Topic Options
#77752 - 02/13/05 01:02 PM Be prepared

I lost one of The Collective today.
PLEASE do not misunderstand the purpose of this post. I know already how supportive members are and I do not seek sympathy. While I am saddened at the loss of one of God's creatures entrusted to my care, I feel it is more important to have something positive come from this. And so I would like to stress to all the importance of being prepared.
When illness is suspected, it's very important to isolate the chicken immediately. This may prevent the spread of the illness and reduce the stress. It also allows for closer observation of symptoms, as well as monitoring of feed/water intake and output.
I have read so many housing posts, questions and replies, but haven't seen anything regarding being prepared to isolate. Hence, isolation usually consists of placing the sick bird into the handiest box and then figuring things out from there.
I would like to recommend the making of an isolation area be as important to coop building as nest boxes and roosts.
Be prepared with seperate water and feed systems. Be prepared with seperate bedding/litter management.
Be prepared for bio-security with gloves and other sound management practices such as tending to ill birds after healthly ones, and not the other way around.
And be prepared for loss. If you don't go into chicken raising with your eyes wide open and a keen understanding and acceptance of the balance of life, then it will be very hard to take when loss occurs. It will be very hard indeed.


#77753 - 02/13/05 01:49 PM Re: Be prepared
Bill Ludwig Offline
Classroom Professor

Registered: 07/17/02
Posts: 2582
Loc: Ohio

I think you have raised a very good point. I have two pens in my basement for isolation. One is roomy enough for one sick bird. The other is large enough for maybe 4 full size birds. I use the large one for a brooder. Sanitized before any use. When I go away and entrust another with care of my flock, I set up the pen complete with litter, heat lamp, feeder and waterier ready to fill. I have everything at the ready. I will pre-measure vitamins and antibiotics so if I feel it is needed I just tell the caretaker to empty the clearly marked bag into the waterier and fill. It makes everyone feel better knowing exactly what to do.

I will echo the second part of your post also. Before jumping in to keeping poultry you must be prepared for loss. This also means having the ability to take the life of a suffering animal if needed. It can be very hard for some to do. When hatching chicks, not all chicks come out healthy. Some can be severely disabled and will need to be put down. Knowledge and experience helps reduce these problems but it will happen.

Bill L.

#77754 - 02/14/05 10:13 AM Re: Be prepared

TC and Bill, I think the information you both provided is not considered by most of us with birds. The only thing I can add is the disposal of birds that either die unexpectedly or are killed because they are sick. The best thing of course, is to take a sick or dead bird to the pathology lab for analysis to be sure that you either have nothing to worry about or to plan treatment for your stock.
If the cost is prohibitive I think we all need to be prepared to incinerate the carcasses of any birds that we suspect had a disease. Any bird that is not for the table at my home is burned in a barrel, just to be sure.
Anyone who finds it impossible to euthanize a chick or young bird might try using starter fluid (ether). Put paper towel in the bottom of a coffee can that has a tight fitting lid. Put the sick bird in, spray a reasonable amount of ether into the can and quickly close the lid. The bird will just go to sleep. Be sure to do the spraying outside for safety.

#77755 - 03/02/05 05:49 PM Re: Be prepared
HD Chick Offline

Registered: 11/27/04
Posts: 137
Loc: Wyoming
Subject: Horses/Live Stock and Chickens

Moderator 2 has asked that I paste my story here in hopes to help others:

This morning I found my Australorp hen dead in the stock tank (drowned). Now I am not looking for sympathy just want others to learn from my experience. My husband placed a fence ramp inside the stock tank (piece of 2x4 inch fencing) so now they could climb right out.
I am so upset for my stupidity, I have learned-and it will not happen again. Pretty sure the only avoidance is to have something in the tank so they can get out, ALL of the time, "just in case".

In Loving Memory of Viola (a little town in Arkansas), the one who always ran up as fast as she could, hoping to get the 1st treat, she will be missed.

Have you hugged a Hen today?

Edited by Foehn (03/05/10 02:32 AM)


Moderator:  Admin @ The Coop, Foehn 
Who's Online
0 registered (), 82 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Shout Box