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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 10:51 am 
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Dapper Duck
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My broody hen will be hatching out some chicks soon and I was doing some reading and now I’m a bit worried :think:

My chickens spend most of their day in their coop and run which have dirt floors with some straw piles here and there.
The chicks will also be on the dirt floor from day one until they grow up.

I was thinking of feeding them Barastoc Chick Starter with the anti-coccidal, but as they are going straight onto the dirt floor where all the chickens have been, are they likely to survive ?
If the chicks get coccidiosis, what are the chances of my adult hens getting it too (all my adult hens were vaccinated as chicks) ?

Has anyone had success raising chicks with a broody in their run on a dirt floor ?

The whole run isn’t covered either to let the sun in, but this also means it lets the rain in.
It’s not constantly wet in there as we hardly get rain where I am, but if it does rain, will the chicks suddenly get infected because it’s wet ?

If I were to rake out the run and refresh the straw every day, would this be clean enough for the chicks to survive ?

So many questions sorry, but I just don’t want any of them to get sick.

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:13 pm 
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Proud Rooster
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Location: Flinders Ranges South Australia
Joanne,
Most of the diseases (coccidiosis, mariks etc) are carried through the air.....I have got chickens running with hens on dirt floors and all you have to do is keep them reasonably clean........the main things to watch for is fleas, ticks and lice depending on where you are....90% of mine survive...the only way to stop disease would be to isolate away from any other birds not just poultry.......nearly impossible to do. Sorry to say that some losses will be inevitable most times....just look after them with good house keeping, clean water and plenty of food......


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 12:44 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Thanks Ashy.

I give them fresh water every day, but I only quickly scrub out their floor water containers every now and then with a brush and water.
They also eat and drink out of dine-a-chook holders and have one of those yellow feeder containers on the floor, but none of them get pooped on so I don't wash them.

I will continue raking out the straw and whatever poop comes with it once a week and replace with fresh straw.

Hopefully this is enough and all goes well !

I just don't want my whole flock to be wiped out !


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:28 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Location: ACT area
Hi Joanne and welcome to BYP

Your adult hens should have developed a resistance to Coccidiosis however they can be carriers for other poultry diseases. Your new chicks will be safest if they are isolated from the adults. As the babies will need to be eating a medicated starter until they are 6-8 weeks old and then a medicated grower feed until about 20 weeks it will be easier for you to manage if they are reared separately, and better for your layers not to eat the medicated feed. It will also be less stressful for mum. If you can manage a covered run for them they will be safe from aerial predators.
If this is really not possible, a layer of washed sand (landscape suppliers/soil yards) will assist with drainage and not need constant replacing like straw and will provide some what of a barrier over the existing 'chooked' ground. It is also easily raked over.
Keep the area around the water dry (pavers) as it is in the constantly damp places that coccidia breeds. Coccidiosis is not air borne although it can be introduced by wild birds.
The first symptoms of Coccidiosis are generally lethargic, hunched chicks. If you see this act quickly. Medicated feeds help prevent Coccidiosis by enabling resistance to develop. Sometimes, the challenge is too great and medication is needed and is generally effective if given in time. Once there is blood in the droppings, even if the chick is saved, the damage may be permanent.
Hope that you have a good hatch. The rule on BYP is that it didn't happen if we don't see pics.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 3:58 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Thanks Sue, but unfortunately I can't isolate the chicks from the adults. In my run I can close off a section so the other hens can't get in with the mother hen and chicks, but that's about as isolated as I can get it. So the mother would be eating the chick food and the other hens would be eating their normal food.

My run is covered with aviary mesh all over the top of the run and there are sections with solid tin roof too. So predators from above aren't a problem ! :)
I also already have the water and food raised off the ground on 2 pavers where the mother hen is currently nesting, so they're not touching the ground.

Do you think the exposure to the dirt floor and medicated food won't be enough to help them become immune to coccidiosis ?


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:14 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Location: ACT area
Some exposure is necessary for them to develop immunity. The medication in the food keeps the gut 'Coccidia' at a low level which is needed for immunity to develop. If they get a massive challenge - wet weather, constantly damp condition, before their immunity develops then they are likely to develop a load that their system cannot cope with. A dry dirt floor is OK. A fresh layer of sand will provide a bit more protection from moisture.
Chick food is fine for mum - the extra protein etc will boost her after being broody. The medication is just not advised for laying hens/eggs.


