Is it always this hard?!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Crazy4Chicks10, Jun 25, 2016.

  1. Crazy4Chicks10

    Crazy4Chicks10 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2016
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    WARNING long post. I have had so many chicken woes.This is my first time owning chickens and I feel that I have had the absolute worst luck possible. I started out with 7 chicks from RK in April. At 2 weeks old one chick somehow injured his leg and it was sticking out at an odd angle. I thought he would be okay but his leg progressively got worse to where he could barely get around. He finally gave up and I found him dead in the coop today. We then had a coop break in by a predator and it killed two of my chickens (including my prized lavender hen). Next i got some chickens from a local breeder and two of them ended up with what sounded like a cold. I isolated them and gave them antibiotics; by the third day of antibiotics they seemed completely recovered. Although they are still in isolation and have been for over a week, Then we had a baby chick that seemed like a runt and did not grow and ended up dying. Another chick about 2 weeks old just died suddenly without apparent cause. Now today my fiance just went outside to check on the chickens and my buff brahma was not acting right. They usually come running to us but she just sat there. She seems a little lethargic and dazed. I have been putting Corid in their water because I thought I saw some bloody poop a week ago. I thought maybe it was the heat because it has been pretty hot the last couple of days. We brought her inside in the air conditioning and fed her some sugar water and a menagerie of different things trying to get her to eat; pineapple, chick feed mixed with water, scrambled eggs. I have now had 5 chickens die by various means; is it always this hard to raise chickens???? Or am I just extremely unlucky? I am at my wits end and just heartbroken because I get to know all of my chicks and have named each one and know their personalities. :(
     
  2. Teila

    Teila Bambrook Bantams Premium Member

    Hi there Crazy4Chicks10

    I am so sorry to read of your losses and run of bad luck and yep, in my experience, it can happen in runs.

    For a while everything can run smoothly, no issues and then wham, things seems to go wrong all at the same time.

    Please do not take this the wrong way, but as I read it, you have had chickens for 3 or 4 months and have introduced chickens and chicks and/or hatched your own chicks?

    Could this be too much too soon? May be it would be an idea to leave things as they are now, giving the flock time to settle and yourself more time to get into a routine, understand your flock and increase your experience before making more changes?

    I am definitely not an expert on what ails chickens but agree that losing the young chicks could be Coccidiosis and the Corid will certainly help.

    Have you also checked for parasites? Infestations of worms, lice and mite can cause chickens to become unwell and in some cases, die.

    Depending on what your chickens on the antibiotics actually have, while they are recovered, they can remain carriers and experience recurrences in times of stress etc.

    I wish I could be of more help and totally understand how heartbreaking it is for you.
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016
  3. Crazy4Chicks10

    Crazy4Chicks10 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2016
    Ohio
    I bought a few chickens the same age as the ones I already had and a few younger chicks that were too small to be outside yet. The two babies who died were still in the house. The two who were killed were outside in the coop and the one rooster with the messed up legs was outside also. I do think that maybe i got more chickens too soon and ended up overwhelming myself. I will not be getting or hatching anything until at least another year. I figure I will have learned more by then. I spoke to an Ohio State University veterinarian who advised me to keep the two previously sick chickens isolated for 2 weeks; then if they are well I can let them outside with the others. I am still unsure of whether I am going to reintegrate them or not. I just did not expect it to be this hard and was over-enthusiastic.
     
  4. Crazy4Chicks10

    Crazy4Chicks10 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2016
    Ohio
    Oh and I have also dusted all of my chicks/chickens for mites and inspect them daily.
     
  5. EggSighted4Life

    EggSighted4Life Overrun With Chickens

    Hi there [​IMG]

    Sounds like you have had a difficult go of it and I am sorry for your losses. [​IMG]

    Sometimes, it really is that hard. And they always say "when it rains it pours". You might be nervous waiting for the next shoe to drop. Hang in there. As you have already realized, you might have to ease off the enthusiasm a little. We are all guilty of chicken math. [​IMG]

    Once you get things under control and your emotions settle down, it SHOULD get a little easier. I am not sure if you quarantined the separate set of chickens as you were bringing them home. That is very important to avoid a possible loss of your entire flock.

