Chicken Health & Safety

By atrueb00 · Oct 16, 2014 · Updated Oct 16, 2014 ·
  1. atrueb00
    *Health Care Disclaimer
    Please remember that none of us on the Indiana thread are avian health care professionals. We can learn from each other's real-life experiences, but we also recommend consulting online sources from reputable sites. Additionally, it's helpful to own a book solely about chicken health issues for quick reference. After reading information, it's up to you to determine what to do next, whether you want to try a remedy or consult with an avian veterinarian first. Many vets will answer questions over the phone.

    Clipping Rooster Spurs

    Method for Clipping Rooster Spurs
    Worming Medicine/Dosing Info
    Round Worm Treatment
    Wry Neck

    Chicken First Aid Kit
    Indiana State Poultry Association-Biosecurity Tips
    Indiana's Free Flock Test Program
    Quarantining Chickens - Article

    Treating Bumblefoot, Dosing Update
    Keeping Chickens cool in summer

    Preventing mites in chicken feed
    Treating an impacted crop
    Keeping chickens warm in winter - or not?
    NPIP testing good points
    Swap meet biosecurity
    Chicken first aid kit
    Health References and Links
    Indiana State Poultry Association Test Twelve FREE Health Screening Program

    Clipping Rooster Spurs FAQs - September 22, 2014 - @SallyinIndiana - See Original

    Q-Is it totally necessary to remove spur casings?
    A-My opinion is it depends on the breed of the rooster and the hens he has in his pen.

    Q-At what age do you do it?
    A-No set age. We choose roosters over a year as we had a big gap in age most of our roosters were under 6 months or > 1.5 yrs old

    Q-What happens if you don't do it?
    A-For us we had 3 different roosters in 3 different pens that had spurs well past 1.5 inches long and they were starting to curl in. They were sharp. It was hard to hold the rooster to check for lice without getting scratched. Then within a 2 week time frame, we had 2 hens in 2 of the 3 pens get mating injuries from the spurs.

    Q-Do you separate them from the flock after removing spur casings? If so, for how long?
    A-I pulled mine out for at least 2 days from the flock they were with to make sure the spurs had clotted nicely. We did not just get the outer shell off like the potato method would. We sawed through the entire spur leaving only about 1/3 of an inch sticking out of the leg. Two of the 3 roosters went back in with their flocks after the 2 days. The other rooster was separated for about 4 weeks from his tiny flock of 9 because I had a bare back (overly mated while molting) hen as well as the other injured hens in that pen.

    Q-Are you able to do it by yourself or do you need someone to help?
    A-My DH was able to do it himself. There was a bit of bleeding but we had flour on hand. If one is able to process a chicken then they should more than be able to stand the sight of the spur removal process. Still a second set of hands to hold the rooster so the noise of the saw does not spook him is better.

    Q-Any advice for first-time spur removers?
    A-Watch you tube videos of the different methods. Consider how the spur looks once the method is done as well as the effort each method takes. The hot potato method looked painful for the rooster imo and there was a risk of me getting burned. I have baked potatoes in foil before ~ those things get very hot. The potato method reminded me of a de-horning or dis-budding process for goats. While needed for some goats, disbudding does cause pain. I imagine removing spurs is the same for roosters, needed but some amount of pain is involved. The rotary saw did not seem to cause that much pain in our roosters. For a first timer, the pain of the animal should be mentioned not as a deterrent but as a this is part of it. After all if there are people who will talk to or cuddle a rooster right before putting it down, then I'm sure that there are people that will do the same for de-spurring both before and after the procedure.

    Method for Clipping Rooster Spurs - September 22, 2014 - @kabhyper1 - See Original

    A very quick efficient method is what we did on Gus before he went to Janet's. We put a towel over his head for comfort while I held him. My DH turned on the air compressor and attached a small wizzer cutting wheel. We disinfected the wheel with alcohol. I held his leg while DH cut the spur about a half inch from the leg. It helps to candle the spur with a flashlight to see what’s going on inside with the artery and where it is. It cut very smoothly and as it cut it cauterized the spur so no bleeding. I put a little Neosporin on it (no pain killer) and put him on his roost for the night, as doing it after dark right before bed helps keep germs out for the fresh cut. They are in a little pain also so rest is good. The blood will come out like a dried out worm when you cut the spur so if see that don’t freak out lol. It's actually kind of interesting. I really like that method so I don't have to worry about too much bleeding or the other chickens picking at the cut. Plus no bandaging required.

    Worming Medicine/Dosing Info - September 18, 2014 - @jchny2000 - See Original

    On the worming, wow that's definitely an invasion. Barn cats get them often too, since they are eating mice and wild birds. I use Ivermectin pour on (not the new, or II), and plan to switch to Valbazen. Since I use it off label, I can only tell you what I do. The cats, use a cat de-wormer. Cats are highly sensitive to medications.
    Here is what I follow from a thread on BYC: Use the Wazine liquid first if you have never wormed them.

