Really concerned-Salmonella questions :(

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by BrahmaMama, Mar 6, 2009.

  1. BrahmaMama

    BrahmaMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 8, 2008
    South Dakota
    A few weeks ago, my boys became really sick. In the bathroom constantly, etc. We had gone through a bout of stomach flu right after new years, so figured it was just our luck to pick something up again. My 5 year old was down for several days, just laying around, no energy, etc. My 7 year old then came down with it. By that time, we figured it was time to go to the doctor (any other time, they just tell you to "wait it out," so were dealing with it on our own at first) We had also just gotten 14 Holstein bottle calves, that were fine for the first week, and then several came down with bad scours/some type of virus. After two vets, one finally *came out* and said they probably had Rotavirus, and to just keep them hydrated. So I mentioned that to our doctor when we went in...had to do a stool sample with the 7 year old, and they were going to check for salmonella/rotavirus.

    Fast forward three days, nurse calls and says Rotavirus is negative...asked about salmonella, and she said she didn't see that they had tested for it. She calls back a few hours later, and said they did test for it, and the sample *Was* growing Salmonella. About the same time, our 13 year old nieces were coming down with the same "bathroom" issues. They had been out to help feed calves/collect eggs while we were gone the first week in February.

    Our boys are ok now, but the girls are going through another round of sickness, after seeming a bit better. I guess they were tested again, and the doctor said it was a strain that comes from chickens-versus the peanut butter/alfalfa sprout deal.

    All of my birds came from hatcheries. I have never picked up any birds at sales, auctions, etc. So, can my birds be carrying Salmonella? Does this mean I have to cull everybody? [​IMG] Could it have been picked up from wild bird droppings, or something else? I'm just so confused and worried right now. The doctor (I didn't talk to her, but we go to the same doctor as SIL) told Sandie to tell me that I probably shouldn't sell any birds for meat-which we don't anyway. And the eggs should be okay, as long as they are cooked properly. I can't control whether any of my customers (very few, and mainly friends/family) eat some cookie dough though. She did say that I probably shouldn't be handling the birds/eggs as I am pregnant....of course, around the time the boys were getting sick, I had some slight issues...but attributed it to the fact that we had just got done driving from Arizona to home (South Dakota) in two days-just wore out.

    Sorry it got so long, I just figured more of the story would help, if anyone had any answers/suggestions. Thanks everyone,
  2. FrenchHen

    FrenchHen Chicken Ambassador

    Jan 26, 2009
    Bagshot Row
    I treat all my birds as if their poo has Salmonella. I wash well after handling them and i have boots for the coop that aren't worn in the house.

    I may be wrong, but I thought all birds and reptiles were carriers.

    I also treat eggs like they've got it too, cooking very well.
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2009
  3. BrahmaMama

    BrahmaMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 8, 2008
    South Dakota
    Thank you for the reply FrenchHen. I am so very careful too-even more so now, after the whole sickness deal. We still have two calves that are really slow drinkers, and are just not "right" We've never had this problem before. We bought 8 Angus cross calves last year, and all 8 are still with us. We are down to 10 of the Holstein, from 14. Anyway, I wash the bottles and nipples after each feeding, wipe my counters down with Lysol wipes, wash my hands well after handling bottles/cleaning eggs, and then Purell my hands on top of that.

    Now I know the boys are not as dilligent at washing, as I'd like them to be, just stuns me, we've never had any problems before, and I've had chickens for two years now. My boys have always handled the chicks/full grown birds.
  4. farrier!

    farrier! Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 28, 2009
    Southern Illinois
    Rather then blame the healthy chickens I would blame the calves themselves.
    Salmonella is very common in cattle manure and stressed calves can get sick from it.
  5. FrenchHen

    FrenchHen Chicken Ambassador

    Jan 26, 2009
    Bagshot Row
    I don't know nuttin about cattle...and only a bit about chickens.

    I know I like beef...

  6. ranchhand

    ranchhand Rest in Peace 1956-2011

    Aug 25, 2008
    Brahma, it might not be from your chickens and/or calves. You said you had been travelling- is that a possibility as well? Though alledgedly from a strain associated with chickens, it may not necessarily be associated with YOUR chickens.

    I think further testing, and very in depth testing is called for.

    Hope everyone is feeling better!
  7. BrahmaMama

    BrahmaMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 8, 2008
    South Dakota
    Yeah, we had just gotten back, and our 7 year old was already sick-but it was more of a fever/cough at that time. He got better for a few days, and then the Salmonella symptoms hit. The boys had stayed home with Grandma/Grandpa, so of course, we went through what they had eaten, etc (mainly concerned about peanut butter product at that time)

    Everyone here seems to be feeling better, though the nieces are going through another bout. It would really make me feel better if it wasn't from my chickens, that's for sure. I'm sure there will be little "comments" about my birds from now on [​IMG] <-- from family members I mean.
  8. KellyHM

    KellyHM Overrun With Chickens

    Sep 10, 2008
    Lakeland, FL
    It's WAY more likely to be from the calves than the chickens. Just look on the bright they'll have a better immunity built up. [​IMG]
  9. the_eagle69

    the_eagle69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 1, 2009
    Far SW VA
    Well i have experence with all of the above well almost. First how old are your calves with rota they will live about 7 to 10 days. We had it on our dary farm several years ago and had to vacanate the cows then the calves before they were 12 hours old. Have not had to do that in several years now Most daries do not the main reason is that they sell there calves at birth and most times never know of a problem. Coccidiosis has most of the same symptoms as rota but hits older calves (the live longer and can be treated). As for the saminola (Spelling) It lives almost everywhere just as E coli does and our bodies fight of most strans very well. I assume that your kids are doing better and i hope they are. There could have been many places this could have came from on the farm. My opion is that fighting the flu only a short time ago played a big role in this illness. I dont belive that i would be to quick to cull anything but would take all precautions posable short of liveing in a bubble. vitamins for the kids with antioxidents to help build there system back up (just a thought). please keep up posted as to how things are going [​IMG] and best of luck
  10. BrahmaMama

    BrahmaMama Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 8, 2008
    South Dakota
    Thanks for the input everyone, it really helps to hear suggestions/other's experiences. [​IMG]

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