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 Post subject: Preventative medication?
PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:56 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Hi everyone,
I've had a search through the forums to try to find an answer to this but haven't had any luck. Please point me towards the right page if this has already been discussed. I have five 6 week old chicks of various breeds. I want to make sure I am up to date with their preventative medicine - worms/pests/disease etc. but I don't really know where to start.. What regular medications do you recommend to keep your chooks in top health, and how often?

Thanks!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 04, 2016 2:02 pm 
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Wise Wyandotte
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Hi, and welcome to BYP.

Successful poultry keeping basically comes down to
- good nutrition
- good husbandry
- biosecurity

If you follow those basics, you can't go very wrong.

This is a link to an excellent talk from an avian vet last year. It covers a lot of the basics: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=8036830

Have a read and come back here with more questions. We'll help as much as possible.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 12:47 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Hi nostress, Thanks for your reply. I am more interested in what other people use for preventative medication and their schedules for it. I have kept poultry in the past and treated them all if I noticed something wrong in one bird, but generally it was pretty bad by the time I noticed it, things like lots of tiny ticks under feathers, or wormy chooks. Occasionally i'd have quite a few die of some disease or other that seemed to creep up out of nowhere. At the time I was just a kid looking after a bunch of farm chooks and didn't have access to any info or medications for this kind of thing. I use to be devastated if I lost one! Now that I am starting again, I want to make sure i'm on top of all of these things as much as possible. Obviously alot of it has to do with good nutrition and hygiene, but what about the extra boost we can give to keep them all in top health?

From what I can tell from your article -

Internal parasites -
Worms - Nilverm (levamisole) - swapping over to another product every now and then to prevent resistance? How often to worm?
Coccidia - Coccivet - only use when there are symptoms or is this a routine thing? I purchased some of this when my chicks were 2 weeks old and a couple of them looked a bit puffed us and stopped running about - they seemed to come back fine...
Trichomonas - no treatment?
Histomonas - no treatment?

External parasites:
I use to use Pestene powder for lice and ticks but I only used it when I saw signs of infestation. Is there a control treatment? I remember an old chook guy in my hometown once told me to spray the underside of my chooks with a cheap (Black and Gold or Homebrand etc) surface spray used for houses - I was never sure about this one!
I've also read about spreading lime (i think?) around the coop and painting the wooden perches with oil of some kind to reduce pests around the pen.

Apparently my chicks were vaccinated at day old. Is there anything I should do to keep up vaccines? I've never really heard of this so i'm guessing not.

Is there any other regular medications you give your chooks?

Thanks so much!


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 3:32 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Location: ACT area
Hi OochelloO and welcome to the forum. It 's encouraging to hear your interest in keeping your chooks healthy. As Nostress said Nutrition. Husbandry and Biosecurity

Nutrition
At 6 weeks old your chicks should be on a medicated grower (others may disagree with the medicated) but that is your first line of defense against Coccidiosis and provides optimal nutrition. Any other foods should be seen as lollies for chooks and should be fed as such.
Some people medicate routinely for Coccidiosis - there is some evidence that this may build up a resistance by the coccidia. Better I think, to medicate as necessary.
Coccidiosis breeds in damp conditions (husbandry) and chicks are more vulnerable in wet weather or when stressed (moving). Use your judgement about preventatively treating then and be observant (learn to recognise the symptoms and ask us questions).

Accept that 'sometimes chicks just get sick' Try to treat but be prepared for them to die or euthanaise them.

The grower bag will tell you to switch to a layer feed at 16-18 weeks (point of lay - POL). If your chooks are anything other than commercial hybrids who can be expected to commence laying about this age, keep them on the grower until at least 20 weeks.
Grown up food - good quality LAYER food. Pellets ensure that they all get a balanced diet. Grain looks nice but they will pick out their favourite bits. Free Range Layer is only suitable if they forage on Improved Pasture. Scratch Mix is exactly that - allows them to fulfill a need to scratch and forage. It is a treat - not a diet. Sometimes supplements are appropriate.

