run design and disease spread by wild birds

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by flitter, Apr 29, 2011.

  1. flitter

    flitter Chillin' With My Peeps

    I am adding 3 more coops and runs to my existing coop and run. They will share a common interior fence/fences. All the runs but one are covered with net but I plan to use the one on the end for Guineas, who will free range all day and hopefully fly back into their "space" in the evening for snacks and safety. Does this sound like a large risk of something from wild birds being picked up by the Guineas and spread to the chickens?
     
  2. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    If you don't have a solid roof on the run, you still have risks from wild birds perching on top of the runs. Parasites can fall off them and they can poop in the run. So, I'm not sure how much more risk you'll have with the guineas going in and out.

    I free range my chickens and I've never had a disease problem with them. Their diet is so much better free range, with all the green feed and other foods, that I think they must just be healthier. They have picked up mites in the spring from the wild birds, but not anything else. Since I reworked my dust baths, even the mites haven't been an issue. This is just my experience over the years.
     
  3. flitter

    flitter Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thanks! I kinda thought that but wanted another opinion.

    I admire your dedication to free range your chickens. I tried but missed having flowers, veggies in the garden without holes in them, clean chairs on the patio and a poop-free porch to walk on. If they would only stay on the other side of the driveway... there's 80 acres over there! I let them out in the early evening and they are back by dusk and I close them safely in. It's a compromise. I agree that free range instead of "evening range" would be better for them but who would feed and water them if I end up in a mental health facility? [​IMG]
     
  4. ralleia

    ralleia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Don't worry too much, unless it appears that an epidemic/pandemic of avian flu is about to break out.

    I've free-ranged my birds for YEARS. The run in uncovered, and when they leave the run, they are completely in the open. I've never had a disease problem.

    One of the extension offices used to call me every year and arrange to come out and test all my birds for avian influenza--it has been several years since they have done so, so perhaps they think the threat is now too low for the effort. Maybe I'll call them next week and ask what's up.

    Don't worry. There's enough real stuff to be worried about!
     
  5. flitter

    flitter Chillin' With My Peeps

    In my experience the things I worry about are not what usually gets me. Ever notice that?
     
  6. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

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    That's nice that you let them out for a bit in the evenings. They can get a lot of exercise, have some fun and forage for a lot of food in just a couple of hours.
     

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