I'm About To Give Up My Flock!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickbliss7, Mar 23, 2011.

  1. chickbliss7

    chickbliss7 Out Of The Brooder

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    I have 6 hens of varying breeds for almost 2 years. Everything was fine, except for one girl, the first year. This past year, however, has been a nightmare! Somebody is sick all the time! I have literally spent thousands of dollars in medications, special vitamins and treats and, of course, vets, plus an assistant to help me give medicines. I clean their coop every single, bloody day. I was determined to give them the best possible care.

    Now, finally, I think I've had it. My husband is grumbling about the time and money spent. I just can't figure it out, and apparently, neither can the vets. The girls have had impacted crops from eating too much crushed oyster shells (eaten at will), one that was laying internally and almost died from peritonitis, etc. They barely lay eggs, some have not laid an egg in a year or more!

    What I guess I want to know, is it always this way keeping chickens? I used to not let them out of their pens for fear of them getting a disease roaming around. But now I feel like, "what the heck? They're always sick anyway, so let them live like chickens." What am I doing wrong? Or, is it normal to have chickens this delicate?? I would like to give it up, but where would I take them? I don't want to kill them certainly, but who wants sick chickens? No one ever told me chickens are hard to care for! Any suggestions?!
     
  2. schellie69

    schellie69 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Oct 8, 2009
    Kansas
    I am so sorry you are going through this, I have had my girls for 2 years now and I have only had a few problems nothing like what you are talking about. I wish I could tell you what to do but I can't but here hopefully this helps. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
  3. backyardmenagerie

    backyardmenagerie Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 13, 2011
    Kansas
    Honestly? Cull, and start over. [​IMG]
    But the answer really depends on your relationship with your chickens. Mine are livestock first, but I understand that to many people they are pets. If mine get sick or are being unnecessarily high maintenance, they are going to be culled.
    I personally have not had any problems with my flock like you are describing, and I'm sorry you have had to deal with that. I, too, would probably be throwing in the towel after going through all that! Chickens are supposed to be cheap (relatively) and easy, which is why so many have them.
    I hope you find a solution that works for you. And I hope that you don't have to give up on chickens altogether! Chickens are supposed to be fun, I'm sorry you had a bad experience. [​IMG]
     
  4. wpalmisano

    wpalmisano Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 11, 2010
    Connecticut
    In nature, when conditions are crowded and animals are crammed together, disease always occurs. ( I don't know how your set up is.) Sometimes there is something in the coop, almost like a "sick coop syndrome." This is nature's way of keeping populations in check. Too many raccoons, rabies thins 'em out, too many deer, same thing, stuff like that. If the chickens are always in the coop together, and one is sick, they will all get sick. My suggestion is just to air them out. Let them run around. Let chickens, be chickens. Just my opinion.
     
  5. MrsChickendad

    MrsChickendad Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 18, 2008
    Lennon, Michigan
    Quote:This is WAY too much work you are doing! Where did you get them? What are you feeding them? What are you using for bedding that you have to clean it every day? What about the coop? Plenty of ventilation? Water and food available all the time? How old are the birds?

    I don't blame you for being frustrated! This doesn't sound like fun!
     
  6. Sillystunt

    Sillystunt Master of the Silly

    Jul 11, 2008
    Winter Haven, FL
    sometimes a sick chicken can infect the rest of your flock. you will get this domino affect with illness. i never leave free choice oyster shell, get rid of it! they really don't need it, i know some will argue but mine have NEVER had it & lay just fine!!! What are you feeding them? i assume only layer, correct? to much scratch (candy) will have them cut back on laying. also how much sunlight are they exposed to?

    now, what kind of illness is happening. this might help us figure out what could they be getting , how to fix it or should they be culled.

    Don't give up, i know your fustrated but we are here for you!! i know many of us have gone through this( me with the dang respitory crud & fowl pox in eyes...ugh)

    [​IMG] we will help you!!!!! hang in there
     
  7. chickensducks&agoose

    chickensducks&agoose Chillin' With My Peeps

    I don't have a vet option, and honestly only would have taken our baby goose..who died from some sort of ingested poison/bacteria. Chicken ownership shouldn't be that hard. If you get 6, maybe one will get some weird disease (cancer, infection, ate a nail?) and one might get eaten by a fox. Let the birds be birds, and don't clean the coop every day. Once a week, max. decide that as long as you are doing your part (providing clean water, nutritious food, safe place to sleep) they should do their part and survive. if they don't, it's not on you.
     
  8. Arielle

    Arielle Chicken Obsessed

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    Feb 19, 2011
    Massachusetts, USA
    Sorry to hear you're having so much illness in the flock. Getting rid of them won't be easy if that's what you decide to do. I read a post on BYC of someone who had had problems, got rid of the flock, cleaned the coop super well, and let it sit for a year. Just FYI.[​IMG]
     
  9. marymac

    marymac Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 12, 2008
    Northeast Ohio
    Let the chickens be chickens. Any one can have some problems now and then, and even lose a few. Think of it this way....kids need to get dirty , which helps them build up immunity to different diseases. If you never let your kid get dirty are paranoid about every thing he touches and make them live in a sterile bubble they will get sick as soon as they step out the door. So it is with chickens, they need a certain amount of upkeep, but too much ain't good for em. God made dirt, dirt don't hurt. Enjoy your chickens , but stop fussing over em.
     
  10. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

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    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    I understand why you would feel that way. Perhaps you can cull, sanitize everything and start over again, although the problems you describe don't seem to be "catchy" illnesses. I throw a little bit of oyster shell around every now and then, but I think my layer feed really has the calcium in it already. Are you feeding a good layer feed? (I'm sure you are...)

    Also, truth be told, a little dirt never hurt a chicken.....I believe, if you keep them super duper clean, then they won't be able to build up a resistance to the normal germs/dirt/whatever that a barnyard chicken encounters.

    I was really disgusted this winter when I discovered that my little flock had gotten lice. I was disgusted and mortified. Apparently, this does happen in winter, when wild birds seek shelter or warmth.... I took care of the problem and they're fine now.

    I do think that a chicken that gets to free range is a happy chicken. I think you made the right decision there. In the 3 years I've been keeping chickens, I have lost three to predators. I think it's worth the risk to have a happy flock.....

    All I can say is, if you enjoy chickens, hang in there, things will be looking up........
     

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