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What to look for in "New to Me" laying flock of Buff Orpingtons

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by WI FarmChick, Dec 16, 2013.

  1. WI FarmChick

    WI FarmChick Songster

    Feb 22, 2012
    I have brought home 27 buff orpingtons Tuesday late evening 12/10. They are 6 months and 9 months old (as I was told). They were raised certified organic. I am getting only 1 egg a day. They are molting. Soft molt. Not sure if they are almost done or just starting. No rooster, But a very dominant Hen. She mounts and stays approx 30 seconds to get her point across. some aggressive pecking order going on. Their seams to be black spots on their combs and wattles. doesn't look raised or warty (yet). Checked for mites have not seen any. I am sure they were not wormed. Legg's look great, eyes are bright, Looked for signs of past mareks , the eyes are not deformed at all. Other than the molt they seam very healthy. I have no other chickens on the property at this time. I usually raise day olds.... so I am getting to know this flock and I have been observing them closely.

    My question(s) would be have I missed anything? Why would only 1 hen be laying and 26 are not?
    My thoughts are.....and what I have been doing......

    1) cocci, Very High possibility. I do have a hen after 3 days that was not wanting to walk and wouldn't eat or drink that i noticed. None of the others were showing signs. But if 1 has it they all have it. I know my strain could/would be different from the strain they are used too. I am treating for cocci now it's day 2. I used corid. I gave corid to her by dropper to give her a jump start on her treatment before putting back with the flock. She was away from the flock approx. 3-4 hours. When I returned her they all were ready to give her a peck. especially the dominant hen.
    She could also have been injured during transporting. not sure. didn't see or feel anything wrong. she is walking now and eating and drinking today. Looks like treatment is working Or She injured her leg and it is getting better. Will be giving Yogurt after treatment when we get back. Did I jump the gun here with treating for cocci? I don't feel I did. do you?

    2) Stress, Strange new place. I added a heat lamp for two reasons. its very cold, in the negative's & so they could find everything. Also new feed. I can not afford organic feed. Any thing else that could reduce the stress?

    3) Watching the black spots on their combs and wattles. Looks more to me like pecking sores. But still watching, Not sure if it is fowl pox. The last mosquito around here would have been in October maybe....So could they still be getting the pox? not sure what to think here. Still leaning towards pecking issues. Will take pic later.

    4) We are leaving for vacation this Saturday and will be gone for 10 days. I am going to wait till we get back to worm and will dust for mites just in case. This would be the perfect time to worm as they are molting. minimal eggs to toss out. Ok...only 1. lol

    5) Molting. It seams to be a soft molt so far. but some don't appear to be molting. are they just starting or are they just getting done? Why am i getting only 1 egg a day? I would think the odds would be a bit higher than that, maybe 2-4 eggs. The hens could be older than originally told. not sure what to think here. I am switching there feed to 18-20% protein depending on what I can find. I purchased laying feed before seeing the birds. (DH picked them up, I didn't get to go along) I will still have free choice grit, oyster shell and kelp. Also fresh water and some treats now and then.

    If all works out well with this flock I will be raising day old chicks this spring to increase the flock. This flock is just gorgeous.

    I know I cant treat for fowl pox but I can help them survive the ordeal. Totally hoping it's not pox! I do realize I could have a flock that gets pox someday. but not looking forward to it.

    So what do you think?

  2. Den in Penn

    Den in Penn Songster

    Dec 15, 2011
    SE Pa.
    I think you have why they aren't laying right, with the moving, change of feed and molt. Some less then year olds do molt in their first fall and if they weren't molting before the move, the stress may have started it. Also if they didn't have light before the move the change in the lenght of light may take a bit to adjust to. The cocci I think isn't an issue as most adults can handle a new strain fairly well. The hen that was hanging out on the perch may have had an injury or may just have already been the low hen in the order and just staying out of everyone way. I'm also not looking forward to the day fowl pox decides to run through my flock. If the specks on the combs all the only symptom I'd just table that for now.
  3. WI FarmChick

    WI FarmChick Songster

    Feb 22, 2012
    Thank you Den in Penn for your input.
    I did gather up 3 eggs yesterday. Hurray!
    They took longer than "I thought" they would for them to get over the stress of the move.
    Everything in a chickens own time, "not mine" lol.

    This flock is just gorgeous. I am really wanting everything to turn out well with this flock. So this is why I was/am over thinking this.
    yes, I am going to wait and see about the black spots. I really can't do anything about them, Just keep an eye on them and watch for changes. Their pecking order was disrupted so they are re-establishing it now. This is most likely why they have black spots/sores.

    Thanks again Den in Penn

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