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New to everything!! Need some advice on food and diseases!

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by starfish35, Sep 7, 2010.

  1. starfish35

    starfish35 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 7, 2010
    Hello! My name is Heather! Last fall (fall2009) my brother came to my house with his chicken coop and three hens and one rooster! He is trying to sell his house and didn't want the chickens there. Basically left them for me to take care of and I know nothing! It's been a year now and I don't even know what kind of chickens they are. I know they are not Bantams. They are bigger. I have one red one and a buff colored one and a black one. One big white rooster! The last couple of days the black hen is off by herself. When the other hens come around, she fluffs her feathers and the other hens run after her and she runs away. The rooster does not care that I'm by her at all. Usually he's chasing me around! So I don't know if she's sick or what. I have four major questions that I would love some feedback on.

    1. What kinds of food from the house will my chickens eat? My brother only brings by bagged cracked corn mix.

    2. Besides removing the dirty chicken droppings from the coop, is there a spray or dust i'm suppose to clean the coop with to prevent mites or lice?

    3. All the hens have no feathers on there back from the rooster mounting them. Any suggestions?

    4. How do I know if the hens have mites or lice? Why is my hen being bullied by the other hens?

    Any and all suggestions are much appreciated. Like I said, I don't know much about them. Thank you!!!
     
  2. Break an Egg

    Break an Egg Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 17, 2008
    San Antonio
    1. The chickens should eat laying pellets if they are laying, scratch it too low protien for them.

    2. You can use DE which is a perventative, but if they already have something I would use sevin dust on them.

    3. You can put a hen apron on their backs, but switching feed should help with that. How many hens do you have per rooster?

    4. You have to closely inspect their bodies for lice and mites. There is a natural pecking order, as long as none of the chickens are new to the flock, and the one that is being picked on looks healthy, everything sounds normal. If any of the chickens start bleeding, isolate them from the flock, because chickens love to peck at blood.
     
  3. @~rosecityfarmgirl~@

    @~rosecityfarmgirl~@ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2010
    Windsor
    Quote:Welcome to accidental Chicken Mamahood [​IMG]

    Chickens will eat nearly anything you put in front of them. But a good rule is, no junk food, and if you can eat it so can they. Stay away from citrus fruit or anything acidic, bc it will affect egg production.

    Add a litte diatomaceous earth (available at feed stores, hardware stores) to the shavings. It's a non-toxic, people/animal safe dust that kills bugs. You can also add a little to their dust bath AND feed (no more than 2% of their feed should be DE)

    As for the featherloss, you can either separate the hens from the roo until they grow back (which will stress him out), or get your girls chicken saddles
    http://www.mypetchicken.com/catalog/chickens/Chicken-Saddles-Free-shipping-p764.aspx
    They look cute, and protect the hens' backs.

    I'm no expert, but if you pull the feathers back and there's little white things stuck at the base of the feathers, you're got bugs. A nice warm bath with a capful of cat/dog shampoo (or kids tear-free, in a pinch!) should help clean the feathers. Rinse, let dry, and when they're alllll dry, dust around the base of the feathers with DE, get it in there good!

    In a flock, there's always a pecking order. One bird is the boss, one is second place, etc. A chicken can boss around anyone lower than her. It might be that your girl is at the bottom [​IMG] Try spending a little more time with her, and give her some treats away from the others, maybe it will perk her up [​IMG]

    So far, my chickens love leftover oatmeal (the homemade kind), grapes, zucchini, almond slices, stale bread/biscuits, and celery. Good luck!
     
  4. herefordlovinglady

    herefordlovinglady It Is What It Is

    Jun 23, 2009
    Georgia
    1. What kinds of food from the house will my chickens eat? My brother only brings by bagged cracked corn mix. do your chickens free-range? If so they should be getting plenty to eat. As far as treats, just about anything will do. There is a treat chart on here somewhere that tells you all the stuff they love. I supplement the free range meal, and treats with layer mash. Instead of cracked corn -- I use scratch feed, this has other things in it besides just corn.

