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Worming chicks

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by Tootie123, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. Tootie123

    Tootie123 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 25, 2012
    Atlanta Georgia USA
    How old do baby chicks need to be before you can start to
    worm them? Have 8 chicks that are going on 5 weeks old.
    Also concerns about integrating new chicks with old hens.
    Maybe the light is the solution. Thought the idea was to
    keep the old hens from noticing the new chicks being
    mixed in? My chicks have all their feathers by now so
    not too concerned about the cooler weather. We live
    in the South so we are not going to get real cold weather
    for awhile....probably December into January, February,
    March then start warming up again.
     
  2. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    I've been advised by a vet to wait until my chicks are a month old before deworming them.
    As for integrating I'd say wait a bit. The chicks are still very young and small and the older hens will bully them and may injure or even kill them. I wait until mine are around 3 months old before I introduce them to the rest of the flock and then I supervise and intervene in necessary. I don't think it'll be possible to add new chicks to the flock without your older chickens noticing! With my flock you won't be able to put a cricket down in their coop without them noticing. Remember these birds natural survival depends on being attentive...
     
  3. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Do they have worms? I only worm when I have reason to believe they have worms. The rest of the time I figure it is better not to feed them was is, essentially, poison.

    As for integration....I have found that the more space they have, the easier integration goes. I have a batch of chicks that are 8 weeks old. At two weeks old I started putting them outside, in the chicken area, under a little 2x4 "tractor", during the day. At 2 1/2 weeks, they started spending their nights in the coop in a dedicated nursery area, and their days in a 6x8 chick run within the chicken yard. At 3-4 weeks, I started letting them out of the chick run for short (1-hour or so) intervals, to free-range with the rest of the flock. This was under my supervision, as I would take my Kindle out and sit in my lawn chair while they were out. Since their food and water were still in the pen, after an hour or so they would come and huddle at the door of the pen, I'd open it, and they'd rush back in. Over the next couple of weeks, I let them out more often and for longer periods. They still always wanted back in to eat and drink after they'd been out awhile. (There is food and water out for the big girls too but the chicks like their chick food better).

    When they were 6 1/2 weeks old, I needed the chick pen for a new group of chicks, so at that time the older chicks were booted out of the chick pen. They seemed to understand and never asked to be let back in again after that. At the same time they were booted out of the nursery sleeping quarters. At night I would go into the coop with them and place them all on the roost to teach them that is where they sleep now. They are now 7 1/2 weeks old and fully integrated. Oh sure, occasionally one of the older hens will give them a peck to keep them in their place but because the chicken yard is large enough (240x60 with lots of trees, bushes and hidey places) there have been no integration "issues" as such. The peck to keep a hen in place occurs amongst the adults too.
     
  4. Tootie123

    Tootie123 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 25, 2012
    Atlanta Georgia USA
    Yes, was not going to even try to integrate chicks till they are at least 2.5 to 3
    months old. They are in a small coop by themselves right now and will keep
    them there until probably end of November, first of December. I only have
    two older Rhode Island Red hens so won't be like they are going to go into
    a big flock of chickens when they are integrated. Thought I would let
    chicks free range with older chickens for awhile and get used to seeing
    each other around. Like you say, I am sure they will be some pecking
    for awhile but that wouldn't last long, would it? As far as worming goes,
    don't really know if they have worms or not, how do you tell? They seem
    healthy and eating all right. Have been told to worm them once a month
    whether they need it or not. Figured all chickens have worms.......
     
  5. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    No, no, no! Worming every 6 months is ideal, as a preventative measure, unless of course, you see evidence of worms in their poo, but sometimes you won't. Chickens are susceptible, but they don't all have worms.
     
  6. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh no, I wouldn't worm that often. A lot of people will worm in the Fall while chickens are molting. That way, since during a molt they are not laying anyway, they don't need to worry about egg withdrawal.

    Most types of worms you will not see anything in their poop, however roundworms can be quite visible. On fresh poop, look for little white things moving around on the surface. They will die after a few minutes but will still be visible.

    As far as integration, in my experience Rhode Island Red hens can be the biggest bullies. However as you say, there are only two of them. If you wait until 2 1/2 to 3 months old, they should be okay, although expect a few little scuffles here and there.
     
  7. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Oh, I meant to say also on the worms.....I recently saw evidence of roundworms on a poop, so administered Wazine to the whole flock. I went around and looked on all the fresh poop I can find, and didn't see evidence on any but that one poop. I later commented to my neighbor, who is a vet, that "well, if one has them, the others must too, so its strange I'm not seeing the evidence of it in the others" and she said "Not necessarily. Just because one has them, it really does NOT mean the others do too. It is quite possible for just one or two birds to be afflicted". I thought that was interesting. I wish I knew who the affected bird(s) are/were, and I would isolate them and Wazine just those birds.
     
  8. Tootie123

    Tootie123 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 25, 2012
    Atlanta Georgia USA
    Okay good to know. Has also been mentioned about keeping bleach
    in their water, is that a good idea? Can't say that I have examined their
    dropping so don't know about worms....I will discontinue the worming
    liquid. Haven't been doing it every month anyway, always forget.
    So once a year possibly is sufficient unless you see worms? Do
    hens quit laying when they molt in the Fall? Have one RR red
    that seems to have discontinued laying as much. I have just
    moved the two older hens into a bigger coop, thought she might
    not like the new arrangements and nesting boxes. Found one
    egg laying on the floor in the shavings....
    How do you know when they are molting and what exactly is
    molting, loosing their feathers?
     
  9. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    Rather mix some Apple Cider Vinegar with your chickens' water (4-5 tablespoons to a gallon water) and give it to them one week, skip 3 weeks and so forth. It helps prevent worms and is a very good general health booster for chickens, promote egg laying etc.

    Molting means losing their feathers, yes. Here's a good thread about it:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/696604/molting
     
    Last edited: Oct 8, 2012
  10. HEChicken

    HEChicken Overrun With Chickens

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    Aug 12, 2009
    BuCo, KS
    My Coop
    Your hen may have stopped laying due to the move, but given the time of year, it is likely she is molting. They typically molt for the first time the fall after their first birthday. So a chick that hatches in the spring will not molt at 6 months old, but at 18 months, while a chick hatched in the fall will be more likely to molt for the first time when only about 12 months old.

    In a hard molt, it will be hard to miss - the hen will look bald in places and generally quite pitiful. I've only had a couple of hens do a really hard molt. The rest do a slow molt where they never look too bad, but it will look like a feather pillow exploded in the coop or surrounds. Regrowth of feathers takes a lot of calories, since feathers are mostly protein, so laying will cease for the time it takes to complete the molt (6-12 weeks). Once they are done, they will look quite spiffy with their new coat of feathers. My Buff Orpington gets quite sun-bleached over the summer and comes back after her molt with her feathers a beautiful golden buff color once again (she is in her fourth year and currently undergoing her third molt).
     

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