New coop, chickens are sick.

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lastcopy, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. lastcopy

    lastcopy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2009
    Just built a 10 x10 barn type shed with a loft inside for my 15 hens and 2 roosters. They have been in it about a week. They were in a "hoop" coop. Chain link panels with hoops over them and a huge tarp covering them from top to bottom. I would roll up the tarp sides during the day and close it up at night. Thought it was getting too cold for them that way, so built them the new enclosed coop.
    The roosters had gotten sick when I put everyone in the hoop coop a couple of months ago. Started them on antibiotics, they got better and the have been in the garage since then. They were fine and the hens were fine, so I put everyone in the new coop and now the small rooster has an URI and one of the Americauna hens does too. Her ears and beard are sopping snotty wet. She sits in the corner of the yard and sleeps. My rooster was basically doing the same, although more he was more active. I started them all on Duramycin tonight.
    I am contributing this to stress?? Any thoughts or suggestions? The same 17 have basically been brought up together.
    My few questions are:
    The coop is insulated, although still quite cold when I go inside. No draft though. I am using shavings on the floor about 2 to 4" right now. The building is up on cement blocks, but the shavings almost feel damp? I added more and stirred them all up. I also use food grade DE in the shavings.
    I have 2 small storm windows in the shed, which I keep closed. I do not currently have any additional ventiliation. There are two large double doors at the front, one stays open all day and then the guys get closed in at night. is the coop "too" tight??
    The chicken yard is basically nice rich loam. They dig it up and take dust baths with it, although I feel it is too dense, wet and cold to be doing that! What they havent' made craters in is very hard packed. It is yucky when we have rain all day, but does dry out when and if the sun ever shows up!! I think I should really get a huge load of sand and cover the whole yard with it. Again, any help would be greatly appreciated.
  2. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    You don't have enough ventilation, I'm thinking, from what you've said. Not sure what else you may have going on there, but they need the window open all winter long, at least a crack. No ventilation and their poop and respiration will add moisture into the air and the shavings will stay wet, causing all sorts of health problems. I never close down the high vents all the way, even when the temps are at 0 degrees here at night.
  3. robin416

    robin416 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 6, 2007
    The building was probably not aged long enough before putting the birds in. You need to return them to their hoop coop, they should clear up within a day or two. Put strong fans in their new coop so that it has a constant air exchange, hopefully that will be enough to allow you to return them sooner rather than later.
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2009
  4. speckledhen

    speckledhen Intentional Solitude Premium Member

    To add to what Robin said, if you have lots of new plywood, glue, caulk in there, the fumes from the resins and chemicals in those products can bring on respiratory stuff. Had an entire grow out coop full of chicks that started sneezing once and a separate coop who were sneezing at the same time and realized that both coops had brand new pressboard and plywood and caulk in them and all the birds were reacting to those fumes. When I opened them up and blew fans in there, it cleared up fast as the smells dissipated.
  5. lastcopy

    lastcopy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2009
    Thanks for the responses. Everyone at BYC is so great!!
    In reply to the aging of the building. I built the coop and it was standing open for several weeks before I could put the chickens in it. I had no one to help me move the chain link panels and attach to the shed. Also the hoop coop is no longer in existance, so that is not an option, unfortunately.

    I do think that I need more ventilation though. I will install some vents up above the loft. That should increase the air flow without causing a draft on any of the chickens.

    Any other thoughts on the ground situation? Should I try and get a load of sand in there before the snow flies?
  6. card5640

    card5640 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 27, 2009
    Bangor area, Maine
    If you have damp winters I would cover their run w/ plastic to keep the dampness down. I also bring in dry sand and dirt that I store in the house out to the coop in a large dish pan so the have something to dry to dust in during the damp months. Yes it makes a dusty mess inside but the are worth it. If there is an over all dampness I would run a heat lamp for a few days in one area so that the sicker ones could cuddle underneath if they want. I recently had to do this and they really perked up. We had some unseasonable damp weather here in Maine in July and they always seemed chilled and fluffed up and sleeping. New wood does have a lot of moisture in it. Good luck sometimes I think just the move alone casues them grief.
  7. Sjisty

    Sjisty Scribe of Brahmalot

    May 18, 2009
    I mix Stall Dry in with my bedding. It helps keep it dryer. I also have plenty of ventilation, but we're in Florida so we don't get too cold.
  8. annie3001

    annie3001 My Girls

    Jun 11, 2009
    yeah, I agree, it sounds like you need some more ventalation! good luck, let us know how it go's and the changes you may have made. [​IMG]
  9. lastcopy

    lastcopy Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 7, 2009
    Thanks again!
    I would be devastated if anything happened to my family. I was even worried about the 2 roosters being together, because how do you make a choice to get rid of one?? Thank goodness they get along! Plus I think there are enough girls to go around, HA!
    I am going to run a heat lamp in the coop for a few days, as suggested. I will also price out a load of sand. I will try the stall dry ( I currently use that in my cat litter boxes, really keeps the odors down). It should mix well with the DE I would think.
    Any ideas of how much ventilation I would need?? The shed is 10 x 10 as I stated and probably 15 feet at the roofline. I have seen vents that look like dryer vents, stick through the wall with a little rainproof house on the outside. I can put 2 of those above the loft area. Or should I go bigger??
  10. crazyhen

    crazyhen Overrun With Chickens

    Aug 26, 2008
    mtns of ,NC.
    Disease does not start in a day etc or sometimes a week. It has an incubation period. Your flock may have been exposed as much as three weeks before going into the new coop. If they had the virus before, seemed well, then any stress could cause it to resurface.
    good luck with your flock. If it is viral the antibiotics will not help the actual disease but could prevent any secondary infections of bacteria. If it is crd. Then your whole flock has been exposed and will have a hard time. Any left will infect any new birds to your flock even if yours appear well. You will need to find out sooner than later if this is crd. Sorry for all your problems. I know how much our flocks mean to us. Gloria Jean

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