Question about sterilizing coop after illness

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by opihiman911, Apr 12, 2007.

  1. opihiman911

    opihiman911 Songster

    Mar 19, 2007
    Over the last week I have had 2 of my young healthy chickens up and die. Healthy and perky one day, the next day their comb is flopping and pale, listless, just want to lay in the dirt and dust and rest, then they die. In talking with my neighbor, he said the same thing has happened to 5 of his ducks and 1 rooster.
    We called out local vet and he knows of nothing about chickens, but suggested as he does for his larger livestock is sterilize their pen. He was a little worried that it moved between pens that are 50 yards apart, but we do have a pretty large wild chicken population here so anything is possible. I gave him one of the bodies that he is going to mail away for necropsy, but he said don't wait or hold your breathm as it may take a while.
    I have done this before in between batches of chickens, but never when I still have 5 hopefully healthy hens.
    I have already flooded the dirt floor and sprayed everything down with 6oz bleach/8oz vinegar per gallon solution. My girls are moved into a little cage where they are very cramped and unhappy. Can I move them back into their coop as soon as the dirt is dry?? Bleach & vinegar are pretty benign and organic, but I don't want to stress then out any more than necissary.
    Its been several days since the last one died, and the other are looking healthy so far. Any other suggestions on what I can do without knowing exactly what I'm dealing with??

  2. keljonma

    keljonma Songster

    Feb 12, 2007
    8A East Texas
    I gave him one of the bodies that he is going to mail away for necropsy, but he said don't wait or hold your breathm as it may take a while.

    I guess I just don't like this person's attitude. Are you just supposed to put your flock in limbo until someday you might get the answer to what killed your birds?

    In my area, you have to have 1000+ birds before a local vet will take your chickens as patients or visit your farm to treat your poultry. However, our county extension agent has a staff member that raises poultry, so at least that's something.

    I am lucky because the vet who handles my dog and cat also raises chickens. Even though she can't officially be my chicken vet, I can call her and talk to her about my questions, concerns and problems. Her partner, however, is another story... doesn't know dip about chickens and BRAGS about it (he is a city pet doctor practicing in an agricultural region)!

    I hate to say this, but depending on where you live and what the necropsy shows..... you may or may not be able to keep your flock. You may have read other threads on this board where people talk about having to cull their flock because of certain diseases.

    Can you house your hens somewhere where they have more room? Someplace they can live comfortably until you know the necropsy results? Do you have a local avian vet you can contact? Or your county extension agent? Someone who knows something about poultry might be more helpful and be able to get the results for you more quickly.

    Has your neighbor sterilized his farm too? If not, I'm not sure moving your birds back to your sterilized coop would be a good idea.

    On my farm, the weather since January has been just awful. Between the 4 1/2' of snow & melt, the constant rain since March, snow and rain and now more snow this month... I'm not sure the ground will ever be dry again.

    You soaked the ground in your coop. Is the ground outside the coop dry enough for the coop to be really dry. If not, then the dampness could cause other health issues for your girls.

    I'm afraid I just have more questions than answers for you. But I know how frustrating it is to post a question and not get any response.

    Last edited: Apr 12, 2007
  3. Wes in Tx

    Wes in Tx Songster

    Jan 11, 2007
    Cory when you sprayed your coop did you also do everything in the coop also. If not then do that to.

    Don't know about where you live but in Texas the only place that does nercopsies is the state poultry labs so as your vet said if he had to mail it off it may take a while. Some vets can do them but most must send them off to be done so they can have all the required blood test and all done. Cutting a bird open and looking at things is one thing but an indepth nercropsy is another thing altogether.

    Hope the results come back OK.
  4. opihiman911

    opihiman911 Songster

    Mar 19, 2007
    I live on Kauai, one the outerislands in Hawaii, way out in the very last Western most town in the US, a small dot of a place named Kekaha. So the only place to do a necropsy is at the local university over on Oahu, or maybe the vet sends it off to the mainland....not sure. Being that we are such a small isolated communty, we don't have very many options here, we just make do with what we got. I did go and check with a couple other backyard raisers and the local egg farm and they haven't had any recent mass deaths, so it sounds like an isolated local problem. Like the vet said I'm trying to be proactive instead of waiting for a couple weeks for results.

    I flooded the dirt floor with 40 gallons of the bleach/vinegar solution, then took 5 gallons and sprayed top to bottom of their coop, nesting boxes and run, and sprayed a 10' swath around the entire area. My neighbor did the same with his area. After soaking the dirt floor, we dug a small hole and the dirt was wet going down almost a foot deep.

    I kept my girls cooped up in the small cage, all night they were complaining making noise as they kicked each other off the one little perch they had to share. I let them out to run for an hour before I had to go to work, then back into the cage. The dirt looked pretty dry and no smell except for the occasional whiff of pickles [​IMG] They all lookied fine this morning, happy to get out and run around. I will probally put them back in to their home ths evening if everything looks alright.

    Ohh I forgot to mention, the vet did call this morning and said the dozen stool sample I gave him were clear of worms, eggs and other parasites. I also got a couple petri dishes from the local hospital and made some collection sample from around the coop and their dropping before I sprayed, to see if I can grow any funky things out. If I get someting growing, hopefully I can get one of the lab tech to take a look and identify a chicken germ [​IMG] Its a guessing game, but better than doing nothing.


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