Can She Survive?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by ClareScifi, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Songster

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    It appears that my worst nightmare has come true.

    My hen, who is a little over 2, a Barred Rock is large and sleeps on a shelf in the coop that is too high for her to jump off of. Or so I thought. Each morning I get up early and help her down, after the others have flown off the shelf. I am waiting for my handyman to return from vacation on Monday. He was going to remove the step I had put in to make it easier for them to get up and down from the shelf-- they only used it to get up, and it was getting down, getting bumblefoot, that had me worried.

    But for some reason my large girl decided to try her wings this morning, and she landed on her breast. I didn't think she had broken an egg-- she got right up and seemed fine, ate well.

    But just now I went into the run, and instead of finding her egg she laid in the nest box of the coop, it was in the middle of the run. And one side was cracked. Not badly, no yolk running out, but maybe a very tiny piece of shell missing.

    So now I'm thinking she will probably get an infection if the shell bit is still in her and die; right? And could the egg have scratched her coming out, with the broken side? Is there anything I can do?
     
  2. dracoe19

    dracoe19 Songster

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    The the egg wasn't bloody I don't think you should worry to much. Even if a tiny piece broke off if it is very small she should be able to pass it with out a problem. I would keep an eye on her just in case but if she is fine and dandy I wouldn't become stressed about it.
     
  3. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Songster

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    Thanks, Dracoe. I feel better. Why do these freaky things always
    happen to me?
     
  4. seminolewind

    seminolewind Flock Mistress

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    I agree with Draco.
    My chickens are perfectly happy on roosts that are knee/thigh high. I have big birds and don't want them up high.
     
  5. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Songster

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    I tried filling in the high shelf with big bags of feed, as I posted a couple of weeks ago, but no one responded to my post in this forum, and it didn't work. They tried jumping up there that night even though there was nowhere for them to perch. Many fell. Creatures of habit. The rooster tried 3 times to unsuccessfully jump up there for the night until I madly took everything down and let them back up there. I have no handyman skills to lower the shelf. My handyman is out of town until Monday.

    So I had tried to solve the problem, but my solution was no good.

    Now I'm wondering whether I should lock them all out of the coop and in the run at night until my handyman returns? I don't want a replay of this morning's scenario...

    I also worry that being the creatures of habit they are, what will they do when the shelf is gone? Still try to jump up there?
     
  6. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Songster

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    This was my post, of a couple of weeks ago in this forum, that no one responded to, as mentioned above:


    Big Fat Hen - New Problem. The Matriarch of my chickens, fat Esther Mary, has never been one to perch/roost up high. She's always preferred sleeping in a nesting box. But recently I built a step for my other chooks, who love to sleep on the shelf in the coop, to get up and down from their favorite roosting spot. I thought it would be easier on them, since I have read that too high perches can cause bumblefoot. This shelf perch is about 4 feet off the ground. The new step is about 21" high.

    Alas, they use the step to get up, but I don't see them using it to fly down. I think they can't see it well coming down, so they fly over and past it to land, so that defeats its purpose-- protecting them from the long jump down.

    The rooster comes out first in the morning and is frustrated because the girls don't follow him. He makes many trips back into the coop trying to get them to come out and play.

    The problem is fat Mary Esther loves to go up there at night to the high perch, since she discovered the aid of the new step, but she can't figure out how to come down in the morning. I think she's too fat to fly like the others or scared. So I have to lift her out. Only then will the other hens follow her out. I'm afraid to leave her on the shelf for fear she'll hurt herself trying to come down. She's the oldest-- a little over 2 years old.

    There is a pecking order, and unless she comes down first, the younger hens are afraid to supersede her (except for the Bantie who doesn't sleep on the shelf-- she prefers to roost on a narrow ledge above the nesting box. She'll come out with the rooster, but she's so tiny I don't like that, because he tries to mate with her, since the bigger girls are still up on the shelf, unattainable. The Bantie squawks and flies out of his reach. It makes me nervous). I guess I'm going to have to barricade the shelf perch so no one can get up there. Lifting her down at 6 a.m. every morning won't be possible when I am away on vacation. I can't believe she decided to join them up there. She was always seemingly happy down lower.

    I hope I can figure out how to barricade it. I'm not very good at carpentry and my helper is out of town for several weeks. I suppose it's just as well. It wouldn't be good for the others to perch on the shelf when I am on vacation, because they'd be perching in their poop, since I wouldn't be around to clean it for them every morning.


    I just now went in and put 2 and a half big bags of pine shavings on the shelf, with a big bag of cat food to one side, and a bag of oystershell to the other. It's pretty much barricaded.

    Do you think the chickens will still try to fly up there tonight and hurt themselves coming down when they discover there is no place to land? Or do you think they'll be able to tell by looking that they can no longer be up there comfortably, because there's not enough room for them?

    Also, do you think storing those things up there could bring on red mites? The pine shavings are wrapped in plastic, the cat food is unopened, in a big waterproof cat food bag, and the oystershell is in a plastic grocery sack.

    Thanks so much for your help. I lack the carpentry skills to nail a board over the shelf. I'd need a triangular piece of wood and have nothing like that, so I'm hoping stuffing the shelf full will solve the problem, but I'm not sure.

    All suggestions will be welcome.


     
  7. theoldchick

    theoldchick The Chicken Whisperer

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    Can you put up a temporary ramp?
     
  8. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Songster

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    My handyman says the angle would be too steep for a ramp with the coop door closed. He says it isn't possible to build one. Whether that is true or not, I don't know, but I am not confident of my ability to put up a temporary ramp, no.

    Here was the 2d part of my earlier posting which no one in this forum responded to. It didn't work, because even though I stood in front of the shelf, trying to block it, the rooster was determined and tried to jump up on my moving arms and over them to get to the filled shelf, poor boy. I'm glad he wasn't hurt:

    Oooh, I just had another thought. I think tonight I'll close the east window to the coop so the chooks have to enter the coop from the door on the west side. I will be standing in front of the shelf as an extra blockade of it. Could even have a jumping jack stance and hold my arms out and move them like a scarecrow if they seem interested in flying up to the shelf that now has stuff blocking it from being a perching site. Once they are all settled elsewhere, I can exit. This just might work. What do you think? If the chickens came inside from the window, the rooster would probably attack the back of my legs, but if he is facing me, I'll be better able to defend myself. I suppose I could hold the lid to the trash can as a shield. That might also help keep them off the shelf? Once they are settled on low perches, I could get down on my hands and knees and crawl out the east window, so as not to disturb them. I think this might possibly work!
     
  9. sharol

    sharol Songster

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    [​IMG]

    I put a ramp up from a lower level so that my younger chickens could get to the second roost. The upper roosts are at about 4' from the floor less about a foot of shavings. As you can see I have a BO on that roost. ON the original one (to the right at right angles to the second roost) are 2 Delawares and a Welsumer. The new girls were having a problem getting from the lower roost (at about 1.5 feet from the shavings) up to the higher one past the older girls, so I put a narrow ramp along the wall of the coop. and they can go up that and avoid the disruption of the older chickens on the original roost.

    Does any of that make an ounce of sense? I didn't realize how messy the wall was. Guess I'll have to get out the scrubbies.
     
  10. ClareScifi

    ClareScifi Songster

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    Very nice ramp! Talking my handyman into building one for me won't be easy.
     

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