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"Chick" troubles big time!  RSS feed

 
Posts: 16
Location: Aroostook county maine
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Hello everyone,

First few paragraphs the drama with TSC over selling infected chicks, last 3 health problem I'm concerned about

I'm having a really really rough time with my chicks. My first flock I picked up from TSC. Turned out to have a horrible case of bumblefoot I had them for less than 48 hours and had to call TSC corporate office to get any type of help. I took images and sent to TSC corporate the infection was too bad, all over bottom of entire feet surprised they could stand we had to cull the flock TSC agreed it was too bad for antibiotics. ( 2 week old chicks ridiculous!) Long story short, TSC corporate replace both totes and feed. However, the Hatchery sent us out the placement checks to apologize for this horrible incident.

So delivery day comes we must pick up from TSC or local store in Houlton Maine. My hubby goes to pick them up and is handed a box by the manager not thinking anything of it checks they are alive and returns home. When he returns home the Hatchery calls to confirm our delivery. The manager at the Houlton store stole all of the extras and the flock (over 15 chicks ) the Hatchery had sent out and sold them without even letting us know they were present.
This could have been an innocent mistake however corporate was in constant contact with the manager and store to make sure this wouldn't happen and told him to not open the box to just hand it to my husband. He still went in and took them anyway and sold them without even consulting us.Corporate even began asking if the guy has a grudge or something against us, we dont know him.

So so after filing a complaint and waiting for the manager to return from vacation in the corporate office, I took the flock that I do have and have been caring for them happily.

I am concerned about their health. I'm seeing spotting on the bottom of their feet about six of them.
I'm trying to figure out how to upload a picture for help to see if anyone might be able to tell me if this is the beginning of bumble foot again, or if it might be just calluses or something simple like that.
I do care for my chickens very well I clean them every day with fresh bedding, water and food. I wipe down their food containers and their water containers daily. I keep them warm at a good temperature and make sure that they're bedding is dry.I disinfect their totes daily and wash them. I cant understand why its happening never had this type of problem before.

I have only had the new chicks for about 5 days. The six with a questionable feet , I have put in isolation and am giving two Epsom salt baths with one drop of tea tree oil a day. I also add in a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar with their water to make sure they are saying extra hydrated during this rough time. Please let me know your opinions and what you think of the image I I'm desperate to figure this out if it is a health issue or just something I don't need to worry about and I am being overly cautious.
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thanks for the heads up for all the people making chick purchases!
 
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Location: Pacific Wet Coast
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A few questions:
1. What are you using for bedding?
2. What are you disinfecting the totes with?

We have an ~7 ft square brooding room and I've started using coffee sacks over plastic sheeting as the bedding and I simply add a new layer each day. I've seen similar sores in older meat chickens if they were sitting in too much high nitrogen shit that it was "burning" the skin. Joel Salatin doesn't clean out his brooder, but just adds more bedding so long as he's got a healthy biome working, and he says the chicks end up healthier than if he were to clean it out. (deep mulch system) He has suitable raw materials and a much larger scale than we have.

To quote an Aussie site, "Bumblefoot is basically an infection caused by the staphylococcus bacteria which enters the chicken's system through a cut, scratch, injury or a chafed and irritated area on its foot. The infection creates an abscess full of pus. It affects all species of poultry and occurs worldwide."
This suggests that somehow the chick's feet are getting damaged, either before or after you get them. If it's before, then the hatchery is doing something wrong. If it's at your end, look for anything you might be doing different - a different brand of bedding for instance, sawdust that's sharp and chafing? Staph is everywhere - the question is how is it getting into the chick's feet. When we've done layer chicks which are smaller and grow slower, I'd actually use fabric as their bedding and wash it in plain water and sun dry it. Too much work for a larger group.
 
pollinator
Posts: 489
Location: Ontario, Canada
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I've had good success with this pelleted bedding:

webpage

 
Jolene Jakesy
Posts: 16
Location: Aroostook county maine
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Jay Angler wrote:A few questions:
1. What are you using for bedding?
2. What are you disinfecting the totes with?

