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Discussion Starter #21
Yes, they all got wormed, I check poop every morning lol ,no one had worms but I wormed anyway

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Ok just read the article. Ugh. Don't know if this is affecting the 2 I have on the porch that I hatched from rfr, all I know is they all here are not as hardy as the ones from dcf

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Have you wormed them?That will cause weight loss and other ailments.
Leukosis is a virus that attacks the internal organs but not the nervous system (which Marek's attacks the nervous system) and leukosis compromises the bird's immune system so that ailments like cocci or respiratory issues don't seem to respond to treatments and the bird gets thinner in spite of eating/drinking, and eventually gets lethargic and loses its sparkle and outgoing personality. Some birds die early while some linger on well into their juvenile age. But the outcome will be the same for leukosis birds -- they will eventually die if not euthanized -- there's no cure or effective treatment. Many chicken diseases show the same symptoms but now that I've had birds w/ leukosis it has been easier to distinguish from Marek's symptoms.

If these birds were other than Breda I would say worming might be an obvious culprit but since I do fecal tests through my vet with all incoming or shipped birds, I knew worms was not the problem with my Blue Breda pullets.

I have had other breeds w/ respiratory issues that responded beautifully to my vet's treatments and recovered with flying colors -- but Breda w/ leukosis don't seem to respond to usual respiratory treatments, maybe it seems like they temporarily recover but then relapse again, continue losing weight, possibly having trouble w/ cocci -- especially w/ younger or juvenile Breda. Trauma, like shipping younger infected chicks, brings on stress that brings on cocci, CRD, symptoms and causes a high mortality. Surviving chicks that are leukosis-infected will definitely eventually die as time goes by. Marek's has some degree of treatment but not avian leukosis -- leukosis is currently an incurable death sentence and best to keep these birds isolated to monitor for symptoms and not used as breeding stock. Since Breda have been having a high mortality issue, it may be safer to keep monitoring them until infected birds have been weeded out. Apparently, mating transfers the leukosis virus which is why chickendanz has suggested using only identified healthy birds as breeding stock. I think waiting until Breda are 2 yrs or older would be a good wait-and-see to use as breeders and not mix mating cockerels with pullets until they all "pass the test of time".

Since vets seem to be at a loss for treating or identifying individual chicken viruses (except through expensive blood or culture tests on a live chicken) I'm instead using a layman's approach to identifying the high mortality issue in Breda and a layman's approach to weeding it out of breeding stock. Wow, the veterinarian's blood and culture tests was quoted to me at $500 to $800. If I were an owner/breeder/hatcher I definitely would've considered the expense but as an owner that just wants some sweet backyard layer hens, I wasn't going to spend the $$$.

chickendanz once studied as a veterinarian and I think has come closest to possibly identifying Breda's high mortality issue which too many breeders have been chalking up to a low diversity gene pool instead. I have had a couple of Ameraucana w/ Marek's but never a Breda w/ Marek's. Instead, my Breda have had the leukosis-type symptoms w/ sudden death rather than the symptoms of slow, lingering, paralysis symptoms of Marek's. Necropsy reports often suggest Marek's when they find the cancerous lesions of Leukosis and never ever really identify the cause of death exactly. Bless those who do necropsy reports but I've never been satisfied w/ their results. Blood and culture tests on a live bird is the best diagnosis. Chickens (to me) aren't given the respect that parrots and aviary birds are given by avian specialists. I've been fortunate to find a local vet who also worked in the poultry industry and knows chickens specifically very well.
 

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Discussion Starter #23
Hmmmm. I have 3 juveniles in my porch not well. One is wheezing and the other 2 are just off. This morning I pulled my juvenile jersey giant out of my other coop as she is sneezing like crazy. It's been rainy ans damp here for the past month, even the dairy farmers are losing baby calves to pneumonia and respiratory issues that i have talked to. Now I have 4 juveniles on my porch in quarantine :(

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Discussion Starter #24
Maybe this leukosis is what is killing alot of chickens instead of the mareks or

upper respiratory. ...

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Chickens can also suffer from sub clinical infections, where an illness just lingers at very low levels for a long time.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
The 3 bredas I hatched are sick and one jg pullet. All 4 are young. Young and old get affected most.
The bredas I sold I have to ask how they are. My friend who bought them has 3 birds in the infirmary too with sneezing

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Any kind of illnesses, viruses, or stresses, in chickens lowers their immune systems so that Marek's, MS/MG/CRD respiratory issues, Cocci, Worms, etc, can emerge as secondary problems. Most of these viruses/bacteria are present in backyard birds as endemic but never manifest illnesses/symptoms and birds may never succumb/display symptoms. However, with leukosis it is almost a certain and silent death sentence, even if a bird survives a lengthy time with it, the bird can never be bred and certainly eventually will die if not euthanized.

Leukosis is a virus that shows symptoms of losing weight, respiratory issues, and cocci which these symptoms don't identify the underlying leukosis virus that's causing all the other outward symptoms until the bird just dies suddenly from losing weight gradually or not responding to respiratory treatments or has had recurring cocci issues or other non-responsive treatments.

All an owner can do is treat the outward symptoms and hope that leukosis is not the underlying cause of a compromised immune system. I mean, I've had a Silkie prone to respiratory infections that has responded to Baytril treatments/injections from the vet and obviously doesn't have leukosis -- she is over 6 yrs old, while all my B/B/S Breda have temporarily responded to respiratory treatments only to relapse later and have died. Leukosis is very frustrating and unless there's a blood test done on a live bird there's no way to identify leukosis until further compromised immunity symptoms start showing up like losing weight in spite of eating/drinking, respiratory issues that relapse, or cocci that keeps coming back.

