Hello, I'm new here. This is a really informative forum! I've had chickens for 4 years off and on. Mostly golden comets. I'm not a pro by any means. I just typically keep a few hens, as I like the fresh eggs. My little boys love to gather the eggs, chase after the chickens and carry them around, lol! I've NEVER in 4 years had any problems with bugs or disease. My hens have always stayed healthy, and I've not lost any other than to predators (we live in the country).
I wanted to expand my flock and I was down to just three hens (thanks to a dog or hawk). I bought a healthy beautiful silver laced wyandotte(?) trio from a local man. A couple weeks later, I purchased 8 more pullets from the same man, and 4 from another man at a chicken sale. Since then I've been battling lice/mites and sickness. I've lost one sweet broody hen that was sitting on 7 fertile eggs, several pullets and now my silver laced wyandotte rooster is very sick. I'm fairly certain it's the respiratory disease I've been reading so much about here. My poor roo is blind right now, his eyes are swelled shut and have mucous in them. I spent nearly two hours a couple days ago cleaning the coop and dusting all the birds for mites. Who knows if that will work.
As bad as this sounds, I simply don't have the time to treat 15 birds for this. I have 3 boys under the age of 4 (including a nursing infant) and I have my hands full with them! Plus, the sickness and bugs are making me very nervous.... my bigger boys love to play with the chickens and I don't want them to get near them now. I can't treat them all 3x/day and risk carrying bugs or sickness back inside with a baby. What used to be enjoyable for all of us has turned into a NIGHTMARE :(
Am I just going to have to cull them all? Or just the ones that start showing symptoms? My hens aren't even laying right now, I have no idea why. I'm more than frustrated with this whole ordeal. :(
Thanks in advance, and my apologies for the book!