MikyPiky

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Feb 2, 2021
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I decided to post a new thread since the other one just got buried.

So, these are all the details. I bought four 14-16 week old standard Cochins two days ago. The seller had them cramped in a very small box on a hot day, and they were obviously very stressed. On the road home, one was making odd noises and now I realize I'm pretty sure she was coughing. Brought them back home, they were very stressed from the heat and the move, but I made them comfortable and soon they started perking up. The next day one pullet was sneezing, coughing, breathing heavily, and she looked like she had some yellow nasal discharge (this quickly cleared up and hasn't returned since.) The others looked and acted fine. All are eating/drinking normally from what I can see. Then the next day a couple more started sneezing with runny noses (clear and not thick). The one that was coughing, her eyes now look slightly wet.

I'm very uncomfortable having them close to our current flock, even though they are quarantined. I've heard that most respiratory diseases are highly contagious and spread super fast. My dilemma is this: if they do have a respiratory disease then I want to get them out of there ASAP, but I'm not sure the seller will believe they are actually sick (we already messaged him and he told us not to worry; that they are completely healthy.) I'm not 100% sure they do have a respiratory disease though, and I don't want to get rid of them until I know for sure, since I would love to add them to my flock if at all possible.

I'm constantly worrying about this and I just need to come to a decision about what to do. Can I get anyone's opinion?
 
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Eggcessive

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I don’t buy birds from anyone just for this reason. They may have been exposed to a respiratory disease where they came from, and the stress of the move has caused them to become symptomatic. Exposure to something like mycoplasma (MG) can take 2-10 days to show up. I would just return them to the seller, and not expect money. Many people sell birds and deny they sell sick birds. If for instance, you bought them at a swap meet or flea market, they could have been exposed there. Your state vet office could probably tell you where to get them tested in your state. One national lab, RAL, can send you testing swabs to mail back to them, but it costs $90. Your state vet might be less. But I would not keep these birds anyway, since they sound as though they have symptoms of a disease.
 

MikyPiky

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Feb 2, 2021
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I don’t buy birds from anyone just for this reason. They may have been exposed to a respiratory disease where they came from, and the stress of the move has caused them to become symptomatic. Exposure to something like mycoplasma (MG) can take 2-10 days to show up. I would just return them to the seller, and not expect money. Many people sell birds and deny they sell sick birds. If for instance, you bought them at a swap meet or flea market, they could have been exposed there. Your state vet office could probably tell you where to get them tested in your state. One national lab, RAL, can send you testing swabs to mail back to them, but it costs $90. Your state vet might be less. But I would not keep these birds anyway, since they sound as though they have symptoms of a disease.
Yes, I have definitely learned my lesson and will not be buying birds from untrustworthy sources any longer. I guess we'll see about returning them. I hope we can figure something out. All in all, extremely disappointed, but at least I learned something.

Thanks for the info. :)
 

MikyPiky

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Feb 2, 2021
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Update:

We contacted the seller to see if we could return them, they keep a closed flock so they won't take them, and I really doubt they will refund us.

The seller told us he's been breeding chickens for years now and knows what he's doing. He told us it wasn't possible that ours have a respiratory problem, since he's very careful and none of his chickens are showing symptoms, also no other buyers have had any issues. He told us that if they do have a respiratory disease it would have been picked up from our flock, but that doesn't make any sense since the chickens were showing symptoms before they came in contact with our hens, and our flock is 100% healthy.

The one pullet is still coughing and her breathing is very rattly, almost sounds like she's purring. The other three are sneezing but no longer have runny noses. When my previous chicks were isolated in the coop I had the same bedding in there, (pine chips), and they sneezed all the time, just from the dust. I thought maybe the other three were just inhaling dust, is that possible? All are still active, eating, drinking normally.

I was also thinking: before the new pullets started showing symptoms I was not careful at all with not spreading germs between them and our current flock. I repeatedly held the Cochins then our hens without washing my hands or anything. How long do you think it would take for our current hens to start showing symptoms if they did catch it?

This is all so confusing. :hmm
 

Eggcessive

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Depending on the disease, it can take days to weeks. You could try to get some testing of 1-2 birds with symptoms. Biosecurity is very important between your older flock and the new chickens. Most people quarantine for a month to look for symptoms. Sorry that you are dealing with this.
 

Crazy Maizie

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I see his point of not taking them back. A true quarantine rarely happens with backyard flocks, so don't beat yourself up. It sounds like the one pullet could benefit from some treatment. I don't really know what to recommend though as I've never had a severe respiratory issue. At this point, I've only used vetrx. But, this sounds beyond that.
Could you post a video, it might help others to see the severity of the issue and offer solutions.
 

MikyPiky

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Feb 2, 2021
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Depending on the disease, it can take days to weeks. You could try to get some testing of 1-2 birds with symptoms. Biosecurity is very important between your older flock and the new chickens. Most people quarantine for a month to look for symptoms. Sorry that you are dealing with this.
Thanks. Getting them tested isn't an option, unfortunately. Pricey, and the nearest avian vet is 5 hours away.

I've been trying to be extremely careful about not spreading whatever this is, but I can't help but think it's not enough. If it really is highly contagious, I don't think I've been safe enough.

What are my options from here? Cull them? Risk it and see if their symptoms continue?
 

MikyPiky

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Feb 2, 2021
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I see his point of not taking them back. A true quarantine rarely happens with backyard flocks, so don't beat yourself up. It sounds like the one pullet could benefit from some treatment. I don't really know what to recommend though as I've never had a severe respiratory issue. At this point, I've only used vetrx. But, this sounds beyond that.
Could you post a video, it might help others to see the severity of the issue and offer solutions.
I would love to treat them, but if they will remain carriers it seems pointless to me as I don't want them infecting my flock.
I don't want to cull them though because there's a chance they already have infected my flock, and then that's just a waste. :( Dilemmas, dilemmas...
 
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