    2. Besides removing the dirty chicken droppings from the coop, is there a spray or dust i'm suppose to clean the coop with to prevent mites or lice? I have used Food Grade DE (Diatomaceous Earth) for the coop and have wet it and painted the roosts to help prevent mites. I use wood shavings and spread DE on it then throw out scratch and the chickens mix it up for me. You can do a search for the Deep Litter Method and for DE there are lots and lots of ways people choose to take care of their coop. You will just need to experiment and find what you like best and works best for your coop and run. Oh about the DE it is very dusty and you should wear a mask when working with it. I worry sometimes about my hens breathing it, but I really do not use that much

    3. All the hens have no feathers on there back from the rooster mounting them. Any suggestions? How many hens do you have per rooster? Some folks will use the aprons to help protect their backs. I have had to separate the injured hen from the roo until she heals. I also added more hens to the two roos i have that helped a lot.

    4. How do I know if the hens have mites or lice? Will need to get input from others here, i have not had problems. Why is my hen being bullied by the other hens? I guess they are working out the pecking order. How long have they been together?
     
  5. starfish35

    starfish35 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 7, 2010
    Thank you for the quick replies. There are three hens and one rooster. They all have been together since they were chicks. Never had a problem! But they are all over a year old. They are free range and have the whole day to walk around and eat!! I just feel so bad for her. I haven't done anything to prevent mites or lice and I have no idea of the stuff you guys are talking about, but I'm sure when I go to the farm store, they will know what it is. I wanted to give the coop a good scrub down!! Anything I should clean with that?
     
  6. @~rosecityfarmgirl~@

    @~rosecityfarmgirl~@ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 17, 2010
    Windsor
    Quote:Some people spray their coops down with diluted bleach, then rinse. I prefer to go au naturale, and I spray mine with cleaning vinegar (I believe it's about 10%, instead of the usual 3 or 4%). I found a jug at the grocery store for a couple bucks, and it makes a great cleaner for around the house too. The vinegar should deodorize and dissolve anything in a dirty coop, scrub a little for the tougher messes, rinse, dry, and refill the coop [​IMG] The vinegar is totally harmless, and doesn't give off fumes, either [​IMG]
     
  7. herefordlovinglady

    herefordlovinglady It Is What It Is

    Jun 23, 2009
    Georgia
    you may want to think about getting a couple of more hens. or purchase an apron for her.

    i went to three feed stores and none of them had heard of DE. I asked here on BYC and got several replies for good places to purchase. It cost about 15 for a 50 pound bag and about 20 to ship.

    Vinegar is great to clean with. I also put it in their water to help with internal parasites, we put it in the water troughs for the cattle to drink as well.
     
  8. carrlr

    carrlr Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 31, 2010
    Southern Illinois
    Make sure it's Food Grade DE. It should be fairly light in color and a very fine (dust). Sometimes you can find it in the gardening sections as it's also used in flower and vegetable gardens in a 5-10 lb. container. Fifty lbs. is quite a bit for only 4 chickens.
     
  9. herefordlovinglady

    herefordlovinglady It Is What It Is

    Jun 23, 2009
    Georgia
    Quote:yea i didn't even think that she had so few. 50 pounds is a lot for 15 chickens too.
     
  10. Tinkspirit70

    Tinkspirit70 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Aug 27, 2010
    Central Fla
    I too have three hens that are my roo's personal favorites, and their backs are bare...I ordered three saddles on fri so I will let you know how they do but I have heard they work really well. I found my DE at Lowes in the garden center....also Tractor supply sells a dust that has pictures of chickens an pigs on the front of the can. I dusted 9 hens and two roo's and sprinkled the floors on two coops and still have lots left. As for the feed I use layer crumbles and only feed a corn scratch as a treat twice a day, we also give fruit like grapes, tomatoes, peaches and yogurt :eek:) good luck!
     

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