Noob to chicken husbandry and already have run into issues.

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Chunck, Sep 23, 2016.

  1. Chunck

    Chunck Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 11, 2016
    Chino Valley, AZ
    Hi, I live on an acre in AZ. My wife and I had been thinking of getting chickens for a while. Our neighbor brought home a young rooster from a friend and thought he'd fatten it up. Well the rooster liked the juniper tree in our yard better than my neighbor's baron backyard. Needless to say we ended up with a pet rooster. My wife figured it would be a good time to start our chicken adventure. We went to a local estate sale a couple days later and there were a couple hens running around. My wife asked about them and the guy said if we could catch them they'd be ours. I got one that day and the other disappeared before I could return to catch it. The one I got was laying 1 to 2 eggs a day (that I had to fish out from under the juniper.) I thought, this is great.

    So the adventure begins. While my wife was out of town to stay with my step-daughter, who just had our first grandchild, I picked up a brand new coop and bought 3 Rhode Island Red hens from a local breeder. They were about 3 to 4 mos old at the time, a month and a half ago. We notice one was a little slower and smaller than the others. We named her Dopey. I liked her because she was friendlier then the others. When I let them out of the coop in the morning she'd stand on my foot for a few moments before scurrying off. We also notice she was kind of in a world of her own sometimes. While all the others were hunting bugs in a pack, she'd be wandering around eating the occasional bug and just being Dopey.

    We had a storm come through last month and there was a major wind event. It blew the coop over and I had to wade out there to right the coop and check the girls. All the girls seemed fine, however after that the full grown hen stopped laying eggs and even with setting an egg in the nesting box she hasn't shown any interest in restarting. So now we have non-laying pet chicken.

    Well we went on vacation last week and my neighbor was looking after the girls while we were gone. He texted me to let me know one of the little hens had died in the coop. He couldn't tell why. He has raised chickens and has experience. Unfortunately I got home to find out it was Dopey. That was last week. Now a few days ago I noticed the next youngest hen was lethargic and wasn't standing as tall as normal. Then yesterday she seemed to perk up. This morning I had to get her out of the coop and set her in the sun. I'm thinking she's not going to last the day. All the others seems to be as healthy as can be. I'm thinking it may be worms because of the info I got from several threads on this website. So my wife is going to look for Valbazen or albendazole while she's out running errands this morning. We have several feed stores and a couple Tractor Supplies here around the Prescott area.

    Now we've had the rooster for a few months and the full grown hen for a little less. Neither of them have become ill or had any signs of lethargy or poop issues (they seem to go everywhere.) So I'm at a loss as to why the younger ones would start having problems. Unless it's because they are younger and more susceptible to health issues. I've texted the gal I bought them from and asked what they were vaccinated for. I'm waiting to hear back.

    That's my chicken addiction story. I feel like I just joined a group therapy or something... 3;)

  2. redsoxs

    redsoxs Chicken Obsessed

    Jul 17, 2011
    North Central Kansas
    Greetings from Kansas, Chunck, and :welcome. Great to have you in our community! Wish it was under happier circumstances. I'm wondering if it's kind of a confluence of events that is plaguing you. A stressful event...such as birds to the flock...or the coop tumbling around in a storm, will certainly alter egg laying. I'm wondering if you inadvertently imported some diseases when you added new chickens? And with Dopey, it could be that or maybe it had other issues. I think you are doing the right thing by administering to them those medications. That way you can perhaps isolate what's going on. Here is a great place to post the symptoms you are seeing
    Good luck to you and your flock. Keep us posted! :)
    1 person likes this.
  3. CuzChickens

    CuzChickens CountryChick

    Apr 24, 2016
    Hello there, Chunck, and Welcome to Backyard chickens! I am so sorry to hear about your hens, I agree with redsox, you may have imported disease when you add the RIR's since Dopey arrived already not in prime condition. I would check out the link that redsox gave you and post your problems there. And sometimes stressful events do make hens stop laying for a little while, try to keep everything as calm as possible, and do try to boost their immune systems, because the will need the extra support, and maybe you will be back in business before too long.:) I included a link to the AZ thread, you might enjoy chatting with local people there.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  4. BantamFan4Life

    BantamFan4Life LOOK WHAT YOU MADE ME DO. Premium Member

    Jun 15, 2012
    Welcome to BYC! I'm glad you joined us! :)
  5. Chunck

    Chunck Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 11, 2016
    Chino Valley, AZ
    Thanks for the advice. I think you're right on the money from what I've researched.

    My wife brought home something called Wazine-17 from Cal Ranch. You add it to the drinking water. About an hour or two after I administered the Wazine and saw the little hen drinking I noticed she perked up a little. Tonight when I closed up the coop I notice her sleeping in the nesting box with her head under her wing instead of hunched up in a lump with her eye closed in the bottom of the run. We'll see what tomorrow brings.

    I only have one concern. As I was reading the label on the Wazine it gave a warning about not slaughtering any chickens at least 14 day after treatment. Farther on in the warnings it states not to use it on hens laying eggs for human consumption. Now that has me worried since there was no time limit given for that warning.

    Anyone familiar with Wazine-17?
  6. QueenMisha

    QueenMisha Queen of the Coop

    Welcome to BYC! It's great to have you.

    Good idea worming. Be sure to check for mites and lice as well.

    Wazine only kills roundworms, but it's a good start. Egg withdrawal period for Wazine should be 2-3 weeks.
    2 people like this.
  7. Chunck

    Chunck Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 11, 2016
    Chino Valley, AZ
    I've been having some medical issues and wasn't thinking properly.

    After I posted my reply I did a search on the forums for "Wazine" and "piperazine". I got all the answers I was looking for, and then some. I love this website.
  8. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Welcome to Backyard chickens. I hope things turn around for you now. We are here for you 24/7 .
  9. Chunck

    Chunck Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 11, 2016
    Chino Valley, AZ
    Well things are not looking good. Had to take the hen out of the nesting box to set her in the sun. I'm hoping that will help her. She doesn't want to stand. After about 20 mins in the sun she seems a hair more alert, but that not much. I'm hoping she'll at least get up and have a drink. I won't hold my breath.

    Finally got an answer to the text I sent the gal I bought the hens from. She never vaccinated them for anything.

    Well we'll see what the day brings.
  10. ChickenChaser9

    ChickenChaser9 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 3, 2016
    Hello Chunk! I'm sorry that you've had a rough introduction to chicken raising. Clearly your heart is in the right place here but you've assembled a very rag tag flock from sources that I would not necessarily consider to be reputable places to get healthy well bred chickens. Don't get down hearted that you've hit a few stumbling blocks along the way. I would suggest that you consider purchasing any future birds from a reputable source. Like dealing with used cars, buying birds from random people can be risky if you do not know what red flags to look for and I've seen plenty of dishonest folks take advantage of amateur chicken enthusiasts by offloading sick or bad chickens on someone who jus doesn't know any better. I also recommend getting more birds than you think you'll need. Even veteran chicken folks still lose a bird now and again and you don't want to be left in a position where you need a replacement in a hurry. I know none of that info helps with your current predicament. If you can post pictures of the chickens individually that can help us with diagnosis and offering solutions. Best wishes!
    1 person likes this.

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