Managing New Flock

Dhinshaw

In the Brooder
Jun 20, 2019
22
13
49
I am a newbie Mom to a small flock, and I have a few questions.
1. What is the best routine for your flock management as far as worming, vitamins, probiotics, vaccines, etc. and how often?
2. What is the best thing to use to keep ants out of your coops that is non-toxic to your babies?
Thanks so much for your time and input!
 

ValerieJ

Straw parade on snow day
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 24, 2016
10,552
63,294
1,287
Washington State
Hi! :frow Welcome to BYC! I'm in the FGDE (food grade diatomaceous earth) camp for keeping ants out of anything. I have used it for years. That being said, an argument will follow from someone else telling you all the dangers of it and warning you it wont work. :gig That is what is so fun about BYC. You get to hear all sides of every issue and decide for yourself what will work for you. :caf I recommend not breathing it, and spreading it lightly in the coop when the chickens are outside. I never have bugs of any kind in my coops, and we are surrounded by forest. The chickens are about 10' away from the tree line. Still no bugs at all.

I have been told if I look at night I will find them. So I have looked at night, which was an unpleasant ordeal for both the chickens and me. I've been told to spray Permethrin, but I chose the organic Pyrethrin instead. Then I worried about the Queen Bee who always has to go in and see what I have done to her house. She hates when I clean it, and that's already a few times a week. :lau All I'm saying is, I take people's advice, upset the chickens, and still go back to FGDE. For me it works.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
9,274
12,441
636
western South Dakota
Don't worry about the ants. If your birds look healthy, are active and laying eggs, they probably are. What you need is good basic feed, and clean water, shade and wind protection.

Do not treat for parasites unless you have them, and if you have them, get the real deal, and follow the directions.

Mrs K
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
5 Years
Jul 3, 2016
17,089
33,565
1,062
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
1. I've never wormed as I haven't seen a need for it in my flock. Vitamins/probiotics/electrolytes, I give to chicks on arrival for a few days just to help them through shipping/rehoming stress - otherwise I don't give any supplements unless I'm treating a specific medical issue. My birds were all vaccinated for Mareks only because that's how our feed store orders them.

Otherwise they just get plain clean water, chicken feed, a little bit of treats, grit and oyster shell.

2. I wouldn't worry about ants too much, unless you have an infestation or really nasty ones like fire ants. Not sure what's chicken safe as far as ant treatments though.
 

aart

Chicken Juggler!
Premium Feather Member
8 Years
Nov 27, 2012
99,084
138,288
1,807
SW Michigan
My Coop
My Coop
I am a newbie Mom to a small flock, and I have a few questions.
1. What is the best routine for your flock management as far as worming, vitamins, probiotics, vaccines, etc. and how often?
2. What is the best thing to use to keep ants out of your coops that is non-toxic to your babies?
Thanks so much for your time and input!
1. Less is more, IMO.
Just a good chicken ration, minimal 'treats', and clean plain water.
No regular worming here, only once when I saw round worms in poops.
Permethrin dust or spray when I see lice, examine regularly.
No vaccines.
I do give some electrolytes in extreme temps.
I do have some Poultry Nutri Drench for emergencies.

2. Have you seen ants in your coop?

Oh, and..a belated Welcome to BYC! @Dhinshaw
Where in this world are you located?
Climate, and time of year, is almost always a factor.
Please add your general geographical location to your profile.
It's easy to do, (laptop version shown), then it's always there!
upload_2019-8-20_7-47-5.png
 

The Farmers' Daughter

Bob's biggest Fan
Aug 2, 2017
6,289
32,516
1,127
Darwell Alberta
Welcome to BYC :frow
How many birds do you have? What breeds?

I echo what everyone else is saying.

After hearing the arguments for and against using DE (diatomaceous earth) and you opt not to use it inside the coop, it also can act as a barrier of sorts. Put a line of it around the outside of your coop, even dusting the sides if you want. You'll just have to reapply after rain.

Since nobody has explained DE, I'll attempt to. DE is actually very finely ground up shells. To you & me it looks like icing sugar (confectioners). As it's a shell it still has sharp edges. These sharp edges will shred the insides of an ant, or other crawling insects. The argument to it is that if the dust gets airborne and the chickens inhale it it will damage/shred their lungs. Personally, I use it.

If you're wanting to use natural products, bugs HATE mint, especially peppermint. A drop of peppermint oil in all corners of the coop (including inside the nest boxes) can go a long way in preventing numerous types of pests, including mites & lice. I have bees that are crawling into a gap behind a vent on my house. When I researched what to do, peppermint was a suggestion that popped up the most.

Feel free to ask lots of questions. Starting out can be very overwhelming. There are wonderful people here with an incredible wealth of knowledge.
 
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