No good deed goes unpunished…

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by NH Chicken Lady, Jun 25, 2008.

  1. NH Chicken Lady

    NH Chicken Lady In the Brooder

    Jun 23, 2008
    New Hampshire
    I wish I had found this board sooner…and learned more about bio-security. I thought I was an experienced chicken mommy.

    I’ve had my flock of McMurray hens for 3 years now. No problems & healthy birds…even bought some hatching eggs last year to see what would happen. Out of 14 eggs stuck under a broody, we got 10 live babies. But I digress…

    In January of this year a co-worker of mine read an article about how an area humane society had seized over 500 chickens the previous November from a neglectful owner. They had been nursed back to health & were now up for adoption.

    Me being the sucker…and wanting a few more hens…took the trip down to see them. They had been in “quarantine” for 2 months already, given medication, inspected by a vet, etc. They looked healthy & were in good weight. (They look like they might be sex-linked hens.) I decided to adopt 4 of the friendliest girls. I was told to quarantine for a month & not eat any of their eggs to be sure the antibiotics were out of their system.

    The new girls spent a month in a separate pen (far away from my coop) without incident. They ate well & expressed no symptoms of any illness. After 30 days I moved their pen (a dog x-pen) into my coop to minimize any fighting. There were some squabbles through the bars, but after a week or so, everyone calmed down.

    About a month after moving the new girls into the general flock, things began to happen. Sneezing, nasal discharge, swollen shut eyes, gurgling & coughing & “cawing” (like a crow)…of my established flock. Over the course of 3-4 weeks in March, 6 of my 15 original, 3 year old McMurray birds died. Almost all the birds had varying degrees of the symptoms, but recovered. None of the 4 adopted birds showed any illness & none of the hatched chickens died either (they had no vaccinations like the McMurray birds did). It took several months, but all the remaining birds have since recovered & are now symptom free.

    But I’m now playing the, “could have - would have - should have” game with myself. I feel terrible. I feel stupid. I’m angry at the humane society for releasing these birds. I feel guilty. I’m even angrier at myself though for not doing anything. I was afraid of what reporting the illness would bring on me & my backyard farm.

    I’m in a dilemma. I want to get more chickens, but now I’m concerned that my flock are “carriers” of some disease. I’ll never introduce adult birds again (lesson learned). But I’d like to try hatching some eggs again under a broody or buying some chicks. However, I’m afraid of infecting any new eggs/chicks with something if my hens are now “carriers” of.

    Does anyone have any idea what they might have had? What should I do at this point? Should I notify the state? I’m wondering if it is too late to do anything, since the birds are now normal. I’m just afraid of opening a can of worms.

    Please don’t give a “tisk –tisk” speech, as I’ve already beaten myself up enough. I just don’t want to make any more mistakes.

    Thanks everyone!
  2. ChicknThief

    ChicknThief Songster

    Jan 12, 2008
    Nor Cal
    I am so sorry this had to happen. [​IMG] I can assure you that you will recieve no such tsk tsk fromm anyone here. You did what any of us would have done. You quarantined them for the recommended amount of time and they showed no signs of illness! This was by no means your fault. I am not very knowledgable of chicken diseases and havent the faintest idea what that was, but there are several people here who will very likely have a good idea. Oh, and welcome to BYC. [​IMG]
  3. Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Hangin Wit My Peeps

    Apr 20, 2008
    Birnamwood, Wisconsin
    No tisk tisk speech needed as you did everything you should have done to protect your flock PLUS some. It must be hard. I know I would have been devastated too. I don't know what to tell you about it though but hope there are others here who maybe been through this. So sorry to hear about your loss [​IMG] I just moved my 5 week olds out to the pen and I feel terrible!
  4. lovethechickens

    lovethechickens Songster

    Feb 16, 2008
    Antioch California
    Hey I am sorry this happened. No fun. It could be Infectious Bronchitis. Did any of the girls lay wrinkly looking eggs?
  5. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude

    Not your fault. No one could have done more. They were just carriers who weren't showing signs of illness. I'm very sorry.
  6. jackiedon

    jackiedon Songster

    Jun 4, 2007
    Central Arkansas
    I am so sorry for your situation. I don't what the correct thing to do. How many of the adopted chickens do you have left? If it were me I might have to euthanize them, clean everything really well and then start all over because I would be scared of going through it all over again. But this is just my opinion and I am in no way an expert nor do I know about the carrier of diseases. So please do be upset with my idea.

    jackie [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
  7. chickbea

    chickbea Songster

    Jan 18, 2007
    Oh how terrible. You did everything absolutely right.
    Have you checked out the Merck page?
    the left there is a poultry heading. That may help. Also check out dlhunicorn's site - very helpful.
  8. asher

    asher Chicken Enabler Extraordinaire

    Jan 26, 2007
    Mountains of NC
    Quote:As usual, I agree completely with Cyn.

  9. Chirpy

    Chirpy Balderdash

    May 24, 2007
    lovethechickens asked:
    Did any of the girls lay wrinkly looking eggs?

    What does that mean if they do lay wrinkly looking eggs?​
  10. pips&peeps

    pips&peeps There is no "I" in Ameraucana

    Jan 18, 2008
    Newman Lake, WA
    I think ILT.....

    same thing being discussed on other posts.

    ETA: I really feel it is a good idea to only buy hatching eggs and day old chicks, not started, but day old. There is less chance of disease contamination.
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2008

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