Brand New Chicken Owner with a few questions please behaviour & health

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by julesross, Sep 13, 2011.

  1. julesross

    julesross New Egg

    Sep 13, 2011
    Hello from Sydney, Australia. I am a brand new chicken owner after inheriting them at our new house and am throughly obsessed with the chickens (4 white leghorns (Henny), 3 Australorps or Black Orpingtons (Betty) and our favourite, Isa Brown, (Mildred). The chickens would be between 1 - 3 years old. I have a few questions and haven't bee able to see the answers anywhere??

    Firstly within the last week one of the white chickens is being picked on and pecked by the others. Never seemed to happen before but the other chickens are quite aggressive towards her and are hurting her. She is struggling to get near the food and is socially isolated, has wounds on her head and seems sad? Why? It makes me a little sad....

    Meanwhile the big black Betty seemed broody but... at first she just stayed in her box and we were frantic she was sick however after doing some reading it would seem she is broody however now she has very fat scaly feet? She is very noisy and vocal when near the other chickens (seems quite the strange chicken) and when we go to feed her every morning she screams out of her box, squawking and running at a million miles and hour. All very weird? Lasted 3 weeks or so. She does leave her box every now and then but otherwise always there? A few of the other chickens may also have this scaly feet but not as bad?

    Overall in the past week the chickens all appear to be a little strange (it is the start of our Spring), are laying less, being a little more aggressive and the pecking order has definitely changed.... plus above. What should I do?

    Also the chickens run is very large ( approx 30 metres) but is mostly dirt with some trees and weeds and low shrubs. Should it have an actual grass floor or some particular plants? Any other must do tips to make my chickens happy (toys? etc).

    Thankyou so much - I eagerly await your tips and advice. [​IMG]
  2. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress Premium Member

    Sep 6, 2007
    spring hill, florida
    Your poor white chicken! If chickens see a wound, they will peck more at it. Put a piece of duct tape or a bandaid on her head. I like duct tape. To keep your girls in line, you may want to think about a rooster. It will keep the hens on their toes-gives them something else to think about rather than pecking some poor chicken!

    I think you will have to look at the legs and decide whether they are normal scales, or leg scale mites making the scales look worse.

    Chickens love a large run like yours, with trees and weeds and shrubs and dirt. It's paradise. They also like to munch on some lawn if they can. Leftovers , and most people food is a favorite. and fruit. Mine like popcorn. Food makes chickens happy.

    If your hen is broody, she will shreek and puff up when you come near the nest. She may need a man in her life!

    I usually toss my broodies off the nest every chance I get, eventually they get the message...sometimes.

    My girls even like it when I go out in the morning and drink my coffee and sit with them.

    Have fun!
  3. JodyJo

    JodyJo Chillin' With My Peeps

    Sep 27, 2010
    I am no expert, but nobody has answered you yet so I will take a stab...
    sounds like they have leg mites...

    here is a link I found that explains treatment etc for you....I wish you luck in treating them...

    as far as your run, it is fine as it is, if it has dirt, they will love that for their dust baths etc...

    I am sure someone else will chime in shortly and give you some may want to post this under the other thread
    for diseases.
  4. WoodlandWoman

    WoodlandWoman Overrun With Chickens

    May 8, 2007
    It does sound like they may have scaly leg mites. You can do a search on this forum for treatment options.

    Betty does sound broody.

    I'd put a couple more containers of food and water out, to deal with the resource guarding. Just simple bowls will work. If you feed scratch grains as a treat, spread them out in a really large area, to make it easier for the chickens at the bottom of the pecking order to get some.

    There are a lot of threads on the forum about planting in runs and adding things to keep chickens busier. Anything you put in there will be a diversion, just because it's new.

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