By Dr. Jeanne Smith, DVM
More persons are obtaining chickens to produce their personal eggs. What they are identifying is what good animals these birds make. I have experienced customers notify me that the greatest pet they ever experienced was a hen. Chickens have unique personalities, are friendly and are entertaining to observe.
In common, backyard chickens are very hardy and are not inclined to ailments if they are managed correctly. Ahead of you buy your 1st chickens, do some study. Even while it is much more function, it is greatest to order day-old chicks to increase your self. If you acquire more mature pullets or hens you operate the risk of introducing a wide variety of viral, bacterial and parasitic diseases. A person downside of getting day-previous chicks is that you may perhaps stop up with roosters.
The a person virus that is frequently found in backyard flocks is Marek’s condition. You ought to buy chicks that have received a vaccination from Marek’s disorder at the hatchery. The moment chicks have been set outdoors they simply cannot be proficiently vaccinated.
If you do buy grownup chickens or consider your chickens all around other people’s chickens, quarantine your chickens from your other birds for a thirty day period and observe for any signs of disease before introducing them to your flock.
The proper food stuff
Feeding your chickens suitable will reduce many wellness challenges. Feed a starter crumble for the to start with six to eight weeks. Then change them to a grower or flock raiser eating plan right up until they commence laying eggs. At the time they start out laying they should really get a laying hen food plan. You should also present oystershell in a independent feeder.
The appropriate home
A different critical well being thing to consider is right housing. In El Dorado County predators are common. Chickens need to be set in a thoroughly enclosed area at evening. If that area has wire as aspect of the enclosure, you want to put ½-inch-by-½ inch wire around the bottom 2 feet so raccoons simply cannot get to by means of. You’ll require to bury the wire or set rocks or pavers all around the perimeter to keep skunks and foxes from digging less than the wire.
If you enable your chickens free selection in the course of the day, make certain the area they roam in is free of hazardous supplies they could consume. Chickens are captivated to shiny objects or just about anything new and distinctive. So if you mow a subject of tall grass they might overeat the mown grass and grow to be impacted. If they have access to damaged glass, paint chips, small steel objects, paper, etc. they may try to eat these points.
The correct info
Other than the wellbeing dangers stated, the most frequent challenge I see is tumors. Not all hens create tumors and if they really do not, they will generally are living to 8-14 many years of age.
Sadly, people today who do not want folks to have chickens distribute misinformation about the illness dangers yard chickens pose. In 26 a long time of follow, I have in no way experienced clients get an health issues from their chickens. The California Wellbeing and Meals Security Laboratory published a paper listing the diagnoses discovered in 1,301 tiny flock hen instances. These are chickens submitted because they were severely sick or have died, not just a random sampling of backyard birds. Out of 1,301 situations only two experienced salmonella that is only .15%.
You will be astonished at how a lot enjoyment and endearing chickens are. Quite a few of my poultry clients are new to hen possession and explain to me, “I had no concept how hooked up I’d get to these birds.” I say they are animals with added benefits — eggs.