The Dorking Breeders thread

Discussion in 'Exhibition, Genetics, & Breeding to the SOP' started by Yellow House Farm, May 3, 2014.

  1. Dirt Farmer

    Dirt Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi I'm new this thread but unfortunately not to disease. The problem with respiratory diseases is that they can pretty much all look the same. Some have some distinguishing characteristics but even those won't be present in every case. If you can figure it out, you still have limited treatment options if you choose to go that route, without some veterinary help. You did the right thing by trying to get a definitive diagnosis. If will help you to know how to proceed, and answer some of your questions about its ability to spread to other species. I think the focus is on husbandry currently. Immediately separating those showing symptoms was smart. While you're waiting for a diagnosis just continue to observe, isolate/cull, take care not to spread contamination yourself in caring for the birds, provide clean water, good food and avoid stressing the birds (and yourself).
    Illness is always difficult but it doesn't last forever. Anybody who has kept chickens for more than three years has probably had to deal with it. I once had to depopulate the entire flock. You also tend to learn what works for your environment. I don't bring anything in after the end of this month until the weather warms up in March. For my set up I had to put in 1/2 inch poultry wire and cover the outdoor runs to keep wild birds out. I also believe that with some issues, you can successfully breed for resistance. Hang in and eventually you will have a vigorous healthy flock again.
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2014
  2. MacCana

    MacCana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks so much for the kind words.
    Yes at this point it's really watch & wait with the chickens...the test is more or less to see what all different birds it poses a threat to, as well as some peace of mind. Maybe it could help me for sure figure out where the source came from....
    I just came in & I noticed at breakfast this morning there are some yellow foamy & partial normal/yellow foamy poos in there. Is this a symptom of resp. illness or just some funky stomach junk? No blood or worms or anything like that. No one is sneezing or acting "off" yet. If I am high jacking the forum too off course, let me know. Thanks!
     
  3. MacCana

    MacCana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I mean I guess it could just be cecal, but it looks lighter than I've noticed.
     
  4. Dirt Farmer

    Dirt Farmer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I'm guessing it is related. My experience working with sick birds is that once the chicken becomes weakened by one thing (respiratory illness), it then becomes susceptible to other things. I think you did well to get the pro's involved from the start. Many times people waste time and money on "treatments" that have no chance of working.
     
  5. MacCana

    MacCana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oh trust me, I didn't escape the wasting of money. I bought several different medications since this ugly thing began rearing its head with the first chick- but only since realizing this could be something thats, well truly incurable from the stance of someone who will be selling eggs and babies to others, have I gotten pros involved. I can't be passing along sick birds....the only thing that really screwed me here was the time it took for me to find the resources that said that this is the kind of thing I'm dealing with. In that time I could have protected my newest SG chicks that I had to cull as well as 3/4 of my birds. Now I'm just looking at luck having kept them from somehow catching it or which ones I'll be culling next. I will let y'all know what I find out.
     
  6. MacCana

    MacCana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Just so I feel like I'm contributing something towards the actual idea of the thread, here's some updated pictures of everyone. Hopefully, this won't be the last time you see them. Everyone was getting ready to lay down after their fave watermelon treats. No one showing any weird signs yet still, no runny noses or sneezing. I ended up pnly keeping one of the California "purebred" dorking mix hens. But she's really pretty, so I couldn't help it. She will not be bred if these guys do make it. Just part of my eating-egg flock. Oh & very last is a pic of the poo I was talking about this morning.

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  7. Yellow House Farm

    Yellow House Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    Have you already sent out the samples? If not, you might not want to.
     
