Just curious....

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Beekissed, Aug 8, 2008.

  1. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    ...about all these mites, lice, diseases and injuries that everyone's chickens are having on this forum. I've kept chickens on and off my whole life and can't ever remember having any of these things! Is it just the area in which everyone lives, their weather conditions, etc. that causes these things? I don't do anything special with my chickens that would cause them to be disease free or anything. No medicated feed, no DE dusting, no vaccines of any kind.

    I've only had one hen die from unknown causes and that was from a flock I had just bought from a lady, and the hen just went poorly and died shortly after I got them. None of the others showed any signs of illness. Other than that...nothing. Am I just awful lucky or am I missing something? I know my grandma would have chickens that would get a croup type illness ever once in awhile.

    Is it crowded living conditions, exposure to other poultry flocks, etc. that causes these things or do they just appear out of the blue?

    Whatever it is, I would like to know how to avoid them rather than treat them. Anyone have advice on how to avoid mites, lice, respiratory illnesses, etc. ? Maybe I'm already doing it and am unaware that that is what is keeping them healthy...I don't know.
  2. rooster0209

    rooster0209 Songster

    Apr 7, 2008
    North Dakota
    When I talk to my husband, MIL or step dad they don't remember any thing like that either. Very interesting....

    and they raised chickens for the sole purpose of eggs & meat
  3. Daycare Mom

    Daycare Mom Chickens, Cuddly and Delicious

    Apr 9, 2008
    Conklin, Michigan
    Funny, my father in law and I just talked about this. He has raised hundreds of chickens and never had any of those problems either. Maybe they just didn't pay close enough attention? I don't know. [​IMG]
  4. hinkjc

    hinkjc Crowing

    Jan 11, 2007
    Sometimes I think the less you do the better. As years go on and your chickens build immunity to the nasties in the environment, you end up with a stronger flock. The weak perish and the good birds thrive. That is how is was meant to be. We are bit too "petty" sometimes in trying to cure the world.

    You can't really compare today's farming to old timers though. As someone stated, old timers raised birds for eggs and meat..they were lucky if they were around more than a year. They were typically eaten that winter and a new brood being raised for next spring's layers. So the signs of illnesses never had it's chance to rear it's ugly head.

    In addition, think about all of the diseases around today that were not around years ago and wonder why today's chickens are not as thrifty. I had never even heard of a tick when I was a kid and played outside all of the time. Now ticks give you lyme disease..well, where did they come from all of a sudden. I think some of the things we see with chickens is due to our overprotecting, poor management (or should I say overmanagement) of chicken husbandry and environmental changes.

    I have to say I am very close to my chickens and do not see the array of issues that many do on here, but I also feel it depends on where you live too. Some areas are more prone to certain diseases than others. We are fortunate for cold winters that kill a lot of stuff off that warmer climates do not get the benefit of. I do reading, like many on here, and see the various things that chickens could succumb to. I hope I never have to experience most of them.

    Good points and interesting discussion.

  5. Jenski

    Jenski Songster

    Jun 17, 2008
    Middle Tennessee
    Dang, Beekissed, I hope you didn't just jinx yourself.


    Jen in TN
  6. Ladysonja

    Ladysonja Songster

    Jul 29, 2008
    Porter, Texas
    I would like to know myself...

    I am a new chicken owner and after reading some the posts on BYC, my mind spins.

    Of course, I don't want sickly birds and want to make sure that I am providing a clean and safe living environment for my birds, but I have to wonder...

    Chickens have been around since the beginining of time depending on if you believe in the Ark or the Dinasour time frame, folks have managed to raise chickens for eggs and meat - What makes us different?

    Are we hoovering over the brooder box or in the run too long looking at every little pooh pile, cough, sneeze, etc...???

    Are we working ourselves into a frenzy over what to feed, what not to feed, and when to feed... ????

    Are we too worked up about preditors when free ranging or when they are cooped/run up?

    Beating each other up for our beliefs on how to handle preditors or whether a flock should free range or not...

    Old ways vs. New ways...???

    We all have decided to raise chickens for different reasons. Maybe we want to provide a chemically free form of a meal for our families. Maybe we want to raise chickens for the fun of bring a life form from egg to grave... I don't know...

    All I know is that there are some folks who are very helpful on BYC. I am greatful for their helpful hints, family inspired comments, funny chicken stories and unending willingness to support and help educate us newbies.

    On the other hand, there are folks on this site who would rather point fingers or belittle others for their beliefs on how to handle issues that best fit their situation.

    As for myself, reading, learning, and knowing that it takes all kinds to make this crazy world go round... No one is right... No one is wrong... We are hear to learn and to not over react or treat each other with disregard because we don't agree with one thing or another.

    Thank you for those that I have learned from and I will continue to learn from.

    I do know that chickens were here before I started this and will be here well after I stop.
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2008
  7. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    I have thought about that a lot. [​IMG] My grandma had chickens all her life, and I would help her care for them as a child. She never had problems. So, here are my conclusions.

    1.lots of space and free ranging over large areas (so they don't play in their poop)

    2.no exposure to other chickens

    3.losses by predation was an accepted thing

    4.more diseases and pests now

    On #3, we did try to minimize predation. But if there were chickens that insisted on roosting in trees (after we tried a few times to get them to go to the coop) we realized that they were going to be eaten. And they were all let out to free range.

    We had 2 'odd' deaths that I remember (as in non-predation). One was a hen (older, don't remember how old, but over 2 years) that started acting a bit odd. We butchered her and it turned out that she was full of fluid. But it rather looked almost as if she had been laying internally (now I no longer remember exactly what it looked like and why we came to that conclusion). The other one was a broody Goose. She accidentally broke one of the eggs and got her bottom covered in yolk and flies were attracted......(I shall leave the ucky at that [​IMG] )
  8. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    Yep, hope I didn't jinx myself, either! [​IMG]

    Really, maybe it is the colder weather we have here. Although, they say that the reason cold viruses are more prevalent in the winter is that the lipid layer around the virus stays intact in cooler weather and protects the virus from attack. So, some viruses would be more virulent here where we have cooler weather, you think?

    Maybe the sheer number of people on this forum makes it look like there are a heck of a lot of sick or dying birds, when its really a small sampling from a huge number of flocks?

    Maybe some do tend to scrutinize their birds more because they spend more time with them. I do a once-over assessment of general health and appearance once a day and more if I happen to be out there. Check on them at night again to do a head count, check the waterers and feeders, etc.
    No bedding in my henhouse, freerange most of the time, etc.

    Anyone know what conditions contribute to things like lice, mites, infections and such, so we can do preventative measures? I don't like to rely on medications as much as I do preventative health care, so anyone have any ideas?
  9. IloveTravis

    IloveTravis Songster

    Jul 27, 2008
    I don't know. besides some fox trouble, my birds have been healthy. No injuries or illness. I guess it could be the cold [​IMG]
  10. lauralou

    lauralou Songster

    Dec 10, 2007
    Central Virginia
    My Dad was raised by his grandmother, and she kept chickens. He told me that if one of her chickens seemed poorly, at all, in any way, it went straight to the chopping block.

    Now, I'm a very overprotective chicken-momma, and I love my birds to death. But I can see how that approach would protect the flock as a whole.

    I remember Granny, and she was a tough old bird herself! Much tougher than I am...

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