Preventative Care

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Buckaroohens, Feb 20, 2016.

  1. Buckaroohens

    Buckaroohens Out Of The Brooder

    Dec 25, 2013
    Chester County, PA
    Hi there.

    I was just curious about what different things you do for preventative care to keep your flocks healthy. What has worked for you in the past? I've read that apple cider vinegar can be good, as well as, garlic and herbs. I appreciate any feedback you have. Thanks!
  2. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs I Wanna Be A Cowboy Premium Member

    Jul 16, 2015
    central Wisconsin
    I find feeding them right, housing them properly, not crowding them, and keeping stress down is the best you can do to minimize problems. It best to allow you chickens to live as naturally as possible as far as allowing them to engage in behaviors that they need, letting them range and scratch, which leads to healthier and happy chickens.
    FiddleChics and bobbi-j like this.
  3. Monguire

    Monguire Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 18, 2014
    Manassas, VA
    ^ ^ ^ This times a million!

    As their custodians we take it upon ourselves to supply the basic necessities they need to thrive. And they WILL thrive if we follow @oldhenlikesdogs advice!

    Aside from that, worming ONLY as needed and taking reasonable precautions against predators are the only things I could add.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Ditto Dat^^^^^

    You don't need all that other stuff, it might help but IMO is more for the keeper than the birds.

    Well balanced chicken ration, watch the protein levels - seems to be the first thing that goes off.

    I like to feed a 'flock raiser/grower/finisher' 20% protein crumble to all ages and genders, as non-layers(chicks, males and molting birds) do not need the extra calcium that is in layer feed and chicks and molters can use the extra protein. Makes life much simpler to store and distribute one type of chow that everyone can eat. I do grind up the crumbles (in the blender) for the chicks for the first week or so.

    The higher protein crumble also offsets the 8% protein scratch grains and other kitchen/garden scraps I like to offer. I adjust the amounts of other feeds to get the protein levels desired with varying situations.

    Calcium should be available at all times for the layers, I use oyster shell mixed with rinsed, dried, crushed chicken egg shells in a separate container.

    Animal protein (mealworms, a little cheese - beware the salt content, meat scraps) is provided during molting and if I see any feather eating.
    2 people like this.
  5. Sutremaine

    Sutremaine Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 19, 2014
    I have some Coxoid (amprolium) tucked away in case of coccidiosis. With an obvious case it'd be more for the protection of life than the protection of health, but it could be used to prevent a latent infection from flaring into something worse. Not a preventative, since it'd be applied in response to a change in the bird, but not quite a treatment either. An intervention, maybe? I have a large syringe barrel and a catheter tube for the same reason.

    Mostly they get fresh air, fermented feed*, plenty of space, plenty of dry litter, and a coop I'm happy to stick my head in. To that I add a variety of greens (basil is a favourite right now), and any interesting bugs I find in the garden. At the moment I think one of them has a bit of a dry vent, so I'm offering crushed pine nuts with a smatting of other seeds. Trying very hard not to eat the pine nuts myself. They're so soft and buttery.

    *And lately, fermented water. I poured out some of the liquid in the bucket and offered them that, and they stood around drinking it instead of taking a sip and then wandering off. I've never seen them do that with water before.

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