  8. MacCana

    MacCana Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No I haven't yet YHF, but I spoke with a guy at the state lab today about it & planned to dispatch a roo right before I sent it off. It should only cost about 20 bucks just to cover the shipping.
    Why do you say I might not ought to? I'm all ears.
    I have been trying to find info on how long it takes to show signs after exposure, since I haven't seen anything yet. The not-knowing is what's killing me....as well as the death stares I have gotten for the past 2 days for keeping them cooped all day (I am only doing that so they won't be out on the grass in the areas where my chick-tractor had been moved about. Since I know for 100% sure that they were sick, I don't want them getting into a germy patch of grass while chasing scrap crumbles & become exposed too).
    I know they say free-ranging is best so that they can be spread out & any illness will be passed more slowly, but with the grass being "contaminated" in some areas, I had to choose the 2 of lesser evils I guess.
    BTW, I wasn't planning on sending any of my good stock off for testing. I planned on sending that one adult cockerel (mutt from Cali) that I had removed a couple of days ago. I removed him bc I thought he had a wet runny nose, but I haven't seen a symptom-nor a wet nose- from him either. But same kinda runny poop. But while I've been thinking on the poo deal, I wonder if I haven't given them slight diarrhoea from the feed. My feed store of choice was recently having a sale on 22% layer pellets. I figured more protein during a rough time might be a good thing (back when I was going to treat anything infected). They're down to 1/4 a bag. Would this feed be doing it? What would be a quick remedy to see? I have heard good things about Apple cider vinegar, but I don't want to do anything to make it worse. I seem to do that when I make decisions b4 doing the full homework.
    I'm open to any thoughts here, though I'll still most likely be sending that rooster off bc $20 is worth the peace of mind for me.
     
  9. Yellow House Farm

    Yellow House Farm Overrun With Chickens

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    It is very simple. What is your purpose? State agencies are not there to help you. They are there to regulate and contain disease. On occasion it is for the benefit of human health, but more often it is to protect the poultry industry. They have parameters and protocols for how they deal with disease. It very frequently involves quarantine and depopulation, ergo they kill the birds. They're not simply going to hand you a prescription and send you on your way.

    Now, unfortunately, a lot of feather brains raise chickens, and they are very much part of the problem. However, feather brains aside, disease can simply happen via all sorts of hosts, the vast majority of which are flying or crawling on and off of your property at all times. Much of governmental intervention is about maintaining public perception, ie they have intervened in a dangerous situation. However, the fact remains that the sparrow that dropped a poop in your yard just flew over eight other coops, too. Your birds aren't flying over everyone else's coops. Sometimes disease happens. It is inevitable. Contain it. Cull it, and impose your own quarantine. Cull anything that manifests any signs of sickness and do not allow birds off of your property. Cull instantly, and bury them three feet deep. Don't let any birds, that are currently on your property, leave your property--even in the future. In future generations, be extremely vigilant for any signs of recurring illness. Exercise supreme hygiene. Some might say to treat your flock with an antibiotic prophylactically.

    Now, and this is hard medecine, you are dealing with chickens, farm animals. They are not pets no matter how many tens of thousands of folks like to pretend they are. Avoid the anthropomorphizing of your farm animals. They are not protesting being indoors. Contain them--provide good ventilation and clean water, but contain them. Until they have shown no signs of contamination for a long period of time, let nothing range.

    What a chicken flock needs is to be maintained by folks with a mind for animal science and husbandry. They don't need names, and they don't need a nanny. Diseases are met with instant and unwavering culling--especially in young birds. Woe is any young bird that even looks under the weather. Don't play nurse and treat a sick bird and then reintroduce it into your flock. The old timers would say that the poultryman's first aid kit contains lice powder and a hatchet.

    Remember Aesop's fable about the war between the pigeons and the kite. The weary pigeons invite the Lord Hawk to intervene, and he kills more pigeons than the kite ever would.

    Go to google books and read "The Principles and Practice of Poultry Culture."

    This is just one perspective. Best of luck!
     
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  10. kimberly35042

    kimberly35042 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    MacCana-- Joseph is right on this one (usually is). My state lab necropsy results left more questions than answers. Once birds have been compromised, they are opened up to a whole host of other nasties that can infect them. And most importantly, the results did nothing to help me contain any problems. All of it stemmed from a coccidiosis outbreak I was slow (2 days) to understand and treat.
     

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