questions about health of chickens.

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by alice615, Nov 17, 2014.

  1. alice615

    alice615 In the Brooder

    Nov 7, 2014
    I'm new to chickens, what I'm wanting to know is if it's very difficult to keep these chickens healthy, from what I'm reading they sound like they may be sick a lot, just wondering and wanted to get some feedback, I plan on feeding good feed and using a holistic approachany input would certainly be appreciated thank you so much Alice 615
  2. Rani

    Rani Chirping

    Apr 13, 2014
    By A Lake, Minnesota
    I'm new to chickens, too. I have four hens - they are 7 months old. No health issues as of yet. I feed them "Sprout" layer feed from Fleet Farm. They are in a coop with a run 90% of the time. I let them out about an hour before sunset when we can keep an eye on them to prevent hawks and fox get at them. They forage for about an hour. I give them either a few raisins or a handful of cracked corn to bring them back to the coop, but typically, they go in at twilight. (now with snow, they won't come out at all - they come out of the hen house in the morning and spend their day in the run which is wrapped in plastic to keep the snow out.)

    Now it's cold - (8 degrees F) and no heat in the coop. They are fine. Happy, eating, drinking. No health issues.

    I keep the coop floor covered in aspen shavings and clean it about once a week in the summer. Winter, I have about 8-10 inches of straw in the coop and run. The poop freezes and I pick it out about every 7-10 days.

    That's it. In my opinion - they have been very low maintenance. Easier than dogs and cats EXCEPT - equipment. The biggest challenge has been making sure the coop is secure and predator proof and that it is well ventilate for winter. GO FOR IT!
  3. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years.

    Aug 26, 2009
    Out to pasture
    Welcome to the flock, the Learning Center is a great place to start. Then I would recommend "Raising Backyard chickens," forum the menu opens to the right and covers important topics that should answer a lot of your questions. The main thing is to start with healthy stock from good breeders. Many people start with birds some friend(?) or neighbors dumped on them - which generally have some problems - like being roosters instead of hens, etc.

    If you do your research BEFORE getting the birds, results are likely to be more positive. Backyard chickens has forums on coops, predators, etc to get you off to the best start.

    You may want to go to "where am I, where are you," in the social forum where you can locate and post on your state thread. That way you can find out what breeds do best in your area, what special considerations are need for dealing with the climate, etc.

    BYS is here for you 24/7 - if you've got questions someone will be along to provide answers. Hope you enjoy BYC as much as we do.
  4. sumi

    sumi Égalité

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Welcome to BYC [​IMG] Glad you joined us! There are some good articles in the Learning Center under the Maintaining a Healthy Flock section with advice. Personally I've had VERY little health issues with my flocks over the years, which is much down to luck and keeping a closed flock most of the time. If you get your chickens from a reputable source, make sure they are kept in acceptable conditions, have clean water and good food as needed and do not introduce new chickens without taking proper precautions, such as quarantine, you'll be off to a good start. Keep their housing clean and dry, keep an eye on them for signs of parasites such as mites or intestinal worms, treat semi-annually for above mentioned parasites... I'm sure more members can and will chime in with more tips, but this is what worked for me over the years.
  5. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    Like any animal, chickens are not problem-free. However, they tend to be more healthy that many other animals, at least in my experience. If you practice general animal husbandry practices (quarantining new birds, observing carefully, keeping coop clean, minimizing stress of birds, etc.), chances are your flock will be very hardy. The genetics of a chicken also play a part in its hardiness. Some breeds, like Sebrights and Silkies, are very problem prone. Others, especially heritage breeds like the Buckeye, are extremely resilient.

    I have a small flock of hatchery birds that are about four years old. None of them have ever gotten sick, or succumbed to a problem other than something simple, like mites or a broken toenail. I also have bantam show chickens, which happen to be of less sturdy breeds. Combined with the fact that the bantams go to shows (and therefore get exposed to more diseases), they have been plagued with far more problems than my hatchery birds.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2014
    1 person likes this.
  6. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    A big X2! Start with healthy birds, cleanliness is the KEY to healthiness, keep the stress down in the coop and give them plenty of room. Never cram them in. Like too many people living in a small space, drinking from the same drinking glass, all of which will make everyone sick. So space the birds out, keep everything very clean. Use good ventilation in your coop at all times. No matter how cold it gets, keep those vents OPEN! Chickens need a lot of oxygen and good air. And get to know your birds. Each of them are different and over time you will learn that "Lucy" is not as active as "Hilda" or "Pearl" only lays every other day where as "Tillie" lays every day. Get them out to free range, even if it is supervised for 30 mins or one hour a day. This does wonders for their mental state.

    Chickens do get sick, just as any other animal does. But if you raise them right, keep them on a good diet, fresh water daily, lots of sunshine and fresh air, don't add new birds to your flock from any old source, know your breeder (lots of diseases come in this way from birds from unknown sources) and start with good stock. The heavier breeds tend to be more hardy, (this is just my opinion) and any breed bred to be a heavy layer will have more laying issues than birds that are not bred for this purpose.

    Stop by this article on things you should know before getting into chickens...

    Good luck on this new adventure! Chickens are such wonderful creatures to keep. Welcome to our flock!
  7. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.

    Bantamlover21 and Two Crows have given you some good advice.
  8. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC!
  9. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    Everyone above has given you great advice.
  10. alice615

    alice615 In the Brooder

    Nov 7, 2014
    Thank you so much that's so very informative you answered about every question, I plan on having around 9 hens...I have a 5x5x6 storage building for a coop the run will be 5x8x4...I have not finished the inside of the coop as yet,I plan on getting pullets in the spring, I read everything I find on chickens...You have been most helpful TY ...Alice615:)

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