Should I "depopulate"?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Indiana farm chick, Nov 26, 2010.

  1. Indiana farm chick

    Indiana farm chick Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 21, 2010
    Wawaka, Indiana
    I have been battling disease in my flock since June. I've raised chickens for five years and had no disease problems until this year. I bought birds at a swap meet and from a private breeder instead of a hatchery. I kept everyone separated for two weeks and all seemed well. Then I introduce the newbies to the flock and they immediately showed respiratory problems. I bought broiler chicks from a hatchery as usual. I had poor performing chicks and bloody stools-even though I was feeding medicated starter. I lost several chicks.

    Finally I decided to try to find out what was going on. I took some sickly birds to the Animal Diagnostic Lab at Purdue and had them necropsied. Results: Mycoplasma gallisepticum, mycopasma sinovia, horrible coccidia infestation, salmonella, infection coryza. I'd never heard of half of this stuff! After some intense treatment the sick birds were either dead or seemingly healthy. The broilers finally got fed out and into the freezer and we agonized over whether it was ethical for my daughter to take her 4-H birds to the fair.

    August seemed OK, but I had a nagging doubt. The "healty" birds had been exposed to all this and my understanding was that even if they hadn't developed disease, they could still be a carrier. If stressed, they could get sick, or they could pass it to other birds. They could pass it down through thier eggs to new chicks. There went my fledgling breeding program. Time passed and I began to think that maybe I was out of the woods. Now I have two birds with pox lesions and several are sneezing and coughing.

    I feel like throwing in the towel, depopulating, disinfecting and starting over. Some of the diseases my birds had are carried/spread by wild birds. I'm afraid that even if I get new birds, if I let them free-range they'll be at risk. I don't know if I want to have birds if they can't free range, but I don't want sick birds. I bought from a breeder so that I could get better quality standard birds, but I brought home disease. I don't know where to go for new birds. And I'm not sure I can take putting my current birds down.

    Guess I needed to vent. Has anyone gone through depoplulation? How'd you do it and how'd you get through it?
     
  2. silkiechicken

    silkiechicken Staff PhD Premium Member

    Quote:Sorry about all the issues with your flock. The swap meet is probably where the bulk of your issues came from.

    I personally would depopulate, sanitize, give some time and start over with chicks and eggs. Bringing in adults is often the best way to bring in disease. I would not worry too much about the wild birds bringing in things to your flock.

    Best of luck.
     
  3. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Syracuse, NY
    Quote:Sorry about all the issues with your flock. The swap meet is probably where the bulk of your issues came from.

    I personally would depopulate, sanitize, give some time and start over with chicks and eggs. Bringing in adults is often the best way to bring in disease. I would not worry too much about the wild birds bringing in things to your flock.

    Best of luck.

    I have to agree, Lord have mercy! With all the things you've go going on I doubt you pass the NPIP test. I am sorry for your loss.
     
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    Jacksonville, Florida
    I agree with the others. I would cull what chickens I have left. Disinfect everything with oxine. Wait til spring or later and order chicks from a hatchery. You quarantined the birds you brought in from the swap meet for 2 weeks, it's best to quarantine them for 30 days or longer, there's no set time period to quarantine birds. Personally, I order from the same hatchery and maintain a closed flock. Sorry for all the headaches you went through.
     
  5. abhaya

    abhaya Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 5, 2010
    cookeville, tn
    sorry to say I agree I would kill them all and start over after using a lot of bleach to get rid of all the bad stuff. At this point anything you add is gonna be at risk. DONT.give any of those birds to anyone.
     
  6. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    With that much horrid stuff in the flock, I'd depopulate, disinfect everything to the max and then, never, ever get anything at a swap meet/flea market/Craigslist again. Quarantine should never be less than one full month and preferably six weeks, but even then, they could still be carriers. Your situation is why nothing comes here unless it's hatched here on the premises or direct from the hatchery. And even hatcheries on occasion have issues, though generally, they're a safe place to get chicks/eggs from. That is my policy and so far, it's served me well. I'm sorry for your troubles.



    BTW, coccidiosis is really in the soil and not that big of a deal, generally, if caught early and treated. Bleach will not kill the oocysts that cause it, but ammonia will. However, you just need to watch for signs and treat with Corid if they are hunched up and lethargic or you see blood in the poop. They usually become immune to it as they get older anyway and it's pretty common, but when it's in addition to the other awful stuff, the poor birds don't have much of a chance. The other stuff, I'd never treat--those make your birds carriers.
     
  7. sonew123

    sonew123 Poultry Snuggie

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    onchiota NY
    I have to agree with the rest. IMO if this happened to me, since Winter is coming fast here. I would get rid of them all -Im so sorry and it is sad and will be sad [​IMG]-scrub-bleach-clean clean clean-sanatize everything head to toe-leave no room for contamination-then leave all items empty for the Winter. ANything that was there should be all gone come Spring-all though there are certain bacterias that can and will survive so you'll never be 100% you got everything but be vigilant. NO flea markets-swaps no live birds frm anyone except hatcheries or eggs. Start over in Spring. I would hate to live without my birds even through Winter but thats what I, personally, would do. Again so sorry you have had to deal with so many horrific illnesses:-( [​IMG]
     
  8. rooster brandon.

    rooster brandon. Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Kodak, by knoxville
    Ok i have went through the SAME thing but mine seem to feel a little better but just because a bird is sick doesn't mean you kill them i could under stand because i have a sick flock too but sick birds are still birds there nothing wrong with them they may not be able to be showed but there still good.If the sickness doesn`t travel by air you could have another coop see this is all to close to my problem i have one sick coop right now and 6 other coops of healthy birds i would just feel bad for them because they did nothing wrong to be killed.I guess im saying this because thats what i would do.I have 36 chickens 10 sick ones but may be a temporary (barred rock,buff,RIR,dominque and ameracana)
    3 golden laced cochin bantams 1 silver sebright rooster 4 chicks (austrolorp,light brahma) 6 seramas 2 hatch game chickens and 6 silkies (2 black rest are white.) Oh and 3 serama chicks. and i personaly know them ALL and they each do there on affection on me to get there share of feed early.........sory for all the sick birds hope things get better. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  9. rancher hicks

    rancher hicks Chicken Obsessed

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    Brandon ,

    Let me be the first to say , your situation is why others choose to keep a closed flock. Please do not sell or give away any of your birds. Even the healthy ones as they could be carriers. I never knew what bio security was until I got chickens, but postings like these only make me more diligent not to get birds from people I don't know. Hatchery birds may not be show birds but I do believe they are less risk than from a private person. Just as a precaution I order new information from the USDA each year as things may change. It's free and well worth the e-mail to do so.

    Perhaps now I know why some folks who've I 've offered hatching eggs to have said no. Rest assured I'd have a hard time selling eggs to anyone if my birds had as many problems. Lord have mercy!

    Wishing everyone safe and healthy poultry keeping.
    Rancher
     

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