    The dosage is:
    1 drop for a small "micro" bantam, say the size of an OE hen
    2 drops for an average small bantam - OE male, small bantam hens
    3 drops for an average bantam sized bird or small hen
    4 drops for a commercial sized hen or small large fowl hen
    5 drops for a commercial sized roo or average large fowl hen
    6 drops for larger bodied laying type birds
    7 drops for giant breeds
    As always I do recommend worming first with wazine if:
    • the birds are under 4 months of age
    • the birds haven't been wormed in over 6 mos w/broad spectrum wormer
    • the bird is of an unknown worming history
    • the bird is shedding worms, or their flock mates are shedding worms
    That caution is to prevent an unknown heavy infestation from causing shock or blockage in a bird. Some say 'just do it' but I like to treat every bird of mine as if it were the most valuable irreplaceable bird in my flock. And so that's the advice I give to others - as if there's were that $500 once in a lifetime bird. That doesn't mean I recommend expensive things, but I darn sure don't recommend stuff that I think could harm.

    Round Worm Treatment - September 16, 2014 - @pipdzipdnreadytogo - See Original

    Q-I have 2- 8 week old chicks, 17 hens (1-1 1/2 yo), 1 rooster (1 yo), 12 -9 week old turkeys poults. The turkeys are housed separately. I found the worms in the hen house with the hens, rooster and chicks.

    I have never wormed them and all of this reading, medicine names, dosage, etc I am getting confused. I will enclose a pic of the worms in question. I believe they are round worms.

    How would you treat for these? I do value all of the information you offer. I do not care to eat the eggs while treating the birds if that makes a difference. I would prefer to throw them out.

    A-I use Ivormectin pour-on, but I have read where a lot of people have recommended using Wazine first. It's totally up to you, though, on which you use. I think Wazine is safer for younger birds, but it isn't as strong and can't be used often as the worms will become immune to it. It only works for round worms. Ivormectin is stronger and covers a variety of parasites, internal and external, but again I think Wazine is safer for younger birds.

    Wazine has 2 strengths, 17% and 34%. I think I see 17% more often. The dosage for Wazine 17 is 2 tablespoons per gallon, provided for 24 hours. I imagine for Wazine 34, the dosage would be half that.

    If you do go for the Ivormectin, the dose is 1/2 cc for large fowl and 1/4 cc for bantams and younger birds, dropped directly on the skin under the wing or on the back of the neck. I don't remember for sure, but I believe the youngest I have used Ivormectin on was around 4 months. (It's sad I don't remember, I was just posting this info not that long ago. [​IMG] ) I'm not sure I would go much younger than that.

    I'm not sure if there are different species of round worms for birds than for mammals, so I can't answer your question about the cat. For the doves, though, the only thing I can think of to do is to shoo them out and cover the pen with bird netting to keep them out.

    Wry Neck- September 8, 2014 - @pipdzipdnreadytogo @pipdzipdnreadytogo & @kabhyper1 - See Original

    Vitamin E Deficiency:

    This is what I was thinking of! Try to find some Vitamin E to give the little one and see if it helps. I'm also seeing where Selenium is necessary to absorb vitamin E, so you might want to look into that.

    Also, wry neck--the treatment is similar, and this treatment was used with success in a wry neck chick:

    And finally, I didn't think of it before, but make sure your Poly-Vi-Sol is the kind without iron, as the iron is bad on the little birdies.
    It sounds to me like 'star gazing', which if I'm remembering correctly is a form of wry neck and is usually treated the same way. Silkies are prone to both star gazing and wry neck, which explains why only your Silkie chicks are affected by it.

    First of all, if they are on medicated feed, take them off it now as this can make the condition worse. The Amprolium in medicated feed is a thiamine blocker, and having a deficiency of thiamine (or vitamin B1) is one of the causes of this condition.

    They need vitamins E and B1, and Selenium to aid in the absorption of vitamin E. This post has a dosing regimen in it that was successful for this person's bird:

    Chicken First Aid Kit- February 16, 2013 - @pipdzipdnreadytogo - See Original
    Sometimes in chicken-keeping, things happen that no one expects. It could be a sudden disease, a squabble between birds causing injuries, or even a predator attack that leaves your birds wounded and weak. For your birds, having certain supplies on hand could make the difference between a recovery and a loss...
    [+READ MORE]

    Indiana State Poultry Association-Biosecurity Tips- See Original

    Click Healthy Harry to access the USDA's avian biosecurity web site, "Biosecurity for the Birds."

