I had wanted to have chickens for years, so I was very excited when my husband's uncle gave us four chickens in March last year.
Since then, I have loved having them around..
Purchasing more; researching frequently about them; growing sprouts for them; caring for them, keeping busy with seemingly endless coop design and construction; watching them eat my garden bare; fencing off another area for them; from yearning for one of my hens to go broody in the beginning, to having many broody hens; watching my chicks grow; healthy eggs and meat on the table...
Losing a hen to a wild cat that had dug under my gate to get into the coop; losing most of my mature laying hens to jackals that broke through the wire mesh on my coop door; dealing with sickness, losing some chickens; vaccinating...
It has been a great learning experience, but now I have a problem...
I purchased some new chickens from two breeders and one had a swollen eye. I was unable to source Terramycin; treated with Consumix then ran out and couldn't source more; then treated with Doxybiotic for Pigeons and Caged birds (after researching options and checking with a Vet to see if I could) and thought that I was in the clear...
Some of my young chicks showed signs of dry Fowl Pox, I lost some but the others seem to have 'shedded' it. Two are still healing and 'shedding'.
Four -ish weeks later my Araucana Rooster had a bit of heavy breathing and looked worse for wear. His comb was exceptionally pale and I relocated him, my Araucana and EE hen to a private coop and started treating them with Consumix. I lost him two days later. I have only had him for a few weeks and don't think that I heard him crow once and did not see him mount any hens, so I am not sure if he was not entirely right from the start. He did come from a good breeder, and although his comb was never a bright red, it became paler about a week ago and his heavy breathing symptoms only really showed a day or two before he died.
Nevertheless, I do not want to lose any other chickens. Please view the photos and give me some advice!
Above: My Lavender Araucana Hen. Pale comb and swelling beneath eye.
The two photos above are of my Lavender Pekin hen. She also has a pale comb and is very pale in her eye area.
Above: My Lavender Pekin Roo - there seems to be nothing wrong with him, he is just very shy and cute!
Above: A general shot of my chickens. I am a bit worried that they look bare around their eyes and am concerned that it may be because of mites. Please advise. I have cleaned out their coops every four to eight weeks and sprayed the coops with a combination of bleach, dishwashing liquid and sunflower or canola oil as a natural remedy for bugs. There is also lots of dust and loose earth for them to fluff about in. Could they have worms?
I have a separated area for these chickens (Araucana hen, Easter Egger, Lavendar Pekin trio, two Siklie Roosters, and various ages of a mix of breeds) to free range in during the day.
My other chickens (Dutch Bantam trio; Blue Australorp Roo and Australorp as well as a mix of other hens) are in my garden (next to the other fenced off area) and show no signs of illness or pale comb.
Any advice would be much appreciated!
What a way to introduce myself :( . Thank you for all of the advice that is provided in this site! It is a fantastic resource!