Question about Diseases mostly Respiratory

BamaSilkies

Chirping
8 Years
Nov 28, 2011
438
1
89
NE Alabama
I was wondering is it possible for a chicken to get exposed to a disease and never become ill? Im just a little confused. Lets say you have a few sick chickens and there are perfectly healthy ones in with them. The healthy ones never show any signs of becoming ill are they still considered carriers even though they have never been ill. I posted back a few months ago about some sick chickens that I rescued. Im not positive what was wrong with them some died and others remained healthy. I have 7 that lived out of the bunch. These have been completely symptom free. They only respiratory symptom that the unhealthy ones showed were a few had some minor sneezing, afew had some eye swelling and fluffing(right before they died) with closed eyes. The remaining birds were always perky. All of them even the sick birds had very good apetites and drank well. So since Im not sure what ailment they had they remain separated from the others in flock. Im just wondering could this have been something like cocci and the respiratory was a secondary infection that killed them? Is it possible that these other birds are okay and non carriers??????
 

dawg53

Humble
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Nov 27, 2008
28,061
15,184
956
Glen St Mary, Florida
I was wondering is it possible for a chicken to get exposed to a disease and never become ill? Im just a little confused. Lets say you have a few sick chickens and there are perfectly healthy ones in with them. The healthy ones never show any signs of becoming ill are they still considered carriers even though they have never been ill. I posted back a few months ago about some sick chickens that I rescued. Im not positive what was wrong with them some died and others remained healthy. I have 7 that lived out of the bunch. These have been completely symptom free. They only respiratory symptom that the unhealthy ones showed were a few had some minor sneezing, afew had some eye swelling and fluffing(right before they died) with closed eyes. The remaining birds were always perky. All of them even the sick birds had very good apetites and drank well. So since Im not sure what ailment they had they remain separated from the others in flock. Im just wondering could this have been something like cocci and the respiratory was a secondary infection that killed them? Is it possible that these other birds are okay and non carriers??????

Both cocci and a respiratory diseases can kill a chicken, one or the other, or both at the same time. The healthy birds showing no signs of symptoms may eventually show symptoms IF stressed enough. It also depends what disease the unhealthy birds had. For example; if they had a severe case of MG, death is possible whereas a very mild case might be something as simple as earwax showing on the ears or maybe a little sneezing not related to an environmental issue.
 
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BamaSilkies

Chirping
8 Years
Nov 28, 2011
438
1
89
NE Alabama
Im not sure what they had after all the treatment they had the older birds where the ones that lived. Im thinking it could have been cocci. It seems maybe the older birds since they were they only survivors were immune to it and the younger birds just gave in and couldnt make it. If it was cocci and the younger birds that died had gotten a secondary infection( the slight sneezing and the few that had the facial swelling) then are the ones at risk of being carriers of the secondary infection? Im a little confused by the whole thing so Im probably confusing everyone else.
 

mammat

Songster
11 Years
Mar 29, 2009
473
14
166
columbus ohio
YES they can be asymptomatic carriers! I have been dealing with a case of ILT and have had some birds necropsied by Ohio State to verify the diagnosis. I met with the dr. That is head of the state poultry infectious disease unit and director of OSU mycoplasm lab. He said that 90% of ohio poultry have been exposed to ILT and they are asymptomatic carriers that only become ill if stressed. The symptoms can vary from mild to death and are sneezing and eye crust. Most people do not realize that your birds DO NOT need to look/act sick to be carriers. Once they are exposed (even if they don't get sick) THEY ARE CARRIERS FOR LIFE. THEY CAN MAKE OTHER BIRDS DIE OR BECOME VERY ILL. Sorry for the rant :)In this is just very fresh in my brain. I bought sick birds from a breeder and have lost half my flock so far:(
 
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dawg53

Humble
Premium Feather Member
12 Years
Nov 27, 2008
28,061
15,184
956
Glen St Mary, Florida
YES they can be asymptomatic carriers! I have been dealing with a case of ILT and have had some birds necropsied by Ohio State to verify the diagnosis. I met with the dr. That is head of the state poultry infectious disease unit and director of OSU mycoplasm lab. He said that 90% of ohio poultry have been exposed to ILT and they are asymptomatic carriers that only become ill if stressed. The symptoms can vary from mild to death and are sneezing and eye crust. Most people do not realize that your birds DO NOT need to look/act sick to be carriers. Once they are exposed (even if they don't get sick) THEY ARE CARRIERS FOR LIFE. THEY CAN MAKE OTHER BIRDS DIE OR BECOME VERY ILL. Sorry for the rant :)In this is just very fresh in my brain. I bought sick birds from a breeder and have lost half my flock so far:(

Sorry for your losses Mammat. A tough lesson learned but it's a perfect example of what can happen that others can learn from your tragic experience.
 

BamaSilkies

Chirping
8 Years
Nov 28, 2011
438
1
89
NE Alabama
Ok I just want to make sure. I guess all my little rescue chicks will be gettin their own coop on the other side of the property from my other birds. Are there only certain things that the state ag will test for or is there about anything that they will test for?
 

terryg

Songster
12 Years
Jun 5, 2007
529
66
161
New England
Not only will your birds be carriers for life, but so will your coop and property. This is why many farmers a hundred years ago had small flocks and moved the pens around (resting the ground a full year - not like an urban chicken tractor in a small backyard!) It was one of their few ways to control disease. Germs are harbored in moist air, dust and cobwebs. Wet, muddy conditions harbor the intermediary hosts of internal parasites. Sounds awful, but it is all controllable by good management. Keep your coops dry and well-ventilated. Brush down dust and cobwebs. Put sand down in the run if it's muddy. Feed high quality feed. Over the last 15 years of chicken keeping I've had a few bouts with respiratory disease. Some of the survivors are now 7 years old. My new chickens have not gotten sick from them. It's all good management. I have more about treating and managing diseases on my web site, www.HenCam.com. There are FAQs and you can search the archives.
 

chicknmania

Free Ranging
14 Years
Jan 26, 2007
5,884
1,250
522
central Ohio
Our flock had ILT years ago. We vaccinated them (I have told this story a lot of times) with a vaccine which did not make them carriers.
We still have some birds from that time period and have had many new birds since then. Knock on wood, we have not had any more
incidents with ILT. And they have not led a stress free life, any more than any free range flock does. When I say years ago I mean 2006. ILT is an extremely contagious disease....and highly fatal. I'm not saying the State vets were wrong, but they supported us in our decision to try to save our flock, and we were able to. Yes it is diagnosed by necropsy. But sometimes necropsies can be wrong, too. The first bird that we had necropsied they thought that it had been killedby something..because the throat lining was so disintegrated. That is what ILT does. It is horrible.
 

chicknmania

Free Ranging
14 Years
Jan 26, 2007
5,884
1,250
522
central Ohio
Anyway, the most important lesson we learned from that experience is that you should ALWAYS quarantine new birds that you buy or acqure,
even if you are buying from a reputable breeder. ..
We did quarantine the birds that got our flock sick, but just not long enough. Now we quarantine ALL new birds at least thirty days and
sometimes longer. And actually we try to keep the new adult birds we buy to an absolute minimum, and just stick to buying chicks
from a hatchery as much as possible, or just hatch our own.
 

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