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Mumsnet does not check the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you're worried about the health of your chickens, please speak to a vet or qualified professional.

Lots of questions from a newbie chicken keeper
6

Grockle · 05/10/2010 20:22

I've had my chooks for a week. They were looking really good but today 2 out of three seem to have diaorrhea (very soft orange poo) - Do you think it might be stress? Do I worm them or could it be something else? They seem quite content and are eating/ drinking happily.

Also, one is sneezy and has a runny nose. Is she ok? Is it just a cold or something more scary?

When will they start laying? The man at the farm said 2-3 weeks but I am DS is anxious.

How often do you worm them and what do you use? (Flubenvet and/ or Verm X). Do they need any other meds/ supplements?

What chicken forums do you use?

How do I find a chicken-friendly vet? We have no other pets - do I just call around local vets and see what they say?

What book should I have?

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AdiVic · 05/10/2010 20:42

Hello

I would call the place where you got them from as they dont' sound too good. Most vets will be able to help if the supplier no help.

There are plenty of one day chicken keeping courses you can do, and they are good value for money and will teach you all you need to know.

Poultry Keeper magazine is very good.

Wish I could be more help, but their symptoms could be a number of things.

Good luck.

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VivaLeBeaver · 05/10/2010 21:00

Sounds to me like your chicken(s) have mycoplasma. I would ring the place you got them from and see what they say. Its something that can be sorted with antibiotics.

On the other hand it is possible that one of them just has a cold and they could all have slightly upset stomachs from change in diet/more grass than they're used to.

But diaorhea and runny nose/sneezing are symptoms of mycoplasma. You can also order this stuff medicine but I've never used it and don't know how effective it is.

They normally start laying anywhere between 18-22 weeks. I use Flubenvet for worming. I also put some apple cider vinegar in the water every now and then. Get it from a country store/farm shop not the stuff from Tescos! I put a bit of Poultry Spice in their feed when they moult and dust them all in red mite powder once a month, and the house.

Practical Poultry IMHO is the best forum. Ask on their for a good vet local to you.

You don't need a book, there is more info on the forums than in any book.

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Grockle · 05/10/2010 21:11

I wondered about mycoplasma. Will call the farm tomorrow. Thanks.

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Lizzabadger · 05/10/2010 22:02

Is all their poo soft and orange or is it just the odd one that looks like curry sauce? If the latter, this is normal caecal poo. Agree the sneezing sounds like myco, prob activated by the stress of the move. Chickens can be very stress sensitive.

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Grockle · 05/10/2010 22:08

There are normal poos too, so I am confused. I did wonder about stress - they are now on grass and they had little at the farm - they were in big grassy pens on the hillside but most of the grass was mud. Have emailed farm and will monitor my girls.

Will order flubenvet

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Kermit21 · 07/10/2010 11:26

Personally I'd be concerned about the seezing and runny nose. One of my girls recently had a runny nose and was very lethargic. Vet confirmed it was mycoplasma and a shot of antibiotics saw her back to normal again within a few hours. Don't leave it too long as they go downhill real quick.

As for poos, every time I get a new bird they have runny poos on and off for acouple of weeks while they settle down.

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