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Hen Run With Previously Sick Hens

At the end of April we got 6 rescue hens, and in the space of two months every one of them died. They all died the same way, which included dampness around poos, loss of balance, lethargy then death. I still don't know what happened to them but I can only assume it was some sort of sickness?

Anyway, to the point. We are getting new chickens soon, and they will need to go into the same run, which is a decent amount of garden with lots of grass. Obviously I will need to thoroughly clean and disinfect the house, but what about outside? Is there anything I can do, or need to do to make sure that the surrounding area doesn't harbour whatever disease that killed the last lot of chickens?

I really don't want to have to go through that again, so any advice would be great. Oh, and what should I use for the house? Something strong and effective!

grannie used creosote inside and out,air it for a couple of weeks before any chooks move in.

a pressure washer,then spray with jeyes fluid inside and out ,dry and air pre chooks should work to sterilise any woodwork

better ppe than a pinny is the modern style but .....

Unfortunately I don't have a pressure washer, will that be okay?

hose and a stout brush will be hard work and a bit messy but should do the job Wink

i recon getting any muck out of corners and crevices is fairly important ,a shavehook paint scraper or similat tool should help .

Grand, I'll do that. What about the surrounding run outside?

I was recommended to lime the ground outside when I had chickens. I can't remember what quantity of lime to meter squared though.

iirc grannie limed at the start of the fallow period for the runs ,im not certain on the amounts but it seemed like a big handful per yard2 scattered as evenly as poss.

i spose once it has rained a fair bit or been it has been well watered in it should not burn their feet so maybe timings are flexible. i recon if you cant see on the surface it all should be ok.

That's great, thanks for the advice!

having thought about it for a bit liming might be to reduce the acidity of the fermenting chook muck in the soil (to make things grow better) rather than to kill parasites etc(although it might help with that as well)

It would be an idea if you have the room to move the hen run across a bit. Lime the old run would help reduce 'things'. You should scrub the chook 'shed' with a suitable disinfectant. Perhaps your local library has a suitable book as a guide?

Unfortunately we don't really have the space to move them around, although I did try to think of a way in which we could do it.

Its most unlikely that there will be any residual germs in the soil or on the foliage.

Good, that's a relief!

I would use a disinfectant sold specifically for poultry for the house. Most agricultural stores will sell something.

When you say they had access to lots of grass, it shouldn't be too long, especially if the hens aren't used to it.

Rescue hens - as in spent battery hens?

By all means take precautions, clean and disinfect, but you might just be looking at old age for the poor things Sad

Incidentally - Sorgene - excellent strong disinfectant for agricultural use - need to go to an animal suppliers.

I did half wonder if it was just due to the fact that they're rescues. A few people had said that they tend to start dropping dead at 18 months. But it's weird that it all happened so quickly and with the same symptoms. They died on average one a week.

Are you going to the same supplier for the new chooks? Either a word with them to understand more about the history or a new supplier....

No chance! A friend has got me 5 bluebell chicks which she is keeping for me until they're old enough to go outside. There's no way I'd get rescue hens again!
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