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 4:17 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Thanks so much Sue !

So would Hysorb pine shavings be okay to use where the chicks are to help keep things dry instead of sand as I have a huge load of that stuff !


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 27, 2017 5:23 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Lots of people on here use it and swear by it. I use Proteq (which is similar) for my chicks. Both absorb moisture and dry out quickly if 'scuffled around' by little feet.

Click on below for links to lots of discussion

search.php?keywords=hysorb&terms=all&author=&sc=1&sf=all&sk=t&sd=d&sr=posts&st=0&ch=300&t=0&submit=Search


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:17 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Out of the 8 eggs I started with, I'm now down to 5 eggs which are fertile / growing.

So today is day 20 and from what I could see, at least two chicks have hatched with possibly 3 more on the way ! :wee
I saw the first signs of a pip on these two eggs at about 6:30 this morning and by the time I got home from work at 5:00 they were out and chirping !

Gloria is still sitting on the nest waiting for all the eggs to hatch, but it seems as if she doesn't know what the chicks are ?

In particular, the black chick ... I have seen her peck it in the face when it tries to come out, but then it managed to get out from under her and she wouldn't let it back under. Is she rejecting the chick ? Or does she not recognise the chick as ... a chick ?
I lifted Gloria's wing up and slid the chick back under her and she was fine with that.

Just wondering if I need to intervene and raise them myself or will she get the hang of it ?


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:19 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Here are the chicks !

The black chick also has a comb already ... rooster perhaps ?


Attachments:
File comment: Black chick
Chick 1.jpg
Chick 1.jpg [ 66.17 KiB | Viewed 2434 times ]
File comment: White / Grey chick
Chick 2.jpg
Chick 2.jpg [ 80.97 KiB | Viewed 2434 times ]
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 9:25 pm 
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Old Mother Goose
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Location: ACT area
Congrats
Keep a close eye on them in case she harms them. Occasionally a hen turns on her chicks, especially a first timer. She is probably just trying to keep them safely under her until the hatch is finished and she is ready to lead them all out to feed. They don't need to eat for about 36 hours - the absorbed yolk will sustain them. Keep the lighting dim tomorrow. This will discourage them from venturing out.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 16, 2017 10:41 pm 
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Golden Cockatoo
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leave her be, some hens don't appreciate an audience, especially first timers :)

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:08 pm 
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Dapper Duck
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Another 3 chicks hatched out !!!!!! So 5 in total :biggrin:


Attachments:
Chicks - 3.jpg
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Chicks - 2.jpg
Chicks - 2.jpg [ 72.45 KiB | Viewed 2407 times ]
Chicks - 1.jpg
Chicks - 1.jpg [ 65.08 KiB | Viewed 2407 times ]
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 25, 2017 11:46 am 
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Dapper Duck
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Here they are exploring the world at one week old !!!! :-D

They all seem to be happy and healthy except the full black one looks like it might have funny wings ... "Nemo" like if you know what I mean ? :-?


Attachments:
Chicks - 5.jpg
Chicks - 5.jpg [ 433.81 KiB | Viewed 2361 times ]
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 14, 2017 11:48 am 
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Dapper Duck
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The chicks are now 4 weeks old ! :wee Can anyone pick out which ones are male or female ? :-D
My guesses are:


Attachments:
Chicks - 7.jpg
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File comment: Chick on the left - Male ?
Chick on the right - Female ?

Chicks - 6.jpg
Chicks - 6.jpg [ 105.71 KiB | Viewed 2219 times ]
File comment: Male ?
Chicks - 8.jpg
Chicks - 8.jpg [ 146.39 KiB | Viewed 2219 times ]
File comment: ... Male ?
Chicks - 9.jpg
Chicks - 9.jpg [ 156.88 KiB | Viewed 2219 times ]
File comment: Female ?
Chicks - 10.jpg
Chicks - 10.jpg [ 60.79 KiB | Viewed 2219 times ]
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