We are just starting to raise chickens and know next to nothing about what to do. What do we do or should/should not do to prevent parasites, internal and external? We also have dogs and children and want as much as possible to keep everyone healthy. The chickens (we have 4 ) ages 6 to 11 weeks old. Any info will be helpful.
Lane County Oregon
Congratulations of your new backyard flock. Chickens are pretty easy animals to have around. The biggest management chore to keep your chickens healthy and the family and pets safe is sanitation. Hand washing after handling the birds or eggs is a must. For the birds safety depending on how you are planning on housing them, frequent cleaning of their coop and dispose of soiled litter on a routine basis. Composting this is a great way of disposal if you have that option, and great for your garden later.
We have some great publications here http://smallfarms.oregonstate.edu/poultry - you can ignore the ones on processing your birds. This one is also a good resource for beginners http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/xmlui/bitstream/handle/1957/43086/em9089.pdf
Please don't hesitate to contact me directly if you have additional questions.