Problems with keeping chickens healthy?

oliviaandjosh4

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 28, 2014
239
3
73
I have been raising chickens for only a year and have experienced quite a few issues with my chickens. Everything from bumblefoot, LOTS of respiratory issues, diarrhea, face swelling & lethargic... Lots of weird stuff like just a few days ago I had a hen that was walking with her butt close to the ground and sitting down a lot & having diarrhea (think she was egg bound but never saw egg come out?)... But another problem I have experienced twice while raising young chicks is one out of the group will be a lot smaller than the others and not as active. The first young pullet I had like that would fall asleep a lot and eventually something got her while she was asleep in the yard. Now I am raising young pullets again and two out of 17 are smaller than the others and not as active. I was letting them free range while I supervised and one of the small ones was doing good and eating grass with the other normal sized ones and then the other was hanging out by me just standing beside me not really doing much. What causes this to happen? It makes me think they are sick or something is wrong with them other than that they aren't getting enough to eat.. We refill their 3 feeders usually twice a day, plus I throw handfuls of grass in their pen for them to eat on which they love! Do you think if I move some of the older, bigger ones out that the two small ones will grow more since they won't have to fight as much for food? Any one else have this problem?

Also (sorry I know this is a long post), does everyone else experience this many problems with their chickens? My neighbor has chickens as well and his never get sick! I am constantly trying to find new ways to get them healthy, we have tried ACV in the waterers, oregano in the food, antibiotics... I just want them to all be healthy and not have to worry about problems all the time. I know that is part of it and animals are just like us and get sick but I just feel bad that mine are sick a lot while my neighbor never has any problems with his.

Any suggestions for keeping them healthy?
 

Odelia

Songster
5 Years
Feb 20, 2014
947
62
128
Idaho
Well it could be several things. Diarrhea can be a symptom of coccidiosis. Do you feed your chicks medicated feed or were they vaccinated for it? Ventilation is another big issue. If you do not have adequate ventilation you will have lots of respiratory issues. Have you checked them for mites and have you wormed them recently?
 

Eggcessive

Addict
Premium Feather Member
10 Years
Apr 3, 2011
59,203
50,789
1,302
southern Ohio
Many problems with sick chickens can be traced to where the chickens come from, and if there are any carriers of disease with the breeding flock. Starting out with healthy chicks from a hatchery, usually there won't be a lot of issues other than occasional coccidiosis or a need for deworming once in awhile. Feeding a good quality fresh dated layer feed is important. Neighbors flocks can have non-symptomatic carriers of some respiratory diseases. Diseases such as Mareks disease can affect chickens by lowering their immunity to very common diseases.
 

oliviaandjosh4

Chirping
5 Years
Apr 28, 2014
239
3
73
Diarrhea is not a problem anymore. We just built and put them in a new large coop that has plenty of ventilation. Although one of the chickens still always sounds congested and sneezes quite often (we had her on antibiotics and vet rx nothing ever helped, she acts fine just sounds congested). We put strike III wormer in with their layer crumbles like two months ago so I guess that means they are good and wormed.. They free range often and get plenty to eat, always have water. Like two or so months ago, I found a small puddle of blood in my carport where chickens had been hiding from the rain and I never could figure out who it was from. One of them always has a weird problem going on and it just makes me feel like we are doing something wrong..
 

mg15

Songster
8 Years
Aug 22, 2012
1,298
109
241
Don't give up. Just learn about all the health problems yours have had. Knowledge is power.
 

MrsBachbach

Songster
6 Years
Mar 6, 2013
2,045
343
236
Arkansas
Diarrhea is not a problem anymore. We just built and put them in a new large coop that has plenty of ventilation. Although one of the chickens still always sounds congested and sneezes quite often (we had her on antibiotics and vet rx nothing ever helped, she acts fine just sounds congested). We put strike III wormer in with their layer crumbles like two months ago so I guess that means they are good and wormed.. They free range often and get plenty to eat, always have water. Like two or so months ago, I found a small puddle of blood in my carport where chickens had been hiding from the rain and I never could figure out who it was from. One of them always has a weird problem going on and it just makes me feel like we are doing something wrong..


Coccidiosis is likely the problem, especially with finding the blood. Wet, warm humid weather can bring it's own problems with fungal issues which can cause respiratory and intestinal problems. E-coli can also be a problem.
 

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