Breeding disease resistant chickens and turkeys

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by monkeemakr, Aug 17, 2011.

  1. monkeemakr

    monkeemakr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I just read the website for Nature's Harmony farms. They don't worm or medicate and though they say they had initial losses, they are not breeding flocks resistant to mycoplasma, sinusitis. and blackhead. I'm wondering if anyone else is taking this approach, and if so, what has been your experience with it.

    Thanks,
    Deb
     
  2. monkeemakr

    monkeemakr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oops, instead of "not breeding" it should be "now breeding" Sorry
     
  3. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

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    A closed flock and strict biosecurity protocol can prevent respiratory diseases....until a wild bird brings something in. I've never medicated my birds with antibiotics but have and will continue to use wormers. The only way a bird wont get worms is if there feet never touch the ground. They would have to be in cages off the ground as in commercial operations.
     
  4. phasian

    phasian Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am taking this approach. I use herbs/garlic for worming and have so far been successful. (As I have easy access to lab testing I check for the efficacy regularly.) For me, this approach makes sense and will lead to birds that are more resistant, provided they are getting a good diet and plenty of fresh, clean water.

    Books I highly recommend to empower flock keepers are, Juliette de Bairacli-Levy's, "The Complete Herbal Handbook for Farm & Stable", and B.P. Madrewar's, "Poultry Homeopathy". Another good guide is "Backyard Poultry Naturally", which gives examples of including chickens in a permaculture plan as well as beneficial plants one can grow for the flock.
     
  5. monkeemakr

    monkeemakr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I am going to check out those books for sure. I have been adding DE to their feed everyday, heard good and bad about it but I can't see where it will hurt. Has anyone used tobacco to worm chickens? We used to use chewing tobacco to worm our horses and it worked great. Plus tobacco is something I could grow. I've also heard about the garlic and will try that, but I have no clue if or how to grow that. I have heard that ACV is a great homeopathic tool too, but it would really expensive for me to use that daily in their water (I have about 75 chickens and 12 turkeys). Could white vinegar be used too? It still changes the PH of the body and that helps people, or so I've heard.

    Thanks for your info phasian and dog. I keep swearing that I am closing my flock, but then, look! There! Another chicken breed I don't have!!
     
  6. A.T. Hagan

    A.T. Hagan Don't Panic

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    It's not whether a bird can be prevented from getting worms at all but rather can they be bred to be resistant to worms enough to still perform as well as we want them to.

    Florida being hot and humid for so many months of the year parasites of all kinds are always a problem. Yet we have populations of hogs, cattle, sheep that have been here for as long as 500 years since the Spanish first brought them over. They live wild and get no help from humans at all and often enough continue to live here in spite of human efforts, in the case of feral pigs anyway.

    Plainly they've found a way to cope with the parasites in their environment. Mostly through the natural selection of those that could not cope with them dieing leaving only those that could cope to breed and carry on their population.

    Of course it's not quite as simple as that. There is also the fact that these animals are not confined so they aren't forced to stay in a small area with a steadily increasing parasite load.

    Nevertheless breeding for resistance can be done if you're willing to accept the losses to filter out the weak stock and only breeding from the stronger. Chickens and other poultry have been here in Florida pretty much as long as any other domestic animal brought from the Old World and wild turkeys have been here all along. Effective chemical wormers are pretty recent in origin so before then those birds were never wormed yet they still managed to carry on their populations. There are populations of feral chickens here and there across the country, many of them in warm, humid regions. Key West comes to mind. They manage to reproduce without recourse to wormers or medications. The weak die, the strong reproduce just as it has been done since the beginning of life on this planet.

    It can be done but you'll have to be willing to accept the early on losses.
     
  7. Jackie B.

    Jackie B. Paris Mtn. Eggs

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    Quote:Love Nature's Harmony Farm. They actually were selling groups of 10 of their own flock as start flocks for people to purchase. Liz is so awesome and will answer any questions you have if you email her.
     
  8. monkeemakr

    monkeemakr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Jackie, I will do that! [​IMG]
     

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