Our School's Poor FFA Project Chickens

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
4,648
11,816
712
Nevada County, CA
*If this is the wrong forum, please let me know!*

Ok.

So I work at a high school that prides itself as a great ag school with a large and effective FFA program. We have a small farm on campus (goat barns, turkey pens, a small orchard, some raised garden beds, and 2 chicken coops). Because of COVID, the fair was canceled. The kids' projects are shown and sold at the fair.

This morning, I got an email saying they need people to take the chickens since they can't be sold this year. I'm like, "I'll take two, maybe." They said get out there and band the ones you want.

I drove out there today, and the farm is a disaster! Completely unkempt and overgrown! Can't even walk in without wading through tall weeds. The chickens are in a flock of 14 (2 roos, 12 hens). There was NO WATER and it's 100° out!. The only food they had was scratch. They were filthy. Lots of bumblefoot and bloody combs.

I found 2 that were the healthiest - a black sexlink and a leghorn - and banded them. Luckily, these two had bright clear eyes, clean bums, good feet, and they were alert. The chickens were rough-looking, but I think they'll recover with good food and clean water.

Needless to say, I will be going by regularly to take care of them because I don't think anyone else is. I will get pics tomorrow. 🤬😡😤

(And I changed my clothes and wore special shoes to the farm - all in the wash now!)

Edited to add: I was planning to pick them up after I move in a couple of weeks, but I may get them sooner to give them proper care! I will def isolate for 30 days.

Will moving 2x in a month be too much for them???
 
Last edited:

pozees2

Crowing
Feb 12, 2020
846
3,205
466
Pueblo, CO
Under ideal conditions, moving twice would not be first choice, but given the conditions where they are right now, if you have a way to isolate them where you are right now (if you have other chickens already), I'd move them sooner, but please use caution, and see if maybe the nearest NPIP testers would maybe come out and run basic swab and blood tests to know what you might be trying to manage. Stress can bring on coccidiosis which is very treatable but better if you treat before you bring them home and avoid having them shed it on your property, and it's simple to treat by adding Corid to the water so they are all treated. There are other things not so easily managed, that you would be better off not bringing home, like MS/MG, which are so contagious I don't know that you could prevent infection of any other birds you already have. One of the people who did NPIP testing here told me years ago she just assumes all birds already have MG because it is so common and rarely tested for, but unless you already know it's in your flock, why take the chance of introducing it? I was just reading about it again not too long ago, and maybe it is that prevalent, I don't honestly know, but if you have a healthy flock, it can be high risk to bring home birds you know have been under extreme stress. Poor birds. What a shame no one at the school considered that all those animals needed to be cared for.
 

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
4,648
11,816
712
Nevada County, CA
Under ideal conditions, moving twice would not be first choice, but given the conditions where they are right now, if you have a way to isolate them where you are right now (if you have other chickens already), I'd move them sooner, but please use caution, and see if maybe the nearest NPIP testers would maybe come out and run basic swab and blood tests to know what you might be trying to manage. Stress can bring on coccidiosis which is very treatable but better if you treat before you bring them home and avoid having them shed it on your property, and it's simple to treat by adding Corid to the water so they are all treated. There are other things not so easily managed, that you would be better off not bringing home, like MS/MG, which are so contagious I don't know that you could prevent infection of any other birds you already have. One of the people who did NPIP testing here told me years ago she just assumes all birds already have MG because it is so common and rarely tested for, but unless you already know it's in your flock, why take the chance of introducing it? I was just reading about it again not too long ago, and maybe it is that prevalent, I don't honestly know, but if you have a healthy flock, it can be high risk to bring home birds you know have been under extreme stress. Poor birds. What a shame no one at the school considered that all those animals needed to be cared for.
This is fantastic advice! I will def look into it!
Where are you do they still need homes i have a quarantine coop that I sterilize after each flock and love chickens and can make a donation for next yrs flock
Woodland, CA. Near Sacramento.
 

Aunt Angus

Free Ranging
Jul 16, 2018
4,648
11,816
712
Nevada County, CA
Under ideal conditions, moving twice would not be first choice, but given the conditions where they are right now, if you have a way to isolate them where you are right now (if you have other chickens already), I'd move them sooner, but please use caution, and see if maybe the nearest NPIP testers would maybe come out and run basic swab and blood tests to know what you might be trying to manage. Stress can bring on coccidiosis which is very treatable but better if you treat before you bring them home and avoid having them shed it on your property, and it's simple to treat by adding Corid to the water so they are all treated. There are other things not so easily managed, that you would be better off not bringing home, like MS/MG, which are so contagious I don't know that you could prevent infection of any other birds you already have. One of the people who did NPIP testing here told me years ago she just assumes all birds already have MG because it is so common and rarely tested for, but unless you already know it's in your flock, why take the chance of introducing it? I was just reading about it again not too long ago, and maybe it is that prevalent, I don't honestly know, but if you have a healthy flock, it can be high risk to bring home birds you know have been under extreme stress. Poor birds. What a shame no one at the school considered that all those animals needed to be cared for.
I'm having a hard time finding testers in my area. I know they're here because UC Davis is just a few minutes away from our high school. Any idea how I'd track them down?

I may just treat the whole flock for coccidiosis over the summer.
 

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