Allergy....aarrrgghhh!!!

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bozza
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Allergy....aarrrgghhh!!!

Post by bozza »

Well, lovely chicken friends, I’ve had a very eventful couple of months. It seems I’ve developed an allergy to something... assumed at first and for a good while to be hayfever, but increasingly I’m being nudged into facing the fact that it may be something chicken related :o . God forbid it be the chickens themselves (I’d be totally devastated), but people have suggested that it might be them, their feathers, or (and this is the most hopeful) their bedding, Aubiose in this case. I’d be gutted if it was anything to do with them but at least I can eliminate the aubiose quickly and try a completely different alternative. Does anyone have any experience of allergies to chickens or anything related to them? I’ve never had hayfever before and I realise that it can just come on out of the blue at any time in one’s life, but it all just seems a bit odd. My symptoms are very covid sounding but I had a test when my cough was at its worst (it was negative) and have since had an antibody test (also negative). I’ve been to the GP and been treated for allergy with prescription only antihistamine and steroids and last week for a chest infection. My symptoms never really go away but are very chest related-tight feeling chest and breathlessness and cough that is productive. I’ve also had a chest X-ray which was normal. It’s all very puzzling but has rather filled my enjoyment of my lovely girls lately :-)06 . Does anyone have any ideas what I could use as a clean and easy alternative to aubiose? Any help gratefully received xxx I hope this finds you all well? Xxx
dianefairhall
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Re: Allergy....aarrrgghhh!!!

Post by dianefairhall »

Sorry to hear that. I used to think I had hay-fever but when I started getting it in the middle of winter my GP diagnosed it as allergic rhinitis. That means more or less anything irritates my nose so I get all-year -round hayfever type symptoms. I'm also asthmatic so I know all about the tight chest etc. GP prescribed Beconase nasal spray which did the trick. I see they are advertising on TV now. Might be worth a try. Someone else should be able to advise you on alternative bedding for your girls.
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bozza
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Re: Allergy....aarrrgghhh!!!

Post by bozza »

Oh thank you Diane. I have some beconase and I am planning on trying that this week. I haven’t so far as I’ve been hoping it was a chest infection and that the antibiotics would clear up my symptoms but sadly not. I’ve just been looking at a company that does eco safe rubber chippings for hen houses. My mum has allergic rhinitis brought on by lots of things. Hers is very much more nasal and sinus congestion that chesty like mine is. Miserable either way!!!
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Marigold
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Re: Allergy....aarrrgghhh!!!

Post by Marigold »

Hi Bozza. Before you go ahead with rubber chippings, you might like to read this thread
viewtopic.php?t=7220 I used them for a couple of years and was evangelistic about them at first, but later changed my mind.
I haven’t found Aubiose to be dusty on top in the run, - dust does collect underneath but I think a lot of that is dried-out chicken poo anyway. In the coop, you could avoid close contact with newly-stirred -up dust if you could line the floor with newspaper (not so easy to find nowadays, though, when we all read papers online.) When doing a through change of Aubiose on the floor I wear a proper dust mask, and if you do decide to remove all your present Aubiose. you’ll need to do this as well, or the remedy will be worse for you than the cure!
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LadyA
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Re: Allergy....aarrrgghhh!!!

Post by LadyA »

I'm not allergic, but I do have asthma, and learned the hard way that a dust mask is essential while doing anything with the chicken house or run. I got a "proper" mask, which has a silicone seal the whole way around it, and a ventilator thingy. It's basically a N95 respirator, but it's for use by anyone using fine sprays etc. I also wear wrap around goggles when cleaning out the house.

I am assuming they have checked you for asthma? I had a horrible cough for about four years, before, finally, my doctor, being unable to find any evidence of infections, allergies or any kind of illness, discovered that it was "atypical asthma". I never wheeze, rarely get short of breath, but I cough. Before I started on daily inhalers, I coughed a lot! Now, it's not near so much.
Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself!
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bozza
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Re: Allergy....aarrrgghhh!!!

Post by bozza »

Thank you Lady A and Marigold. If I don’t make any improvements with my symptoms on Beconase I will be back in touch with the GP for a referral to the respiratory team at the hospital, as I can’t go on like this every day. I do get breathless, but mainly my chest feels tight (like someone is sat on it!) and the cough is horrid. Marigold, thanks for the link to the thread about your experience with rubber chips. Funnily enough I had been thinking about the cleanliness of the rubber after a while. Sadly I know now that not all chicken poos come out in perfect solid lumps that can easily be picked up. Aubiose is fantastic stuff for clumping it together and drying it out so I’m very reluctant to give it up but also reluctant to have to get a mask and do everything out there in a mask. I wear a mask all day for four days a week at work so I’m a bit over mask wearing at the moment. I guess if there proves to be no practical alternatives then that’s what I’ll have to do but I’d rather investigate other options first. Another alternative would be wood chips but then I’d question how clean you could keep these and then there the issue of dampness especially in the winter months and spores/fungal issues.
Margaid
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Re: Allergy....aarrrgghhh!!!

Post by Margaid »

The spores/fungal issues from woodchips could be worse than what is happening now. I suffer from asthma which has improved since moving from Suffolk to Shropshire. Apart from the air being cleaner generally I am no longer exposed to grain spores in the autumn or the spores from the riverside marsh plants.

Asthma can take many different forms but if you are given inhalers ask for an Aero chamber spacer - I found the steroid inhaler affected my voice, not good when you sing.

I used wood shavings in the henhouse - my birds free ranged in a field, but I took a tip from an old poultry book and put a board about 6 inches under the long perch. It was really easy to clean that off in the morning.
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dinosaw
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Re: Allergy....aarrrgghhh!!!

Post by dinosaw »

If at all possible try to get someone else to look after your birds for a fortnight. Don't go anywhere near them or the run. That will be the best way of eliminating or proving that it is dust/chicken dander that is causing your symptoms. The problem with masks is that unless they are good and fit well they can still let some dust in and in that case you will be none the wiser as to what is causing the trouble.
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