I just culled my flock of 12 birds, due to an ongoing respiratory issue since late September (sneezing, congested, 5 deaths). My plan is to start over with new chicks this spring. I've seen some people say this will stay in the ground for a year and other people say that respiratory bugs can only exist about 3 days outside the body. Does anyone have any accurate knowledge of this? I did not have any post mortems done, so don't know exactly what bug it was from, just something that appeared when I purchased started chicks from a breeder (who claimed to have healthy birds, and he must have brought something in as I saw he sold his entire flock shortly after my birds were getting sick), feed thru crumbles nor herbal supplements did not help.