My name is David, and my wife and I decided to start raising a flock of our own 2 months ago. We started with 5 Rhode Island Reds that were 5 months old at the time. This would make them roughly 7 months now. They haven't started laying yet. They were having a hard time breathing so I've started treatment for them. That is issue #1.
Issue #2: I have a Black Ameracauna rooster (age unknown) that I introduced a few weeks ago. His eye has become matted shut, and he has stopped crowing altogether. After some research online, I narrowed the issue down to an infection and have since introduced a cream applied to his eye daily. Also, because the other 5 hens were in the coop with him, I am running a round of antibiotics on all of them as well.
I am using Baytril for the respiratory issues with the hens, and Terramycin for the rooster's eye.
Now, for some of the mistakes I've made along the way...
When we started caring for the flock, I did not know a dust bath was a major necessity. A week ago, I introduced a tub with soil, sand, ash, and diatomaceous earth. They love it, and use it almost every day.
Also, I was using hay/straw for the bedding. This, I soon realized, was a mistake. It doesn't absorb well. I switched over to pine shavings a week ago as well.
CURRENTLY, I've added a few more to the flock but they are all kept completely separate from each other. The 5 RIR and rooster in the large coop. 4 Amerecauna pullets, aged 2 months, in a smaller coop. Also, I have 4 3-day olds in the house. I want to make sure I get these issues resolved before introducing the young ones to the flock.
I included some pictures just to give an idea of what I am working with now. HELP!