Feed the birds? (wild ones, that is)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by TallJ, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. TallJ

    TallJ Out Of The Brooder

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    For many years we have enjoyed feeding the wild birds during the winter. This is our first year with our own chickens and guineas. They free range all over our property, including the areas I have always put the bird feeders for the wild birds. Will this be a a problem for our girls? I have read that you should try to keep wild birds away from your flock, due to diseases. That is pretty much impossible. I know that they fly over, hang out in the trees in the yard, have a hayday in the garden, wander the yard, etc.
    Having a first flock IDK if I should still be feeding the birdfeeders or not? We always enjoy watching them out our windows. Has anyone else had issues with free range chickens and the bird feeders?
     
  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    We have lived in our home since '65. I have always fed the wild birds and maintained chickens/pigeons here ever since. I have had no 'wild bird' created health issues.

    The POSSIBILITY might exist for the introduction of disease or parasite transfer, but my birds have not been infected/infested.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2013
  3. redstar14

    redstar14 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    It should be fine
     
  4. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    I don't have quite the years of experience Sourland has, but I've also always had bird feeders out. Plus, I have sparrows, finches and scrub jays in the run all the time. I figure the wild birds are pretty healthy, if they have a minimal parasite load it must not be affecting their health if they're flying around my run. My flock stays pretty darn healthy, I've never had an issue from contact with wild birds.

    We do have doves that just came around this last spring that I swear purposefully tease my dogs. But that's another story......
     
  5. TallJ

    TallJ Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for the info. I was hoping the suggestion to keep wild birds away was from an over abundance of caution.
     
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  7. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    I've had chicken a long time, and those rotten house finches raid my chicken feeders daily. They have brought lice and mites to my flock, not every year, but sometimes. AS long as your birds free range, and the wild birds can get into the coop, be aware and be ready to treat. I think the advantages of free ranging outweigh the risks, but stuff happens. Mary
     
  8. TallJ

    TallJ Out Of The Brooder

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    I have the wild birdfeeders on the opposite side of the house from the chicken coop. During the day only the small chicken exit door is usually open. I offer the girls hand scattered oats, corn, and kitchen scraps during the day, but only put their scratch in the coop at night.

    Is it easy to tell if your chickens get lice or mites? I painted the inside of the coop just in case, so there weren't so many nooks for them to hide in if I had to treat it.
     
  9. Folly's place

    Folly's place Chicken Obsessed

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    I look at skin and feathers and the vent area fairly often, and proactively treat the coop. When the bedding is cleaned out, we dust the coop and nest boxes with either Sevin or pyrethrin dust. I also treat the birds with Ivermectin once or twice a year, and check fecal samples occasionaly. Several years ago we lost three nice hens over several months, to finally discover the mites! Not a good story, and it's why I'm more aggressive in parasite management now. Mary
     
  10. Izzychicky

    Izzychicky Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for making thread, I've been looking for something like this
     

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