Thin Hens? worming?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Huhnerhausgal, Mar 1, 2015.

  1. Huhnerhausgal

    Huhnerhausgal Out Of The Brooder

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    May 30, 2014
    hi all. We have had a hard and brutally cold winter here in Minnesota. We brooded six checks roughly 11 months ago and went into the winter with six seemingly healthy pullets. We bought the appropriate feed from the local feed store. One was an organic layer feed that seem to have a powder along with visible cracked corn and seeds. My husband, rightly so, seemed concerned that they weren't eating that powdered feed and I ignored him. We lost the first chicken, a Beautiful Rhode Island red and had a necropsy done at the University. There were no conclusive signs of anything.

    Their egg production had dropped but we also attributed this to deeper winter in the northern states.

    We changed the feed then but lost our Wyandote six weeks later. We now have supplemented their crumble feed that we just bought at Fleet Farm with scratch,oyster shell and dried mealworms. They are back to producing an egg daily each. I picked up the chickens today and they still seem awfully light. Their breastbone does feel bony. Is it possible that they have worms? They were so young in the fall that I didn't worm them going into winter. I know our dog had long time battles with roundworm or something and they do free range on our lot…I just purchased Wazine and something called rooster booster? Will this be enough to treat the chickens? I just can't imagine what else is happening. It's a terrible feeling to feel like you haven't cared well enough for living creatures. We are new to this but really want to continue.

    As a sidenote we also are considering purchasing two replacement pullets but understand it can be tricky introducing new birds. Will it be a significant challenge with such a small flock?

    Thanks,

    Pam
     
  2. LoveThemBirds

    LoveThemBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Feb 23, 2015
    Petting Buffy Like a Dog
    It sounds like they do.If they don't,it never hurts to add still.Rooster booster is big and will likely help.Vinger is also another choice.

    From what I have read,chicks,meaning pullets too,should not have layer crumbles at a young age.They begin layer crumbles once they have actually layed,or have layed in the past.

    Your birds are still pretty young.I think introducing two more pullets will not hurt much.Chickens are territorial,I suggest on introducing other birds threw fences,gates,crates ETC,all should work.

    Good luck,and welcome to BYC!
     
  3. Huhnerhausgal

    Huhnerhausgal Out Of The Brooder

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    May 30, 2014
    Thanks Lovethembirds

    That was the mystery I guess. We love this local city store that sells supplies and they were a great inspiration in getting the chickens (we have a double lot in the suburbs). I purchased that organic layer feed at their suggestion and just didn't know enough to know how much the chickens should be eating. Do they generally eat that powdered stuff as well? We have a gravity hanging feeder that's filled all the time that we would just continue to fill and shake to make sure The eating trough part was full. Perhaps what happened is that we were shaking but most of the powdered stuff and not the more substantial part of it was getting to them. Now that the chickens are almost a year old and laying I assume this pellet layer feed is okay for them? The other thought I had was that we weren't giving them enough for grit. We had just been mixing handfuls of grit and with the feed itself at the eating trough part. We have now purchased Oystershell grit and every morning are mixing that along with scratch grain in their run. Should we hang a feeder with just grit inside their coop as well?
     
  4. LoveThemBirds

    LoveThemBirds Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Petting Buffy Like a Dog
    Adding grit will most definitely help.

    They could be bloating themselves.In ongoing feed may be too much.

    I would wait until your hems are laying fully to give them layer pellets.
     
  5. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    If the feed contains a lot of very fine powder, no they are unlikely to eat it, it will just be wasted as they search for larger pieces. Pelleted layer feed is fine for them at their age. Some people switch to an all flock type feed during winter when birds stop laying or if they have a flock of mixed ages.

    Put their oyster shell and their grit in separate dishes in the coop, don't mix it with the food or toss it out with the scratch, you'll go through more then is necessary. Feed it separate and they will take what they need when they need it. Oyster shell and grit are two different things and function differently, so provide a small dish of each.

    I would definitley worm them. Chickens will get worms at some point in time simply due to their lifestyle. Wazine will only get round worms so I wouldn't waste my time and money on that. Two very good, broad spectrum and effective wormers are Valbazen and liquid Safeguard for goats. Dose is 0.5 cc per standard size bird, repeat dose in 10 days. As far as Rooster Booster, I believe the active ingredient is Hygromycin-B which is an effective wormer but may not be as broad spectrum. I don't know a lot about it so you should do additional research. The thing I don't like about it is that it is used as a top dress feed additive. At least it was last time I looked. When using that approach you never know exactly how much each bird actually does or does not consume. Dosing each bird orally is a much more accurate way to deworm. Then you know each one got exactly the correct dose. Deworming a couple times a year works for most folks to keep worm loads under control. Some environments ie warmer/wetter will require more frequent deworming.

    Yes, integrating just a couple new birds into a small flock will be difficult. It certainly can be done it just takes time and patience. Chickens are very territorial and they HATE newcomers! So plan to have a place to keep your new birds separated from the flock by a fence for two or three weeks. This lets everybody settle down and get used to each other before they share space. There will still be pecking order scuffles when they do get together and you will need to supervise to make sure things don't get out of hand. You need to step in if blood is drawn. Before you do all this you should also quarantine your new birds well away from your flock for a minimum of two weeks. 30 days is better. Not much worse then finding out you've introduced some nasty illness into your flock with new birds.

    Some people may tell you to just pop these new birds into the coop after dark and they'll all wake up as friends in the morning. This may work in a large flock, not so much in a small flock. They all know who the strangers are and it can go very badly for the new birds if you are not right there to watch before they get off the roost. Far better to take it slow and give them time to get acquainted through a fence.

    Sorry this got a little long, hope the info is helpful.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2015
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