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Chickens and wild birds......how great are the risks??/

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Kay56, Mar 30, 2012.

  1. Kay56

    Kay56 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2012
    Hi...I am new here and will be receiving my "chicks" in May. My question is: I have lots of wild birds who frequent my feeders and birdbath each day and I need to know if I will have to remove them from my yard so the chickens can free range when not in their coop and run. We so very much enjoy our daily visit from the birds as we can sit on the deck and they will practically come within a foot of us to feed. I plan on letting our chickens roam in a rather large fenced in area for a couple hours each day. My run is 12 x 5 and they will be in it most of the time. I plan on having 4-5 hens.
    I was told by someone if I give the chicks medicated feed it could help prevent the illnesses they would get from any outside wildlife. Is this true? They are also being given Marek's immunization from the hatchery before delivery.
    Any help with this matter would be appreciated.
    Thanks....Kay
     
  2. terryg

    terryg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Unless you keep your chickens indoors they'll cross paths with wild birds, and it's usually not a problem. However, I'd keep your hens far from the bird feeders, or make sure that the feeders are clean. Moldy bird feeders do spread disease. Also, wild birds do get mycoplasma and other respiratory diseases that can spread to your flock. They have leg mites. And they eat your expensive laying hen feed! Generally, if you keep the wild birds out of your pen, then you're okay. I hang old DVDs over the coop pop door and strung over the pen. The flashing in the sun keeps the wild birds - and flying predators - away. Coccidia is caused by a protozoa and generally only affects the chicks - which are usually in a brooder and away from wild birds. The question of whether to medicate or not has more to do with whether you've had coccidia on the property, and how you feel about using drugs. I've never had a problem and I don't used medicated feed. I do give the chicks clods of earth to peck at by the end of their first week - they get small doses of whatever germs are in the area and seem to build up immunity. Others will have different opinions. I got chicks last spring and you can read about them on my blog - it might give you a sense of what to expect. http://www.hencam.com/henblog/2011/04/new-chicks/
     
  3. Kay56

    Kay56 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 11, 2012
    Thanks for your information Terry...very much enjoyed your site...[​IMG] I shall try the dirt idea too. Again thanks!
     

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