A suburban amateur who's in over his head!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by SuburbanAmateur, Apr 12, 2019.

  1. SuburbanAmateur

    SuburbanAmateur In the Brooder

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    Howdy.

    I'm a young married man who relatively recently bought his first house and started a huge garden and then one morning his wife saw an ad on Offer up for $10 Silkie chicks, and now we have 5 chickens of varying ages and only half a clue about what we're doing.

    I've had a parrot for 18 years (will be 19 soon) and that's all the experience I had with birds before October 2018 when we got the first 2 silkie chicks. We had just those two until january 2019 when we bought 1 more silkie chick that was much younger and from a different breeder, then last month in march we bought 2 laying age silkies from a lady that bought all of hers from the same small breeder we did at about the same time we did.

    So we've been figuring it out as we go (doesn't everyone?) and we've built then a huge coop/run, got them the Purina unmedicated chick start and grow feed with Poultry Booster vitamins and oyster shell, and even penned in a nice weedbed for them. So they got everything they need now, if only I knew how to keep them from getting sick!

    From what I've read it seems there's a number of things that can get chickens sick and it can happen quite often. I know to keep my parrot and chickens separate and wash hands and change clothes when switching from bird to chickens. But thats mainly why I'm here, to read up and figure out whats going on with my silkies and how to treat it! I'm sure most of us know how expensive a vet visit for all 6 birds would be!
     
  2. CuckooTheCrazyChicken

    CuckooTheCrazyChicken Songster

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    Welcome to BYC :welcome and congrats on your Silkies!

    Some good tips for keeping parasites away are putting some apple cider vinegar in the drinker (research that first) and giving them some charcoal to bathe in. They love that :)

    Just let us know if you need anything!
     
  3. Pork Pie

    Pork Pie Flockwit

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    Hi and welcome to BYC and congrats on your new hobby.


    Here are some links to key resources:

    Best wishes

    Pork Pie
     
  4. MissChick@dee

    [email protected] ~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~

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    Hiya :frow
    Nice to meet you!
    :welcome
    What symptoms are they having?
     
  5. Chick-N-Fun

    Chick-N-Fun Almy Acres Farm

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    Welcome to our FUN-omenal community! :celebrate Best wishes and have Lots of FUN! :wee
     
  6. SuburbanAmateur

    SuburbanAmateur In the Brooder

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    One has white watery poop, one has dark diarrhea-like poop, one has a big bony bump growing in her back and making her asymmetrical.

    The hardest part is that I dont know what to look for. If I ever had a vet come and see them they'd probably notice more wrong.
     
  7. N F C

    N F C coffee time!

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    :welcome

    Do you have an avian vet in your area? Some people are lucky like that.

    Best wishes, thanks for joining us!
     
  8. FlappyFeathers

    FlappyFeathers Crossing the Road

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    My Coop
    So you have 4 that are near laying age (or close) and one 3 mo. old chick? Are any of them currently laying? Silkies are almost always sold as unsexed so it's possible you could have cockerels in the group. What behaviors make you believe they're sick?
    Silkies are also a lot more "delicate" than standard chickens. I've never owned any because I live in an area that's a little more wet and cold than I think they would thrive outside with my other birds.

    What are you feeding them now?
    For mixed ages and sexes, All Flock or Flock Raiser is best, with a separate container of oyster shell (calcium) for laying birds. Layer feed isn't really all that special... too much calcium for chicks and males, and not a very high protein content. Also grit should be provided if treats are given, or not allowed to free range and find their own.

    Moisture buildup is a key factor in your coop, that's why adequate (more than you think) ventilation is necessary to prevent many respiratory illnesses. They must also have access to a dust bath... just regular dirt or sand, though a small amount of ash from your fireplace can be beneficial.

    There are so many possible ailments, all requiring different treatments. More information is needed to be able to help. Please start a new thread (with pictures if possible) over here:
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forums/emergencies-diseases-injuries-and-cures.10/

    Here's more links with useful info:
    Chicken Coop Ventilation - Go Out There And Cut More Holes In Your Coop!
    How Much Room Do Chickens Need

    2byc-picket-fence.png
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
  9. FlappyFeathers

    FlappyFeathers Crossing the Road

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    My Coop
    Different kinds of poop are normal.
    The bump sounds unusual. Can you take photos and post your concerns on the emergency forum? Or a video can be helpful in determining behavior... it would have to be uploaded to youtube first then linked here.
     
  10. MissChick@dee

    [email protected] ~ Dreaming Of Springtime ~

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    My chickens can have all kinds of poop. Especially since I give them treats. What kind of treats do you offer.
    This is just me... I look more closely (because I pick it up every morning) to the poops they create at night. Usually they sleep in their favorite spot every night.
    Here’s where you get to become a real chicken dad.
    Pick up your birds and give them a good exam. Feel them right down to their skin. Check their crop. Feel their bellies especially between their legs. Take a good look at their vents. It’s important to learn to handle them for just this reason.
    If you make it a regular thing your more comfortable and they get accustomed too.
    The one thing that caught my eye was the one with the boney back. How does her keel feel? That’s the breast bone. If it’s prominent...really sticking out. She’s malnourished. This with diarrhea is classic symptoms of worms. It happens and is fairly easy to deal with. Scoop up the freshest poop (in baggies) and have your vet run a fecal test. Fairly inexpensive.
    It’s a process of elimination.
    From what I understand silkies are docile sweet birds so I’m hoping this will be easier for you. It’s time to go hands on Papa. Best wishes
     

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