Respiratory illness in new chickens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by gadgetgrl, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. gadgetgrl

    gadgetgrl In the Brooder

    Nov 5, 2012
    Baldwin City,Ks
    I need everyone's advice. This Saturday I aquired 3 Sussex chickens. By morning the rooster was sneezing. They have been quarantined from the get go. Fast forward to today. 3 days on Duramyacin. They now have snot pouring out of their noses. They seem to be eating and drinking fine. I think we should cull them, but I don't want to do the wrong thing.The K-State Univerisity poultry specialist told me that unless I have been wearing a biohazard suit when handling these chickens, my flock has already been exposed to the virus ect. Does this mean that if I breed my chickens and sell them, I will be passing on this disease to other peoples flocks? If my flock doesn't show symptoms does that mean they weren't contaminated? Can I test them even if they are not showing symptoms.? This is so stressful. I have bought chickens before from this person with no problems.

  2. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    Personally what I would do is cull the new ones immediately and disinfect their housing with bleach.

    Then watch and wait with your old flock. It is quite possible they will never come down with the illness. To be exposed to a virus doesn't mean that you actually get the virus (think someone in your home who has the flu but you never get it somehow).

    There is such a thing as an asymptomatic carrier status, but from my understanding the chicken actually needs to have become ill with the disease first. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

    If this sort of thing happened to a top breeder you can bet they wouldn't be culling their whole flock over the ones in quarantine getting sick and culled...they'd wait to see if their other flock became ill...if nothing happened then they would assume it was OK (I am assuming but remember that I am just a backyard chicken keeper).

    I hope your other flock stays well.

    If your other chickens came from this person, it is possible they were ill before and you didn't know it and are carriers themselves...but then it is possible that the illness just recently popped up in their flock and your chickens are safe.

    I wouldn't sweat it...I would watch and wait. IF it is mycoplasma gallisepticum, it can pass from the mama hen to the chick through the egg (vertical transmission), so it is best to get your breeder stock from a reputable source.

    It may be helpful to you to get a necropsy so that you know exactly which disease you were dealing with, or you can wait to see if one of your flock becomes ill and put that one down for necropsy. You would contact your state veterinarian or county extension agent for that I believe.
    diagnosis charts at bottom

    I hope this helps.
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2013
  3. realsis

    realsis Crazy for Silkies

    Jan 17, 2013
    I'm so sorry your new chickens are ill. If your current treatment isn't working you can try switching to tylosin also known as tylan50 injectable. Its usually very good for respiratory illness. Dose is 1/4cc small birds 1/2 cc large birds given once daily in the breast muscle for five days. This should help the symptoms.
    Depending on the exact nature of the illness they
    can still be carriers of the disease. If your chickens were exposed depending on the disease yes they too can be carriers even without I understand it however I could be wrong about that. You do need to get tests done so you know exactly what you are dealing with then you can move forward from that point. You have a choice to treat or cull. this is a personal choice. In my opinion I would test one of the birds so you can first know exactly what it is that's causing the illness then proceed from that point. Again I'm very sorry this had happened but its very important to know what it is your dealing with first then take proper action at that point. Best of luck to you. I hope it all works out!
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    True quarantine is almost impossible for the average person to accomplish. Basically this would require new birds be kept in a building, away from existing birds, they would always be cared for last, the person caring for them would leave all clothing and shoes at the site and shower on the way out. There's more to it then that but that's the basic idea. Most people do not go to this extent, therefore virus can easily travel to other flocks on the property on skin, clothing, shoes, in the air, etc. So yes, your existing birds are highly likely to have been exposed. That does not mean they will get sick, only that they've possibly been exposed. Even with no signs of illness it's possible for them or some of them to become carriers. The new birds that are currently sick will definitely be carriers.

    I agree with the other's that it would be a very good idea to have one of the sick or dead ones tested to find out exactly what your dealing with. Good luck. Respiratory diseases are a real pain in the back side!
  5. gadgetgrl

    gadgetgrl In the Brooder

    Nov 5, 2012
    Baldwin City,Ks
    Thanks for the advice everyone. We are treating them with antibiotics until we can return them to the breeder this weekend. If he doesn't take them back we are going to cull them. Hopefully our current flock will be o.k. I talked to the poultry specialist at K-State University and he told me that unless you wear a biohazard suit when handling/ dealing with sick chickens,it is nearly impossible not to spread it. Hopefully, by using the oxine on everything they will stay healthy.

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