UPDATE - wrong Diagnosis? Sad Day - need practical advice about disposing of 6 chickens in the city,

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by wolfandfinch, Jun 13, 2014.

  1. wolfandfinch

    wolfandfinch Songster

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    My chickens have CRD. I have made the decision to cull my small flock, which is heartbreaking. We have them for the eggs and for the kids to learn about livestock etc. so it doesn't make sense to hang on to them and watch them cycle through this disease. I also worry about my friends with chickens unwittingly bringing the disease home to their flocks.

    So, I am going to cull the chickens this weekend. I have 6. Since they have CRD and I have a small lot in the city I am worried about burying them, as the only feasible place is mere feet from the coop. Is this not a worry because the virus needs a live host? I am a little nervous about a mass grave :O

    We do have a large compost bin that the city comes and empties every week but you can't put plastic in there so we wouldn't be able to wrap the corpses. We also have a garbage bin, so we could wrap them and throw them in there. I don't have freezer space for 6 birds and the next pick up is a week. I also have a feeling it might be illegal to dispose of dead animals in the city garbage?

    We live in Vancouver BC. I called the city and they said that for $80-100 a bird I could have them cremated but I can't afford that.

    Anyone have advice? Is it safe to bury them given that I want to get a new flock?

    As for the coop and run... I am planning to dig out all the bedding and put it in the city compost since it's heated to treat it. I will then lay down sand mixed with lime in the run, then cover that with fresh bedding. I will clear out the coop and bleach everything, then paint the inside everywhere except the linoleum floor. I will bleach it again when it's dry. Then, wait a month before bringing any new birds out. Does that sound like it's enough to ensure that the new flock won't get infected automatically?


    As for the new flock... I am pretty scarred about this whole horrible experience and refuse to buy adult birds again. I can't imagine trusting anyone. I have been offered some fertile eggs. I assume hatching my own is the safest route for me?

    thanks very much in advance for any advice you have - plus tips on culling, I've never done it. I'm planning on holding them by their feet, laying a shovel handle across their neck and pulling up to break their neck. Hoping it's the least painful/scary way for them. Thoughts on that?
     
  2. farmtotable

    farmtotable Chirping

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    My Coop
    So, so sorry for your impending loss. That's a really tough/hard decision to make. Regarding the disposal, not sure about your city ordinances, but I would maybe put them in a double bagged trash sack and take them to the city dump. You for sure don't want to compost them, or have them end up in your cities compost, since you never want animal protein in compost.

    Regarding a humane way to put the chicken down, here's how my husband does it. He holds the chicken like you would a football in one arm, then with the other he grabs the chickens head so that the beak peaks out from his hand on the pinky side. You then let the body go, and spin the head around like you're shaking out a wet towel. It sounds brutal, but the spinning motion severs the nerves and breaks the neck so the chicken isn't feeling any pain. He grew up in the country, and that's how they always did it. You want to spin it at least 8 times to make sure everything is severed. Don't know if that's the best way, that's just the way he was taught and how we cull ours here. Well, how he does it, anyway. I can't bare to watch.

    I don't have any experience using lime, but it sure sounds like you're on the right track for disinfecting everything. I would definitely hatch your own eggs, or buy chicks from a reputable breeding source.

    Again, so sorry for your loss. I've had to put down one or two hens here or there, but I can't imagine how it is to cull a flock. Hang in there.
     
  3. wolfandfinch

    wolfandfinch Songster

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    Thank you so much for your kind reply!
     
  4. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    CRD (MG) is not a virus, it is a bacteria. Dig a deep hole and bury them after you've culled them. The critters in the soil will take care of them eventually.
    The rest of your plan sounds good as far as disinfecting goes. MG only stays in the environment for 3 days under ideal conditions. MG can be passed through eggs, be careful where you get the eggs.
    This is one reason why I prefer doing business with reputable hatcheries.
     
  5. wolfandfinch

    wolfandfinch Songster

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    oh OK thanks very much for that!
     
  6. wolfandfinch

    wolfandfinch Songster

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    OK I don't know what's going on now!? SO yesterday I went to check on Fluffy, who was the first to get sick. Nell had some discharge on her beak. She was the other original bird. Fluffy was unchanged. Annie, a small barred rock that was part of the new group had not gone up into the coop and was huddling with Fluffy. I didn't think much of it, she had started huddling with her as soon as Fluffy got sick, and both birds were the lowest in their pecking orders.


    This morning, Nell looked better, Fluffy OK and Annie was standing still, unnaturally so.

    I just went back out now. Nell totally fine. Fluffy completely restored - tail feathers up, no goop, preening etc. Annie, dead. ***? She was laying near the food, somewhat stretched out, eyes open. Nothing crooked, no pecked areas, no sign of anything. No evidence of discharge around her eyes or beak, no signs of diarrhoea, nothing, Just lethargy then stillness but not total paralysis or anything and then death, all within 24 hours?

    Still CRD? Or am I looking at something totally different?
     

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