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Newbie from South Africa checking in

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by groenKAT, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. groenKAT

    groenKAT Hatching

    Dec 4, 2013
    Hi guys! I've wanted laying hens for quite some time, but never had the space. This year we bought a house that had an existing aviary, so I converted the aviary into a coop for my very first chickens!

    I've been lurking on here for a while and I've gotten lots of useful information from this site, so I thought I'd share my first two chicken keeping lessons with you guys.

    1. After you have finished predator-proofing, predator-proof some more!

    My first flock I got at 4 weeks old (3 Buff Orpingtons and 3 Black Australorps). I kept them in the house for 2 weeks and then they moved outside to the coop. They were happy in the coop for about a week and half, until my dogs got in and killed them all! I thought two latches on the door would keep the dogs out, but I clearly underestimated them... The chicken coop now has an actual lock on it.

    After this ordeal, my father insisted on buying me a new flock of chicks while they visited our home. ( He breeds with bantam chickens, and I have recently become the Golden Child since I've also started keeping chickens.) This time I got 2 BO's, 2 Australorps, and 2 Potch Koekoek chickens (a South African breed). It was handy having my dad around, because I have apparently been feeding the first chicks the wrong food. Oops! He sorted me out with the correct food, some probiotics and other uesful tips. If only he had told me the following:

    2. Quarantine, quarantine, quarantine!

    I had the second flock for about 3 weeks when a couple of them starting sneezing/coughing, but ignorant me thought nothing of it. Next thing I know one of the BO's has nasal discharge an her eyes had swollen shut. I spoke to the vet and he told me it was infectious laryngotracheitis. The whole flock has been on antibiotics for about five days now, since they all showed some mild symptoms. The sickest BO was kept in the house under a heatlamp (or ICU as I call it), but she unfortunately did not make it. Atleast the rest of the flock seem to be in good spirit and on the road to recovery.

    If only I knew to quarantine the birds at the first signs of sneezing, I could have probably limited the spread of the disease and saved myself a whole lot of stress. The more you know, right?

    Let's hope the next couple of chicken keeping lessons are a bit easier...

  2. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC!
  3. SampyArctica

    SampyArctica Chirping

    Dec 1, 2013
    Brisbane, Australia
    Hey, welcome to the forums! Sorry to hear about your flock, though!
  4. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging Premium Member

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! Sorry about your first flock and the problems your new birds have had, hope everybody gets better.
  5. liz9910

    liz9910 Crowing

    Apr 8, 2012
    Northern California
    Welcome to BYC! Good luck with your flock :)
  6. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Welcome to BYC - good luck with getting your flock established.

  7. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    you may want to drop into the Learning center

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