Euskal Oiloa Chicken Forum

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#1 2011-11-05 00:41:48

Island Girl
Member
From: Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Isla
Registered: 2011-07-06
Posts: 1403

To disinfect or not?

So I have been thinking a lot about whether I should be disinfecting my meat bird/gonna be EO coop. I have been thinking about using Virkon in a garden hand mister but I guess my concern is over how to dry it and would I be able to properly dry it.  A very good question was asked as to why do I feel the need to disinfect, were the meat birds sick? They aren't, just very meat birdish and messy etc. I will do the obvious removing the soiled shaving to the best of my ability etc but then I get a little murky over should I or shouldn't I disinfect? Is the extra inevitable dampness (spraying Virkon) worth the disinfecting and could I really do an effective job anyhow?? Was hoping that anyone with some time and opinions could share here. I am kinda leaning toward just washing down the hard surfaces with the disinfectant, waterers, feeders and the metal soffats that I have covering the bottom part of the walls (like sheeting). I did recently post a picture of the coop that I will be using/cleaning if you want to take a peek. Please tell me what you would do given that we are into the humid wet fall of the Island now. Thanks!!

XOX Monika

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2011-11-05 00:41:48

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#2 2011-11-05 00:59:27

poplar girl
Administrator
From: Athabasca, AB, Canada
Registered: 2011-06-30
Posts: 3159

Re: To disinfect or not?

I think washing down the hard surfaces that will dry quickly and cleaning the rest out to the best of your ability makes a whole lot of sense Monika. Damp is bad. EOs are pretty resilient.

Looking forward to others thoughts!


Raising red cuckoo (marraduna) Euskal Oiloak and self blue (lavender) & black Belgian Bearded d'Uccles.

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#3 2011-11-05 01:23:38

Susan
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From: Saskatoon, Sask, Canada
Registered: 2011-06-28
Posts: 2540

Re: To disinfect or not?

Yes, avoid adding any more moisture. If you can get the sun to shine in the door for a couple days, that would be awesome. You coukd also add a few handfuls of the old litter into their litter a week or so before you move them.

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#4 2011-11-06 16:14:25

Nora
New member
From: Edmonton
Registered: 2011-10-27
Posts: 5

Re: To disinfect or not?

What I have heard -- and I am no expert -- is that the coop should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected, then left empty for an entire two weeks. If you like, I would be happy to ask my colleagues (I work with poultry health experts).

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#5 2011-11-06 16:16:09

Nora
New member
From: Edmonton
Registered: 2011-10-27
Posts: 5

Re: To disinfect or not?

Oh, and the other fact that springs to mind is that birds are very good at masking illness. So unless your old birds have been tested for a bunch of things, it is pretty difficult to tell whether they were shedding something icky that young birds could easily pick up.

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#6 2011-11-06 21:45:38

Susan
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From: Saskatoon, Sask, Canada
Registered: 2011-06-28
Posts: 2540

Re: To disinfect or not?

My only criticism of that process Nora, is that is what works for production flocks where they use an "all in, all out" approach and have everything high tech, intensive and confined. In our heritage flocks, we mix birds of different ages, allow them to free range (or at least outside) and they need a bit of immunity to the organisms they will encounter. This is one of the goals of raising heritage breeds- those that develop immunity or even tolerance to germs that would  kill a bird in a production situation. I do the same thing with my kids. I think fresh air, sunshine and playing in the dirt is good for them :)

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#7 2011-11-07 00:24:49

skeffling lavender farm
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From: Wiarton, ON, Canada
Registered: 2011-06-17
Posts: 2720
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Re: To disinfect or not?

I usually pressure wash the lumps and poo off them and if I know chicks under 4 weeks are going in I'd spray bleach too.  If they are older than 8 weeks, I`d leave it at cleaned and dried.  I pressure washed 5 coops today :sick: and 3 the week before last but they are our movable ones so are cleaned in a different place to where they are going to be used overwinter.  All have wire floors so it's fairly easy to get most of the dirt/poo out and have them dry easily. 

