Will Chicken Keeping Get Easier?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by greenbeandreams, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. greenbeandreams

    greenbeandreams Chillin' With My Peeps

    So I'm just three months into this and I'm finding keeping chickens a lot more work, money and heartache than I thought it would be.

    We have a tiny little flock of 5 and, even though the oldest of my ladies are only 12.5 weeks, we've been to the chicken vet 2x for 2 different chickens. A little over a month ago, one had a strange bump under her eye which ended up being some sort of sinus infection. It was the only symptom.

    Just today, we went again for a 12.5 weeker who has just not seemed quite right. She's been thin and mangy looking and I've spent the last several weeks pouring over BYC, worming her, checking her for lice and mites and every other infliction imaginable. [​IMG] Turns out that she has some huge mass in her abdomen and it could be either an abscess, something hard she ate and is unable to pass, or a tumor. [​IMG] Only $300 worth of tests would tell us which so we opted for some antibiotics and hope.

    Oh, and I'm leaving out the two of our 5 which ended up being roosters and rehomed.

    Anyway, please tell me this gets easier!
  2. Dora'smom

    Dora'smom Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 14, 2009
    Wow. It sounds like you have had the worst of luck.
    I think that for most people it gets easier than what you have been through, especially considering the young age of your birds.
    We have had one illness, but by asking around for advice, we were able to heal her. You can't tell her apart from the other RIR, and she is one of our best egglayers.
    Our only other issues have been rehoming a BO rooster, suspecting we have an undeclared rooster among our remaining nine, and pecking/eating feather issues.
    If you really like chickens, keep at it. Once you get going, you're getting some eggs, and watching chicken TV, you will be glad you did.
  3. sotelomary

    sotelomary Chillin' With My Peeps

    I can't believe you have had such a hard time with your chickens. I have only had my 5 since May and I've never had any problems with them. (Knock on wood) After buying waterers and feeders that didn't really work out I finally made my own. Initially I removed sand where the run is and I didn't know at the time that this is what I should have. Back to Home Depot for some sand. This was my only setback. Only 3 out of 5 are laying and it has gotten easier now. I only clean the coop, add water and feed, once a week.

    Don't get discouraged. The odds are that your bad luck is over and hopefully it will be smooth sailing from now on.

  4. HorseFeatherz NV

    HorseFeatherz NV Eggink Chickens

    I am sending you HOPE for your 12.5 weeker. [​IMG] Hope chick's mass is cured with antibiotics. [​IMG]

    Sometimes the hatch or group you get just has troubles. Granted Cockerels vs. Pullets – there is nothing you can do and you did nothing wrong in the other two cases (sinus and mass).

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  5. greenbeandreams

    greenbeandreams Chillin' With My Peeps

    Thank you everyone. I appreciate the good feelings and virtual hugs.
  6. chookchick

    chookchick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 18, 2008
    Olympia WA
    Yes, it will get better!
    I can commiserate a little, though it sounds like you are having the worst of luck! Out of my first four chicks (that I doted on for hours a day), three were roosters. One got rehomed, other two were the neighbor's dinner. The pullet got cocci, but survived. Then I had to integrate a friend for her, which wasn't easy. I really almost threw in the towel.

    You'll learn so much that will make things better, things I WISH I had known before starting. But there is always something new to learn, and this is the place to go.....
  7. briteday

    briteday Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 16, 2008
    Northern NV
    I'm thinking that the winter weather may also be playing a part in your work load. Although the Bay is not as extreme as some other places the Coast has had some windy, wet, cold weather this year. I'm about 200 miles east of you and our weather has been much worse this year. I recently told someone that "chicken ranching" is not quite as much fun when the winter is particularly bad.

    But also, chick raising is usually the fun part of the job! You really did get dealt a bad hand with your first batch. I brooded 25 chicks last year and didn't lose any, and no one got anything more than a brief case of the sniffles. And only one rooster out of the batch.

    What breed(s) are you raising? Some breeds tend to be more fragile than others. My daughter raised silkies last year and had a horrible time with them.
  8. Tala

    Tala Flock Mistress

    WOW I can't believe you're having such bad luck. Maybe there was just something wrong with the hatch, so many things can go wrong!! It doesn't sound like any of those problems were anything that you caused, perhaps some more chicks will have a better chance? Don't throw in the towel yet!!

    My first 6 chickens went so well that I got 8 more! The only major set back was when 3 young chicks were stolen from my chicken tractor that was inside my fenced back yard!!! [​IMG]
    If something doesn't work out, just try try again and eventually you'll have a system that works for you!!
  9. bockbock2008

    bockbock2008 Why do they call me crazy??

    Dec 30, 2008
    Southwest Indiana
    Stick with it. Things will get better. I hope. You also might want to find a different source for your chickens if you get anymore. Hope I am not offending anyone here. [​IMG]
  10. Beekissed

    Beekissed Flock Master

    It can be as easy or hard as one wants it to be. If you approach chicken raising like you would your pets, it can be expensive and heart breaking, to say the least. If you approach it as livestock, it gets less expensive and more of a practical undertaking.

    Chickens die easily, depending on your source, the breed, your climate, genetics, etc. Sometimes they get sick and die for no apparent reason. All things like the taste of chickens also, so they are number one on the food list for many predators. They aren't always as hardy as a dog, cat or other livestock. If you vet a $6 chicken for $300 it will always be expensive and you will never come out even or to the good.

    If you can learn to cull the sick and poor doers and develop a nice little hardy flock, it may become pretty easy and less expensive.

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