Chicken Rescue

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jdgrell, May 4, 2009.

  1. jdgrell

    jdgrell Out Of The Brooder

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    Feb 26, 2009
    NorCal
    Hi All,

    I got 4 new chickens for my backyard flock a couple of weeks ago. I lost my last flock to a evil little dog. I had raised them from chicks and they were wonderful - beautiful, clean, great personalities. I decided to get started chickens this time, because I did not want to rear chicks during the summmer (busy camping schedule).

    So, I got 6-8wk old birds from a local farm that broods chicks from a hatchery. When I went to pick up the chicks I was very upset to see the conditions the chicks were kept under. Masive over crowding strange behaviours and some sadly torn up young hens. Older birds kept with younger ones.

    I just about left, but strangely 4 hens came up to me and seemed to want out (strange in I don't believe they were ever handled). Well I bought all 4, that was all I could do, and brought them home.

    They are all sweet 10-12 week old pullets. One BA,one Deleware, one RIR, and one small grey chicken that I have not yet identified.

    Now I have them, I don't really know what to do. The RIR has had her back and tail feathers picked off, the BA has had her tail ripped up, the Delaware has poop all over her beautiful white feathers and is stained yellow. They all have strange behaviors, nervous pacing, standing in corners with head down. I don't see a dominent bird yet and they don't peck each other. They just seem to be happy to be out of that chicken hell.

    So advise:
    1) Will the feathers grow back? When? At their next molt? I feel like I should put a little sweater on my RIR, she has to be freezing at night.

    2) Can you clean feathers of poo? A good scrubbing would clean up the Delaware, but I don't know if the feathers would be damaged. I am sure the process would be very upsetting to the chicken.

    3) Will they ever stop being weird, or are they just damaged from the bad treatment at the farm? I have a lot of patience so no hurry, I just don't want to invest in a lost cause. Example, I have been trying for 2 weeks to get them to range outside the coop. I let them go in our very safe yard and they are back in the coop in less than 5 mins?? Now, 2 or 3 days I understand, but 2 weeks?

    Anyway, thanks for the advise in advance!
     
  2. aidenbaby

    aidenbaby Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 10, 2009
    Lochbuie
    Someone posted instructions on how to wash a chicken for show a couple of days ago. If you look up chicken and bath you should be able to get it easily.

    As for their behavior, I would give them lots of time and loving. They never be all the way right in the head but nervous behaviors should diminish. I used to have a mare that was starved for the first 2 years of her life in a field with 6 other horses and she was always a little wild when loose but once you caught her, she was the sweetest thing.
     
  3. Fudgie

    Fudgie Hatching Queen - Got Fudge?

    So advise:
    1) Will the feathers grow back? When? At their next molt? I feel like I should put a little sweater on my RIR, she has to be freezing at night. The feathers will grow back, I had one like this too. Just keep feeding them proper and giving them lots of water. You can put a chicken apron on them if you feel like it but they should be ok.

    2) Can you clean feathers of poo? A good scrubbing would clean up the Delaware, but I don't know if the feathers would be damaged. I am sure the process would be very upsetting to the chicken. You can wash your chickens, there are loads of threads on this. Do a search on BYC to find them. They actually LOVE being washed as long as it is warm water so they feel comfortable. Might not hurt to check them for mites or lice and treat for that as well.

    3) Will they ever stop being weird, or are they just damaged from the bad treatment at the farm? I have a lot of patience so no hurry, I just don't want to invest in a lost cause. Example, I have been trying for 2 weeks to get them to range outside the coop. I let them go in our very safe yard and they are back in the coop in less than 5 mins?? Now, 2 or 3 days I understand, but 2 weeks? You might try locking them out of the coop during the day, put feed and water where they can get to it in the run. Then they will realize they are safe out there too. If there is no hurry, let them come and go as they please. They are just really unsure where they are and if they are safe. You know they are but they don't know they are.
     
  4. LynneP

    LynneP Chillin' With My Peeps

    They'll be fine now that they have you.
    Thank you for taking them![​IMG]
     

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