks. I even ask chicken keeping friends if they'll change they're shoes, use hand sanitizer, etc before coming over and seeing my birds.

    I had just decided to keep my first rooster for potentially starting to sell hatching eggs and chicks locally on a very small scale. I could never in good conscious do this if I thought I could spread a disease. And this would now extend to getting rid of extra roosters, etc?

    At the end of the day, my chickens lean much more towards the pet end of the scale versus livestock and I will not cull the flock and start over if that's my only option to sell chicks, etc.

    Would going through NPIP testing determine if what my girl's have makes them a carrier? It just all seems so much like a guessing game.

    Super frustrated. Uggg.

    Any advice/discussion on this would be throughly appreciated.
     
    Last edited: Aug 26, 2010
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    But here's my question, am I totally out of the hatching egg/chick selling game with this flock, knowing now that my girls are potentially carriers should they recover?

    I don't know what your hens have. The only disease I can think of that makes the face/wattles/lobes swell is fowl cholera, but I have no idea that this is what they have. You would have to know that in order to know if the disease is one that is passed down through the egg to the chick. If that was the case, you could not ethically sell hatching eggs/chicks to other people, IMO. I'll go a step further and say I would not buy them from anyone I knew had experienced respiratory illness in their flocks. And I would be more than incensed if someone sold me eggs/chicks and had not informed me of the potential issues.​
     
  3. mstricer

    mstricer Overrun With Chickens

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    I think I would have just culled all and cleaned out the coop really good with bleach and some strong disinfectant. If its the whole flock thats a lot of sick birds for me. I don't have the time or the energy to take care of a lot of sick birds. I know a lot of people will probably think I'm heartless, but no, just practical. It would be cheaper to just start a new flock. Sorry just my 2 cents
     
  4. NeeleysAVLChicks

    NeeleysAVLChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Leicester, NC
    Thanks for your replies. I'm at a total loss here. To start, I'm not going to cull all my birds. If that means no chicks, hatching eggs, that's fine, I'm ok with that.

    Currently, only two of my birds are showing symptoms. The one pictured in the thread is by far the worse external symptom, the other just has very, very slight swelling on her right earlobe. Everyone else is totally normal and even these two, aside from the swollen earlobe (and wattles in the worst case) are bright eyed, eating and drinking well, active and alert, no wheezing, nasal discharge, etc. Everything I read about Fowl Cholera states that the morbidity is really high, often a dead bird is the first symptom. That's not what's going on here.

    To be honest, I don't even know for sure if they do have a respiratory disease, its all just googling conjecture.

    So, I guess my next step will have to be a conclusive diagnosis of what is going on. What are the recommendations for this? I guess I need to start calling around to see if there are any vets locally that will see chickens. Ugggg, this is a tough day. Even using all the recommended bio-security measures, I still get something crazy. I just don't understand.
     
  5. Katy

    Katy Flock Mistress

    Have some of the birds tested by your state vet....then you'll know what you're dealing with and what you need to do.
     
  6. NeeleysAVLChicks

    NeeleysAVLChicks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 4, 2009
    Leicester, NC
    Well, this morning is a much better morning.

    I called an old family friend last night, she's been a vet for over 30 years and though doesn't specifically treat chickens at her practice, she's had them her whole life and is a wealth of information. She just happened to be nearby when I called, so stopped by to take a look.

    Though she can't say definitively without testing, she's pretty certain its not fowl cholera, we would have dead chickens already, or at the very least a ton of really sick chickens and none of the other symptoms line up.

    She did a pretty thorough (as thorough as you can in my kitchen, I guess) examination of my sickest girl and doesn't seem to think she has anything respiratory either, her eyes and nasal cavities are clear, no wheezing when she listened to her breathe. Her color is good, she's hydrated and her poop looks normal. Again, without a necropsy, blood testing or fecal testing, there's no way to know for sure, but the symptoms aren't there. She agrees more with my initial diagnosis, some sort of insect bit or a run in with a nail, etc. The swelling seems to be located more on the bottom, backside of the earlobe and coming from a specific point, less indicative of swelling due to a sinus cavity infection.

    She took also took a look at my other BR hen with a "swollen" earlobe, I say "swollen" because it is incredibly slight, you would never notice if you weren't looking for it, maybe like the size of a small pea. She thought it was a negligible swelling, and the hen checked out completely normal, healthy otherwise. Though I should keep an eye on her, because the swelling is so slight and hasn't changed in 3 days now, even without any treatment, she's not convinced its a problem at all or that the two issues are related.

    This morning the swelling had definitely gone down on the worst girl and I'm keeping her on Duramycin-10 to keep her wound from getting infected.

    We're not completely out of the woods yet and I'm still debating culling the hen with the worst swelling and sending her in for testing conclusively. But I'm going to give it a day or two to think about it and carefully watch the others to see if anything else pops up.
     
  7. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Again, without a necropsy, blood testing or fecal testing, there's no way to know for sure, but the symptoms aren't there.

    That is my main point. So many would love to have their birds diagnosed on the forum and it's just not possible to be 100% sure without testing. Without testing, you would not know if a recovered bird is a carrier or if what disease the sick bird has. You'd have to know that in order to answer your other questions. [​IMG]


    Another thing I think is important to say. You can have birds for 50 years and still never know the nature of their diseases, that many make the recovered birds Typhoid Marys. Most veterinarians are not familiar with avian species unless that is their specialty and may not know as much as some long time breeders here on BYC. It's good that you have access to a vet who may be able to do some testing for you, though.​
     

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