1 Big Worry, 2 Small Worries

zach_arneth

Chirping
Mar 5, 2018
26
32
59
Quick story to give any knowledge you may need: I have had chickens before, but had to get rid of them when my parents divorced. We got 13 from one hatchery, and a week later got 7 more from another (because I wanted Cochins). We had a divider in the brooder for a few weeks until they were acquainted with each other. The reason I mentioned that is because I know mixing flocks can cause issues, but I don’t know to what extent. Anyway, I’m going to describe a few problems, feel free to answer one or a few or all. Any help is appreciated greatly! I’m new to this website also.

First problem: this is the big one I’m concerned about. One of my chickens, a golden laced Cochin, has gotten a swollen face around the eye, as well as some bubbles in the eye. I have some pictures here:
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The same thing happened a few weeks ago (2 I believe, started around 3 weeks ago) but it died down and we figured she was ok. But now after a week, it’s back and more than before. What could be causing this? A theory I had was that using the deep litter method, which my mom loves, is causing too much ammonia which can lead to respiratory diseases. If that’s what is happening how do I treat this? One other chicken is have a much milder issue, a Rhode Island Red, and she only has a few bubbles in her eye. Her’s came a lot later than the others, and I have adamantly checked the other chickens for possible signs of this. They are the only two as of now.

Second and third concern: I’m wondering if the picture I have of a chickens crooked toe is a bad thing. I’m not sure how it happened, but will they be able to live with it and not have any huge problems? Is it a normal thing or is it caused by a faulty structure or anything like that? And finally, my blue americauna is having her “muff” feathers pecked off. I think it’s because they are wet but I feel so bad for her. Is there anything I can do? I have a picture of her posted as well.
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For those of you who read and/or helped thank you very much!! I’m not very knowledgeable so this is a great website for me.

Zach
 

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RodNTN

Hatchaolic
8 Years
May 22, 2013
7,096
9,742
617
The Volunteer State
My Coop
My Coop
Hi! I am very sorry about these problems :hmm I am not an expert by any means, so I'll tag a few experts:
@casportpony @Eggcessive @Wyorp Rock

You said that you're doing the deep litter method? Are you stirring it often and adding fresh litter? Not doing this can cause problems. And how much ventilation do you have?
 

zach_arneth

Chirping
Mar 5, 2018
26
32
59
Hi! I am very sorry about these problems :hmm I am not an expert by any means, so I'll tag a few experts:
@casportpony @Eggcessive @Wyorp Rock

You said that you're doing the deep litter method? Are you stirring it often and adding fresh litter? Not doing this can cause problems. And how much ventilation do you have?
The ventilation is probably one of the issues. The shed I have for a coop only has two small sections and based on the size it’s probably not enough. What kind of guidelines are there if any? Also, should the stirring be once a day, or more like 2-3 times a week? And should the new litter be added in thick or thin layers? I use coop and compost to help the litter decompose.

Thanks so much
 

PirateGirl

Chicken Lover, Duck Therapist
5 Years
Mar 11, 2017
7,222
18,600
642
South Park, Colorado, USA
My blue Ameraucana has her beard somewhat routinely plucked out by my other chickens. I have witnessed it. They aren't particularly mean to her, more curious, especially if the beard is wet or has food in it. This sometimes happens, especially when there is only one bearded/muffed chicken in the flock and she looks notably different from the others. Other BYC members have assured me that this is common. As long as she isn't hurt and there's no blood, its essentially ok. Unfortunately my Ameraucana is a bit skittish as a result of this and not as friendly with the other chickens, but I can't blame her. Hopefully your feather plucking is only out of curiosity and she's not getting bullied too much. Just keep an eye on how they interact together to be sure it doesn't escalate.
 

zach_arneth

Chirping
Mar 5, 2018
26
32
59
My blue Ameraucana has her beard somewhat routinely plucked out by my other chickens. I have witnessed it. They aren't particularly mean to her, more curious, especially if the beard is wet or has food in it. This sometimes happens, especially when there is only one bearded/muffed chicken in the flock and she looks notably different from the others. Other BYC members have assured me that this is common. As long as she isn't hurt and there's no blood, its essentially ok. Unfortunately my Ameraucana is a bit skittish as a result of this and not as friendly with the other chickens, but I can't blame her. Hopefully your feather plucking is only out of curiosity and she's not getting bullied too much. Just keep an eye on how they interact together to be sure it doesn't escalate.
Thanks for the information! That’s good to know, I’ll keep an eye on her. There hasn’t been any blood yet.
 

RodNTN

Hatchaolic
8 Years
May 22, 2013
7,096
9,742
617
The Volunteer State
My Coop
My Coop
The ventilation is probably one of the issues. The shed I have for a coop only has two small sections and based on the size it’s probably not enough. What kind of guidelines are there if any? Also, should the stirring be once a day, or more like 2-3 times a week? And should the new litter be added in thick or thin layers? I use coop and compost to help the litter decompose.

Thanks so much

Here is a very helpful link on ventilation:
https://www.backyardchickens.com/ar...-there-and-cut-more-holes-in-your-coop.47774/

And here is a link about the deep litter method:
https://www.mypetchicken.com/backya...-deep-litter-method-of-coop-bedding-H278.aspx

@lazy gardener knows a lot about the deep litter method :)
 

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