To the point: Chickens NEED aged bacteria from OLD hay with manure/ (cow/horse/chicken/pig) or old garden/leaves/compost that has been AGED and mixed with dirt/mulch in the new coops that you are making NOT (let me repeat this) N-O-T fresh clean hay or pine shavings.
Why? Would you buy new pet fish, from a pet store, that has been swimming in established aged water balanced with bacteria and take them home and put the new fish that you purchased into FRESH pure water like purified or distilled water? All animals need a proper place to live. Fish need OLD water with an established ecosystem AND SO DO CHICKENS!!!!! If you move chickens from a coop with established aged balanced compost into a new coop with ALL FRESH HAY OR SHAVINGS MAY CAUSE CHICKENS TO GET SICK! LOOK at the 911 page HERE! Stress & bad bacteria can cause illness!
IMPORTANT NOTICE: WHAT IS THE NUMBER ONE THING THAT NEARY ALL-NEW CHICKEN OWNERS FORGET TO DO?
THEY FORGET TO START A "PEST CONTROL PROGRAM!"
YOU NEED TO AT LEAST ONCE A MONTH FROM MARCH TO JULY (DEPENDING ON WEATHER IN YOUR AREA) START A PEST CONTROL PROGRAM FOR YOUR COOP! COOPS FOR MITES, LICE, NO-SEEUMS, GNATS FLEAS, EGGS, AND BUG LARVE.....
or else your chickens were most likely swarmed by invisible mites. There are millions of them! Unless you are spraying your coop/roosts (made of wood) during the rainy and humid season (March - July) its COVERED with millions of bugs!!!! You should use "liquid seven 500" or another agricultural insect spray PLUS along with using garlic and apple cider vinegar (put 1 Tsp or more of both in the water for drinking to prevent bug bites and parasites in the gut)
If you do not.... Then it's likely your chickens may become sick or of anemic AND have complications from an infection of insect bites. AND possible mycoplasmosis.
Do your chickens get weak, combs turned white or pink and they die slowly or suddenly? Weakness? Goopy eyes and possible respiratory problems ALL CAUSED by INSECTS! (most vets do not know this!) Stress (from bugs) can cause illnesses in chickens and anemia, sickness, respiratory, and even DEATH.
Some years are a mild outbreak of bugs and some years depending on the weather in your are your coop may have a bigger outbreak of mites or other insects.
Plus, Adding: 1 tsp of powdered garlic or crushed garlic bulb and 1 tsp apple cider vinegar per gallon of water daily will prevent bug bites and parasites (worms)
Blue Star offers pullets and hens for sale that are in the prime of health. If your coop is brand new and you put healthy chickens into a "sterile" coop there is a possibility that your chicken's immunity from diseases may be reduced. Our chickens are used to the balance of aged and old farm compost in the coops and runs. Our poultry is of sound and healthy stock due to the healthy living conditions that our chickens are exposed to each and every day.
The WORST thing to do is to raise baby chicks on the "pine shavings" that come in a bag. Or even bales of hay that has been treated with pesticides Why? In some cases, this pinewood before shaved is full of TOXIC CHEMICALS and baby chicks are prone to respiratory problems. (they breathe the fumes and get sick) Or some grass fields are sprayed with toxic bug spray.
So start baby chicks ( after 8 weeks old) on real farm compost, mulch, grass weeds or leaves that have not been treated. If not you may get sudden baby chick illness or death!
Be Sure To Use Proper Bedding For Chicks In Brooding Pen
& In Your Coop
A healthy and balanced chicken coop needs of course to be cleaned but a healthy coop also needs both "good and bad" bacteria for a balance. Cleaning your coop is important. But more important is HOW you clean your chicken coop.
IMPORTANT: Most people clean their coop the WRONG WAY, This can harm your chickens or make them seriously ill. Blue Star Ranch uses tried and proven commercial methods to reduce dander, dust and waste while cleaning our coops... using a rake to remove bedding and replace with fresh bedding is the WORST thing you can do!
IMPORTANT CLEANING TIPS:
Its best to NOT clean your coop totally more than once every six months for adult chickens to keep a proper balance of bacteria for older established poultry. (EXCEPT UNDER THE ROOSTS OR DIRTY AREAS- THESE AREAS SHOULD BE CLEANED REGULARLY))
IMPORTANT However, if you are moving young chickens from one pen to the other and changing to new pens, for all ages poultry be sure to remove all chickens to another location (so that they won't be around any dust) and remove ALL loose bedding, damp bedding and let coop dry out. At that point be SURE to spray with an approved farm cleanser and if possible let pen sit dormant (empty with no chickens) at least 2 weeks before adding more chicks.
Chicks and chickens can get stressed out when changing pens and MG is the result. Waiting two weeks between batches of chickens is long enough to kill the bacteria associated with MG.
Here is an example of how balanced bacteria works. Lets say you go to the pet store to purchase new fish. Do you add your new fish to "new clean sterile water?" No you don't. why not? because your fish need a PH balance of "good and bad bacteria" for a healthy life. Most aquarium setups require "a percentage of "dirty fishwater" or "fish waste water" to get the proper balance of bacteria started for new fish. The same is true in any chicken coop.
Please consult with us to clean your coop correctly for healthy chickens and coop.
We are 100% TEQC (Texas Environmential Quality Control) compliant and have no odor in our coops.
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You can make your own starter compost for your coop or chicken pen. Or we sell bags of aged non GMO compost here at Blue Star Ranch. Simply pour aged dry compost into your coop add warm water and cover it with fresh grass to begin building a healthy bacterial growth for your coop. Your chickens will be healthier.
Along with a safe and predator proof coop, a healthy diet of bugs, grasses and grains, fresh water and occasional worming too, your chickens need bacteria to grow and prosper.
If you do not offer old compost from an aged chicken coop, there is not a healthy balance of bacteria in which to balance the overall health in your chickens coop. This can cause illness or diseases in your flocks.