What are some basic hen-health maintenance things I should be doing?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by guesswhatchickenbutt, May 10, 2009.

  1. guesswhatchickenbutt

    guesswhatchickenbutt Songster

    Mar 5, 2009
    Central FL
    I have 3 hens only - and don't plan on getting more - I have to have a small, secret flock. They're only about 2 months old now and are fully-feathered and living outside. But it dawned on me that I don't know if there are any basic hen-health things that I should be doing.

    I'm not looking for all sorts of random home remedies... I'm looking for what I should be doing to keep them healthy and when I should do it.

    I am obviously keeping their coop clean, I'm moving their run every other day, but should they be treated for worms or mites or anything like that? I can't find any sort of schedule showing what sort of health aspects I'm responsible for. (I hope I'm making sense - LOL).

    Like with the dogs and cats, they get shots once a year, they get the heartworm and de-flea medicine every month. We check for fleas and ticks. I know we don't do this with the chickens, but what DO you do to ensure they live long, happy, healthy lives? (besides keeping them safe from predators and giving fresh food/water/bedding etc)


  2. Judy

    Judy Crowing Premium Member

    Feb 5, 2009
    South Georgia
    Many do nothing more, except to watch for problems. Many others worm the birds, I believe usually once or twice a year. Lots of info on this here, for example: look at the section on worms in post #3 in this thread: http://ultimatefowl.atwiki.com/page/Poultry%20Disease

    people provide free choice oyster shell as a calcium source in addition to layer feed when they start laying. I don't do this, but there is a lot of calcium in our soil, from the limestone, and my eggshells are fine.

    There are some vaccines you can give, as with dogs and cats, but it is not generally felt necessary in a small backyard flock. If your birds seem well, they are not likely to get those sorts of diseases unless you add a diseased bird.

    Good luck!
  3. digitS'

    digitS' Songster

    Dec 12, 2007
    ID/WA border
    Last edited: May 10, 2009
  4. Quote:My best advice is get yourself a copy of the Chicken Health Handbook by Gail Damerrow. It's not very expensive, covers feeding, egg laying, sickness etc etc etc. Anybody that has poultry should read it.

    Steve in NC

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