Need Advice on Lung Problems from Chickens!!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by graciegoat, Jun 30, 2010.

  1. graciegoat

    graciegoat In the Brooder

    Jun 30, 2010
    Hi Everyone,

    I've been preparing and researching chickens (and reading this site A LOT!) since I plan on getting some in late July.

    Well, today I was at the Dr. for a recheck on tiny lung nodules that were found back in November and they have been keeping an eye on them. They have stayed the same for seven months now and Dr. suspects they are from an old fungal infection. I questioned him about the possibility of working with gourds being a factor since I have done this (cleaning them, sanding, drilling) and I have read about the mold and fine dust from the gourds causing problems for some people. Well, he didn't even know what a gourd was![​IMG]

    After I explained it, he said it was possible. I then asked him about chickens, and he said "Why, do you have chickens??" I said no, but planned to get some. He said "DON'T get any chickens!! I heard of a lady who needed a lung transplant from her pet birds!" Wow. This has me really bummed out because I was REALLY wanting chickens, hubby was looking up coop plans today!

    I'd like to hear from some of you if you know what the health issues are with having chickens. I don't want to harm my health, but I'm thinking my Dr. might not be entirely correct with his warning. He told me to "Go to the store for eggs and live like a city girl, not a farmer!" (He was smiling when he said this, but obviously he isn't into livin' off the land![​IMG]


  2. kota1369

    kota1369 Songster

    Dec 17, 2009
    Kansas City, MO
    The dust from the bird poo can cause lung problems. I do think your Dr. got a bit carried away though. And he obviously has never had a farm fresh egg. [​IMG]
    Here is an article that may interest you.

    I am sure there are people on here with more info. This is what I found with just a quick search. I had a friend who had lung problems from working over ten years cleaning stables that had lots of birds living in the rafters.

    So, that is about all I know on the subject. I am sure more people will chime in and we can learn some more.

    the lady w/4 dogs, 4 city chickens, 4 meat rabbits, their kits, and a lizard
  3. Sillystunt

    Sillystunt Master of the Silly

    Jul 11, 2008
    Winter Haven, FL
    sorry but anybody who doesn't know what a gourd is living in a box!

    Sorry, i would tend to disagree with him BUT i do know that things like DE, shavings for their pen/brooder box and such can cause problems with my friends cystic fibrosis daughter. They still have them but all that is outside and she is fine.
  4. Fat Bottom Farm

    Fat Bottom Farm In the Brooder

    Being a Respiratory Therapist for 14 years, I can tell you that you can have respiratory issues from bird dander, but it has to be exposure on a daily basis and in large quantities. I have chickens as well as a Blue and Gold Macaw had respiratory issues as a child but have none even with the 24+ birds.

    Now with that said, it sounds like you may have some sensitivities to respiratory problems, so I would take some precautions, like make sure the coop has superior ventilation and the most simple thing is to wear a mask when you are cleaning or using DE. Keep a mask at the door, slide it on and you shouldn't have any problems, especially if you are only keeping a few birds.


  5. TennesseeTruly

    TennesseeTruly Songster

    Mar 5, 2009
    Church Hill, TN
    As someone with lifetime lung issues (I have asthma and have some scarring on my lungs from pneumonia when I was a child) I can tell you there are some things to be concerned about. But I can also tell you as a parrot breeder of 30 years, that if you take precautions, you'll be fine. I now have 23 parrots, 60+ chickens, 60+ ducks, 20 geese, 24 guineas, 3 cats and 3 dogs. A pulmonologist will tell you that all of those are a no no but I haven't had any incidents with my asthmas except when I got swine flu at Christmastime.

    If you keep things clean, use a mask when cleaning chicken coops, you'll have little to no problems. I clean parrot cages daily and have done so for 30 years and my asthma is no worse now, actually its better since I moved to the South. I use wet wipes when cleaning dusty things so as not to inhale dust particles.

    With parrots the disease is called Bird Breeders Lung. I know its something different for poultry keepers but its the same thing. If I don't have it after keeping & raising parrots for 30 years with lung issues, anyone can keep it away with a little common sense.

    Good luck!

  6. MandyH

    MandyH You'll shoot your eye out!

    You can get Histoplasmosis from chickens. BUT I have had chickens for YEARS and have never worn a mask and I'm alive.
  7. graciegoat

    graciegoat In the Brooder

    Jun 30, 2010
    I knew I could count on you guys on this forum for some useful advice![​IMG]

    This may be a dumb question, but several people suggested using a mask...what kind of mask should I get?
    I'm only planning on 4-6 birds, and was thinking of using the deep litter method in the coop. I will make sure that we put in plenty of vents, too.
    Is it really just the poop that is a cause for concern?

    Thanks Everyone!!


  8. Chickielady

    Chickielady Spiritwood Farms Premium Member

    Mar 10, 2010
    Raymond, WA
    My Coop
    I use DE in a wooden box mixed with a sack of fine sand for my birds to dust bathe in since it rains here so much.
    And sometimes I have walked in the coop and there is a fog in there...and I get covered.
    I have to use a dust mask.
    This much dust is not good for human or fowl as it can cause we keep 80 pounds of sand to about 2 cups of DE mixed, otherwise there is too much dust.
    Every month or so I clean out the entire coop and put in fresh litter, and for sure wear a dust mask...also have athsma and auto-immunal disorders.
    Just to run in and collect eggs I do not put a mask on, though.
  9. Sunshine69

    Sunshine69 Hatching

    Apr 4, 2013

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