The Official Healthy Chicken, Preventative Management Thread

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Beekissed, Jul 24, 2010.

  1. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    I was reading the other day about how new people are much intimidated by reading posts on the Diseases/Injuries section and I would have to agree that seeing that many desparate pleas for help could be daunting.

    Of course, you rarely get to read threads about healthy flocks and how they are maintained....why would we post on here when everything is going well?

    Until now....for all you folks who have healthy flocks and would like to share your methods on how to maintain them in this state, please post here.

    So....tell us how you do it! [​IMG]

    I tend to believe that preventative management of health, be it human or poultry, is the best way to maintain good health. An ounce of prevention and all that.....

    Most of my methods revolve around this belief and it has been successful thus far but one is always learning....always!
  2. Beekissed

    Beekissed Free Ranging

    No one has good advice for maintaining a healthy flock through prevention?
  3. Funky Feathers

    Funky Feathers former Fattie

    Jan 15, 2009
    My Coop
    Bugs- Mite/Lice prevention- spray or powder birds every 2 weeks. Powder coops every 2-3 weeks. I give my birds flea baths too, once a month. (Sevin , DE, Poultry Lice Dust, Adams Spray, Permethrins)

    Worms- wormers- piperazine, Ivermectin, and others as needed (I worm once a month). I do my own fecal exams, I have a microscope. I check every 2 months.

    Diseases- Here in MD I vaccinate my birds for Coryza, and this Fall/Winter will be vaccinating for ILT. I don't vaccinate for Marek's.

    Sanitation- I clean my coops/pens very thoroughly every few weeks, hose out duck pens twice daily & clean out nesting boxes weekly. (Bleach, Conquat or Oxine)

    NPIP- my birds are tested yearly for Pullorum/Typhoid and every 90 days for AI (Bird Flu).

    Biosecurity- If (rarely) I take in (buy) new birds they are under strict quarantine for 30 days. They are very thorouhly examined daily the first week.

    Bathing- bathing your birds reveals a lot of hidden information on their health: eyes, ears, nose (beak), comb, wattles, skin, bugs, weight, body condition, feather condition, etc...
    You can catch problems early by bathing often.

    Observation- observe your birds daily when you feed & water for any odd behavior or lethargy, or abnormal external body parts.

    Record Keeping- keep accurate records of who was/is sick, when, for how long, meds. given & outcome.

    Keep plenty of different meds., preventatives, supplies, instruments on hand.

    ALWAYS Isolate any sick birds.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  4. megcpat

    megcpat Songster

    Jan 2, 2010
    Quote:I am in awe. [​IMG]
  5. Funky Feathers

    Funky Feathers former Fattie

    Jan 15, 2009
    My Coop
    Thank you. It helps having been a Registered Vet Tech for 10 years (before I had birds). Plus having had experience with different problems in the past with my own birds. I think I am the Bumblefoot expert, hee hee. [​IMG]
  6. happyhensny

    happyhensny Brown Barns Farm

    Question Fattie - what wormer do you use? I just used Wazine and I thought we could not eat the eggs for 2 weeks. If you worm that frequently do you not eat eggs or is there a different med to use? Thanks!

  7. gritsar

    gritsar Cows, Chooks & Impys - OH MY!

    Nov 9, 2007
    SW Arkansas
    My birds free range all day, every day.
    Safe coop at night.
    Fans in the summertime, good ventilation the rest of the year including wintertime.
    Food and fresh water available, changed daily. The waterers are cleaned with a bleach cleaner once a week.
    Nestbox material (hay) changed weekly or sooner if someone has an oops.
    I put my eyes on each bird daily so I can notice anything like nasal discharge, limping, etc.
    Check for mites weekly.
    Deep litter method with a complete coop clean out every 3 months or less often if things are extremely dry as they are now.
    Wormed once a year.
    No lights, no heat.
    Vaccinated for nothing.
    Never had an illness *knock on wood*
    Lilith being ill from eating non-edible materials - broken glass, coke can tabs, etc., does not qualify as an illness, other than a mental one on her part. [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  8. Funky Feathers

    Funky Feathers former Fattie

    Jan 15, 2009
    My Coop
    How often you worm depends on where you live, I live in a salt marsh and don't eat my eggs, so I worm often. It may affect hatchability though. But I am a little paranoid about parasites. Lost too many good birds to them. Now I take no risks. Some people only worm every 2-3 months. [​IMG]
    Kat, you are so lucky! Where I live, my birds are high maintenance.
    Last edited: Jul 24, 2010
  9. happyhensny

    happyhensny Brown Barns Farm

    Average woodland area, not too much rain. Worm 1 x year. Bummed when we throw out the eggs. [​IMG] Thanks!
  10. oldchickenlady

    oldchickenlady Songster

    May 9, 2010
    Cabot, AR
    I haven't had chickens for long, but have had very good luck with the ones I have. First thing I suggest if you are a newbie is read, read, read everything you can (on this site, of course!) about space requirements, feed requirements, coop/run construction, etc BEFORE you get birds. Find the best breeder/hatchery in your area (if there are any) and check their reputation for healthy birds (again, if possible). Buy the best birds you can afford and dont get too many birds for your space. No matter how cute! Ask the breeder/hatchery if you can call with any questions. A reputable one should be willing to help you. Once you get your birds be vigilant...spend time with them, find out what is normal behavior for them, then if you see something that doesn't look right with a bird, isolate it immediately until you can figure out what is wrong. Feed them the proper feed for their age/stage of growth. Keep their waterers and feeders clean. I think free ranging them is the best (if possible-depends on your situation of course) as your birds get a variety of foods along with their chicken ration, they get exercise from all the scratching and moving from place to place, and they have a more normal interaction with each other when they have plenty of space (just my opinion, but makes sense). Pick them up and check them on a regular basis. Feel through their feathers for body condition. Push the feathers in the wrong direction so you can see the skin. Look for mites on their body and their heads. Check their eyes, they should be bright and alert. You don't have to check every chicken and not every day, but regularly check them. It is a good idea to have some preventative medications/treatments on hand for the more common ailments, the breeder/hatchery can probably tell you what they are in your area. I personally don't worm my chickens or treat them for lice as of yet, because I have not seen any sign of either one. I prefer not to use chemicals/medications until needed. This is just my personal preference. Provide the best predator-proof coop and run for your chickens that you can afford. It doesn't have to be fancy or expensive, but it does have to be safe! Read the predator section here and find out what "doesn't" work, again BEFORE you get your birds or build your coop/run. That is about it for me, I am sure there are many other things that could be listed for this thread, but this is what I do/have done and so far it has worked for me.

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