Please Tell Me Some Ways You Know And Found Useful To Prevent Predators And Diseases!

ChickenCanoe

Enabler
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Nov 23, 2010
32,952
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St. Louis, MO
For disease, #1 is the best ventilation you can provide for nighttime and free range if at all possible.
#2 is fresh clean water all waking hours.
#3 a complete chicken feed formulated for the age of your chickens.
#4 clean dry bedding.

For predators, a coop built like fort Knox locked up at dusk.
Daytime predators are mostly hawks, dogs, coyotes and foxes. The rest come out at dusk.
Electric fence or livestock guard dogs trained to care for chickens.
 

Mrs. K

Free Ranging
11 Years
Nov 12, 2009
8,895
11,151
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western South Dakota
Predators : A totally enclosed run, as in over the top. Chicken wire keeps chickens in, welded wire keeps other animals out. I have found that extending the wire out on top of the ground, and allowing weeds and grass to grow up through it will prevent digging animals from digging into the run. They tend to did in a tight U shape, and can't dig through that wire.

Also beware of the gate. Gates are often the weakest part of the fencing. Make sure that predators can't dig under or crawl up and over a gate. Raccoons are famous for this.

If you want to free-range you are taking more risks, but a couple of things have worked well with me.
  • Don't have a set routine, turn them out early one day, late the next day, maybe not at all one day
  • Don't let them out if it is very overcast or windy, that gives advantage to the predator
  • If you get hit by a predator, keep everything in lock down for a week or so, so the predator moves on.

To prevent disease:
  • A dry coop is more important than a warm coop, need good ventilation. Think how damp you get in a car in the winter. Moisture almost immediately begins to build up. Good ventilation keeps that moist air moving out of the coop. Good bedding also helps and limiting the manure in the coop also helps keep it drier.
  • Good clean water, changed daily
  • Good commercial feed
  • Sand or similar for dust bathes
Mrs K
 
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oldhenlikesdogs

Suffering Succotash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
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Wisconsin
Most won't like my answer, but I believe it's important to cull any sick birds promptly for the well being of the flock. Treating seldom works long term and it keeps carriers in the flock.

Good ventilation and a spacious coop are important, as well as keeping stress down.

Not bringing in birds from multiple sources or bringing in adults which can be carriers of many diseases is another good practice, as well as quarantining anything older than day olds.

Since my flocks are free range, we are proactive against predators. Keeping hiding spots down, cutting taller grass where they can hide helps. Motion activated lights, routine inspections and a trio of donkeys as well as our dogs keep them away. When one becomes a problem we take care of it.
 

Chickensfan

Songster
Jun 26, 2016
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thank you oldhenlikesdogs, but i would never kill any of my chickens. i love them to much. they don't have any issues right now, but i am just wondering for the future.
 

oldhenlikesdogs

Suffering Succotash
BYC Staff
Premium Feather Member
5 Years
Jul 16, 2015
44,838
78,435
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Wisconsin
thank you oldhenlikesdogs, but i would never kill any of my chickens. i love them to much. they don't have any issues right now, but i am just wondering for the future. 
I totally understand. We cull to end their suffering and to prevent others from doing the same. It's never easy, but sometimes it's best.
 

bobbi-j

Enabler
11 Years
Mar 15, 2010
15,704
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On the MN prairie.
I totally understand. We cull to end their suffering and to prevent others from doing the same. It's never easy, but sometimes it's best.
I agree. I have, in the past, tried to "fix" a chicken or make a sick one better. Usually I only ended up prolonging their suffering. I've learned that in some cases it's best to put them down sooner rather than later. Sometimes the kindest thing for our birds is the hardest thing for us to do. Sometimes you need to think of the overall health of the flock rather than just one bird.
 

Chickensfan

Songster
Jun 26, 2016
1,226
156
186
California!
I agree. I have, in the past, tried to "fix" a chicken or make a sick one better. Usually I only ended up prolonging their suffering. I've learned that in some cases it's best to put them down sooner rather than later. Sometimes the kindest thing for our birds is the hardest thing for us to do. Sometimes you need to think of the overall health of the flock rather than just one bird.
thank you, but i still like to try. i like them to die knowing i have tried to help.
 

MANNA-PRO

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