We have an ~7 ft square brooding room and I've started using coffee sacks over plastic sheeting as the bedding and I simply add a new layer each day. I've seen similar sores in older meat chickens if they were sitting in too much high nitrogen shit that it was "burning" the skin. Joel Salatin doesn't clean out his brooder, but just adds more bedding so long as he's got a healthy biome working, and he says the chicks end up healthier than if he were to clean it out. (deep mulch system) He has suitable raw materials and a much larger scale than we have.

To quote an Aussie site, "Bumblefoot is basically an infection caused by the staphylococcus bacteria which enters the chicken's system through a cut, scratch, injury or a chafed and irritated area on its foot. The infection creates an abscess full of pus. It affects all species of poultry and occurs worldwide."
This suggests that somehow the chick's feet are getting damaged, either before or after you get them. If it's before, then the hatchery is doing something wrong. If it's at your end, look for anything you might be doing different - a different brand of bedding for instance, sawdust that's sharp and chafing? Staph is everywhere - the question is how is it getting into the chick's feet. When we've done layer chicks which are smaller and grow slower, I'd actually use fabric as their bedding and wash it in plain water and sun dry it. Too much work for a larger group.



I use 100%  pine shavings,  I use melaleuca's all natural soluguard, but I also than rinse them out with about 3 gallons of water afterwards just to be safe.  So it does look like bumble to you from the images than?
 
Jolene Jakesy
Posts: 16
Location: Aroostook county maine
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Timothy Markus wrote:I've had good success with this pelleted bedding:

webpage



Hmm maybe, TSC pine shavings is what they told me to use though, but if its qhqtbis hurting their feet I'll have to change it up.
 
Timothy Markus
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I've only used it for quail chicks but it seems to give a little better traction for them, reduces the smell better, and is less dusty.
 
Jay Angler
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The chick's feet certainly look like they're developing sores, but that's not definitive, particularly from a photo.
Are you willing to do a test by isolating a few chicks and putting something like polysporin and bandages on their feet like little slippers? I don't normally use things like that, but there is a time and place for it at least as a diagnostic help. I used to use calendula tincture as my first step, but it's hard to get and if there's already infection taking hold, you may need something more potent. Considering you haven't changed your normal operating procedure, I'm not prepared to say the problem isn't starting at the hatchery. That said, you've inherited it, so you need to decide how to cope with what you've got. Certainly isolating any chicks showing signs is a good first step. If they are *all* showing signs, I'd try to get someone local and experienced with chicks to have a look. There's no substitute for "eyes on the problem"!
 
Jolene Jakesy
Posts: 16
Location: Aroostook county maine
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Jay, thank you.
I have some neosporin, and I can wrap their feet up, and I will today. They arent limping and seem otherwise healthy. I'll give them booties after morning epsom bath time Ive seen duck booties online, maybe I'll start making chicken slippers.

I asked some neighbors that have chickens but they couldn't tell me for sure if anything is wrong or if they are just young and developing calluses.
My one neighbor makes colloidal silver and says I should use it, but I dont know much about it. My husband spilled the whole jar, but I'm considering buying some of of him. Do you think it may help?
 
Jay Angler
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I've no experience with colloidal silver, but I'd trust what a neighbor makes before I'd trust what's on a lot of store shelves. I believe it is supposed to boost the immune system which would help. We often put the chick vitamin powder in the water for the first week for meat birds because they grow so darn fast.

1. You said you isolated chicks showing sores in your OP. Have any of the main flock shown signs of the problem starting since you moved the others out?

2. Being Canadian, "TSC" doesn't mean anything to me, but re-reading your OP I get the impression they're acting as a middle-man for the hatchery? If so, how long are the chicks in transit, and how long do you think they're staying at TSC? Yes, we want to treat the chicks you've identified, but half the battle is figuring out the cause, and I'm really not sure we've done that yet.

