How to build up chicks resistance to diseases from their day of hatching

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Sire12, Jan 27, 2017.

  1. Sire12

    Sire12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    So I've decided to buy feritle black australorp eggs and an incubator since black Aussies are very rare to find here, I've read up different caresheets on how to feed them and handle them and how to setup their brooder etc, but I can't find alot of information on ways to build up their immune system other than vaccines, mainly talking about mareks and coccidiosis, I know that adding a bit of apple cider vinegar can help prevent pasty butt, I'm trying not to use vaccines since I've read that they can be harmful on just not work at all, have also heard that if you add a tiny bit of backyard soil to their brooder for a few hours it helps them build a resistance to coccidiosis, I'd appreciate any help thanks
     
  2. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Chicken Obsessed

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    Starting around day 2, adding dirt from your chicken run can definitely be good and help your chicks gain resistance to parasites.

    ACV in the water every few days is also good.

    But do keep in mind that these things are just preventative measures, and if your chicks are sick you might need to use medicine, not just try to solve the problem naturally (though that is good and I prefer it whenever possible).

    Putting them outside in the grass during the day can be good, and get them used to scratching around. I use an old playpen and put it upside down outside - like a mini chicken tractor during the day. It works well.

    Congrats on your first bator and hatch, hope it goes well!
     
  3. FlyWheel

    FlyWheel Chillin' With My Peeps

    +1 on the bit of dirt. What I do though is pull up a small clump of grass, taking the roots and dirt along with it and place it in their brooder. This not only exposes them to the local bacteria they will be encountering (and giving their bodies a head start on building an immunity to any bad 'bugs') it also provides them with a treat, gives them the grit they need to digest it as well as the microorganisms they need for their gut.
     
  4. mobius

    mobius Chillin' With My Peeps

    Ferment your feed. I think once chicks are about a week old (or so) this is perfectly fine. Do a search there is a good fermented feed thread about how to do it. I did it with mine! They are very healthy at this point. It is very simple.
     
  5. Sire12

    Sire12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Perfect thanks for all the info! I wasn't sure about the soil so now I know

    Oh ok I can do that no problem I ferment my hens mixed grain in used coffee jars, I wasn't sure though if it was safe for chicks, I've only ever fermented wheat and grain since pellets turned into mush, should I ferment their starter crumbs? Or should I maybe just give them a small spoonful of the hens fermented grain each day? Thx
     
  6. Sire12

    Sire12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Also how long do you keep the dirt in their brooder with them, and do you need to replace it with fresh dirt every so often?
     
  7. TheKindaFarmGal

    TheKindaFarmGal Chicken Obsessed

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    All the time. Replace every time you clean brooder (daily or every other day usually).
     
  8. GaryDean26

    GaryDean26 Chicken Czar

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    The way I build up disease resistance is the following
    1) Hatch 10 chicks for every one that I need to build next year's breeding groups. I then focus on good vigor in my selection. I look for good growth rates because if they are ill or no resistent in anything in their environment it will hinder their growth. I look for good activity levels. My birds that is first off the roost in the morning and last to the coop at night and that stays our scratching in the yard when it is 100 degrees outside and 30 degrees outside while everyone else is in the coop loafing is the one that I want to breed. I also check for wind carrage, how they walk (i.e. the cockerels should strut not walk flat footed, etc.)
    2) I don't breed anything that has ever had a major illness no matter how good they look or how strong they are when they get better.
    3) I wait until birds are two years old to breed. Some weaknesses like heart defects, etc. don't show up in the first year. By waiting two years you ensure that only birds that can withstand the cold of the winter the heat of the summer the wet season (and the fowl pox it brings) etc. make it to the breeding pen. That weed out a lot of weakness from the flock.
    4) I don't vaccinate. Well...when starting with a new breed I have vaccinated foundation stock because if they die they may be difficult to impossible to relpace, but their offspring is not vaccinated. Int he first year I might loose 20% of the flock or more to some type of weakness, but those that survive are hardier birds and pass that trait on to their offspring. It has been very rare in my experience to see any losses at to illnesses or weakness after the first year.
    5) You could also try hen brooding chicks. I haven't been able to do a lot of that but some immunity can be passed from a hen to offspring through direct contact (this includes coccidiosis resistance). Good hens will also teach their chicks survival skills. One broody hen would pop her chicks on the head when they would eat out of the feeder because she was trying to get them to go out and forage with her and din't want them to stay in the coop eating from the feed bucket all day.

    Note: I don't know of any way to build up immunity to Mareks. If you have it on your property be prepared to loose birds if you don't vaccinate for it. Even if you loose 80% of your flock you will still have 20% to work with and that 20% will be hardy and so there will be a lot fewer losses the following generation. I personally would vaccinate your first year for it if you have had losses to it on you property previously. Wait for the 2nd generation to try to build up resistance to it in you flock.

    Yes the dirt in the brooder to build up resistance to coccidiosis helps. It works similar to the direct contact with a mother hen to get immunity method.
     
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  9. Sire12

    Sire12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Awesome ty! As far as I know there isn't mareks on my property although I don't know much about it, I got my first 3 chickens last summer all hens the only problem I've ever seen them have is scaly leg mites they came with it (they weren't it great condition when I got them) the farmer I got them off also has light Sussex hens and none of them have mareks, is there a way to tell if you have it on your property none of my neighbours have ever had chickens

    I was planning on raising them by hand, I do have 3 hens 2 of which are a little bossy but they're broody so they might take to the chicks I also have a lovely blue orpington who I haven't seen lay this season yet but may have mothered them, but yeah was planning on parenting them myself so that theyll grow up to be as sociable as possible, to let me pick them up and pet them and all that good stuff :)
     
  10. Sire12

    Sire12 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will be getting my eggs at the start of next week, I have the incubator set up in my room, my dog is here most of the time and she barks quite a bit will that affect the eggs at all?
     

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