By Teresa from Franklin, VA
It's not good to put chickens where a dog has been without conditioning the ground some. A good idea would be to scrape the ground back, use agricultural lime on the scraped ground (only agricultural lime, not the usual lime - ask a feed store for some), and then put 3-4 inches of course sand on top. The sand will keep the area more hygienic and help control bacteria and parasites. It also drains better and is easier to keep clean.
I use everything I know about sanitation to raise my nine various pets, including the two chicken pullets. If you use Clorox, I'd wait a week and rinse everything down with plenty of water still again, because chlorine leaves a residue sometimes, is poison and could possibly kill the chicks. I'd focus more on their nesting areas, and food/water bowls, cleaning with dish soap, rinsing well/ changing the bedding often. If they weren't ill when you got them, they could have gotten something from a sick bird that dropped feces as it flew over the chickens area.
Try to cover the area if possible, as I am about to plan to do as well and for the very same reason. Flies also spread diseases, as well as roaches, so even though chickens eat most everything in sight, they depend upon us to help them. Remember that regular foods have too much pesticide in them nowadays, so try to buy organic veggies even for yourself, but especially for them, because what might not affect you could kill them, right?
I thought of something else: If the ground or area where they are has ever been sprayed with pesticide, it takes YEARS to clear it, so move the coup area if possible, if there is any chance this is the case, otherwise it could be silent killer.
Whatever you do, don't let anyone spread fertilizer pellets on or near the ground where they are, because it's also poison to them and looks edible. Watch for "wind drift" from sprays on a garden is the wind is blowing when you or someone does that.
Remember that even a bug from a neighboring home could have eaten pesticides and will attract the chickens' attention. There's quite a bit that it could be, but if you get a good routine, watch these alerts cautiously, you should have good success.
Don't spray any bug spray, or use mosquito repellent and then handle them. It's all deadly to sm. animals. I'm trying to get away from feed store purchases and try for organic eggs by feeding them only organic scraps, grains, sand, crushed egg shells, greens, chopped table scraps, worms as I find them, etc. If something doesn't specifically say it's organic, it isn't. also I have found that some things from another country lie about it being organic, because I can taste it inside of the food. Then, sometimes the seller or market will use pesticides in their store and get some on the packaging or food item. So, we really have to stay alert and protective to keep them alive. Check them daily very well. Observe and learn to listen to their sounds.
God bless and good luck. : )
I don't know if it safe or not, but I would remove all the dog poop. Clean it as much as possible. When I was growing up most farm the chickens were free range. They went where the dogs, cows, and all other animal went, and were fine. We have chickens and we built the pens where the cows and goats had been. We just removed most of the poop and they are fine. We just added a pen and shoveled out most of the cow poop, and have a mother and 5 week old chick that go in there. They are doing great. I would follow Babbie's advice, spray everything with the solution of water and Clorox before adding chickens. Good luck.
I have had chickens since 1988, I will lose 1 here and there but I have never lost all,
Did they get sick and die one at a time or did they all drop dead at once?
I know when I volunteered at the wild animal rehab we clean the cages every week we would hose them down and spray a solution of 1% Clorox on everything, maybe if you tried a stronger solution and just cover everything from top to bottom, just in case there's germs left and then just get a couple of chickens and see how they do.
Just a thought.
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