Update, sick chickens, maybe worse

MCathey

Hatching
Nov 21, 2020
7
0
6
I had posted earlier about some sick chickens. We live in Portugal, the winter is damp and rainy. We had two sick chickens (GI stuff and coughing). I treated everyone (8 hens) with two weeks of antibiotics and once with wormer. The two that looked on deaths door appear better. Everyone is eating and drinking. However, now I have 5 coughing chickens, one of who has been wheezing for weeks.
Our setup is this.The main part of the coop, as pictured in the first picture, is chicken wire on two sides, partially with a concrete wall. The back is a concrete wall with chicken wire windows. A LOT of open air and rain does come in when it rains hard. The other side of the coop is a separate room (which you can kind of see in the second picture) where their nesting boxes are. They tend to go there at night to sleep. It is almost completely walled and no rain gets in. We use straw on the ground. I usually deep bed for about 3-6 months, turn put new straw on top, then take out later and compost. We used to only raise ducks and this worked for them.
I am worried that the damp straw is the sources of the problem. Should I take the straw out and put down wood chips or pine shavings? Should I tarp the side walls until the wet winter is over? Will chickens with a respiratory illness survive this???
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Sally PB

Crossing the Road
Premium Feather Member
Aug 7, 2020
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Belding, MI
I'm not an expert, but the damp straw concerns me, since it could have a lot of mold or other icky things in it. Can you keep the rain out somehow? You mentioned a tarp, but I'm envisioning something more like an awning or roof overhang, so you still have all that great ventilation. Maybe cover the lower part of the windows with clear plastic, keeping enough uncovered to meet ventilation requirements?

There was a thread about different beddings on BYC. Maybe it had something about pine shavings being drier than straw in it... I don't know. Good luck!
 

MCathey

Hatching
Nov 21, 2020
7
0
6
I'm not an expert, but the damp straw concerns me, since it could have a lot of mold or other icky things in it. Can you keep the rain out somehow? You mentioned a tarp, but I'm envisioning something more like an awning or roof overhang, so you still have all that great ventilation. Maybe cover the lower part of the windows with clear plastic, keeping enough uncovered to meet ventilation requirements?

There was a thread about different beddings on BYC. Maybe it had something about pine shavings being drier than straw in it... I don't know. Good luck!
Thanks, the entire coop has a metal roof on it with an overhang, so there is only rain coming in the sides. I will take a peek at it tomorrow in the daylight.
 

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