several health questions for our 9 wk old chickens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by CoastalChickens, Dec 21, 2013.

  1. CoastalChickens

    CoastalChickens New Egg

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    Nov 19, 2013
    Port Angeles, Wa
    Hello! We have 15 chicks that are a variety of buff orpingtons, black astrolaups and barred rocks. We care about them so much and I have a few questions for you more experienced flock owners. :) Some of our girls have bright red combs but most have very pale ones. Is it normal for the pigment to take a while to show? I want to know if they are missing a nutrient or something. They are being fed some chick starter and that leads me to another question. Where does one find organic feed online? And what other supplements are recommended? I have heard of food grade DE but I am unsure what its purpose is. Also I have heard of herb blends and garlic powder? Its complicated and I am unsure what path to take. Another big question is regarding a small sneez I hear when they are eating. Is this normal? We use pine shavings and the deep litter method and I stir it up every day. Last question, I promise, I have noticed some flaky skin around where they are growing new feathers. Is that OK? I am worried about mites which we had to use DE on in their coop before we got the chicks.Thank you to anyone who has the time to help!! - Jacque
     
  2. LRH97

    LRH97 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jul 29, 2013
    Southern Illinois
    I can't be much help with the feed questions. I've always bought higher quality commercial feeds for my birds, with the occasional table scraps for treats and that's pretty much it as far as diet goes for me (of course they find their own bugs and stuff outside). Their combs are perfectly normal. The deeper red the combs are, the more mature the chicken is. Large and deep red combs are what I look for when I am expecting a bird to lay soon. As for mites, you will usually be able to see little specks (the mites) moving. I really haven't paid much attention, but I'm sure it's normal for some skin to flake off when the feather shafts poke through.
     
  3. CoastalChickens

    CoastalChickens New Egg

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    Nov 19, 2013
    Port Angeles, Wa
    Great thanks so much for he advice! That makes me feel much better about the combs and the flakes :)
     
  4. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    First things first [​IMG] always good to see a new face [​IMG]
    your feed at there age I start using turkey grow at around week
    3 as it has 20% protein for all the growing that is in store for them
    and any feed with 20% or more is good till about 5 months of age
    and the white flakey skin around the new feathers is alright but
    for your situation I would keep an eye on them ......

    gander007 [​IMG]
     
  5. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    Oh before I forget to ask are you letting them runaround
    outside yet ??????

    gander007 [​IMG]
     
  6. CoastalChickens

    CoastalChickens New Egg

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    Nov 19, 2013
    Port Angeles, Wa
    Oh really?! Turkey feed, I haven't heard that onw yet. But it makes sense. Thank you for the welcome!! This is a great site.
    And to answer your question. Yes, eventhough it is between 30-45 degrees lately they are outside from 10-4 every day rain or snow or shine. The coop is large and left open with the heat lamp on in it and their run is big and has many evergreens providing shelter from rain :)
     
  7. Sixpets

    Sixpets Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 24, 2013
    I have 9 week old Barred rocks and Buff Orpingtons

    Plus one ameracauna
     
  8. CoastalChickens

    CoastalChickens New Egg

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    Nov 19, 2013
    Port Angeles, Wa
    Oh fun! How are things going for you guys? Here is a pic from the other day. I didnt mention we have one suprise chicken that I think is a roo.....unsure the breed. He is like the barred rocks butba little lighter and bigger??? [​IMG]
     
  9. ChickensAreSweet

    ChickensAreSweet Heavenly Grains for Hens

    You may be able to order organic feed from your feed store- I'd ask them.

    I buy Rogue organic feed from azurestandard.com sometimes (very large min. order required but no shipping fees in WA as far as I know), and sometimes the feed store- Wilco carries it, if you have one nearby.

    You will need grit if they aren't able to free range for grit. Oyster shell in a bowl is necessary for if they need a little extra calcium, once they start laying and you switch to layer feed.

    Food grade DE is good for adding to sand and dirt to make them a dry dust bath.

    Herb blends and garlic powder don't work as wormers. Neither does DE (doesn't work when wet). If you need to deworm, there are many threads on it and medications to give.

    Just sneezing alone...it is probably dust/environmental. If you start to see runny noses or eye drainage with coughing and wheezing/gasping, that would be respiratory disease most likely. So I wouldn't be concerned with a little sneeze now and then from the dust.

    Flaky skin is dandruff from the feather shafts coming in...they go through mini-molts until the big molt around 18 months or so (in the fall/winter when they turn 2 years or 18 months or thereabouts).

    Mites - you will most likely be bitten/be itchy yourself if they have them. I can never see them on the birds, but you are supposed to look under wings and around the vent area. Lice are different and I have not dealt with them. To be clear: there are rumors on internet that mites can live off humans. This is not true. There are different kinds of mites: one lives for 3 weeks with no poultry blood meal and one lives for 9 months. So if you collect them in your home, they will eventually die but they DO bite humans to try to get a poultry blood meal.

    So if you get them in your home, just vacuum and wash sheets...throw your clothes in the washer etc. until you put the powder on the chickens and they will instantly die.

    So it is important if you notice bugs on you or your chickens to dust the chickens with poultry dust from the feed store and repeat at 7 days for mites, and 7/14 days for lice. Also throw out all bedding in coop and dust or spray coop as well. Also clean out nest boxes or they will be back.

    So if you aren't itchy and don't see moving specks or tan bugs (lice) then you should be OK. Periodically spray or dust your coop though, as the red mite (the one that lives 9 months) lives in the coop and only comes out at night to feed.

    I hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2013
  10. CoastalChickens

    CoastalChickens New Egg

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    Nov 19, 2013
    Port Angeles, Wa
    Wow thank you so very much for your help! I will be referencing this for some time. It is all great info. As of right now there is no sign of mites but I am wondering if it is safe to add DE to deep litter pine shavings?
     

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