In the Brooder
- Mar 27, 2015
Ok. Let me first say this is the first time I have ever had chickens so to say that I am "winging it" is more then just a cute pun! It is the straight up truth!! I know that birds are subject to an array of parasites, but I have (or at least I thought) I was being diligent by keeping them clean. About a month ago my husband and I decided we wanted to do the whole backyard chicken thing and set out on doing it on a budget. We built a coop and run out of scrap pallets and an old 12*12 dog pen. I went to an NPIP breeder and picked up 7 pullets and 2 chicks (I have a toddler the farmer couldnt refuse) to call our own. Well turned out the sexing wasn't perfect and now at 12wks 2 pullets started CROWING!!! So we called up the breeder and he kindly swapped out the two cockerels as having them 20ft outside my bedroom wasn't and option for us or our "stones throw" neighbors. Well he didn't have anything about the same age but he did have a few 8/9mth old pullets that were laying already and he gave us 3 hens. And once again my toddler batted her eyes and she went home with more little ones for the brooder! Making our count 10 in the run and 8 in the brooder!!! So much for "hey honey I want to get 3 or 4 chickens" =) I figured since the other birds we had gotten from him were healthy and we were doing so well with them "quarantine" wasnt really on my mind. I also figured since we had pulled the two boys out and were introducing 3 bigger girls we would go ahead and take the 3 larger pullets out of the brooder (they are 8wks). I had hoped with all the mad juggling it would cut down on the pecking order blues. And it worked =) ALL IS WELL... NOT! I noticed when we got home that the 3 bigger girls had bald spots on their back ends. Two of them were pretty red and the other not as bad, but still noticeable. I noticed some of his hen has spots around the tail on their backs and he said it was all from mating. So I chalked it up to the samething until I got on the internet and started doing some reading. The breeder asked if I had gotten any eprimex and remembered him telling me how to apply it. Well I didn't have a clue what he was talking about so he proceeded to tell me that I since the girls were older it was good to give it to them every 3mths. Also I should be giving the younger birds something called wayzine sp? I joted it all down and said OK. Figured it was just good info and something I should know as a newb. Well I have been watching the girls all day today. I basically spent the entire day making sure the spats over who was in charge now was kept to a minimum and no one got hurt since the run is now busy with a broad spectrum of ages. And I was counting the day as a win until my reading started to become more of enlightenment!!! I got really uneasy about these red bald spots and went out to the coop a few mins ago with a flashlight. I eased one of the new girls down off the roost and flipped her over. OMG!!! She is crawling with MITES!!! Although this is my first rodeo with chickens I know what a mite looks like and they were crawling all over her butt. So I am no longer chalking the bare butts up to any kind of mating snafu. So what do I do??? I have pine shavings in the coop and nesting boxes, did I mention the coop is made out of recycled pallets so there are all sorts of hiding places for mites! I am absolutely panicking!!! I don't want my other girls to get bugglies!!! What about the little 8wk olds?? I am assuming I need to treat them all since they are all in contact.