Back to raising chickens...and two ducks!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Skorp, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. Skorp

    Skorp New Egg

    Mar 9, 2013
    Hello All -- I am back to chicken raising. I use to raise some in the mountains of Virginia, but have been out of the game for a while now. I always raised chicken for breeding and selling. Now I am more concerned with with home farm eggs.

    It is myself (29) my fiance (24 and a vet tech) and my son (6 months old). With a fiance that loves animals, it was not hard at all to talk her in to getting some chickens. We have a few other pets that are all inside pets and now we can put this acre of land to use for outside pets.

    I am the owner of a Company and former ARMY Ranger. After working from home for a couple of weeks, I have been going stir crazy. I needed another purpose to wake up at 4:30 everyday and be on a routine schedule. This has been the perfect answer! We will now get farm fresh eggs and even be able to sale a few on the side to the local community.

    I am currently building our coop and run. Shouldn't take long with my carpentry background and the fact that I already have all of the wood needed. I ended up driving by a lumber yard and seen they had free pallets. Well of course this isn't the best wood, but I did take five of them. Two with 10'x5' pieces of plywood on them and three that had 13 half-round posts as bases. All great wood for support and flooring. This may say "I'm cheap" but I like to thing that I recycle.

    Our starting set of new pets is as follows: 4 Rhode Island Red chicks (unsexed) and 2 ducks (unknown breeds). I didn't want the ducks when we went to "Chick Days" and the local tractor supply. Well we got in and my fiance looked all the animals over of course for anything that stuck out to her. She is a U of M student and works at a vet tech at a local Vet Clinic for the past 4-5 years. She immediately seen one duck that stood out. He was breathing full open mouthed with feces on him. I seen that the joint of one of his legs was poked out and it looked to be majorly swollen. We contacted the staff and let them know we would like to look at him. Well, it turns out that he/she was born with crooked joints and could not walk. We know this because we offered to take them off their hands and take them directly to the vets office (with us fitting the bill) and give them a full report and even return the duck if nothing was wrong. We were then told that if we wanted him/her then we would still have to purchase him/her. If we didn't purchase the duck, they said they would just have to let nature take it's course... We agreed to purchase the duck of course. Then one of the ladies said, well what about the other one with back issues? Then the one guy said "yeah I'm not sure how to handle this because you have to buy two ducks minimum". This really ****** me off more than I was already!

    We ended up buying the two ducks with issues (that the employees already knew they had issues) and took them directly to the Vet's office. We had two aviary specialists check the ducks out. X-rays and other things. The whole 9 yards so to speak. They both have the same condition of crooked joints with inflammation to the joints. We are now caring for these ducks with Physical Motion Control Therapy and the antibiotics that they need so the infection does not spread and kill them. So I went from Chicken farmer to Chicken and Duck farmer. Our chicks are doing great by the way.

    This entire thing irritates and ticks me off to no degree. PetSmart and other companies like them will seek Vet care when they see issues with their animals. Tractor Supply apparently doesn't care or they do not have any rules in place to take care of the animals they sell. If they sell them and not care for them, it tells me they only want to make a profit! We had to purchase the ducks, that were in their care, rather than TSC just surrendering the us and us bring them back with a health report have us fitting the Vet's bill! Now I not only have to build a coop big enough for our chicks, but way bigger for our new two ducks! Thanks Tractor Supply...

    Overall, I wanted to introduce ourselves and be a part of the boards. I will post pics of the chicks, ducks and our coop as it comes along over the next couple of weeks. Our animals have the best care ever, and I hope you all like our coop after its built!

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 10, 2013
  2. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchi Wan Kenobi Premium Member

    Mar 27, 2012
    My Coop
    :welcome! You're completely right about Tractor Supply, they don't seek vet care for them. After all, in their eyes they're just little $3 birds. Why pay to fix them when you can get another for much cheaper? Luckily the people at my local TSC know me, know I'm a vet student, and very happily give me sick chicks. That's how I ended up with one of my current roosters. The employees at my local place are all very nice and recognize me when I walk in, a nice thing about it being a small town.

    And I commend you fully for taking those ducklings. If it's any consolation, you will LOVE them. I started with two pet drakes, and here I am now with a breeding quad of ducks and nearing twenty chickens. i'll be adding geese this month, too. Out of curiosity, did the avian vets (that's actually what I'm specializing in) say anything about the ducklings having slipped tendons? A lot of times that's what causes the weird joint thing. And the ducklings will be much happier that you got two. Ducks really need the company of at least one other of their own species to be happy.

    Can't wait to see pictures! If you put up some of the ducklings we can tell you what breed you have :) You should come over to the duck section of the forum. I'm sure we could help give you advice as you care for these two special babies, and we could learn something from how you treat them and take care of them, in case anyone else ends up with ducklings that have the same problems.
  3. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, Skorp, and [​IMG]! Pleased you joined us! I also commend you for taking the struggling ducklings. Can't believe TSC didn't let you take them since you offered to get them help - something they weren't willing to do. Hope you enjoy your new poultry additions. Good luck and best wishes!
  4. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    [​IMG] I hope you will complain to TSC at their corporate level. The fact that they sell birds in such horrible shape is appalling . Imagine the heartache for some unknowing buyer especially if children are involved. Maybe your local newspaper would be interested in this. event.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  5. Pyxis

    Pyxis Hatchi Wan Kenobi Premium Member

    Mar 27, 2012
    My Coop

    I'd like to note that it's not all Tractor Supplies that do this. Mine will give me injured or weak chicks for free so I can help them, but I think that's just because I know the employees. I've actually educated them about what to do with weak chicks and how to care for everybody and they've taken me up on it. Last time I went in they had even separated out two smaller ducklings to keep them from getting trampled, something they never would have done before I talked to them. The problem is, the employees aren't trained at all about these birds and are pretty much told to look at them as just another product. I think filing a complaint is really the only way to get their attention, so I agree with drumstick diva.
    Last edited: Mar 10, 2013
  6. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    I would also file a complaint with the corporate offices regarding this issue.
  7. Skorp

    Skorp New Egg

    Mar 9, 2013
    Thank you all for the warm welcome.

    Pyxis -- I am not certain if they mentioned tendons or not. I let my fiancé take care of a lot of that. I am mainly handling the treatments for them.

    All -- I might actually file a complaint. I have everything documented and pictures of them being treated at the clinic. I am a Government Defense Contracor so I will find the top level people at TSC am send them some emails. I will post some pics and treatments on the duck forums later today.
  8. Kevin565

    Kevin565 Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Dec 22, 2009

    Mr MKK FARMS Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

    Sep 27, 2012
    Welcome to BYC!! [​IMG] Glad you joined us!! [​IMG]
  10. weimarmama

    weimarmama Overrun With Chickens

    Jun 4, 2010
    My Coop
    [​IMG] & [​IMG] from Alabama. Glad you joined us.

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