Maryellen, in any event its wise to keep your sniffling birds isolated. A blood test for leukosis would tell you for certain if that's causing your sniffle outbreak but who has $500 to $800 to test per bird? Fecal tests by a vet will let you know if your birds have cocci or worms. Just don't mate any of your snifflers until they pass the 2-yr-old mark to make certain it was just sniffles and not leukosis as the underlying culprit. Mating is what seems to transfer the leukosis from bird to bird down to their hatchlings. Have you been treating your snifflers with antibiotics? That way you'll treat the non-leukosis carriers for their respiratory issues and hope your 4 sick birds recover fully to live to a ripe age of 2 yrs. Who knows? It may be only a respiratory issue your birds have and not related to leukosis -- only time will tell. Have a scale on hand to keep track of their weight. I'm taking such a layman's approach but I don't think many of us have $500-$800 to test each of our backyard birds. If I were breeding I probably would make the investment but all I have are backyard pet layers and not zoned for breeding.
 

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Discussion Starter #31
Everyone is on oxytetracycline right now. The 4 sniffers are in my enclosed porch. The weather here sucks. Everyone's birds have had issues for the past month due to the dampness.
I don't have 500 to test on blood either . So I'll just keep the sick ones seperated and go from there. 2 are just sneezing and 2 are wheezing that rattling breathing and trying to breathe with their mouths open

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Discussion Starter #32
My allergies have been insane for the last month also.
My young birds are being affected I notice. I also had a few birds that I picked up that one of them was sneezing ,all were quarantined and given antibiotics and after they were done in quarantine the one wasn't sneezing anymore so all 6 were slowly introduced, my coop was also given antibiotics as well during the same time to help prevent but apparently that wasn't good enough. Just now another jg in my red coop is weezing. I'm out of cages and have to figure something out

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What about your state departments of agriculture?They can test your birds for just about anything and may offer it at much lower prices.Each county in Ohio has their own extension office so you may,too.Plus,if it is a contagious pathogen,they may offer solutions.I reckon it could backfire,too.If they find a contagion,they may come for your flock if it's bird flu or something like that.
 

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Discussion Starter #34
I'm not driving 4 hours to the state ag office. I'm going to treat both coops and go from there. I won't be bringing in any more birds anymore due to this. I'm done. It's just not worth it.

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If pathogens are in an area, it's hard to contain it as wild birds transfer from flock to flock. I can't count how many threads I read where chicken breeders had to start all over again. I thought after losing my Blue Breda pullets I was "done" too, but then I got the 3 Dominique chicks and I forgot the pain of the last 6 months when I was trying to keep the Breda alive. I was discouraged that I didn't know enough or didn't do enough but sometimes Nature is in control instead of me. I thank God for my farm Mom who is the model I follow to not get discouraged. She lived in an era when poultry vets were unheard of and you had to watch your poultry die from whatever reason. My chicken ranch uncle had to watch 100's of his Babcock Leghorn layers die in a heatwave where he could do nothing to save them in spite of shade and water misters going. Then a famous heretofore un-named soup company came around to all the farmers offering to buy the dead poultry. I haven't been able to eat canned chicken soup to this day thinking about all the dead foul smelling chickens they were buying up for soup!
 

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I'm sure there is a way to send blood samples to the AG office.If you can freeze whole birds to send for necropsies,I'm sure they have a way to obtain blood samples.Call them and talk to them,your taxes pay for it and that's why they exist, so you might as well use them.It may save your Bredas.
 

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Discussion Starter #37
The Breda cockerals affected are from rfr. I wasn't going to keep them anyway, but I'll find out what the ag says. The only issue is if they say they have to kill all my birds that means all 30 including my barnyard mix will all have to die. I'm very leery of calling the state

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State agencies are in favor of large poultry industries that want to eliminate backyard breeders, so I'm skeptical of anything govt too. Most of the time we breeders know more about what's wrong with our chickens more than the average vet or agency.

Lost 5 birds total so far this past year. All I have left is a Partridge Silkie and Cuckoo Breda outdoors. Glad I have the 3 new Dominique chicks now. Lost my 6-yr old spunkiest, smartest, littlest Black Silkie hen today. She had a hard rubbery egg stuck to her vent, I soaked her in warm water but didn't pull on the egg since we saw bleeding. Wrapped her up in a towel and rushed her to my vet (who worked in the poultry industry). The egg was soft enough to come apart in the vet's hand but her ovaries had been stuck to the egg and were outside the vent. The bleeding was coming from an ovarian tumor and we decided to euthanize her at the vet's office. She never did lay eggs quietly but from her first layed egg she always complained before laying an egg. She layed a hard rubbery egg two weeks ago and no more eggs and I knew then that was not good.

She survived so many other health issues over the years I hoped she was tough enough to live forever!

A photo of our sweet Black Silkie, her missing toes, and her misshapen ruibbery egg two weeks ago:
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Sylvester,she looked sweet and I'm sorry for your loss.As for the AG office,there are ways around the government.You can have sample results sent to a family member or a friends house,they don't need to know it's you.I'd be leery,too,but they may be able to give you a definite diagnosis at a cheap price.
 

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Sylvester,she looked sweet and I'm sorry for your loss.As for the AG office,there are ways around the government.You can have sample results sent to a family member or a friends house,they don't need to know it's you.I'd be leery,too,but they may be able to give you a definite diagnosis at a cheap price.
Having results sent to another address is a good idea. I'll keep that in mind if I decide on future testing. I don't breed so spending money testing a dead bird is kinda moot for me who only wants pets -- I'm zone-restricted to 5 hens, no roos. For now, I've got my hands full raising 3 baby Doms as layers for the New Year. I have two adult hens (Partridge Silkie and Cuckoo Breda) left outside after losing our precious Black Silkie yesterday.

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