Please Help!!!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by BEAUBIRDS, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. BEAUBIRDS

    BEAUBIRDS New Egg

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    Jun 15, 2011
    Hi all,
    I am a first time backyard flock owner in north jersey. We have seven RR and one Dominique. Strega Nona ( my domi ) was purchased seperate, in a individual crate marked " one yr old prime layer"( she seems to be in fabulous health) the rest were only assumed to be the same. All were purchased for us, by friends from a farmers market, first the RR's, a wk later Strega. They all came mid March '11
    One RR alwyas had missing feathers...I assumed her to be " low on the pecking order", but later discovered scaley legs, and dusted the flock for mites. ( 2 wks ago) We are NOW have one sneezing, one coughing, some with twitches, and poor courtney still looking pretty beat up. Egg production is WAY down, from 6 to 2 a day, past week. Nobody is moulting....Now today everybody pretty much stayed in the coop, despite being a gorgeous day. they have a coop to suit 25, and a covered chainlink pen off the side.
    About to add ACV to water, i began doing some research, and now i fear everything from purchasing 'stew birds' under the guise of prime layers, to avian flu! please, any input welcome...i'm considering selling off the flock minus strega and purchasing myself, from a local farm at this point....
    and as brief history, since march i have lost: one guinea to a night prowler, three guineas to broodiness ( although they DID leave an egg behind, which my hens diligentlly lay on) and have had one hen decapitaed by a racoon [​IMG] I LOVE keeping these birds, my kids ( 10 and 9 mo tomorrow) LOVE to watch/help with them, as does my hubby...i'm feeling like i got us in over our head now though..HELP!!
     
  2. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    Eek, what a mess. I'm sure others will be along with additional thoughts - I've never had respiratory issues with my birds, knock on wood - but one quick thought for starters is to get them all on a great nutritional supplement to bolster their reserve. Possibilities include: Avia Charge 2000, Rooster Booster (you should be able to order these on line but hurry as it will take time to arrive).

    You can use various things for leg mites including Bagbalm, which has amazing effect very quickly - just gently apply the balm to the legs daily or thereabouts and you will see amazing results before long.

    You may be the reason these birds get well - sent off elsewhere they'll probably die.

    More help on the way, I'm sure - have to dash but will check back.

    JJ
     
  3. Attila the Hen

    Attila the Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 6, 2010
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    I hope somebody responds to you soon. I'm not sure how helpful I can be.
    First, I would consider separating the very healthy bird from the rest to protect it.
    If you are saying they were laying 6 eggs and now it's down to 2 a day --it's possible it is the heat. I have seen a serious reduction over the past couple of weeks because of heat.
    Again, maybe someone else can advise, but if there is coughing etc maybe there's a need for medication.
    Is there enough shade and cool air outside the coop? Maybe it was too hot to go out. I am learning that chickens cannot tolerate the heat and can die in one hour from too much heat. On the other hand I was so worried about them over the winter but they were just fine.
    If future I would purchase from someone local or someone I know.
     
  4. BEAUBIRDS

    BEAUBIRDS New Egg

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    Jun 15, 2011
    Thank you both so much for your response and concern!
    so my husband just picked up a sulfer based antibiotic?? supposedly it provides safer egg consumption, but still requires tossing the eggs for 10 day after the last dose. i HATE the idea of medicating them ( i am a big organcis nut) BUT i REALLY hate the idea of a sick or suffering flock. we are removing the hay from the nesting boxes, and will be keeping only bedding ( pine ) in the coop now. ( we have always done bedding throughout the coop, and hay in the nesting boxes) we are hoping this reduces any risk of molds, ect....
    as for the laying issues, it has really cooled off these past few days, so unless there is a delay, i really would be suprised if that's it. but i DID have a DUH moment this morning: these RR arrived laying XXL eggs...that can't be a young bird, can it?? so maybe they are older?? i think we may add a time sensor light to encourage more "laying" time for them, and will add acv to the water. i will also grab some bag balm for courtney's legs ( yes, as per her dreadful appearance, we named her after courtney love lol) i hope that soothes her a bit as well.....
    now, for staying in the coop...idk. it IS very muddy in their pen area...could that be it? they have plenty of shade, and abt 4hrs direct sun later in the day...too much/little?
    i HAVE decided to nurse these poor girls to health, although i'm not sure how long i can afford to keep a past prime flock...but i will give them a year with us at the very least, and will DEFINITLEY buy local myself next time....we were planning on buying a few local next weekend, but im thinking i better nurse everyone back first....
     
  5. jjthink

    jjthink Overrun With Chickens

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    Until you feel they are back in great health, I would not add extra hours of light per day. It is a huge toll on hen's bodies to have to churn out eggs, hence why the slower laying winter months (less hours of daylight) are important for letting a hen's body rest up before it has to go back into gear in the spring/summer. I provide light but just during normal daylight hours for whatever time of year it is.

    JJ
     
  6. Attila the Hen

    Attila the Hen Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:I agree about not increasing the light. Sounds like these guys need a rest. Four hours or even one hour with no shade could be a problem. I think they need to be able to cool off whenever they need to since heat is such a problem for them. Also, personally, I wouldn't introduce new birds until these are well unless they can all be quarantined for a good while. Need to research that myself since I am considering getting more hens.
    Keep asking questions, the people here are fantastic and the knowledge base is incredible.
    Good luck and I am glad you have decided to try to restore them to health. It will probably be a good learning experience.
     
  7. BEAUBIRDS

    BEAUBIRDS New Egg

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    Jun 15, 2011
    oh yes i agree 100% on the light, i really meant down the road, not to tax them now. idk how i really feel about the whole idea anyhow as a very large reason i got into this is to boycott 'factory farming'! so today is first full day of meds...i will keep updates on them as we go! thanks again everyone, i have found the community involved in family farms to be the kindest, most generous people [​IMG]
     
  8. BEAUBIRDS

    BEAUBIRDS New Egg

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    Jun 15, 2011
    I just wanted to update this thread with the happy news that my husband has built a much larger encloser, our flock is on a daily ACV tonic, and they are all laying happily and in great health! even old courtney has regained her feathers and is beautiful [​IMG] thanks again for all the help![​IMG]
     

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