a little help please


7 Years
Dec 28, 2012
I went to an auction last Saturday and I bought a hen. She was in very bad shape and still is. I am trying to make her a nice healthy bird. OK I need some input Maybe you or someone you know had a hen like this.
I try to feed her chicken scratch but she doesn't care for it, I took her a treat she walked right by it. She eats grass before she eats anything I offer, unless its grass. She runs up to me and like stands on my feet. She does not run when I bend down to look at her or anything. I was going to sale her but I think I'm going to build her a pen for her and maybe find another older hen. Also when she see me she starts making crazy noises as if she is calling me over. I keep her up for over a week she has no symptoms of anything. I don't know how to get her to eat scratch instead of just grass. Also I'm not sure what I'm asking just need input or someone to say something.
I'd be terrified of disease being passed to my flock in a case like this. I'm not sure what "keep her up" means, but a standard quarantine is a minimum of three weeks.

I'm not sure why you'd want her to eat scratch so badly. It's basically chicken candy, so if she doesn't eat it, it's no big deal. If you're using it as a basic food for your flock, they'll lay better and be healthier on a layer ration. I'm not sure how to get her to eat chicken feed, but she might be OK this summer when there are lots of bugs and things to eat. Once she's comfortable with you and in with a larger flock with chickens, she'll start to eat what they eat.
She is by herself.
But if you touch any chicken in your flock after touching her, then you are passing potential pathogens from her to your chickens, and back again. Same goes if you touch their feed bag, or waterers, etc. True quarantine is very difficult, and you don't say whether you have actually been quarantining her, or you just have her in a separate pen.

You said you might get her a friend--do you have any other chickens, and/or do you plan to keep her separated from the main flock for the rest of her life?
I wash my hands every time I touch any chicken or Chick. Her food and water is separate for anything else I feed. If I build her a pen she will have a friend or 2. She will be separate from the main flock. Also how do you quarantine your chickens?
For true quarantine, hand washing is not enough. Some of the worst diseases in poultry are spread by feather dander, which adheres to your clothes.

Proper Quarantine Procedures (and I'm sure someone else will add in what I miss)

  • 100 foot minimum between New Chicken (NC) and Current Flock (CF.) If you can have the NC downwind of the CF, so much the better.
  • Quarantine cage somewhere where free ranging CF chickens can't get to it.
  • Separate food supply, even to the point of having a separate bag of feed for the NC. Don't store the NC's feed in the hen house with the CF.
  • Always feed, water, collect eggs, etc. for CF first, then you can go feed the NC.
  • After feeding/watering/handling NC, take a shower, change clothes, and sanitize shoes before going back to CF.
  • If you have a "potentially sacrificial" hen you wouldn't mind losing that much, put her in with the NC. Then you will more easily see if NC is an asymptomatic carrier of some disease. If your sacrificial hen gets sick and NC stays healthy, chances are NC is an asymptomatic carrier. If NC comes down with a disease while the sacrificial hen stays healthy, then chances are CF are asymptomatic disease carriers.
  • Keep the quarantine up for a minimum of three weeks, and the NC looks healthy and acts normally for the entire three weeks.
  • BONUS--always take your car through a car wash on the way home if you've been to an auction or to another place where they have chickens, especially if you felt that there might be disease present. I'd say that there are ALWAYS diseased chickens at an auction. And change your clothes/shower/sanitize shoes before you go near CF.

I'm one of the people that thinks you don't always have to quarantine. If you have a tiny flock that wouldn't be a huge financial or emotional burden to replace, and if you trust the seller, then you might just take your chances rather than do a half-arsed quarantine. But from an auction, and a chicken that looked rough to begin with, you're taking a huge chance.
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I did not know that she was in poor shape until we took her home. I do not pick her up. I do not know who sold her. She is away from everyone else. She's out front And the rest are out back. I don't want to kill her I may give her away. I do not want to loose my healthy birds. I just do not know why some people do not give proper care to their birds. The feed is in the house I usually dump a cup a little by hand into the feed bowl.
You say she was, and still is, in very bad shape, but you don't describe anything being wrong with her except not eating what you expect her to eat. Does she have any symptoms of being sick?

Running up to you and not running away from you doesn't sound like she's sick, just friendly.

Why do you think she is in very bad shape?
She is very small that is what I call bad shape. She has big fat legs to be so small. Like I said before I do not think she is sick just poor shape

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