PLEASE HELP: I think I have to cull my whole flock!!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by hoog, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. hoog

    hoog Chillin' With My Peeps

    I think I have to cull my whole flock!!!

    Currently, I have 5 hens and a roo, 24 eggs in the incubator, two turkeys, three Pot Belly Pigs, and a white rabbit. They all share a ½ acre. The extension office said there wasn’t an issue of disease with them being housed together with that much space in this part of the country.

    I had a hen come down with a bad respiratory illness and decided to cull her (she had mucus in her eyes and nostrils and her head was swollen and stunk). A couple days later another hen had gummed up nostrils and the same smell although it wasn’t as bad and her head wasn’t swollen. She was young and so I culled her too. Now my roo and another hen has gummed up nostrils and their heads are starting to smell. Also the tom turkey is making a coughing and wheezing sound.
    I am afraid I may have to cull the chickens and turkeys, bleach out the hen house, and start over with the chicks in the incubator. I would rather be safe than sorry but I don’t want to kill them if I don’t have to.

    1. Do I need to kill all my birds to eradicate the disease?
    2. Will culling the birds but leaving the pigs and rabbit be safe?
    3. Will bleaching out the hen house be enough to remove all the disease?
    4. How can I prevent this from happening again?
     
  2. paddock36

    paddock36 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Have you given them any medication to try and stop the spread?
     
  3. heather112588

    heather112588 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Can you treat them...Have you tried VetRX medicine? Its sold at feed stores. It clears up respiratory infections and small virises in chickens before the problems get larger.
     
  4. Break an Egg

    Break an Egg Chillin' With My Peeps

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  5. hoog

    hoog Chillin' With My Peeps

    I haven’t used any medications. I was advised on this forum that respiratory diseases in poultry are oft better treated with culling because it rarely ever goes away completely even after treated. I would rather cull them then have a good chance of having this issue with every bird here on out. See my delema?

    See that here:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=461043

    Also speckeled hen's top ten rules for flock managment adress this:

    " 8) At the first sign of respiratory illness, i.e., discharges from nose or eyes or bad smell, cull, cull, cull...birds don't get colds, per se; they contract diseases, many of which make them carriers for their lifetime. That means they are able to infect others even if they seem to recover themselves. See Rule #7. "
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011
  6. heather112588

    heather112588 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well, thats a lie in my case... i had 5 chicks and they started sneezing and weezing badly, one girl died. I started to see the same symptoms in the 4 others. I asked at the feed store and they recommended VetRX...it cleared them right up.

    Wouldn't you know it though, all the survivors turned out to be males. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011
  7. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

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    Quote:And most likely carriers. That's the down side to respiratory illness in poultry.
     
  8. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Many people do treat chickens for respiratory symptoms, and in some cases most or even all of the birds may survive. Depending on the disease, that does not mean they won't be carriers, in many cases they will. They may also never be healthy chickens, getting sick again when stressed, having a lowered rate of producing eggs, and passing the disease on to others. IMO, if you choose to treat a respiratory disease, you should find out exactly which one it is, so you know what you are dealing with. Some or many of these diseases can infect other flocks in the neighborhood, too.

    Personally, I would cull, and have an autopsy done by the state vet to identify the disease. This would also tell you whether any of your other animals are in danger (though I suspect not.) Sorry you are having to deal with this.
     
  9. secuono

    secuono Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 29, 2010
    Virginia
    I do not see the point in culling if you do not plan to sell live chickens. If your birds are for eggs or hatched eggs in the house away from them, it's fine. If you want to sell adult birds or birds living in the flock, that's the problem, you would be spreading it around.
    I don't get why you would pay for the birds, the food and heat and then just kill them and they were just wasted.
    I treat my flock because the eggs are for us, meat for us, chicks hatching in incubator stay in the house and if I do want to sell them, they stay in the house away from anyone being a carrier. You can easily and unknowingly buy carrier birds at any time, you can go through killing your whole flock over and over unless you are a closed farm and only buy eggs you hatch. Any other way, it's a risk, even guaranteeing won't help if they do not get stressed enough to show the symptoms.
     
  10. Judy

    Judy Chicken Obsessed Staff Member Premium Member

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    Quote:A lot of people hold this view -- except that you are overlooking that some diseases are passed from the hen through the egg to the chick. If you sell or give away hatching eggs, then, you could be giving the disease to someone else.

    I don't know that there is a "right" answer. However, I have learned on here that many who have raised chickens for years and years would cull, as I would. At any rate, I think the OP wanted various viewpoints to consider, and I think he has them now.
     

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