Handling Respiratory Illness in Chickens

Oh boy. You just heard it. The dreaded “chicken sneeze”. Then you hear another and another. This isn’t just a one-time thing. Your chicken is sick. Sad face.

Sneeze Sneezing GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Like any good chicken parent, you immediately go onto Facebook and create a panicked post about your chicken being sick. What you receive back is NOT HELPING.

“They are all infected now. It’s probably Marek’s.”

“Have you read that article about bird flu?” *posts article*

“You need to treat your whole flock with antibiotics, then bleach your yard.”

“When that happened to me, I culled my whole flock and started over!”

Just so we’re clear, I’m not a veterinarian, and nothing I’m about to say is meant to take the place of solid medical advice from a licensed professional. In fact, that’s always the best route to take if you can afford it. But there’s also something to be said for good old fashioned common sense. If you or someone you love comes down with a cold, do you immediately take drastic measures? Probably not at first.

Cary Elwes H GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

Remain Calm

The first thing I do when my chickens come down with something respiratory in nature is follow my Sick Chicken Action Plan, which is a quick and memorable guide to follow when you have a chicken that is under the weather. Check it out here:

For respiratory illness, I’ve added a few immune-boosting strategies to add to your course of action. These are for both your actively sick chickens and the rest of your flock. For a super easy tutorial, press the play button below:

You might be wondering why I don’t talk about antibiotics in the above videos. Well, I actually DO think there’s a time and place for antibiotics, and I do have a bottle in my chicken medicine cabinet. But it’s not the first thing I reach for. Many chicken illnesses present with similar symptoms, and some of them cannot be treated with antibiotics. In my opinion, it’s wise not to use them unless you know for sure what you are dealing with. And unless I had been advised to do so by a veterinary professional, I would be very hesitant to treat my whole flock.

Prevention is Best

Dealing with illness in our flock is never easy, but it helps when it’s not made harder by unnecessary panic. Even better, let’s prevent illness by boosting wellness! To learn more about how you can boost your chickens’ immune systems naturally, click below!

What about you? Have you dealt with sneezing chickens before? Let me know in the comments!

Disclaimer Notice: The content of the Welcome to Chickenlandia YouTube Channel, website, blog, vlog, and all social media is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Dependence on any information appearing on the Welcome to Chickenlandia YouTube Channel, website, blog, vlog, and social media sites is entirely at your own risk. Please do your own research and make your own informed decisions regarding the health of your chickens.

Caring for Older Chickens in Winter

My first babies. <3

Almost a decade ago, I walked into a farm store and bought ten little fluffy chicks. One of them was especially cute. She had feathered feet, and I was told she was a bantam cochin. That little fluff ball has lived in Chickenlandia ever since, and has pecked and scratched her way into my heart. I named her Cinnamon, then Pumpkin, then Cinnamon again.

Cinnamon is on the right. <3 I think that’s Philippe on the left, looking like a cameraman LOL.

Over the years, Cinnamon has needed little care. She’s very hardy and has never been sick *knock on wood*. I confess that she really hasn’t gotten much attention from me. That is, until lately, when I realized how old she was. During the last cold snap, I brought her and two of her elderly sisters into the garage at night.

On their way inside!

It didn’t end there. I also had the experience of going into my coop and noticing something very strange about my little rooster Boy George. His comb was purple! Not just a little bit purple, a LOT purple. I realized that he was also getting older (7) and needed to convalesce inside the house.

All these old chickens! I suppose that’s what happens when you have what is basically a chicken retirement home. To see exactly what I did to care for my older chickens during our latest cold snap, click the play button below!

My best thumbnail so far LOL!

What about you? Do you bring your chickens inside when it’s cold? Let me know in the comments!

Merry Christmas from Chickenlandia!

It’s Christmas Eve! I hope you are having a wonderful day. Just wanted to take a moment to share with you this year’s Chickenlandia Christmas Special, Chicken Claus Saves Christmas! You won’t want to miss this one:

For even more Christmas spirit direct from Chickenlandia, watch last year’s Christmas Special, all about what Christmas means in Chickenlandia.

May you have a wonderful holiday, whatever you celebrate. And may there someday be peace on earth.

Love, Dalia

The President of Chickenlandia

How to Care for a Sick Chicken

The curse of the “Man Cold”.

I don’t know about you, but I’m literally the worst sick person. In our household, I’m the one who gets “Man Colds”, while The First Man will hide illnesses as well as any chicken I’ve ever known. In fact, one time when he told me he was feeling sick and that his back hurt, I confess that I secretly rolled my eyes thinking he was overreacting. That is, until he ended up in the hospital with a serious case of pneumonia! Oops. Sorry, sweetheart…

The Royals of Welcome to Chickenlandia
He’s a good First Man.

