Is it my business? No?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by aalbury, Nov 6, 2009.

  1. aalbury

    aalbury Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 5, 2009
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    Hello!
    I'm pretty new to chickens and have 5 hens. I raised a barred rock roo with the hens, but when I moved them into the barn for winter, the roo's crowing became ear-splitting and he began attacking my daughter and myself. Not a huge deal, but my neighbor several farms down-the-way, has some BO's and RIRs and said he'd take my roo off my hands. So he picked him up.

    He said his roo did not crow or do his "Job" and I could have him if I wanted him. A RIR. Perfect - I thought.

    So I went over to have a look.
    I think his chickens are sick. He said he got them at an auction. His roo that he was offering was making a gurgling sound. I heard several hens sort of .....sneeze. The hens also looked thin, one was missing some of her feathers on her back (a bare spot about 2.5 - 3 inches around with bloody spots) and I noticed he was feeding only cracked corn and some grass or hay. My roo looked like a shiny, fat, alien amongst them. I did not take his roo for fear of spreading respiratory illness, despite my urge to take him and the little hen with the missing feathers to nurse back to health.

    Since mine are still laying without a roo and his had stopped (he thought he needed a new roo that would do the "job"), he asked what I was feeding. I told him Layena in addition to sunflower seeds, fruits and veggies, occasional oatmeal, etc. He told me his don't like the pelleted laying feed and his neighbor doesn't feed his chickens at all. I said, "well those chickens are loose and eating bugs and vegetation all over the 5 acre property, not caged in a 20x10 coop".

    I got all my "Do's" and "donts" from this site, my gardening club, and the feathered site, but I am still learning myself. So I am not up on any high horse, but I did quite a bit of research before I even purchased my chicks.

    My questions are:

    How can I go about suggesting better feed? Or should I? Am I wrong that corn and fescue cuttings are not a complete diet? I don't see how they could get enough protein or calcium to lay, much less the nutrition to be healthy.....

    And - should I try suggesting anything for the colds/respiratory issues his flock seems to have? When I mentioned their sneezing he stated they were clearing stuff from their noses - which I suppose is true - but I feel as if he does not realize they may be ill. I do not want to offend - and it may sound silly - but I can't sleep thinking my roo will get sick as well as his flock may suffer. I just don't know enough to know if they'll be fine with out some help, or.....am I worrying over nothing?
     
  2. The Chicken People

    The Chicken People Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 4, 2009
    Smithville, Mo
    I would make suggestions....and I would have eaten that roo before giving it to him!
     
  3. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    Well, the condition of his birds tells the tale, doesn't it? You can't convince some people, though. To me, alot of it is pure laziness and excuses (though nowadays, the economy is playing a part). Even my grandfather, who was born in the late 1800's, fed his chickens laying mash in addition to what they could find foraging on his farm. Not all old farmers are like that guy.

    Chickens who are good foragers may find enough to eat in order to survive on their own--depends on how much is on the property to find. They will not, however, usually be fat and sassy and lay as many eggs as ones whose health is truly looked after. They are domesticated birds and usually, domesticated animals do better when the domesticators take care of them to some degree. JMHO, for whatever it's worth. (some chickens are much better foragers than others, in my experience)
     
  4. wegotchickens

    wegotchickens DownSouth D'Uccles & Silkies

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    I would certainly make suggestions. Even if he started giving them all his family's leftovers from meals it would be more nitritious for the birds.
    Also, suggest he check out this site.
    For the sake of the chickens, not the neighbor.

    Don't take your rooster back. The man's going to be disappointed if he finds that his hens don't magically start laying after your roo joined them.

    Hope you washed up good and changed your shoes after that visit to his place. I wouldn't let this man come visit you unless you kept him at a distance from your own chickens. A great distance!
     
  5. faykokoWV

    faykokoWV Mrs Fancy Plants

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    Cross Lanes, WV
    If I saw someone feeding their cat nothing but lettuce and they told me they couldn't figure out why it wasn't doing well, I'd say something. So I guess I'd say something to the chicken owner too. Even better, buy him a bag of flock raiser crumbles (since his didn't like pellets).
    Hopefully he'll realize its the better food that gets his chickens laying again and not the new roo.

    Also, you may want to mention how well yours are laying without a rooster around. He may not realize the rooster makes no difference in the egg production. If his chickens have bare patches on their back, the rooster probably is "doing his job" too much.


    What every you do, don't bring his rooster home to your flock without a good long quarrantine!
     
  6. hens & chicks

    hens & chicks Out Of The Brooder

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    Aug 14, 2009
    Hudson Indiana
    Did he think his "roo" was not doing what job? Mating to provide him with eggs? Or? Maybe his roo is still young enough it hasn't found it's voice yet? Or maybe the roo is embarrased by the state and condition of the flock he has been entrusted to take care of and has "nothing to crow about?" From what you said he has him now and IF you got your roo back I would think you would want to put him into isolation right away. So sad. Hope you can get him back. Refer the guy to this website? THe ladies here will show him the way--to go.[​IMG]
     
  7. aalbury

    aalbury Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 5, 2009
    GA
    TCP: I was tempted! I have yet to try my hand at it..... I'm not squeamish, but, I thought I might borrow him back if I needed him as he was beautiful and huge at 7 months.
     
  8. aalbury

    aalbury Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 5, 2009
    GA
    Wow! Thanks for all the advice! So many posts so fast!

    I'm glad that I'm not the crazy chicken lady...I will try not to make him feel like I'm being condescending though.
     
  9. Bookworm chick

    Bookworm chick Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Salem County, NJ
    Quote:I agree with the other posters. . . . . do not take your rooster back without quarantining him. If you reintroduce him right back into your flock, you could infect your chickens. And Wegotchickens point about disinfecting your shoes (and clothing too) and not letting this man near your healthy chickens is an excellent one. Better to be safe than sorry.
     
  10. aalbury

    aalbury Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 5, 2009
    GA
    Quote:I agree with the other posters. . . . . do not take your rooster back without quarantining him. If you reintroduce him right back into your flock, you could infect your chickens. And Wegotchickens point about disinfecting your shoes (and clothing too) and not letting this man near your healthy chickens is an excellent one. Better to be safe than sorry.

    I am SO familiar with that. When I volunteered for the dept of ag, the same auction that he got his chickens from had been shut down many times for strangles (horses) and any horse I had to be near I'd dip my boots in a clorox dip and use sanitizer over and over between them......I'll disinfect my boots, but my daughter and I did go straight home, showered, and did laundry. I did not set foot in the pen, but I'll disinfect my boots and hers anyway.
     

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