4 month old Cream Legbar still not too happy She is bottom of pecking order.

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by marchharefrance, Aug 10, 2016.

  1. marchharefrance

    marchharefrance Just Hatched

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    Hello,
    I have posted a couple of threads about this hen and have had sensible replies from very kind members on the site. I realise that in order to fix things, that I should observe my hens more closely and give as much information as possible.

    I have done this and here is the situation: My lovely little Cream Crested Legbar, Blossom, is at the bottom of the pecking order.( I know I can't change that )

    I bought 3 hens from a well respected French breeder of Fancy chickens. ( More expensive than in French markets) I visited the farm and have never seen such a clean and beautiful place. All of her hens and chicks were beautifully housed and all looked happy and healthy.
    It was so immaculate, I could have lived there myself.!! The problem is, My French is not too good, so I have difficulty asking the breeder any questions!

    Bearing in mind that I seem to end up with damaged rescue animals which my heart needs to mend.( and usually does! ) After 6 years living in France, I was determined to do my homework( ex Teacher you see!!) and did it on this great site!

    I bought 1 Cuckoo De Malines, 1 French Copper Marans, and 1 Cream Crested Legbar. I am awaiting 2 Brahmas as they had just hatched and I will collect them in 2 weeks time when they are 8 weeks old. Malines is now 18 weeks, Marans now 16 weeks, and Legbar, 17 weeks.

    Sorry about the delay! My point is,( Drama teacher you see, Big finish!!) I don't want to be flippant because I am truly worried!!

    My Little Blossom was not eating 4 days ago and although I have given the birds A c vinegar, she did pick up for 2 days and now down again. She seems as if her legs can't carry her and although today I have put her on her own in the garden, in a large dog cage, with her food and water, she eats,but still cries to be with the 2 bullies who sit on her in the coop at night, although the coop is made for 8 chickens, and push her away from the food bowls!!

    I have decided to keep her separate at nights and try to break the habit of them bullying her! She is very slow to come out of the coop in the mornings! and looks tired and wobbly!

    Now, It is the turn of you good people out there!!!

    Should I keep her alone until next week when I collect the 8 week old Brahmas and house her with them? Would it cheer her up?

    Then allow them ALL to be together again? ( I want to Free range them in a garden of 1 acre) Or will she still be bottom of the pecking order?

    My idea is to put Blossom in a separate coop with the young Brahmas.( Poor Husband has made one and puts on a brave face but I know he would like me to take care of him like I do of all the other MISFITS I take on here in France!

    Please can anyone help with this problem? what should I do for this endearing little hen? Yes, I can take her to the vets, which I will do if needs be. But I don't want her to be pumped full of chemicals, as I make my pasture land organic and would like her to benefit from it.

    Many thanks in advance to you all.

    MARCHHARE FRANCE.
     
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Separating her will not help in the long run. If the others are keeping her from food and water, set out another feeder and waterer, as far from the other feeder as possible. Also, make sure there is ample space, at least 4 sq ft of coop space and 10 sq ft of run space per bird. More is better. And give them things to do, to keep them distracted from picking on the Legbar.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  3. marchharefrance

    marchharefrance Just Hatched

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    Thank you for responding so quickly, the coop is 10 square feet and the run 25 square feet. I will make it more interesting though. Many thanks.
     
  4. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Prefab coop manufacturers frequently overestimate the amount of birds that can be housed comfortably. Most of the time, they are using commercial, battery farm size estimates. Those space estimates don't translate to happy, healthy birds. Keeping large breed birds in such small spaces causes
    all sorts of behavior issues.
     
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2016
  5. marchharefrance

    marchharefrance Just Hatched

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    Thank you, but I forgot to include the large laying box on the end of the coop. so surely it is big enough for 2 large hens? I also have a larger coop for the other 3 hens and more laying boxes in dark, protected quiet spaces in the run. I intend to free range the hens on organic pasture, in the day when my flock is complete.

    I am grateful for your comment but please, I still need to know what you would do to help this little hen?
     
  6. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Nest boxes are not included in coop sq footage.
     
  7. donrae

    donrae Hopelessly Addicted Premium Member

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    [​IMG]

    I don't think it's a social issue, the bird sounds ill to me. My Omegas aren't tired, or wobbly, or not eating. I'd post in the Emergencies and Diseases section and see of those folks can help you narrow down what's wrong with her.

    It's instinctive for healthy birds to pick on unhealthy flock mates and drive them away. that may be what you're seeing. I'd isolate her until you know what's going on.
     
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  8. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    Donrae has nailed it. Your Blossom is sick. I have a Cream Legbar who had the same symptoms yours has. She was lethargic and had very little appetite. She would get around, but fall asleep standing up right in the doorway of the coop. She would stand around in one spot with her normally proud flag tail held low and flat. It took two rounds of an antibiotic to get her back to health.

    If you observe Blossom for one day, watch how much she eats and pay attention to what her poops look like (scant and watery perhaps), you will see that she is very likely sick as Donrae points out.
     
  9. marchharefrance

    marchharefrance Just Hatched

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    Thank you for your kind reply.
    I am really puzzled this morning as she is eating and drinking. Still not much, a little food a little bit of egg and some cheese which she likes, also pecking the grass, in the space of 4 hours. I do have several food and drink stations around the run but she still wants to eat from the one the others use!

    The poop is well formed and normal not at all runny. I checked the first one she did when she left the coop and pooped in the run. The other chickens still locked away. Her tail is high, she is talking quietly as she moves around. However, she seems to walk lower on her legs than the other 2 hens and certainly after I isolated her from them last night in a separate house she was happier this morning.

    Soon after the big Maline hen chased her and pulled out some feathers and Blossom ran to hide behind me. I have now confined the Bully and the Marans and little legbar seem fine together.

    Do you think that she is walking low because she is afraid? This didn't happen until this week. I will of course watch her all day today to see if there is an overall improvement. If not, I will take her to the vet. Many thanks for you input, I am very grateful.
     
  10. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    It could be she has something wrong with her legs or feet. Have you examined the legs for bruises? They would appear as light green or grey splotches. Examine the bottoms of her feet for bumblefoot. That would look like a black or brown crusty spot, on the pad or even the top of the foot where a splinter or cut as become infected. It can cause walking problems since it's painful. You would need to treat it.

    If you can't find anything of this description, try giving her half a baby aspirin and see if that improves her walking. If it does, you will know she's been in pain, and you can continue to give her aspirin twice a day for a while until whatever is causing the pain resolves.

    Once her possible health issues resolve, she will be able to recover her rank in the pecking order after a period of time.
     

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