Not calm as a cucumber.

Let’s just say I don’t handle illness, or honestly any kind of emergency, very well. In the past, I’ve been known to panic, which really isn’t helpful in a moment where it’s crucial to be level headed. It’s for this reason that I totally understand when a student or fan messages me frantically, asking what to do about their chicken who has suddenly become ill. I’m happy to lay out some simple steps for them, while they decide if veterinary care is in order. If only I could stay so calm when it’s one of my own chickens!

Caring for Philippe during his respiratory illness.

Making it simple.

I started thinking… Wouldn’t it be great if there was a very simple word to remember when you find a sick chicken? A word that revealed an easy action plan so that panic didn’t take over? I brainstormed and came up with the acronym R.E.S.T. Each letter stands for an action you can take to make your chicken comfortable during a sudden illness. Click the play button below for the easy plan:

I wish chickens could tell us what is wrong when they don’t feel good. And I wish I handled illness better in general. Until then, I’ve got Chickenlandia’s Sick Chicken Action Plan to fall back on! And guess what? It works pretty well on humans, too. 😉

Do you have anything you like to do every time you care for a sick chicken? Let me know in the comments!

Disclaimer Notice

The content of the Welcome to Chickenlandia website, blog, vlog, and all social media are for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Dependence on any information appearing on the Welcome to Chickenlandia website, blog, vlog, and social media sites is entirely at your own risk. Please do your own research and make your own informed decisions regarding the health of your chickens.

Preparing Your Backyard Chickens for Winter: Everything You Need to Know!

Be grateful…

I have a confession: I am trying really hard to adjust my attitude in terms of the colder months. I confess that I complain A LOT about cold and snow, which has only amplified since I began my chicken keeping journey. If you’ve ever had chickens over the winter, you probably know what I mean.

Me being super cranky about snow LOL.

Recently, I made a promise to myself (and to the long-suffering First Man), to be more grateful for all things, including Old Man Winter. To achieve this, I’ve had to make some adjustments in the chicken yard to make life easier for me and the chooks. One of those things was adding electricity to Chickenlandia. This was, like, the best thing I ever did.

Best purchase ever, a heated waterer.

“Did you add power so that you can add heat?”, you might be asking. No, I actually don’t recommend heat in the chicken coop unless you REALLY cannot keep the moisture down. It’s moisture rather than cold that can really do a number on your flocks in the winter. Heat lamps can be a fire hazard, and chickens do best when they can acclimate to the changing seasons. If you absolutely must add heat, I recommend a radiant heater like this, or this.

Prepare their housing.

There are other things that you can do during the colder months regarding your chicken coop and run that can really help your winterizing efforts. In this first video, I talk about ventilation, insulation, and how to give your chickens enough space in the winter:

If you do find that you chicken coop is holding too much moisture, you are going to need to add some ventilation. To do so, you will need to find a place up high and not near where you chickens roost to place some ventilation holes. Cross ventilation is best, and make sure to cover any openings with hardwire mesh (to prevent critters from coming in to get warm). Watch this video on Chicken Coop Ventilation for more:

Keep them comfortable.

Winterizing your coop and adding good ventilation might not be enough, depending on your climate. You will also have to think about the changing nutritional needs of your chickens when they cannot access bugs and pasture. Check out this next informative video about keeping them happy and healthy in colder times:

Do you have anything special you do during the winter that helps your flock? Let me know in the comments!

Preventing Mites and Lice During the Colder Months

I feel like we didn’t even get a fall this year. Who’s with me? Wasn’t it just summer? And now here we are, with a frozen hose. I confess to being slightly cranky about it. I’m working on being more grateful (I mean, I’m writing this on Thanksgiving so I should really check myself LOL)

Community Dust Bath!

One season ends and another begins

We’re on the tale-end of molting and parasite season, but it’s not too late to do something a little extra to prevent mites and lice through the colder months. And what I’m about to show you really is something you can do all year. It has a ton of benefits regardless of the season.

Most of us are aware that our chickens need to dust bathe in order to stay clean and external parasite free. But what are we to do during the rainy and/or snowy seasons? It’s hard for a chicken to find a place to dustbathe during this time of year. They need dry, dusty dirt or sand. What’s a chicken to do?

Homemade Dusting Box?

Chicken parents know what’s up

Enter you: the chicken parent. You can provide them with a DIY dustbath, complete with dry dirt or sand, diatomaceous earth, wood ash, and even aromatic herbs. Want to know how to do it? Click the play button below:

And if you want to be REALLY extra, you can watch my update video where I show you a neat chicken coop HACK for a mess-free dust box:

What special things do you do for your chickens in the colder months? Let me know in the comments!