Worming and other parasites.
I alternate a product such as Nilverm with another which also treats Tapeworm (Worm Out, Avitrol Plus or Moxidectin Plus) and try to use the latter when they are off the lay late Summer and late Winter as there is an egg with holding period. Worm 3 monthly (change of seasons)
Other Parsites
Moxidectin Plus will kill internal and external parasites. Check for parasites from time to time and dust as needed. Do a follow up treatment. Don't use old timers toxic treatments such as sump oil, fly spray, WD40, Kero etc unless you would be happy to apply them to your kids.
Check the pen at night for mites - Run your fingers along the perches and around the cracks (blood is a sure sigh) If there is a bad infestation you will see them crawling. Don't panic. Don't feel guilty. Ask for help.
Annual full clean out, pyrethrum spray or bug bomb is good practice.

Other Husbandry
Clean (not sterile) living conditions. Don't obsess about chook poo so long as it does not stay damp. Ventilation but not draughts. Fresh water. Don't over crowd. Basic good welfare approach and common sense will provide the best possibility of your chooks being healthy.

Bio security
The hardest to apply. Ideally allow NO chance of cross contamination from visitors with chooks, wild birds, wind blown diseases. Strict protocols if you have been to other chook places. Virtually impossible in a home flock.
What you can do - isolate any bird as soon as it appears unwell. Handle well birds before the sick. Try to prevent transferring anything on clothes, hands.
If you bring in new birds, quarantine them for a month.
Don't mix birds under about 20 weeks with full grown birds.
Stressed chooks are more susceptable to disease

'Accept that chooks DO sometimes get sick.'

There is a multitude of herbal/home/natural things which people give to their chooks. Many probably have some value, others make the owners feel more in control. Some are pretty well useless, most are probably harmless.

There are a limited number of preventative treatments. Most are designed/available to large commercial poultry facilities. To the back yarder they are generally not practical.

Lime (garden).It may have some value as a ground treatment as it changes the ph of the soil so may make it less hospitable to some parasites. It also has a dessicant effect. It is also useful to neutralise smells, especially after wet weather.

That's my advice in a (long winded) nutshell.

Accept that sometimes chooks 'just get sick'


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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 4:02 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Sue55,

One of the best well written down to earth pieces of advice I have read in along time,




Ron

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 05, 2016 7:08 pm 
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Assist Admin
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Good one Sue, thank you :peece

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:44 am 
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Golden Robin
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Yes good one Sue

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:50 am 
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Wise Wyandotte
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Joined: Fri Feb 15, 2008 11:58 am
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Location: Plainland, SEQ
Sorry for the late reply. My son had been admitted to hospital and I haven't been here as I should have.

This is excellent advice from sue55. The only thing I would add at the moment is that I prefer dipping my birds in permethrin solution rather than relying on moxidectin if they have external parasites. The benefit of the permethrin is the residual effect that helps to keep external parasites at bay for an extended period. Still, moxidectin is an excellent treatment for external and internal parasites that has the benefit to take care of several problems at the same time.

Thanks for your concise information, sue55 :th . I'll make this thread a sticky.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 10:16 am 
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Old Mother Goose
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Location: ACT area
Thanks Nostress
Hope your son is OK. He is more important than chooks.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 12:24 pm 
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Dapper Duck
Dapper Duck

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Thank you so much Sue! This was exactly the sort of info I was after!

Just one more question (for now!) how old are your chicks when you start worming them? I haven't purchased any of those products yet, so it may say on the label. The one I use to use (I can't remember what it was now) only ever mentioned adult doses.


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 06, 2016 1:17 pm 
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Wise Wyandotte
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Location: Plainland, SEQ
Normally, worming is not needed before 12 weeks of age. Dosage depends on the body weight if dosed individually. Some worming medication is just given straight to their drinking water, so it is still somewhat dependent on the body weight as younger, lighter birds usually drink less.
Personally, I prefer individual dosage where ever possible as this way you know for sure that each bird got the correct dosage.

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