    What other symptoms is your hen displaying besides lethargy? I like to do homemade electrolytes when I feel like it. Also I have read if it was heat stress that adding raw unfiltered acv with "mother" to the water would help. I would focus on pushing liquids more than food. However if you are using Corid that is supposed to be the only liquid source. You may be able to mix them together, I am not sure. Is it possible your hen has a laying issue? Are you getting eggs the same as before?

    Just trying to help you figure things out if possible.
    Best wishes!
     
  6. Crazy4Chicks10

    Crazy4Chicks10 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2016
    Ohio
    My chickens are only around 10 weeks old so they are not laying yet. She is having a little trouble walking; when she puts her foot down she steps on her other foot instead of putting it straight in front of her. I'm not really sure how to explain it. Her crop was also pretty much empty like she had not eaten all day. That's why we offered her so much food. She was acting completely fine yesterday. She does not have any respiratory symptoms. Thank you so much both of you for your advice and kind words. I guess when it rains it really does pour!
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2016
  7. Spartan22

    Spartan22 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    North Canton, Ohio
    Sorry to hear about your first time experience with chickens. No it's not always this hard to raise chickens. This is my 3rd summer with chickens raising them from 1st day-10 days old to point of lay. I started with 10 the first year, the 2nd spring I got 13 more, one end up a a rooster, we had to give away. One got out of the run accidentally, and disappeared after laying the first egg on our lawn, so we were heart broken.
    This is our 3rd spring and we got more different color egg layers, so far non got sick from the first year except one that were egg bound. We haven't medicate any of them and they are pretty healthy.

    So don't be discouraged, just like what others said let it settle and don't add more until your pretty comfortable with raising them.
     
  8. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Lots of Chickens Premium Member

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    central Wisconsin
    When I started keeping chickens I knew nothing and made lots of mistakes that ended up with a few dead birds same as you. There's a steep learning curve but once you get something going that works for you, things can go fairly smooth.

    I highly recommend not getting birds from multiple sources in one season. I learned that is the quickest way to have a sick flock. So perhaps picking a single source and going that route. I personally only get birds from one hatchery now as it limits disease exposure as well as the chicks being mostly sterile.

    Chickens can get into all kinds of troubles. An occasional injury or illness can happen. And I've had predators take birds. I personally take a more hands off approach and don't treat for most things, and cull when necessary to build a healthy flock that stays healthy. I do have a can of bluekote. I give fresh clean water daily, a good rations and some scratch, and whatever produce or leftovers I have.

    The most important thing is to always give them plenty of room, they can never have too much, and learn from your mistakes and difficulties. You are have a bit of bad luck, but don't get discouraged, I think you will eventually have everything even out.

    As far as your limping hen, I would just wait and see. Giving medication unless you know for sure is needed isn't a good idea. I find most chickens are good at healing and recovering from things if just left alone. Wishing you luck that things get better for you.
     
  9. mackenzie450

    mackenzie450 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 15, 2016
    I'm sorry for your bad luck! I think we've all been there and learned some hard lessons. This advice is good I would just like to add, when one chicken is limping or injured in any way, the other chickens will kill it. Make sure to keep a close eye on those that are showing any signs on injury, separating them is best. And when you're introduce them after they heal, do it very carefully. Seperate the ones you are introducing to a run or crate so the others can look but not touch. This process alone can take weeks. I've had to learn this the hard way too! Hang in there:)
     
  10. Crazy4Chicks10

    Crazy4Chicks10 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 20, 2016
    Ohio
    Thank you everyone for your advice and well wishes! My little buff brahma hen is still residing in the house but I believe I have figured out the issue. Her crop was very swollen and almost water balloon like. I did a crop massage about an hour ago and she started burping and after about 5 minutes the crop had shrunk to about 1/4 the original size. It did not look like she had eaten or drank anything so I believe maybe it is sour crop? After the massage she also expelled quite a bit of air out her bum and pooped a bunch. She immediately started acting better and started scratching around in the floor making little chicken noises. She also drank quite a bit of water on her own which she has not done all day! I've been having to dip her beak in the water to get her to drink. I will still be monitoring her closely but I am feeling so much better about her condition!
     

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