    Please make use of these resources and refer to them frequently to ensure the health of you and your backyard flock!
    If you have sick birds or have any questions about biosecurity, please contact the Purdue Animal Disease Diagnostic Lab at 765-494-7440
    [+READ MORE]

    Indiana's Free Flock Test Program- See Original

    As a flock owner, one of your primary goals is keeping your birds healthy...To help you achieve this goal, the Indiana State Poultry Association & partners have created a FREE flock evaluation program.

    The Indiana State Poultry Association is providing an opportunity for a free flock evaluation. The voluntary testing program, referred to as Indiana’s Test Twelve (12) Program, monitors Avian Influenza through a simple antibody test from your hens’ eggs. In addition, information on other common avian diseases as well as biosecurity information is provided free of charge.
    [+Read More]

    Quarantining Chickens - August 30, 2014- @pipdzipdnreadytogo - See Original

    As for quarantine, you should always quarantine new birds, no matter where you get them, and also no matter what species they may be. I quarantine a bit differently than a lot of people say to, but I have found that it's the only way to be certain that a bird is totally healthy.

    First, before picking up the birds, have your quarantine space ready. It needs to be at minimum 100 feet away from wherever your current flock roams, or closed off in a building that your flock doesn't go in. I have quarantined both in the garage and in the basement. The basement worked out better for me, though, because the girls can't go anywhere near the basement door. That's the sort of thing you should be looking for for a quarantine space.

    Before you bring the new birds home, look them over. Look for any signs of respiratory illness, external parasites, and general symptoms of not being well. Don't be afraid to walk away without the new birds if you think they might be sick. In many cases, diseases in poultry leave the birds as carriers and they can never be completely cured. You don't want to bring that into your flock!

    For me, the first week or two of quarantine is an acclimation period, where I let them get used to their surroundings. The stress of the move could bring out symptoms in them. Always watch out for new symptoms and check them thoroughly at the end of each week of quarantine.

    At the end of the first week or two, if the birds still seem healthy, this is when I usually introduce a bird from my established flock. It's got to be a bird that you would not be too torn up about losing, because if that bird shows any symptoms, especially respiratory, you know that your new birds are carrying something. I have not seen this recommended in many explanations of the quarantine, but I personally would not bother quarantining without this step. I have read about people quarantining the full 4 weeks without this step, having seemingly healthy birds, and introducing them to their established flocks only to find that the new birds were asymptomatic carriers. This step also allows the new birds some exposure to anything your established flock might have. You need to have one of your established birds in quarantine for at least one week, but preferably two or three to be safe.

    The quarantine should last a total of 3 weeks at the very, very minimum, but will preferably last 4 weeks or more. At the end of the quarantine period, thoroughly look over all the birds that have been in the quarantine. If they are still healthy, no symptoms at all, then you get to begin the super-fun task of introducing them into the flock! If they are not healthy, however, you have a difficult choice. You must either cull the new birds and try again with birds from a different source, or introduce them anyway and risk your flock becoming ill.

    One last note here. If you're getting your Legbars and your 'Araucanas' from two different sources, they should be in separate quarantines. If the birds from one source are ill, then you risk the other birds becoming ill as well without knowing which birds are carriers, and then the above choice has to be made in regards to all of them, rather than just some of them. Since you probably don't have the time to set up another quarantine now, though, just keep an eye on all of them and remember that you are not obligated to take birds home if they appear ill.

    ETA: I forgot to mention, take care of your current flock first in the morning, then take care of the quarantine birds, then wash up and change clothes before returning to your current flock!


    Treating Bumblefoot, @pipdzipdnreadytogo - See Original- February 16, 2013 -

    Dosing Update @pipdzipdnreadytogo - See Original- February 16, 2013 -
    Keeping Chickens cool in summer @pipdzipdnreadytogo - See Original- February 16, 2013 -

    Preventing mites in chicken feed @pipdzipdnreadytogo - See Original- February 16, 2013 -

    Treating an impacted crop@pipdzipdnreadytogo - See Original- February 16, 2013 -

    Keeping chickens warm in winter - @pipdzipdnreadytogo - See Original- February 16, 2013 -

    or not?@pipdzipdnreadytogo - See Original- February 16, 2013 -

    NPIP testing good points@pipdzipdnreadytogo - See Original- February 16, 2013 -

    Swap meet biosecurity@pipdzipdnreadytogo - See Original- February 16, 2013 -
    Chicken first aid kit@pipdzipdnreadytogo - See Original- February 16, 2013 -

    Health References and Links@pipdzipdnreadytogo - See Original- February 16, 2013 -

    Indiana State Poultry Association Test Twelve FREE Health Screening Program- February 16, 2013 - @pipdzipdnreadytogo - See Original

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