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I am beginning to wonder about my ability to keep chickens

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
I am a devoted animal lover. Two years ago I bought 2 buff Orpington's. I had never tried raising chickens before. I loved them! Then when they were a year old I lost one of them to coccidiosis. It devastated me. So I waited a month and bought 2 juvenile buffs. They have turned out to be really big healthy birds. They were vaccinated for Mareks and coccoidiosis. I noticed in the last week or so one of the 3 have had diarrhea. Everybody's appetite was great, nothing else amiss. They free range, I clean their coop every day and they have clean water and good quality layer feed at all tines. But back to the diarrhea. I had been giving them some cornbread every day as a treat and thought maybe that was causing it. But yesterday I was out side and heard one of the chickens making a hacking noise (I don't think I heard it before yesterday) It worried me and I started being even more observant. By afternoon she was mouth breathing and sounding a little "rattley" It just totally unnerved me These chickens are pets. So I took her to the vet, he kept her overnight, gave her an antibiotic and sent her home. I have to give her and the other 2 worming medicine for the next 4 days and I have to give her a antibiotic injection for the next 4 days. I live alone and just trying to give them worming medicine is a nightmare so I am going to try to beg help for the next 4 days. She is so pitiful. When I picked her up yesterday I could tell she had lost some weight. My concern is, I thought chickens were pretty hardy little animals. But the vet said they were 'delicate" Has anyone found that to be so? I have been very, very diligent about making sure everything was clean and fresh food and water are available. I can't think of what I could be doing wrong. Are there any suggestions anyone can think of to keep my little pets healthier. It is just so painful for me to lose an animal. I do everything I can think of to keep them healthy
post #2 of 5
Chickens do have delicate systems. They can eat almost anything (there are surprising exceptions) but they are very susceptible to respiratory problems. It sounds like you are doing everything right, what kind of coop do you have? Is it well ventilated? The hard part of owning animals is you will lose some.
post #3 of 5
Thread Starter 
They have a really good coop. It has vents on both sides. It has a window that can be opened up and windows on the other side. I keep sand in the floor (and the coop is raised up abt a foot or two off the ground. My only issue I worry about is the fact that she and her sister will not roost! They will only lay on the floor. And they literally ay almost on top of each other. I have put an extra 2x4 much lower in the coop, tried manually placing them on the roost (which was the most awful experience). I dont know if that could cause any5hing. But they have been laying together for a year and I thought sand might help with any dust. I know we have had some unbelievably windy days wit gusts up to 40 mph. I have put quite a bit of mulch out and I thought maybe she might have inhaled some of that. I am puzzled. The lady next door has chickens and never does anything for them except put food out and maybe change their water once a week and they seem to thrive
post #4 of 5
Lol ask her what she uses for litter. Sand is fine but they would do better with mulch. I doubt they breathed in mulch. Chickens like grass clippings, tree shavings, I use straw.
I do not know Orrington well you should try the Orrington thread. I see they are duel purpose birds so perhaps they do not roost (larger meat birds do not)
post #5 of 5
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