How to Deal with Mud in the Chicken Yard

Mud, glorious mud. What I would give to be at a swanky spa right now, covered in a mud mask. But walking knee deep in mud at 7am on a Monday morning, slipping, and having to see the chiropractor immediately because I broke my butt? Yeah, that’s not my idea of relaxing. It’s also not fun for chickens, who have a greater chance of getting sick in wet, muddy conditions. Why did I have to move to the Pacific Northwest? LOL *sigh*

Not a Spa Day

Last year in Chickenlandia! It was just awful.

To make matters worse, depending on where you live, muddy season might come at the same time as molting season. And molting season is also parasite season. Ugh… I love pumpkins but Autumn is not the easiest time for chicken keepers.

Chickens love pumpkins, too!

Easy as Pie!

It took me a long time to find a solution for my muddy chicken yard, but I’m proud to say that Chickenlandia is FINALLY mud free! How did I do it? Check out this video from my YouTube Channel to find out:

Do you have any nifty mud solutions? Let me know in the comments!

How and What to Feed Backyard Chickens

Whether you are just getting started on your backyard chicken journey or are you a seasoned chicken parent, there’s always something new to be learned about how and what to feed your chickens. Check out my video by clicking the play button below!

What do you feed your chickens? Let me know in the comments!

The 2019 Chickenlandia Halloween Special!

Making Videos is Hard…and FUN

When I started my YouTube Channel last summer, I had no idea the work it would involve. I also had no idea how much it would fulfill my life. Sometimes, making videos week after week can be overwhelming. But like most passions, the moments when it feels like work are fleeting.

Art by Sarah Hudock

When I was a kid, all I wanted was to be a super star. It didn’t really matter what kind. One day I wanted to be an actress, the next a rock star, the next a Great American Filmmaker. I just wanted to create, and for others to benefit from my creations. I also wanted to save the world. The latter hasn’t happened (yet) but with the creation of Chickenlandia, LLC, all my other dreams are coming true!

Book Dalia Monterroso for an event
Me and Gnoli during my TEDx Talk!

Holiday Special, Anyone?

I love educating people about chickens, which is why there is so much educational content on my YouTube channel and website. But you know what else I love? Entertaining! And filmmaking! That’s why every once in a while I just have to release a holiday special, or a mockumentary, or even a gag PSA. Last year, around this time, I released my first Chickenlandia Halloween Special. Check it out:

And this year, I’ve taken it up a notch. The 2019 Chickenlandia Halloween Special has Kiki being abducted by aliens, all coordinated by Pac-Man the Hen. Could this be the sequel to My Chickens Want to Raid Area 51? YOU DECIDE. Unless you’re chicken. LOL

Who did Kiki get so BIG?

What’s your passion? Let me know in the comments!

How to Rescue Backyard Chickens (and other things)

How many times in your life have you heard the phrase, “everything happens for a reason”? Honestly, after a tragedy, it can be kind of an annoying thing to hear. How could something that hurts so much be something that’s meant to be? Perhaps we need to come up with a new phrase. Maybe, “there’s a lesson in every experience” is better (but only say that to yourself, not to someone who is in the grieving or other difficult process).

I Wish I Could Rescue Them All

Two amazing rescues, Little Stinker and Kiki

In Chickenlandia, there are many animals who have a difficult past. I have some birds that were the only ones left after a predator attack, some that lived in a small cage until they arrived here, and some who’s personalities are so, how can I put this nicely, “assertive” that would likely have been dinner had they not come through these gates. All are welcome. I love them all.

Chickens and ducks are not the only rescues here. We also have a pack of tiny dogs that each have tragic beginnings. Two of them in line to be put down because their humans didn’t want them anymore. One was a stray, running through the streets of a rough California neighborhood. And one lived in a home with known drug activity.

My little flock of dogs!

Paying it Forward

But as someone who has dealt with hard times myself, I hold dear the belief that joy has a way of returning. In fact, maybe that’s the lesson of my experiences. It was important for me to lose joy and then find it again, so that I can help to bring it back in others.

To learn all about how to rescue backyard chickens, click the play button below! I also talk about things you can do to make the transition easier on them. Oh, and don’t forget there’s a little (and I mean he’s LITTLE) surprise at the end!

What about you? Do you believe joy can return after hardship? Let me know in the comments!

Disclaimer Notice

The content of the Welcome to Chickenlandia website, blog, vlog, and all social media are for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Dependence on any information appearing on the Welcome to Chickenlandia website, blog, vlog, and social media sites is entirely at your own risk. Please do your own research and make your own informed decisions regarding the health of your chickens.

© 2020 Welcome to Chickenlandia