I agree with Nora, birds can carry all sorts of diseases that don't show or spread til they are stressed, either psychologically, space, temperature etc.  I try to keep the stress to a minimum, but temperature is one I can't control without a heated barn.  I don't usually leave coops empty unless it happens to not be needed for a while.  I figure mycoplasma etc al. is all around anyway and you won't get around it as it is in the air and very contagious. 

My cleaning efforts are more to avoid coccidiosis and keep the birds clean of poop than anything as if anything else is carried in the flock, it is already there.   My big hens get deep litter, cleaned once a year with more shavings added as the year goes on.

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#8 2011-11-07 03:47:35

ipf
Member
From: Salt Spring Island, BC, Canada
Registered: 2011-08-29
Posts: 168

Re: To disinfect or not?

100% agreement with Susan - what is recommended for the all-in, all-out, factory farm flocks, with their stresssed-out overcrowded birds, is not the best solution for our uneven-aged, generally happier flocks.

I wouldn't bother with disinfecting. Here's to "fresh air, sunshine and playing in the dirt".

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#9 2011-11-10 04:48:09

Island Girl
Member
From: Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Isla
Registered: 2011-07-06
Posts: 1403

Re: To disinfect or not?

Thank you everyone for all their suggestions and opinions. I did a lot of thinking, weighed the pros and cons and made a decision. I imagine the 'coop cleaning police' would be arresting me right now if they knew, so please ...don't tell!

I cleaned out the obvious wet litter and scraped a bit here and there. Fluffed up the remaining litter (surprisingly dry and cleanish) and into the coop they went! :Crazy: As seeing they (my 7 EOs + MV) had been housed in the same coop just in a separate raised brooder (picture on this site) with their own heat  lamp, hubby and I decided that anything they might 'contract' they have already been exposed to. Having said that, my meat birds that were in that coop were fine with no obvious ailments. I did decide to put them on a booster type med for 5 days to help them with the stress of being moved, but I figure they are old enough now to handle this. Oh man, will I be crying the blues if someone gets sick!!

XOX Monika

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#10 2011-11-10 13:01:13

Susan
Administrator
From: Saskatoon, Sask, Canada
Registered: 2011-06-28
Posts: 2540

Re: To disinfect or not?

I think you made the right decision Monka. Its always scary switching coops or putting birds in their winter accommodations. I have been watching my birds closely too, since they are now in their winter coops and have been giving them apple cider vinegar and vitamins in their water. A little support is always good and your choice to continue with the medicated feed for a few days (or a couple weeks) is probably wise. I think at this point and with the dampness, coccidiosis would be your main concern to watch for. Do you have any Sulmet just in case? Good luck, you (and they!) Will be fine :)

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#11 2011-11-10 13:55:22

poplar girl
Administrator
From: Athabasca, AB, Canada
Registered: 2011-06-30
Posts: 3159

Re: To disinfect or not?

Yes, I agree, 8-9 weeks on medicated starter this time of year is what I would do. And watch them closely to see if they seem cold or for any signs of illness. I would lean towards giving them some greens as well, I always start giving mine some bits of green grass fairly young along with access to grit of course.

Susan said it well, changing coops, moving birds around etc. Is always stressful!


Raising red cuckoo (marraduna) Euskal Oiloak and self blue (lavender) & black Belgian Bearded d'Uccles.

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#12 2011-11-10 14:33:23

skeffling lavender farm
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From: Wiarton, ON, Canada
Registered: 2011-06-17
Posts: 2720
Website

Re: To disinfect or not?

Glad you have it figured Monika.  It is stressful.  We put ours tractors in the barn on the weekend.  I let them out, after 2 days, on a day I was home  to free range in the barn. 

2 things happened, the "seagull" dude (who now he is growing honks like a goose) got stuck alongside the big roosters coop run.  I looked at how close Nathan has the run to the manger and thought I'd better keep an eye on that as it just get narrower and narrower and the little booger got stuck right at the very end so we had to shove the run over a bit to get him out, as chickens are a lot like umbrellas.  If you ever heard the riddle "what goes up, down, but won't go down, up?  You'll know what I am talking about  EOs do not go backwards in a  tight space cos of their feathers!

I wouldn't have seen him, all the other EOs had gone back to roost and I didn't count them, but he gave a big honk as we walked by!  He's a greedy little booger, and it one of the biggest roos, but he felt light and dehydrated so I watched him eat and drink. 

