West Nile and Chickens

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Hi all, We have West Nile in our area and I was wondering since it kills starlings will it kill chickens? I'm guessing yes. What are symptoms and can anything be done? Thanks, Christi

-- Christi in KY (cmarshal@btown.k12.ky.us), November 01, 2001


Yes, the West Nile virus will kill chickens...and ducks and geese and parakeets, among other birds. Chickens were used as sentinels for the virus (like canaries in a coal mine) outside New York City a couple of years ago. Their blood would be tested periodically to see if they had acquired the virus. I don't know what specific symptoms there are, but if I remember correctly, birds die fairly quickly from it.

Don't panic! I live in upstate NY and have ducks and geese. The virus has been found in dead birds throughout the state, but I have not lost any birds from it. Simple precautions include eliminating standing water where mosquitos breed. Keep your gutters clean, and dump any vessel that accumulates water, like the saucers under flower pots. I obtained mosquito "dunks" from the town clerk last spring and put them in a seasonal pool out back. The dunks kill the mosquito larvae. Good luck!

-- bluetick (coonhound@mindspring.com), November 01, 2001.

The chooks can get West Nile but they're not affected by it. That's why they used them as sentries. The only way they knew the disease was in the area was due to the blood tests they took on the chooks.

Here's More Info

Equine Cases Thru Oct. 2001

-- ~Rogo (rogo2020@yahoo.com), November 01, 2001.

This is something I've been wondering also. A couple of months ago I read in the newspaper that they expect the west nile virus to hit here in oklahoma in another summer or two. They warned that if you see any dead birds or moping crows to contact the agriculture department.

-- r.h. in okla. (rhays@sstelco.com), November 04, 2001.

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