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healthy birds

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 
I see many posts regarding how to treat sick and injured birds, but can't find anything regarding healthy birds. I know how to check their poo, I've seen the poop chart (must see for newbies) but what else can I check to ensure my birds are healthy? I don't want to wait until they are very sick and its obvious. I would like to know how to tell they are healthy. Then I won't have to wait to know when something is wrong and it will allow me to know sooner and hopefully have fewer casualties to illness or injury.
I have 2 kids, 2.75 grandkids, 1 dog, 1 puppy and 3 hens, and I luv them all!!
Edit:
I now have 3 grandkids, 4 hens, 2 pullets, and 1 cockerel... For now.
Edit2: 5 pullets
Reply
I have 2 kids, 2.75 grandkids, 1 dog, 1 puppy and 3 hens, and I luv them all!!
Edit:
I now have 3 grandkids, 4 hens, 2 pullets, and 1 cockerel... For now.
Edit2: 5 pullets
Reply
post #2 of 6

Just keep their area clean, and if they are healthy then they will be active and it is pretty obvious fairly quick if you are keeping an eye on their poo and out with them for at least 20 min. a day.

post #3 of 6

My flock is infected with a very contagious virus, lymphotic leucosis. In fact, I just had a very young pullet die yesterday and I suspect it was LL.

 

It's been two whole years since I lost a chicken. Most chicken breeds can develop resistance to this disease, as well as others, with good nutrition and good flock maintenance. I have been feeding fermented feed, and my chickens seem to be very healthy in spite of carrying this deadly virus. I highly recommend it to you. It has plenty of natural probiotics and will make available more nutrients to the chickens than regular dry feed, and it's very easy to do. Go on the feeding and watering forum and look at "Feeding Fermented Feed".

 

I've also learned to spot a sick chicken long before one turns up dead, as I did this latest one. She became listless a few days ago, went off her feed, and she had white, watery poop. She became mute, unlike her usual bossy, vocal habits, and she moped in a corner facing the wall with her tail held low. That's your signal to examine that chicken and start treating it if you can.

post #4 of 6

Generally - keep the area clean, feed good food, plenty of water, plenty of fresh air will prevent a lot of problems. Isolate and cull immediately if a bird is sick, is how I handle it. Isolate and treat with medicine if you are so inclined. 

 

However, in 8 years of chicken keeping I have only had one sick chicken. I have never had a lot of the problems described on here. 

 

Regardless how well you take care of your birds, they have a much shorter life span than other pets. Depending on the breed-line, genetics, feed and stress. But even in ideal conditions, often times they are short lived, and will just be dead in the morning. A quick and probably painless death after a good life, is all any life form can hope for.

 

In my experience, chickens really do not need a lot of special care. Bright eyes, shiny feathers, active movement, eating with gusto, chattering, clear eyes are all signs of healthy chickens.

 

mk

Western South Dakota Rancher
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Western South Dakota Rancher
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post #5 of 6

Watch them. 

 

As suggested on another thread, just pull up a chair and spend some time hanging with them a few times a week. Watch how they interact with each other, how they respond when you give them treats, etc. You have to know what normal is, to spot abnormal. 

 

Once you know your birds, you'll be surprised how easy it is to spot when something is off. You may not be able to put your finger on it, but you'll know "Henny just isn't herself", and you'll be able to go from there, getting guidance from the Emergencies and Diseases section if needed. 

 

Basically, as long as they're active, eating well, glossy feathers, bright red combs (for hens that are currently laying), and productive, you're good to go. 

Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

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Rachel BB

Stem cell transplant from unrelated donor in Feb 2015. Thank you to all my friends here on BYC for all your support during my treatment and ongoing recovery!

Reply
post #6 of 6
Thread Starter 
Thank to all. I like knowing what to watch for. I spend lots of time with them. I will make sure to watch eyes, combs, eating, etc. I want the best for them!
I have 2 kids, 2.75 grandkids, 1 dog, 1 puppy and 3 hens, and I luv them all!!
Edit:
I now have 3 grandkids, 4 hens, 2 pullets, and 1 cockerel... For now.
Edit2: 5 pullets
Reply
I have 2 kids, 2.75 grandkids, 1 dog, 1 puppy and 3 hens, and I luv them all!!
Edit:
I now have 3 grandkids, 4 hens, 2 pullets, and 1 cockerel... For now.
Edit2: 5 pullets
Reply
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