Meanwhile all 14 chancteclers decided to roost back at their old home that has been pressure washed and was locked up so they were milling around at dusk and ended up roosting in with the lavender girls that are still out for a few more days. Every one of those little chickens had a little peck at the hand that was grabbing them off the roost!  Sometimes I got 2 or 3 bonus pecks form neighbours who could see or get to me!  :lol:  Needless to say, they didn't get let out loose yesterday just into their runs.  Maybe once the snow flies and we got hail pellets this morning, usually our first snow is pellety off the lake.  I figure the snow should keep them in the barn.  November the year before last we spent a month carrying 60 odd chickens to bed back in the barn after they were in tractors outside all summer and decided to roost on the woodpile, instead of their old homes in their new location.

I did snag a couple of cuddles from a couple of the less tame EO girls.  I have blondies 2 babies in with them and the three broody Mommas.  Blondies daughter is  areal klingon to her Momma, so I figured if they are all in an enclosed space, the broodies could ease the transition.  Mind you the lavenders are starting to doik their own babies on the head now, so first sign of an egg, and the three mommas are back up to the layer coop.

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#13 2011-11-10 16:37:29

Island Girl
Member
From: Qualicum Beach, Vancouver Isla
Registered: 2011-07-06
Posts: 1403

Re: To disinfect or not?

Ohoh the booster type med I was referring to is Oxy Tetra-A (oxytetracycline Hydrochloride 55mg/g), I have had them off medicated feed for a few weeks now (they are 8 week old) can I put them back on or is that a nono? Bah, I wish I had thought of leaving them on it longer, it never occurred to me at the time.

pg I will start giving them greens today. Good idea. I have been giving them a little taste of cobb as well as wheat chaff (spelling?) An organic baker was selling it at our last poultry swap for $5/feed bag full. Her machine does not remove the last of the wheat from the heads so she bags and sells it. They love that too!

SLF, I think we need to name 'seagull dude' may I suggest Jonathan Livingston Seagull, or Jon for short! :P He may be starting something up in your flock, keep an eye on him! I actually went to Wikipedia and reread the plot of that little story just to refresh my memory, yup, I would definitely keep an eye on things!

XOX Monika

For your enjoyment this morning! :P

Plot

The book tells the story of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a seagull who is bored with the daily squabbles over food. Seized by a passion for flight, he pushes himself, learning everything he can about flying, until finally his unwillingness to conform results in his expulsion from his flock. An outcast, he continues to learn, becoming increasingly pleased with his abilities as he leads an idyllic life.

One day, Jonathan is met by two gulls who take him to a "higher plane of existence" in that there is no heaven but a better world found through perfection of knowledge, where he meets other gulls who love to fly. He discovers that his sheer tenacity and desire to learn make him "pretty well a one-in-a-million bird." Jonathan befriends the wisest gull in this new place, named Chiang, who takes him beyond his previous learning, teaching him how to move instantaneously to anywhere else in the Universe. The secret, Chiang says, is to "begin by knowing that you have already arrived." Not satisfied with his new life, Jonathan returns to Earth to find others like him, to bring them his learning and to spread his love for flight. His mission is successful, gathering around him others who have been outlawed for not conforming. Ultimately, the very first of his students, Fletcher Lynd Seagull, becomes a teacher in his own right and Jonathan leaves to teach other flocks.

Last edited by Island Girl (2011-11-10 16:47:50)

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#14 2011-11-10 18:34:21

skeffling lavender farm
Administrator
From: Wiarton, ON, Canada
Registered: 2011-06-17
Posts: 2720
Website

Re: To disinfect or not?

Cool! :thumbs: I never read it, maybe I should!  I totally thought about naming him Livingston when he still making the seagull noise, but he's a grey blue legger...and probably destined for :eat:  His other name is honker, I'm not sure if he's irritating the others but he honks at least twice a minute!!

I check on them at lunch the day there were loose and every other member of his coop was out on the manure pile spreading it around.  I went it to see how the chanties were doing and he was in the run on his own honking at me!  So I picked him up and put hie out with his buddies, so naturally I assumed he'd be fine after that!!

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