Afraid I did a dumb thing...

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Rosechuk, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. Rosechuk

    Rosechuk Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 5, 2009
    Wellsboro, PA
    So, I just bought 21 Red Star pullets plus a nice looking young Buff Orpington rooster and pullet from a guy who is moving and selling off all of his poultry, and other animals.

    I thought this was a great deal (at $2 a pullet) as I was looking to start replacing my current flock of layers soon. The problem is that when I went to pick up the chickens to load them up, I realized that they had been kept in really nasty conditions. They were being fed horse feed, and were crowded into a very small coop with about 80 or more chickens. The floor of the coop was 6 inches or more of swampy muck. I have moved them into a horse stall in my barn and they have their own run separate from (but right next to) to my other chickens. These new chickens smell TERRIBLE and some of them have some really nasty matted feathers, but otherwise they seem healthy and seem to be enjoying their new much more spacious home.

    Should I be worried? I don't want to contaminate my flock. I guess it is too late one way or another, but I thought I would ask for any suggestions or things to look out for with the new birds. I am hoping that with space and good food they will come around, and maybe even lose the awful smell!

    Thanks for any suggestions!
  2. emys

    emys Chillin' With My Peeps

    Nov 19, 2008
    You could bathe them with a flea shampoo for dogs in case they have mite or lice and stop them from stinking. Then rig up a barrier between pens of some sort for a couple weeks.
  3. Lensters

    Lensters Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 14, 2009
    Adair Village, OR
    As long as they aren't coughing, sneezing or are discharging any abnormal bodily fluids you're probably ok. Personally I would worm them and give them lots of scrambled eggs for a week or two so that they have the best chance of doing well in their new environment.

    Just wondering, why the BO roo with the Red Sexlinks?
  4. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    If you have any ability to get them apart-- you should still do so. "Right next to" is not a real quarantine, though it might slow things down. There have been many, many threads about people introducing new chickens, and having their old, or new, or usually both sets start getting ill. And these were chickens that looked healthy. Give all of them a good once over also for lice or mites. Here's a thread on quarantine and introductions:
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2009
  5. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Well, if you are *definitely* killing/eating ALL of your previous flock in the near future, then quarantine may not be such an issue; you'd just want to do what you can to get these new birds in as good shape as possible, and hope they will lay well for you.

    If there is less certainty about the first half of that equation, though, a month's quarantine would be a real good idea. Even if the chickens don't have obvious disease symptoms at present they may be carrying something that will show up in a few days or weeks due to the extra stress of moving (even though it is a move to better conditions), and you would want as much separation as possible between anything like that and any birds you were going to keep.

    Good luck, have fun,

  6. Rosechuk

    Rosechuk Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 5, 2009
    Wellsboro, PA
    Thanks for all the advice. I definitely think I was hasty in this decision, but I am sure I am not the first. I have my fingers crossed. I think the best I can do is to put up a plastic and feed-bag barrier between the 2 stalls they are in (currently it is just a chicken wire barrier).

    Then this weekend I could look into a lice/mites bath kinda thing for them. I will see what they have for that at the feed store. I like the yogurt idea, so I will do that too.

    I read the quarantine post and there is some good advice in there. It scares me a little bit, but I knew I was taking a risk.

    As for the BO Roo, is there something I am missing or unusual about that? They guy just had a lot of red sex links plus one BO hen and rooster, and I thought they were pretty!

    As for the old flock, they are getting older, but I was not planning to replace them entirely yet. I was thinking I might phase them out over the next year, except for a few of the unusual older bird that I would keep around more for fun than eggs.

    I did notice a very "bubble-y" poop from one of my chickens this morning. Definitely looked unusual. I will be keeping an eye out!
  7. Peeper7

    Peeper7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 2, 2009
    Northeast Ohio
    Douse EVERYTHING with DE. Nothing can grow or thrive in it so it may decrease the numbers of "bugs" altogether and dry everything up. I've had some pretty crowded conditions this year (went hatch-happy [​IMG] ) and I really think it made the difference.
  8. Rosechuk

    Rosechuk Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 5, 2009
    Wellsboro, PA
    Well, I put up a plastic barrier between the 2 stalls and some plywood scraps between the 2 runs. That should at least help to keep the more seperate, although they are all in the same building. Fingers crossed!
  9. jerseygirl1

    jerseygirl1 Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 20, 2009
    Orange County, NY
    I think you can bathe themw ith Dawn dishwashing liquid then sprinkle with DE, just like baby powder!!!!
  10. Rosechuk

    Rosechuk Out Of The Brooder

    Aug 5, 2009
    Wellsboro, PA
    So, I just thought I would update you all on this, and also get some advice on a new development. Basically, I have still kept the 2 flocks mostly separate, although on several occasions the new chickens have flown the coop and gotten over the fence to mix with the older flock. I have been giving both flocks yogurt every couple of days as well as a nutrition supplement in their water. Mostly everything has seemed good and the new flock is even getting a little less stinky. I have been trying to keep a closer than usual eye on everyone. For awhile I thought that I had a bunch of sick sneezers, but it was always when they were eating and I think it was just the mash I had switched to (from pellets). When I switched back to pellets for a day the sneezing seemed to stop.

    The one bad thing though, happened today. I am wondering if it is related to the new chickens, and I am hoping it is an isolated incident. Shortly after getting the new chickens, we noticed that one of our old flock was always last out of the coop, was kind of stand offish and less alert. She would often stand slumped down. I started to notice that she was not as interested in meals (very unusual). I should have know right away that she was sick and isolated or culled her, but I was just kinda keeping my eye on her thinking she was a kinda of lazy bird or something, and maybe she should go to the stew pot. Well, I saw her tonight and she was just standing facing the barn for a long time not moving. I came back 30 min or so later and she had not moved and I noticed that she was kind of gurgling and had some fluid coming out of her beak and going down her front. I decided I had to put her out of her misery, and I went to get the right tools and by the time I came back she was in worse shape and it looked like she had even sprayed a big arc of fluid on the barn door. I picked her up and she did not move and I carried her away, leaving a trail of fluid dripping out of her mouth. I disposed of her and buried her, poor thing. It was pretty awful.

    Anyway, the other birds (so far) seem fine. I am going to keep a close eye on similar behavior. I thought I would clean out some of the bedding in the coops and put down some fresh on top, and I am gonna continue with the supplements and stuff. Does anyone have any idea what was wrong with this hen? Does that sound like something anyone has heard of? I looked for such symptoms in the "chicken health book" and did not see anything.

    Any advice is very appreciated!

    Thanks you all,

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