Respiratory Issue - should I cull my hen?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by starbugs, Sep 2, 2013.

  1. starbugs

    starbugs New Egg

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    Feb 18, 2011
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    Should I cull my hen?
    My 7 month old Barred Rock which I've raised from a day old chick, started having respiratory issues about a week ago. (her symptoms were raspy breathing, not coming off roost in the morning ~ not runny eyes, etc.) I removed her from the rest of the flock (8 others), quarantined her in the garage, and started her on Tylan50 (orally). She has improved (is eating, drinking, and even laid an egg yesterday) but I'm wondering if I will be taking too great a risk to add her back to the rest of her hen family even after she 'seems' okay? She is still a bit raspy but showing much improvement. I know culling her would seem drastic to many but I just do not want to take a chance of losing my other dear hens! I know how long it takes to raise a small backyard flock - I recently lost my most beloved rooster to an unknown daytime predator!
    Maybe I already know the answer to this but would appreciate any feedback.
    Thanks so much!
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    If she was with your other chickens when she developed symptoms, they have already been exposed and are either resistant or incubating whatever is causing symptoms. I would keep her isolated until she is 100%, and then I would return her to the flock.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive True BYC Addict

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    I agree with Sourland. They were all probably exposed to it already. If she recovers, I would just practice "all in--all out." Don't bring in any other chickens till these chickens are gone, and don't re-home any of these.
     
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  4. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Eggcessive makes a very good point. From now on I would 'assume' that all are carriers and practice "all in -- all out" and add no new birds.

    When exposed to disease there are several possible scenarios in any animal population:

    1) Some animals will show frank symptoms and die.
    2) Others may show symptoms, recover with immunity or become carriers.
    3) Others will have acquired or natural immunity.
     
  5. starbugs

    starbugs New Egg

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    Thank you everyone! I just checked on her and she does have runny, green, poop and
    is standing with her eyes half closed. So, you all seem to be in agreement - treat her
    until she seems all better and add her back to flock?
    Thank you so much!
     
  6. Wednesday

    Wednesday Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just got off the phone with Dr. Gary Butcher, head of the University of Florida vet school. He is the poultry expert and also consults with the commerical poultry industry. He said he does not recommend culling. I had a flock with respiratory issues so i called him with same question. He said over 80 percent of poultry in commerical operations have been exposed to respiratory issues and they do not cull. He said he would not cull his own birds if the got sick with respiratory issues. As others have said, your flock is already exposed at this point and if you believe in natural selection, then let her recover with or without meds and return her to the group. Tylan was a miracle drug for my birds. He said you can treat with meds but he does not do so in his personal flock. He does not routinely worm his hens either. I asked if he believes in vaccinating backyard flocks. He said if it can be done at the hatchery, fine but he does not vaccinate his backyard flock. Hope everything works out for you. Good luck
     
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2013
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  7. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    Dr Gary Butcher - I like this guy's outlook on flock management!
     
  8. starbugs

    starbugs New Egg

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    Wow! Thank you SO much for taking the time to call Dr. Butcher! Yes, I would have rather not treated with antibiotics either but was
    assuming that if I didn't take measures quickly, she might get much worse. It's so hard to know exactly what to do - how far to go to
    treat, etc. Raising chickens has been so rewarding and I learn more every single day. I've recently gone from 'free-ranging' all day to
    only supervised 'free-ranging' when I can stand guard with a big stick and alert eye. [​IMG]
    Thank you again!!!
     
  9. Wednesday

    Wednesday Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It was eye opening to talk to him. He said he hatches chicks as a hobby at home. I asked if he uses Corrid for cocci and he said no. He said he feeds medicated feed until 10 weeks and then switches to regular feed. He said only 3 percent of eggs infected with MS transmit it to the chicks. He is looking at a necropsy report for me on a sick hen with tumors on her intestines and was very nice and helpful. Here is his info:

    http://www.vetmed.ufl.edu/about-the-college/faculty-directory/gary-butcher/

    I lost 14 out of 16 birds to neighbor dogs while free ranging so I feel your pain.
     

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