Pests and Diseases

janicetroyer

Hatching
Oct 22, 2020
9
3
5
So I'm really new to all this. I got 8 Leghornes in the spring. My husband turned one section of the shed into a coop with roosting bars, bins to lay, etc. The door opens to a covered, screened but enclosed run that has a plywood floor covered with roll on roofing to keep it protected against the weather. We started with the pine shavings and someone gave him hay. So both areas are now covered in hay. He then built a low fenced pen area for them to free range. Mind you they can now fly over but they can't seem to figure out they can fly back in, so we have to help them. Needless to say, they are both in and out of the coop area all day and in and out of the penned yard area forging around all day. As I'm reading all these posts below, I'm thinking I had no idea what I got into and should just give them away for their own good. Lice, worms, mites, diseases, predators, oh my! How in the world does anyone keep them safe and healthy? All these things sound so common. Should I expect them? Are they inevitable? . I seriously have become the mother hen. Even though they're leghornes and not the friendliest of birds, they run to me when I come out to the yard...(and then most run away just as quick:). How common are these problems? Should I give them away now before things get bad. By the way, my husband cleans the coop and covered run out every couple of weeks. It seems we're doing that wrong as well.
 

CluckerFamily

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Feb 14, 2016
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Chickens will fly out of a short penned in area, you could cover that are with netting.
I have had chickens for 7 years. I love having them and I am glad I got them.
If they free range, they will get pests, this is completely common and can be treated. Lice, worms, mites, diseases, and predators can happen to people and all animals, chickens aren't anything different. A side note, lice on chickens are poultry lice and can't be transferred to people or animals that aren't poultry.
Why do you say you are cleaning your coop and run wrong?
 

janicetroyer

Hatching
Oct 22, 2020
9
3
5
Chickens will fly out of a short penned in area, you could cover that are with netting.
I have had chickens for 7 years. I love having them and I am glad I got them.
If they free range, they will get pests, this is completely common and can be treated. Lice, worms, mites, diseases, and predators can happen to people and all animals, chickens aren't anything different. A side note, lice on chickens are poultry lice and can't be transferred to people or animals that aren't poultry.
Why do you say you are cleaning your coop and run wrong?
 

janicetroyer

Hatching
Oct 22, 2020
9
3
5
I've read people say they only clean it a couple of times a year, allowing a base to build. My husband scrapes everything off. The run area is subject to rain. The pine shavings would get soaked, so he'd replace them. Now he has hay there instead and tries to mitigate it with hanging tarps when he knows we're getting a big rain. He thought they should have a large area, so he penned an area around 30x30 with a low fence. They can fly on top of the shed so even a high fence wouldn't necessarily keep them in. Believe it or not, they mostly stay inside. But I have 1 renegade and 2 others that follow her. He says most people let their chickens roam and don't have them penned at all, and they'll always come back. But 1. They don't seem to know they can fly back over. They don't see an opening in the fence and just keep circling it. 2. There are woods behind us. They've roamed there when they've gotten out. I'm concerned something will get them. Frankly, they fly around the yard playing with one another. Most of the time when they get out, it's by accident. With winter coming here in NJ, we'll soon keep them in the covered run with much shorter time outside.
 

CluckerFamily

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Feb 14, 2016
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Cleaning depends on your coop setup. I built a walk-in coop, so I am able to clean less.
I have a predator proof run. I do let the flock free range during the day, they have to be trained to where the entrance is. Mine don't wonder because they would be out in the open away from trees plus the rooster keeps them close to home.
You may want look into netting over that low fenced in area to prevent them from escaping if that seems to be an issue, it will prevent areal attacks also.
 

Chicalina

Crowing
Aug 1, 2020
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UK
Chickens are so easy to keep! You wouldn't give your dog away just in case it got fleas or a tick in the future would you! Just like any pet, you need to take care of them and prevent illness, parasites etc as far as you can, and treat if they occur. Its no big deal.

You say your run has a plywood floor? Scrap that and let them on bare earth which you can mulch with leaves, shavings cleaned out of the coop, and any composting matter. The coop, if you have a 4 to 6 inch layer of shavings, and ideally a poop board under the roosts, then you only clean it out twice a year. Its called the deep litter method and its low maintenance. Clean the poop board once or twice a week (quick job) depending on the number of chickens.

As for them escaping, put some netting up, or if you don't mind them free ranging, just open the gate so they can come and go.
 

CluckerFamily

Crowing
Premium Feather Member
Feb 14, 2016
2,707
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Wisconsin
It sounds like your husband is enjoying the chickens. Is he wanting to spend more time with them and this is why he cleans every couple of weeks? Depending on your coop... cleaning may be necessary... prefab coops, I am not an expert on but I would think you need to clean more often than a built walk-in coop.

We love to help and give advice for what works best for us to help minimize any chicken casualties. I didn't join or find BYC until after 3 years of having chickens and I did pretty good on my own. But everyone on here would love to help in any way we can... to help with ideas, routines, to help minimize stress, to just listen. What works best for someone doesn't mean it works best for everyone's set up. I live in Wisconsin, my setup and routine will be different than someone in a warmer/hot state but we will all rack our brains to help everyone on here.
 

janicetroyer

Hatching
Oct 22, 2020
9
3
5
Thank you all. No, he just thought it was necessary. He hangs outside with them like I do. I'll take some pics and post them.
 

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