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Salmonella and chicks

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by azygous, Aug 20, 2013.

  1. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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    Recently Privett Hatchery in New Mexico, where I got my baby chicks a couple months ago, has been in the national news regarding over 300 cases of humans contracting the disease after being exposed to baby chicks some feed stores were selling from that source.

    Can my two-month old chicks be affected? They seem healthy, and have been fine from the start. But will they be harboring salmonella, and when they begin laying, will the eggs be contaminated?
     

  2. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member

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    This happens every now and then with hatcheries, but I would think they have taken care of the problem. You could call your local vet and ask about having a collective stool sample checked for salmonella. That might ease your mind.
     
  3. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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    Oh I'm sure Privett has taken care of the problem. They're about as paranoid about their bio-security as can be.

    I'd just like to know if my chicks got infected before they noticed a problem. Getting a stool sample test would be a good idea, even on general principles. I sell my eggs, and I should take the responsibility for making sure my eggs have no contaminants.

    Thanks for the suggestion.
     
  4. birmann

    birmann In the Brooder

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    My chicks were affected. Back in march and got my 18 month baby so sick. She was in the hospital for 4 days. So do my older girls still carry it or did they grow out of it? They are laying eggs now
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Free Ranging Premium Member

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    Did your baby get a stool sample done that came back positive for salmonella? I would probably get one on my chickens. Campylobacter is another thing that chickens carry, and it can make you pretty sick, so make sure everyone washes hands or uses sanitizer.
     
  6. birmann

    birmann In the Brooder

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    Ya she was tested and the center of disease control contacted us and told us the strain and then yesterday we were notified it was from the hatchery as it was the exact same strain and that is where our chicks came from. Do chickens show sickness when they carry or have salmonella?
     
  7. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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    There seem to be many pieces missing from the Privett puzzle. I spoke with a Privett representative yesterday. I asked her how baby chicks could get contaminated with salmonella from a duck pond. Think about it. It doesn't make any sense. Baby ducks would have been too new to have already been swimming in the duck pond, so the chicks couldn't have been contaminated by contact with baby ducks.

    The Privett rep replied, "I have no answer to that question."

    From what I've been reading, salmonella is liable to be present in the guts of chickens, as well as newly hatched chicks. Chickens may become ill from it only under the most filthy conditions. Humans, especially an 18-month old baby girl, can become ill if they handle a chick who has salmonella in their gut, somehow coming into contact with the chick feces. Then, babies being babies, hands go into their mouth, and then the salmonella has infected the baby.

    From what little information there is about the March salmonella outbreak, it was from chicks sold around Easter, people bought them for their kids as novelties, and the kids got sick from handling them. Why are we only now learning about this five months later? What's the point? Who benefits?

    Privett has a "non-denial denial" statement on their web page regarding this situation. I'm still left with almost as little information as when I began this quest. I was thinking about getting a collective stool sample tested from my flock, but they're all healthy and they live in a coop where droppings are scooped up within hours and the sleeping quarters are scrubbed down daily with Lysol. My flock has a better chance of being struck by lightening than having salmonella.


    According the the National Agricultural Biosecurity Center:

    Salmonella bacteria survive well in wet environments shielded from sunlight.
    Survive well between pH 4 to 8 and temperature between 8∞C and 45∞C
    Since salmonella are facultative anaerobic bacteria, they survive well under low oxygen tension, such as that found in manure slurry pits
    Salmonella is destroyed by the drying effects of wind, by the bactericidal effect of UV irradiation from the sun, and by disinfectant agents, such as chlorine solutions, iodines, quarternary ammoniums, and phenolics

    So birds and coops that have access to sunlight are less likely to support conditions that keep Salmonella viable.
     

  8. birmann

    birmann In the Brooder

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    My chickens are healthy looking as well and have healthy clean conditions. Privetthatchery has definitely not provided much info. So I have been doing research as well and can't find an answer to one of my questions, do baby chicks that carry salmonella grow out of it if kept in good conditions or does it stay in their guy until medicine is provided to rid it of the bacteria?
     
  9. azygous

    azygous Free Ranging

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    I'd like a definitive answer to that question as well. So far, the only reassurance I have is that if baby chicks do harbor salmonella in their gut, they won't sicken from it unless their health begins to suffer for some other reason. Just as humans harbor e-coli in our gut, it takes some pretty drastic conditions to be sickened by it, for instance, a ruptured intestine, which releases the bacteria into the body, or if we eat something contaminated by feces.

    I have my local university extension office working on answering some of these questions. I'll post as soon as I know more.
     
  10. birmann

    birmann In the Brooder

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    I emailed the hatchery and the manager is gonna call me sometime soon. Any questions I should ask?
     

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