In the Brooder
- May 10, 2013
Hi! I recently came across someone selling 3 red star hens on a chicken facebook page. We were looking for more hens of laying age and the lady lived very close to me, so I scheduled a time to go look at them. When I got there the birds looked very healthy from the outside of the cage looking in. She told me she had some golden comets that she was making room for so she was thinning her flock. So I asked to look at the birds and when she caught the first one I noticed that it's top beak was much shorter then the bottom? I had never heard of de-beaking so I asked her if she had tried to "trim" it's beak and maybe something went wrong? She told me they came that way and that it was a common practice to prevent pecking/cannibalism. She even said that she planned on de-beaking her golden comets before putting them outside. I examined the hens and all had a semi-full crop, good body weight, and no evidence of lice or mites, so I got the three she was willing to give up. My question for you guys is, can these birds thrive in general population? I felt so sorry for them that I felt I needed to "rescue" them. I placed them into my coop with my 4 hens and 1 bantam rooster that evening close to roost time. There was the normal tension in the flock you would expect with new birds, but for the last few nights I have noticed they have not been roosting with the other birds, even though I have put up a secondary roost for them. They are staying under a small shelter in the coop. I have observed normal eating/drinking behavior ,I even stood guard so they could eat last night in peace without letting the other girls interfere. I know they will probably be at the lower end of the pecking order with their disability but do you think the others will ease up a bit? I'm hoping once I can let them free range they won't be so bored. I got the new girls Saturday and my others are not happy with not being allowed to come out. I was going to give the new girls a couple more days to know where home is. Any ideas or suggestions would be appreciated.