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Where the farm meets the city

and

Fresh FREE-RANGE pastured, Cage-Free Chicken eggs that are truly just that

What is Chronic Respiratory Disease?

Sometimes referred as CRD

Call it what you like, but know one thing-it can wipe out your entire flock in just a few weeks!!!

The two pictures on the left and the picture on the right are the same chicken, taken at the same time.The sinuses are swollen, causing the eye tissue to also swell. This interferes with breathing, as well as vision. The chicken becomes weak and lethargic due to a decrease in appetite, and fever. Yes, chickens can run fevers when ill!

Infection with Mycoplasma gallisepticum is associated with slow onset, chronic respiratory disease in chickens, turkeys, game birds, pigeons and other wild birds. Ducks and geese can become infected when held with infected chickens.

Keeping chickens in a confined space will speed up the spread of the disease.

Allowing them to spread out while you deal with it will help slow the spread of the disease. Just allowing them to separate WILL NOT stop it. You must take action. Action is sometimes hard to do as it will require culling the sick chickens, if you have not been able to isolate them while treating the problem.

Here are the symptoms: Coughing,wheezing, Nasal and ocular discharge, Poor productivity, Slow growth, Leg problems, Stunted growth, Lack of appetite, Reduced hatchability and chick viability, Occasional encephalopathy (disorder of the brain functions), Abnormal feathers.

The route of infection is via the conjunctiva (eye tissue) or upper respiratory tract, with an incubation period of 6-10 days. Transmission may be transovarian, or by direct contact with birds, exudates (including nasal and eye discharge), aerosols, airborne dust and feathers, and to a lesser extent fomites-an object (as a dish or an article of clothing) that may be contaminated with infectious organisms and serve in their transmission. Spread is slow between houses and pens suggesting that aerosols are not normally a major route of transmission. Fomites appear to be a significant factor in transmission between farms. This is why it is important to practice biohazard safety! Birds that recover remain carriers of the disease for life; subsequent stress may cause recurrence of illness.

When our hens became ill, we treated the disease quickly, but we still lost a lot of birds within a month. The last week of that month, we made the decision to cull any additional chickens that showed signs of potential illness. It was not till we made this choice that we were able to get it under control. It is not always easy to cull your own animals, but sometimes it is necessary in order not to lose the entire flock. During this time, visitors were not allowed into the coop. (Our coop is quite large and we have a lot of requests to see our setup.) This restriction helped prevent someone from unknowingly bringing any additional bacteria or virus that could have put our hens at further risk. It is also important to disinfect your coop both during the outbreak and afterwards. A mixture of 1 cup bleach to 5 gallons of water works well for this. Be sure to let it dry before letting your animals back into the cleaned area! It is a good practice to do this a few times a year even if you do not have any outbreaks occurring. Preventative action will more than pay for itself when raising animals of any kind. This includes keeping clean, fresh water, cleaning nesting boxes, and cleaning the floor area. Just add the waste to your garden or to your compost pile as you clean the cages regularly.

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