Confused and doubting myself. Lots of questions.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by VintageJessica, Oct 8, 2014.

  1. VintageJessica

    VintageJessica Hatching

    Sep 2, 2014
    Hi all, I am fairly new to raising a flock so bear with me. I ordered 15 day old chicks and all 15 have survived. They are now 13 weeks old. The coop itself is approximately15 x 10. we should have a run completed by this weekendwhich will be an additional 16 x 12. We are using arena sand in the coop, this seems to be working well for us however if there is something better let me know. I use a clam shell digger to sift through the sand several times a week just like you would do cleaning the litter box.. Also using shelf liner underneath the roost on the dropping board that I clean five times a week. Poop is everywhere and it kind of freaks me out since I have a phobia on the worms and parasites. How do I treat the coop and the chickens to keep them healthy and happy? Do I need to put anythingin the sand? Do I need to worm them? How do I keep my chickens free of parasites? I have read a few books, lots of blogs and love this site but there's so many conflicting answers that I just get confused. Thank you for your patience and your knowledge.
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2014
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    It sounds like you have a very good setup for your birds.

    Don't be alarmed by poop! While parasite infested birds do shed parasite eggs in their poop your birds are very young so worms shouldn't be an issue yet. And don't have a phobia of worms and parasites lol! It's a natural part of keeping chickens that does occur simply due to the fact that they are on the ground, scratching and pecking about in the soil and eating bugs or earth worms that may be hosts to parasites. Wild birds also carry parasites so it's pretty hard to avoid. However, it is easy enough to stay on top of the situation.

    Different people have different ways to go about handling the worm issue, some get quite complicated and/or spend a lot of time and money on all of it. I prefer a simpler, cost effective approach. I simply deworm my birds a couple times a year with a good, broad spectrum dewormer, I repeat the dose 10 days later. How often you deworm depends on your climate and parasite load. Warmer/wetter + more parasites. Drier climates can worm less often.
    1 person likes this.
  3. VintageJessica

    VintageJessica Hatching

    Sep 2, 2014
    Is there a broad-spectrum dewormer that you would recommend?
  4. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Crowing

    I use Valbazen and liquid Safeguard for goats. 1/2 cc for standard size birds, repeat dose in 10 days. I give it with a 1 ml needless syringe
    1 person likes this.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Free Ranging

    Feb 2, 2009
    Southeast Louisiana
    Personally I never worm unless I see evidence and I’ve never wormed. When I butcher chickens I always check some intestines for worms and haven’t seen any yet. Different people use different philosophies. If I’d ever seen worms I’d probably do differently.

    I agree certain parasites are normal and natural. The chickens can normally handle a light load, it’s when the parasites get out of hand that they are a problem. Still, keep an eye out for symptoms and deal with whatever you see. If you see any, there are probably enough you should treat.

    Them eating each other’s poop is totally normal and natural. It’s how they share probiotics and develop flock immunities. Poop, theirs plus other animals, are full of concentrated partially digested nutrients. Many different animals take advantage of those concentrated nutrients, not just chickens.

    My basic philosophy in keeping them healthy is to try to build up their immune system. Let them have access to their environment instead of trying to keep them in a closed sterile world. Their immune system will benefit.

    I try to keep their areas as dry as reasonable. A wet coop or run is unhealthy. Sometimes when the weather turns really wet it’s a challenge in the run, but do the best you can and make sure they have a dry area they can retreat to. You often can’t totally avoid wet sometimes with the weather so don’t overly obsess about it, but do what you can.

    I also practice a closed flock. Mine don’t associate with strange chickens. The only way IO bring in new chickens is to hatch eggs or get chicks from a reliable hatchery. That reduces the risk to them tremendously, though they can still have problems from other sources.
    2 people like this.
  6. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted

    Jun 18, 2010
    Southern Oregon

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