Factory leghorns?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Kass, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. Kass

    Kass Out Of The Brooder

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    Saturday, my best friend picked up 10 leghorn hens that she found on a facebook sale page. I got two of them because I wanted to add some white egg layers to my flock. Anyways, all the hens had pale combs, long toe nails, clipped beaks, missing feathers, and just unheathy looking. My two have been cuddled in a corner and won't go out in the run and havent ate that I know of. I have them in a separate coop away from my other chickens.

    Can anyone give some advice on how to help these pitiful hens? Do they sound like factory hens to you all?
     
  2. darkbrahmamama

    darkbrahmamama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Sounds like they could use a good dusting with Sevin dust or permethrin dust, probably a good deworming with safeguard for goats as well. I think they just haven't been well cared for.
     
  3. Kass

    Kass Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2015
    I still haven't seen them out. Every time I check on them they are still cuddled up together. hopefully they are eating a little and moving around some when they're alone.
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

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    Yes probably factory hens that have just finished a laying cycle and are going through a molt. The molt is probably why their feathers look ragged. It’s not unusual for factory hens to be sold after they have finished a laying cycle and are going to be replaced with pullets. Commercial operations don’t want to feed them through a molt when they are not laying eggs so they get rid of them. Selling them to you is a lot more lucrative than other ways they could dispose of them. Once they go through a molt they should lay you a lot of really nice eggs. The pale combs is further evidence that they are not laying and probably in molt.

    While they are isolated it is OK to treat them for mites, lice, and worms. If they are true factory hens it is unlikely they are suffering from any of those but it is certainly possible. Most commercial operations try to guard against that kind of stuff because it means the hens are not producing at peak efficiency, but they may not have come from “most” commercial operations.

    The other stuff sounds like they have been kept locked up pretty tightly. The clipped beaks was to keep them from eating each other in their tight quarters. They may have trouble eating regular feed. They were probably fed mash so they could eat it easier with those beaks. That mash was probably dampened to a paste so the nutrients would not form layers due to gravity. You may want to consider feeding them mash instead of crumbles or pellets at least until they are acting better.

    The long claws again is an indication they were kept confined. They were not able to walk around enough to wear off the claws or find anything good to sharpen them on. If they are so long that they are causing them problems walking you could try cutting the tips off square, not deep enough to hit the quick but just enough to make it easier to walk. Once they get active the excess should wear off.

    Those hens have gone through a major lifestyle change and are terrified. Chickens don’t like change anyway and that is a big change. They have a lot of empty room around them instead of being packed in with other chickens. They don’t have their buddies all around them. That may be the first time they have seen sunlight. Chickens are adaptable and should be really enjoying themselves in a few days, but that transition can be rough. Imagine being raised in really tight cramped quarters with thousands of other people around you wherever you look, then being set down in a wilderness with only one friend. At the end of the day they will handle it better than you or I would but meanwhile it is overwhelming.

    So what can you do? Look at feeding them mash, either buying it or grinding up crumbles or pellets in a blender or food processor. You probably don’t need to do anything with their claws but you can if you wish. Other than that, keep them isolated for a while until they get on their feet. Offer them food and water and be patient. They should come around in a very few days but it sometimes takes a while for them to build up their courage.

    Good luck!
     
  5. Kass

    Kass Out Of The Brooder

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    Here's a couple pictures my best friend took of the leghorns.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  6. Kass

    Kass Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 23, 2015
    Thank you for the replies. [​IMG] I will update soon.
     
  7. darkbrahmamama

    darkbrahmamama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Poor things! I always thought large factories just had the hens killed after a certain age, didn't know they sold them to people. But I do know some backyard owners treat their chickens the same way. Sad .....
     
  8. Kass

    Kass Out Of The Brooder

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    The factories sale them cheap, like a $1 each. There's people that will buy as many as they can then sale them for $5 each to make easy profit. That's what happened here. The guy had 80-100 leghorns. So he'll make some $$$ off them.
     
  9. darkbrahmamama

    darkbrahmamama Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have one located less than 20 minutes from me. I've never seen them advertise, but I guess every place is different. They use to have a lot of locations, only 1 now. I remember going there when I was a kid with my father ...... horrible.
     

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