1. Come check out hundreds of awesome coop pages (and a few that need suggestions) in our 2018 Coop Rating Project!

I'm at the end of my rope - HAPPY UPDATE!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by technodoll, Dec 20, 2009.

  1. technodoll

    technodoll Songster

    Aug 25, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    I can't get the humidity level lower than 95% in my crappy coop.

    Yes I've put in as much ventilation and insulation as I could but I don't have any more money for renovations or supplies, we're stuck with this old coop until we move next summer. I have one 175W heat lamp in a corner and a 250W lamp in the middle of the coop to try and defrost the air, plus a little fan that I hung up high near the ceiling to try and get air circulation to push humidity out of the vents in the wall. It's not working.

    Everyone got lice a few months ago, I treated that. I can't get rid of the nits stuck to the feathers, will those just fall off eventually?

    Then worm infestations, treated with Piperazine. No eggs for 2 weeks, that's about $50 in lost revenue.

    I have a weak cockerel in the house still on poly-vi-sol, he can't go back in the coop until he's grown more feathers and doesn't stagger when he walks.

    I have a pullet with pneumonia that I had to bring in yesterday, she's drowning in her lungs. She's on antibiotics now.

    In the same room, in a dog crate, I have a silkie pullet sitting on some eggs which are due to hatch Dec 23rd. I'm scared to expose the chicks to anything the two other birds might have, but I have nowhere else to put them.

    Then, in the wet cold coop, 4 more hens are coughing and have nasal discharge the past few days.

    I have birds of all ages, including an 8-week old brahma baby who's being pecked on, space is limited, some birds need antibiotics and others not, more are getting sick every day.

    I am spending hours in the coop, trying to fix things, defrosting water, mixing meds, picking up poop in the house incessantly, carrying the broody hen outside to the coop twice a day otherwise she won't poop, eat or drink, and now babies on the way.

    I broke down and cried today.

    I can't take this anymore.

    Last edited: Dec 21, 2009

  2. 3goodeggs

    3goodeggs pays attention sporadically

    May 22, 2009
    North Central Florida
    Do you have electricity to the coop? a dehumidifier may help with the moisture and it will help heat too.
    I am so sorry things are going so rough for you.
    I hope it will get better.
    They sell things called 'damp rid' too, but I know it would be disastrous if they ate any of it.
    You may be able to rig it up in some sort of chicken proof cage.
    Good luck.
  3. Laurieks

    Laurieks Where did the time go???

    Aug 14, 2009
    Sonoma County, CA
    [​IMG] you have my admiration for making it this far with them! [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] I wish you were closer... it's cold here but not that cold, and dries out periodically. Sounds like you could use 2 or 4 more hands around there right now.
    I hope someone has a helpful solution. I have a feeling they will say to cull the weaker guy & focus on the babies. Can they all move into a back porch or something til Spring? Maybe a big wood shipping crate (mom got one from a piano shipper once, a looong time ago) so it starts out dry?
  4. Kittymomma

    Kittymomma Songster

    Sep 9, 2009
    Olympia, WA
    Quote:So sorry you're having so many problems. Did I read right that you have your water in the coop? If that is the case put it outside if possible. I don't think that will solve all your problems, but I'm sure it will help some. [​IMG]
  5. farmin'chick

    farmin'chick Songster

    Apr 13, 2009
    Rocky Mount VA
    About the nits -- you do know you need to dust with Diatomaceous earth or 5% carbaryl TWO times, about a week apart? The dusting takes care of the live lice, but you have to go one more round to get rid of the ones that are eggs when you dust the first time. I'm sorry for your sick birds -- ours are struggling somewhat because of the wide variance in weather we're experiencing. And, in a few more days, we'll pass the shortest day of the year and the days will start lengthening again. When I lived in the north, I had to use a "full spectrum" lightbulb in the house, or I would get weather related depression -- Appropriately, it's called "SADs" Seasonal Affective Disorder.

    So try to get some sun on you. Open the coop when it's sunny, even if it's cold, and that will help with ventilation. We use something called VetRx for "colds" and respiratory infection in the birds...it seems to help. It's nicknamed "Vicks for chix".

    Wrap your arms around you and give yourself a big hug...You're going to make it! Most of your birds will be just fine. The ones that won't, you've done what you can to comfort and heal, and that's all you can do.
  6. technodoll

    technodoll Songster

    Aug 25, 2009
    Quebec, Canada
    I just feel like a giant loser, you know?

    So many people have lovely efficient coops with big, healthy birds while I have a humid dusty ghetto full of post-war victims - or so it feels like.

    Dunno, maybe I'm just really tired lately.

    I spend about 4 to 5 hours PER DAY on these birds.

    Just because I love them. It's breaking my heart that everything I do seems to make things worse.

    Yes they've been dusted twice with Dri-Kill, I don't see any lice on anyone just feathers full of nits. Don't know if they're dead eggs just stuck on quills?

    The only safe (non-hazardous for fire) solution I haven't looked into yet for drying out the coop would be an extractor fan of some sort that could be installed in a wall of the coop. We're flat broke right now but I will be calling our contractor tomorrow to see what he can do.

    I *have* to suck some of that humidity out of there or I will lose my whole flock.

    Nobody gets culled unless they are on the brink of death after I've done everything possible to save them.

    Please let's not even go there [​IMG]

    I feel as blue as a black eye right now. sorry for the yucky post but it does help to get it off my chest.

  7. WriterofWords

    WriterofWords Has Fainting Chickens

    Dec 25, 2007
    Chaparral, New Mexico
    You are not a loser, only a winner would devote that much time and effort to care for their chickens.

    Edited for bad word usage!
    Last edited: Dec 20, 2009

  8. Laurieks

    Laurieks Where did the time go???

    Aug 14, 2009
    Sonoma County, CA
    Quote:Me too actually... I shouldna even said it [​IMG]

    Bravo for all you're doing for your flock!

    I adopted a roo with lots of lice eggs and am spraying him once or twice a week (every night for the first week) with adams tick & flea spray per a very old post on a garden forum that showed up on googling. They actually recommended one with IGR (insect growth retarder or somesuch) but DH got this one. So far no one else has them and he's looking much better. He attacked humans before & right after he moved here, now he's a love. I've read of pulling or cutting the feathers with eggs attached and have also read that it's cruel, so am leaving them for now. We also have DE & poultry dust in/on his bedding & in the coop.

    I agree with lots of air & light. You can pay a lot for fancy FS lights, but a lot of businesses going under have them on sale atm (at the moment).

    Good luck and keep in touch!
  9. danielle82

    danielle82 A Good Egg

    Apr 27, 2009
    Tonasket Wa
    [​IMG] Don't give up...remember the old saying "it is darkest right before dawn" It sounds like you have been working on your chicken situation a lot, and worrying about it when your not working on it. Just keep plugging away, It will get better! [​IMG]
  10. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon Premium Member

    Jan 27, 2007
    Checked the shots of your coop: https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=267295

    you, using the same monitor, compared the 95% huimidity reading inside with a reading taken outside? Do you walk into the coop and develop a quick sheen of moisture on exposed skin? If so, I'd suspect a leak in a wall/roof. How large are your vents and what is the airflow like inside (use a fireworks punk or cigarette and watch the smoke).

    I'd cut down on the wattage of the lights and increase the ventilation. The warmer the air the more moisture it will hold and if the coop is pretty airtight the extra lamps can create a layer of saturated air near the ceiling.

    Hang in there!

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by