Keep your chickens happy and healthy with these tips from Blain’s Farm & Fleet.
Whether you want them for the barnyard or the backyard, you can raise your own chickens with the help of Blain’s Farm & Fleet. From baby chicks to chickens in a chicken coop, you can trust us to help you get started. One of the most important parts of raising backyard chickens is keeping your flock healthy. Use the following tips from the USDA and Blain’s Farm & Fleet to keep a happy and healthy flock of chickens.
Keep your distance – Only those who care for your chickens should come in contact with them. Before any visitors enter the run or chicken coop, they need to wash up and put on clean shoes. Don’t let fellow chicken keepers near your birds. It’s also important to keep your hens out of contact with any other birds, as they often carry diseases and germs.
Keep it clean – Just like your visitors, you also need to have clean shoes and clothes that you only wear around your chickens. Always wash your hands before and after handling your birds and equipment, and cleaning the cages. Your chickens’ food and water needs to be changed daily.
Don’t bring disease home – Be sure to get your birds from a reputable source. New birds should be kept separate from your current flock for at least 30 days. It’s best not to mix young and old birds or birds from different species and sources. If you plan on showing your birds at a fair or exhibition, you’ll need to keep them separate from your flock for at least 2 weeks after.
Be careful when sharing equipment – If you share equipment such as tools, poultry supplies or birds with other bird owners, always clean and disinfect them before they reach your bird property. Don’t share cardboard egg cartons or wood pallets.
Know the warning signs of diseases – It’s important to know the warning signs of potential diseases that can spread through your whole flock. While it can be hard to tell if your birds are sick, knowing the signs can help you prevent the spread of disease.
Some warning signs include:
- Swelling around the eyes, head and neck
- Poor appetite and lack of energy
- Nasal discharge and respiratory issues such as sneezing, coughing and gasping for air
- Drop in egg production
- Sudden increase in deaths in your flock
Report sick birds – Of course, always consult with your veterinarian for the best health plan, and before giving any medical attention or care to your flock. If you think your birds are sick or dying, you can contact the following organizations to find out why and what you need to do:
- Your local cooperative extension office
- Your Veterinarian
- The State Veterinarian
- State Animal/Poultry Diagnostic Laboratory
- The U.S. Department of Agriculture (U.S.D.A.) Veterinary
With “Farm” in our name and 60+ years of agricultural expertise, you can trust Blain’s Farm & Fleet to help you give your chickens the best care. We’re your animal experts. You’ll find all the supplies you need for your backyard chickens. You can even start a flock with baby chicks from your local Blain’s Farm & Fleet during Chick Days. Your Blain’s Farm & Fleet animal experts are here to help you every step of the way.