Chickens Health Issues

Tips for Chickens from Our Coop to Yours

Well it has been seven month since we started raising chickens.  I thought that I would share a few tips that I have learned along the way since raising chickens.  They might make a difference in how you do things too.

1.  Add 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to 1 gallon of water that they drink.  This helps to promote gastrointestinal and crop health.

2.  Mix food grade diatomaceous earth (DE) into their feed.  Approximately 2%.  This helps to keep parasites down and also provides the chickens with extra vitamins and minerals.  This also keeps pest from living in the chicken’s feeders and eating their food.

3.  Buy a Pest Pistol from www.treatsforchickens.com.  Fill it with DE and blast the nooks and crannies of your clean coop.  This will keep down any mites or bugs that like to bother your chickens.  You can also dust your chickens’ bottoms and under their wings too. 

4.  If your hen ends up with an egg stuck in her vent, gently coat the area with Vaseline and coax the egg out.  If the egg breaks inside, then you will need to go to the vet.  It can lead to egg peritonitis.

5.  If your hen has a prolapsed vent (the inner portion of the vent is sticking out), treat it like a hemorrhoid.  Put a mixture of Neosporin and Preparation H on it.  Keep her in a warm dark place and limit her amount of food, not water, until the vent returns to normal.

6.  In winter or a wet spring while cleaning the coop, toss the dirty shavings and straw from the coop into the run.  This helps dry out wet areas and the chickens will turn it into compost very quickly for use in your garden.

I hope you enjoyed these tips.  Do you have any to share?

  • Just found your blog….I can't wait to read more! We live in New Hampshire and are thinking of getting chickens. We're a little nervous about predators since we're on 6 acres and right at the edge of a deep woods. I know we have fisher cats and fox. My main concern now is keeping or flock from predators.

    • Welcome Kristen, I am so glad you found us! I have talked quite a bit about predators and how to prevent them. If you haven't already, take a peek at the Chicken Care/Resource Guide on the right hand side of the page. There are a few posts on predators. With a few precautions I think chicken keeping is definitely in your future.

  • Anonymous

    Where do you get the food grade diatomaceous earth? I also live in MA (Littleton MA). Agway doesn't seem to carry it and Tractor Supply didn't have it either. Any ideas?

  • Anonymous

    My chicken's tail feathers point down what could that be?

    • Could be anything really from completely normal to something going on. You'll need to check for more signs.
      Could she be egg bound? Does she appear ill? Is she eating, drinking, pooping normally etc.?

  • Heather

    Thank you so much for writing this! We are in Connecticut and have ordered our first batch of chicks! I am very nervous and had many questions. A friend from town told me about this blog, how he has met you before, and that we should check it out. He was so right! Thanks again we can't wait to get our chicks!

  • Anonymous

    Our coop and run are connected so that the run is on the bottom and there is a ramp up to the place where they sleep. We put branches in the run for them to play on but now they sleep in the run and won't sleep in the coop. What should I do about cleaning since the run has no floor? Can you give me a few tips on how to keep my girls clean and healthy in this situation?

    • I would ask you to check out the "chickens" tab at the top of the page where you will find oodles of information and probably answers to many of your questions. In regards to getting them to sleep in the coop, you will need to retrain them. You will probably have to scoop them up and put them in the coop yourself on the roosts until they go in themselves. It might take a couple of weeks to get them back into the coop for sleeping.