Early immunity opinions wanted

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Ruralhideaway, Mar 15, 2018.

  1. Ruralhideaway

    Ruralhideaway Crowing

    Sep 21, 2017
    Upstate NY
    So I've read that it's a good idea to give new chicks a plug of sod to expose them to your local coccidia while they are young. Lazy Gardener might be who I noticed saying this. Plenty of sense in that and I did so with my fall chicks.

    I have eggs in my new bator now and I'm wondering how this applies to winter. Give them half frozen dirt, seed their bedding with coop bedding, dig under coop bedding to get dirt? I have bird feeders in my yard that are possible hot beds of local bird "bugs", use dirt from there?

    Or none of these is useful? Thank you.
    Peeperscreepers and nerfworthy like this.
  2. I raised 6 last year and didn’t do that, but I’m no expert:)
  3. Misfits&Mutts

    Misfits&Mutts In the Brooder

    Apr 4, 2018
    I am also wondering about this as we are still under 2 feet of snow even though it is April 6th. Can I just buy a piece of sod from a garden centre?
  4. Ruralhideaway

    Ruralhideaway Crowing

    Sep 21, 2017
    Upstate NY
    I think that wouldn't be specific enough to your own yard.
  5. Ruralhideaway

    Ruralhideaway Crowing

    Sep 21, 2017
    Upstate NY
    @lazy gardener When you have a minute can you help with this? I think it was you who told me this a few months ago.
  6. nerfworthy

    nerfworthy Songster

    Mar 29, 2018
    South Western Idaho
    I've been doing this exact thing with my babies!!! While we are building the coop and setting posts, of course we are digging up chunks of dirt/sod so I'm taking handfuls and putting them upsidedown in the nursery to let the chicks scratch and eat at it. They LOVEEEE looking for little critters in the dirt. Keeps them occupied while they get restless wanting to use their new little wings! Everyone is healthy and happy as can be.
    Ruralhideaway likes this.
  7. azygous

    azygous Crossing the Road

    Dec 11, 2009
    Colorado Rockies
    There are more pathogens in a hunk of sod from your yard than you could imagine. Scraping the snow away to expose soil where your adult flock often free range and digging up a small clump is a very good and safe way to immunize baby chicks in their first two weeks as this is the window off opportunity where chicks are developing immunity and resistance.

    Buying some sod at your garden center is actually dangerous, not so much to baby chicks, but to the adult flock as there could be pathogens such as coccidia that are foreign to your yard, and therefore your flock has no resistance to them. And it's pointless to expose your chicks to these foreign pathogens because they won't be the ones they need resistance to.
    Ruralhideaway and nerfworthy like this.
  8. Ruralhideaway

    Ruralhideaway Crowing

    Sep 21, 2017
    Upstate NY
    Thanks for that explanation. Frozen dirt thaws! Actually muddy slop everywhere but something can be found.
  9. rosemarythyme

    rosemarythyme Crowing

    Jul 3, 2016
    Pac NW
    My Coop
    Definitely don't buy sod as it's likely to have been treated with fertilizers or other chemicals that can be harmful to animals.
    azygous likes this.
  10. lazy gardener

    lazy gardener Crossing the Road

    Nov 7, 2012
    What @azygous and @rosemarythyme said. Commercially produced sod would IMO be a dangerous offering for chickens of any age. It is likely to be heavily treated with all sorts of ...cides, as well as fertilizer.

    As for frozen ground, welcome to the club! Do you have your driveway plowed? If so, are there any bits of sod that have been turned up in the plowing process? Do you have flower beds against your foundation? If the soil there has not been treated with any fertilizers, or ...cides, if it's not been used by local cats for a community litter box, you might find some soil there. Don't use that soil if it's been covered with dyed mulch.

    Frozen ground is one reason why I delay hatching until I am ensured that I can get some soil for my chicks!
    azygous likes this.

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