3. Epsom salt is essentially magnesium which can be absorbed through "skin" (I'm not sure about chicken feet scales.) Magnesium is really important for muscles, but you need to promote healing and discourage a bacteria, so I'm wondering if you should try natural antibiotics in the water-bath instead. Maybe look up some herbal recommendations. Off the top of my head, crushed garlic in the water +/- crushed calendula. Similarly, you mention Tea Tree which I know is used to discourage mites, but I don't know if it would discourage a bacteria. I just don't feel I know enough.

I will bounce this thread to my local chicken whisperer. She's in the end phase of a move, but might have some suggestions. She far more knowledgeable about herbs than I am.
 
Jay Angler
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My chicken whisperer says, "Its not clear to me  about the sores – are they only on the feet? If so, I would change the bedding to sand, make a foot bath of Epsom salts, crushed garlic and calendula. Scabbing can be treated with tea tree oil. That’s my best guess without seeing the sores or reading the whole problem. Hope that is helpful."

I've heard of using sand as bedding for a horse with bad feet, but I've never thought of it for chickens. Just one more idea to consider.
 
Jolene Jakesy
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Please thank your chicken whisperer genius for me. Im discussing sand with hubby at the moment. Calendula, I looked it up crushed marigolds?  I'll start garlic tomorrow evening with the Epsom salts I will see if I can find calendula.
It is scabbing for sure I went to pull off what I though was poo and it was a scab on poor chicks foot. Luckily I'm not seeing infection signs, just light scabbing.
It's very hard to try to bandage chicken feet. I could have written a comedy about my attempts today. Finally got it on good gauze & tape. Haha
Thank you so much you've been a humungous help I'll keep you updated
 
Jay Angler
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"Calendula" is Calendula officialis in the sunflower family and is reliably edible. Things called "marigold" can be any number of plants, not necessarily safe for humans or chicks. Often a marigold is in the Tagetes family and some of them are edible, but even so, they're not what you're looking for. This is the problem with "common names" which are easier to remember, but can be dangerous in these times of plants traveling the world almost as much as humans do.

This page is worth a read: http://khkeeler.blogspot.com/2016/10/plant-confusion-marigolds-and-calendulas.html

If you can't find calendula easily, just use the garlic to start. If you've got a local gardening club, you might be able to find someone locally who has some. It self-seeds easily, so they may have extra baby plants you can transplant. That's how I got mine.

Would you say that trying to bandage chick feet is like putting shoes on a snake?  Well done to accomplish it! Let's hope it helps. Yes, please keep me posted and I'll thank my friend.
 
Jolene Jakesy
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Ok here's an update, chicks are great! It was amonia burns not bumble and with your advise they are almost gone. Thank you soo much happy chicky family
 
Jay Angler
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@Jolene - were the amonia burns from too much poop exposure, or from a cleaning product?  If it's the former, I'd suggest three things, 1. having a bucket of high carbon "mulch" to cover chick deposits in popular spots, as chicks like to "huddle" and the huddling spots and feeder sometimes need more frequent mulching,  2. either decrease the density or increase the space available for the birds to decrease the density of the poop on the ground, and 3. check that you aren't getting wet areas - wet poop is going to burn more than dry poop. If you were being "too clean" with your chicks and using an amonia based cleaner that's an easy fix - don't! We use mostly water and sunshine with a little dish-soap when needed and have enough infrastructure to let things thoroughly air dry before storing or re-using whenever possible. Some exposure to bacteria etc is important to build and develop immunity, but the trick is for that exposure to be gradual enough that a disease doesn't overwhelm. I've just started to read a book about how many bacteria, viruses, molds etc are on human and animal skin at any one time - the world is far more symbiotic than we sometimes realize!

Off topic - one of our Muscovy moms just hatched 13 ducklings yesterday! She's too shy and protective to show them off, but I was able to get her and them moved to one of our bottomless mini-shelters so at one/two days old, they're already on grass! Muscovy are much more bullet-proof than chicks.
 
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