Best Practice?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by texasreb, May 19, 2008.

  1. texasreb

    texasreb Songster

    May 18, 2008
    I used your search feature for similar topics, but couldn't find any... So forgive me if this is a tried and trite topic.

    What do you all do routinely to care for your flock? I'm talking about daily, weekly, monthly and yearly practices. Do you vaccinate? Do you use antibiotics, wormers, dusts, sprays, etc. prophylactically? or do you treat symptomatically?

    I basically do nothing except provide them with lay pellets(weekly) and scratch (daily) and water (daily) plus clean the coop (periodically) and gather the eggs (daily). Am I missing the boat?

    Please share your flock husbandry practices with me so that I might better care for my flock.

  2. Rte.66_chicks

    Rte.66_chicks Songster

    Feb 22, 2008
    Kingman, AZ
    From what I've found out on here, and am now practicing, layer feed should be the main diet, with scratch offered only occasionally as a treat.

    I mix food grade DE with their feed, and that seems to keep the fly population down. Organic apple cider vinegar (ACV) in their water is very beneficial, I think it's used at about a Tbsp per gallon.

    Mine are getting very spoiled with a variety of treats I've learned about here-mealworms, black oil sunflower seeds, plain live-culture yogurt, greens, and so on. Check the "Treats Chart" in the "Feeds" forum.

    Living in the desert, I haven't had a problem that I know about with worms, but some people routinely worm.

    I'm sure you will get lots more suggestions from others. This is a great place!
  3. SeaChick

    SeaChick Songster

    Apr 25, 2007
    Southern Maine
    We fill the feeder with layer pellets every 4-5 days. Provide oyster shell and grit free choice in little tuna cans screwed to the wall. Some times of the year they eat more of those than others.

    Fresh water 3x week, often with either raw organic Apple Cider Vinegar, or AviaCharge2000 added. This we do especially in times of stress like cold weather, molting, etc. Waterer is scrubbed with vinegar and sponge at each water change, and given a more thorough hot-water/soap wash as needed.

    Daily treats of healthy stuff (veggies, weeds, plain organic yogurt, organic meat/fish scraps, etc). Minimal scratch, so they don't fill up on low-protein corn (had problems with feather pecking so trying to keep protein levels up). Also black oil sunflower seeds daily in winter. (protein, amino acids).

    Chickens are let out of their covered run several times a day, probably averaging 45 minutes/day in winter, 3 hours/day in summer. They complain loudly to be let out the rest of the time. [​IMG]

    We have a droppings board under the roost which is cleaned off daily. Pine shavings in the henhouse don't get too dirty for that reason, and we change about every 3-4 weeks or so. Promptly remove any damp litter (although this has occured maybe twice from them bumping into the waterer, it is normally bone-dry in the henhouse) Use Stall Dry and food-grade DE at every litter change. Remove and scrub roost at the same time, and paint with DE whitewash.

    We're concerned about eating organic so we do not prophylactically treat with anything (except our new chicks just got cocci and are being treated with Sulmet now). We add some DE to the feed and feed raw pumpkin & seeds occasionally in an attempt to avoid intestinal worms. So far so good. We have a covered run which stays very dry, and a clean coop, and hope that will also help kep away mites, worms, bacterial infections, parasites, etc that would require treatment.

    let them out into the run in the AM and check food/water, clean poop board; lock them back in at night. Check eggs 2-5x per day. let them out in the yard as previously described.

    That's what we do!
  4. texasreb

    texasreb Songster

    May 18, 2008
    Thanks for the info! My chickens have their coop to roost, eat, and lay eggs in but they are never totally penned. They are free range 24/7. I have the ability to completely contain them but thus far I have had no reason to.

    So far I haven't sterilized anything, nor scrubbed down the coop. I suppose I should add that to my list.

    Also, I am going to add oyster shells to their diet and DE to their diet/coop. I do have seasonal ant problems.

    Thanks for the info! Keep it coming...
    Last edited: May 19, 2008

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