Topic of the Week - Keeping the flock safe from mishaps, injuries, etc.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sumi, Nov 27, 2016.

  1. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    36,047
    7,574
    646
    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Many long term poultry keepers can share stories of their birds getting themselves in trouble, or injured or killed by mishaps which could've been easily prevented. Things like upturned buckets and bowls trapping birds, chicks accidentally drowning in water dishes, birds ingesting staples, small nails, etc left in the run or coop after repairs or improvements were made… This week I'd like to hear you all's thoughts on keeping the flock safe. For new chicken owners and old, what safety tips have you got share?



    For a complete list of our Topic of the Week threads, see here: https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/topic-of-the-week-thread-archive
     
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2017
    1 person likes this.
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,700
    6,824
    576
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    My birds are confined so pretty easy to keep things 'safe'.

    But definitely careful with picking up construction fasteners,
    including the trimmed ends of zipties when banding and fastening.
    Covering edges of hardware cloth, and other fencing like on grazing frames.
    Cut wires from fencing sticking out into bird space.
    Head sized holes/gaps, had a chick get it's head stuck and die in chicken wire over 2x4 fencing.
    Anything in run, roosts, concrete blocks, ramps, are stable.
    Watch for holes dig under blocks, had few almost tip over when they dug under the edges.
     
    7 people like this.
  3. sunflour

    sunflour Flock Master Premium Member

    13,834
    2,692
    416
    Jan 10, 2013
    Macon,GA
    Very good check list to follow @aart

    A magnet to remove any missed construction screws, nails, etc - to sweep the entire area after completion of building.

    Check inside the roof for roofing nails/screws that come thru in proximity to the roosts.

    Daily or very frequent walk arounds the run/coop for inspection and fix any weak areas you find immediately - a fellow I know knew he had holes under his perimeter fencing and delayed repairs and lost an entire flock.

    Don't use treated wood for roosts - I did and when the paint wore off had to replace all and treat mild bumblefoot.
     
    2 people like this.
  4. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

    33,700
    6,824
    576
    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    Don't think treated wood causes bumblefoot.......staph bacteria in a cut will tho.

    Which brings to mind another safety issue...any rough wood should be filed and/or sanded down.
    Tho I noticed when I put down new shavings this fall, there were some rather large and sharp pieces in it.
     
  5. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    36,047
    7,574
    646
    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    Anything electric in the coop and run, make sure it's secure, the wiring etc is safe and secure.

    From my experiences:

    Make sure any fencing is secure and safe, especially along the top, if birds fly up to it. I had a cockerel hang himself by his foot on a wire fence once, when he flew up and got stuck

    Don't leave containers of water deep enough for chickens of any age to drown in, or be unable to get out of. I had a few week old chick drown in a bucket of water we left under a hosepipe leak and didn't empty. I still feel bad about that.

    Don't leave "tunnels" or holes for especially chicks to crawl into and get stuck in. And along with that, check for predator dug tunnels, holes, gaps along the perimeter of the coop and run.

    Make sure EVERYTHING in the coop and run is secure. Shelter, feeders and waterers, perches, everything. And not just chicken proof, strong wind proof too. I had a shelter blow over once...
     
    3 people like this.
  6. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    36,047
    7,574
    646
    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    I just remembered another one and this one is for anyone here with long hair. Watch out for loose hairs when you have chicks around. Over the years I've had chickens I always kept my hair long and the chicks love crawling into it, when I allow them to. Hairs can get tangled up around little chick toes like you won't believe! Even a loose hair they pick up on the ground. I've had to carefully free little toes on a few occasions from hairs they got their toes tangled up in. The reason I put this on the list here is because I found on some of those occasions that they managed to get the hair(s) wrapped around their toes so tight that it was affecting their blood circulation. If you see a chick walking funny, or limping, pick them up and have a look.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
    1 person likes this.
  7. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

    57,190
    12,490
    751
    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    Pick up all types of string, twine, including horse mane/tail hair.

    -Kathy
     
  8. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

    57,190
    12,490
    751
    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop

    Quite right! I've seen a couple that had human hair wrapped pretty tight around their toes or legs. It's also possible for them to get such things wrapped around their tongues.

    -Kathy
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 27, 2016
  9. casportpony

    casportpony Team Tube Feeding Captain & Poop Inspector General Premium Member

    57,190
    12,490
    751
    Jun 24, 2012
    My Coop
    1 person likes this.
  10. N F C

    N F C doo be doo be doo Premium Member

    34,194
    10,116
    656
    Dec 12, 2013
    Wyoming
    Our chickens loved to roam in the garden once we were done harvesting so we made sure to not use chemicals when we gardened.

    Also, recently there was a distraught post from someone about their chicken getting into rat poison that had been set out. So important to keep poisons out of any place a chicken might find it. Those little dickens can get into everything!
     
    2 people like this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by