Respiratory Infection Info needed ASAP

calichicken75

In the Brooder
Sep 2, 2019
14
52
46
Hello, I am desperately looking for some opinions on my current situation.

Long story short, I purchased some chicks from a hatchery as i wanted to grow my flock. I kept them separate. They started coming down with respiratory infection symptoms. Vet said to cut losses and cull all chicks. I did this and sent them off to the Animal Health Authority for testing. results came back positive for:

MG, MS and Infectious Coryza

2 days after culling all the chicks one hen in my laying flock became ill with same symptoms, i separated her and put her and entire flock on Tetracycline. She did improve. Since getting these results I am told that i should cull entire flock and start over, including my 2 beautiful Muscovy ducks. This is breaking my heart. I love my hens and ducks, they are like pets to my children. However i am willing to do what I must. I was hoping to increase my flock to a total of 30 laying hens, I currently only have 7.

I am sure i have made mistakes, i am new to this. Please don't judge me, I just want to do what is ethically and morally right here and I need to make a decision asap. :( sigh :(
 

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Eggcessive

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The chicks probably got exposed to the respiratory diseases from your other birds. All of your birds and ducks should be considered carriers until the last one is gone. You may close your flock to new birds or birds going out, and enjoy them. Treat them with antibiotics if needed. Coryza usually requires a sulf antibiotic such as bactrim or sulfadimethoxine, while MG requires Tylan or oxytetreacycline, and some use denagard. MS is very hard to treat. If you decide to cull, and start over, clean and disinfect your facilities, wait a few weeks before adding healthy chicks. I would not get started chicks, but healthy chicks from a reputable hatchery. Wild birds can bring in diseases, but so can birds from another person. So sorry that you are dealing with this disease, but you can still enjoy chickens in a closed flock.
 

calichicken75

In the Brooder
Sep 2, 2019
14
52
46
The chicks probably got exposed to the respiratory diseases from your other birds. All of your birds and ducks should be considered carriers until the last one is gone. You may close your flock to new birds or birds going out, and enjoy them. Treat them with antibiotics if needed. Coryza usually requires a sulf antibiotic such as bactrim or sulfadimethoxine, while MG requires Tylan or oxytetreacycline, and some use denagard. MS is very hard to treat. If you decide to cull, and start over, clean and disinfect your facilities, wait a few weeks before adding healthy chicks. I would not get started chicks, but healthy chicks from a reputable hatchery. Wild birds can bring in diseases, but so can birds from another person. So sorry that you are dealing with this disease, but you can still enjoy chickens in a closed flock.

The hens I had prior were ones either myself or my girlfriend hatched and we've never had a health concern ever between our flocks so I assumed it was from the chicks. I do suppose though that anything is possible. My whole purpose of having chickens was to sell fresh eggs and I need more than 7 hens for that. My goal was 30 hens. But i feel so incredibly guilty taking the lives of birds simply because I want more eggs. Ugh, I hate this ...
 

Eggcessive

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There is a vaccine available for MG, but most people do not vaccinate for MS or coryza. You could cull any sick birds, close hour flock, and vaccinate any new chicks for MG. But if you want a flock of 30, it might be easier to cull all birds, and wait until spring to get new healthy chicks. MG is a very common disease, and MS also may be common, but less common. Coryza, on the other hand, is more severe, and most would cull birds with symptoms, just to try and irradicate it.

It would be very sad to cull birds who are not showing symptoms, but culling the flock would be the only way to start fresh fresh without the possibility of spreading it. That would include any type of fowl, including ducks and others. Preventing wild birds from eating and drinking from chicken feeders and waters helps to prevent diseases.
 
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Folly's place

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Sep 13, 2011
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I'm so sorry! It's good you had the testing done, so you have good information (awful!) to be able to make decisions.
Was the hatchery informed? Any issues known about them?
Any close neighbors with chickens? Any sick looking songbirds around? Here, at least, wild wrens can contract MG; they all die if infected, and appear ill, with goopy eyes and nostrils first.
Eggs from infected hens will carry MG, at least, so that's not good either.
I'd be crying, a lot, and probably cull and start over.
Most antibiotics given to sick birds require long egg withdrawals, at least, and your birds are likely to be sick often.
Again, so sorry,
Mary
 

calichicken75

In the Brooder
Sep 2, 2019
14
52
46
I'm so sorry! It's good you had the testing done, so you have good information (awful!) to be able to make decisions.
Was the hatchery informed? Any issues known about them?
Any close neighbors with chickens? Any sick looking songbirds around? Here, at least, wild wrens can contract MG; they all die if infected, and appear ill, with goopy eyes and nostrils first.
Eggs from infected hens will carry MG, at least, so that's not good either.
I'd be crying, a lot, and probably cull and start over.
Most antibiotics given to sick birds require long egg withdrawals, at least, and your birds are likely to be sick often.
Again, so sorry,
Mary

Thank you for your words, much appreciated. I have cried A LOT! But i have come the decision to cull and start over. I have a new larger coop coming that I purchased a month ago and I am not going to let this get me down from my enjoyment. I have 2 3 month old Muscovy ducks that I am going to have tested before I just cull because I love them so much and so does my entire household.

The hatchery has been contacted 5 times to no avail ...both by myself and the local pet store that sold me the chicks. The pet store hasn't seen other sick chicks from them so far, but they did loose the entire shipment of turkeys from them.

We do have wild turkeys, but they can't get very close, and rarely come around as we have a dog and a busy household with equipment and trucks and kids etc ...

I am going to inquire today about the cost of the testing for the ducks with our local farm animal mobile vet and go from there.
 

Folly's place

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10 Years
Sep 13, 2011
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southern Michigan
Have you talked to your state veterinarian, and the state vet in the state your chicks came from? This isn't sounding good to me...
Also about that pet store, and other birds there. ALL pet birds can carry at least MG, as I recall. Another reason to talk to your state vet
Mary
 

calichicken75

In the Brooder
Sep 2, 2019
14
52
46
Have you talked to your state veterinarian, and the state vet in the state your chicks came from? This isn't sounding good to me...
Also about that pet store, and other birds there. ALL pet birds can carry at least MG, as I recall. Another reason to talk to your state vet
Mary

Very interesting! I never once thought about these chicks contracting it from the “pet birds” in the store ....I have been in touch with our vet, we are in Canada, and I’m expecting to hear from him today again after reviewing the diagnostic report.
 

MANNA-PRO

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