wild birds?!?!?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lsvallance, Feb 25, 2015.

  1. lsvallance

    lsvallance Hatching

    Feb 4, 2015
    Im worried about my chickens getting sick from wild birds. I love feeding birds especially in the winter time. Ive seen recently that chickens can get diseases and die from wild birds. My chickens free range most days and spend a lot of time scratching and pecking undr the feeders. I even have one girl who swings in the feeder!!! any advice on how to blend these hobbies but keeping everyone safe?[​IMG]
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    I just would not worry about it. Wild birds are a fact of life, and they may transmit something to your birds. But unless you are seeing a great deal of dead wild birds, I would assume they are healthy. There really is no way to keep them away from your hens.

    If you do see a lot of dead birds, you should report it to the health authorities.

    Mrs K
  3. fried green eggs

    fried green eggs Songster

    Mar 25, 2011
    S.E. Michigan
    Wild birds can carry Mareks and it's everywhere. Your older chickens may never show any symptoms and may have built up some immunity to the disease.
  4. bobbi-j

    bobbi-j Crossing the Road

    Mar 15, 2010
    On the MN prairie.
    I'm with Mrs. K. The only way you're going to keep your chickens away from wild birds would be to lock them up tight in a building and never let them out. My chickens have free ranged for years, and when they're not free ranging, they have an attached run made of 2x4" wire. So they are always exposed to the wild birds. I think if you have a healthy flock to begin with, your chances of anything to worry about are slim. This is my opinion based upon my own experience.
  5. ivan3

    ivan3 spurredon

    Jan 27, 2007
    We have lots of wild birds. The only problem we've been able to identify and partially eliminate, over the past 10yrs, have been fowl mites in recently vacated wild bird nests (usually IDed on ground after strong winds). Only the roo was affected (was picking him up daily for treatment of bumble foot so infestation was eliminated - ivermectin - before it really started).

    Keep feeders inside coop and a bit of netting over open door (pin up at corner so chooks can enter/exit but nasties, like European Starlings, have more of a problem doing so.

    There's really no way to completely rule out transmission from these potential vectors of disease/vermin without an indoor aviary.

    As was mentioned above, keep an eye out for dead wild birds but, more importantly, spend about 15min. minimum, a day, observing your flock. This allows for early intervention when changes that might indicate illness occur.
  6. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler!

    Nov 27, 2012
    SW Michigan
    My Coop
    I stopped feeding wild birds when I got my chickens......
    .......can't afford it anymore and would rather feed birds that feed me back. :D

    It's true you can't entirely eliminate exposure to wild birds even if you confine your chooks like I do,
    some will still show up in the run to clean up scratch, but not many.

    But intentionally feeding wild birds exacerbates the situation and also can draw hawks to your land.
  7. Honey B

    Honey B Chirping

    Feb 1, 2015
    I have also been worrying about my chickens mixing with my husband's cultivated wild bird flock. Glad to hear that both hobbies can be enjoyed with the acceptance of some risk. Beats the wrath I would incur by trying to change the husbands habits. [​IMG]
  8. keesmom

    keesmom Crowing

    Jul 28, 2008
    We've had chickens for 15 years and also feed the wild birds. Only wild bird problem I have had is hawks.
  9. Adeth Chicken

    Adeth Chicken Chirping

    Jan 2, 2015
    Jacksonville Florida
    We haven't had any issues except for cardinal getting in the coop, and being unable to get back out. We have feeders all around, and also multiple waterers for the wild birds.. They should be alright.
  10. lsvallance

    lsvallance Hatching

    Feb 4, 2015
    Thank you guys for the responses!!

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