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Got some new, rough looking red hens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by 4Kids, Dec 1, 2012.

  1. 4Kids

    4Kids Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 1, 2012
    So we thought we would add to our flock with some larger-egg producing red hens. Come to pick them up, and me -- quite the newbie, did not inspect them first.

    Got them home and they are missing:

    Most of their tails. One in particular is down to two or three tail feathers.
    * Some have exposed, red bottoms
    * Two have their bottom and vents covered up with fine downy feather but no top feathers
    * One has an exposed, bare, red, irritated looking breast. She is also missing most of her wing feathers and some other ones
    * They pecked at each other quite a lot, including the bottoms and one on one's head
    * They fought quite vigourously when put in our flock and challenged
    * They sort of cower together most of the time

    These birds do not wander out freely when the doors are opened, and they eat a little bit. They ate snow vs. water. They are mostly very quiet and want to stay in the roosting boxes. I keep hoping they will come and wander around, scratch in the hay and eat what they like. I have put out food in a frozen half-pumpkin and they are getting the hang of eating from a variety of sources.

    I have a wallow made from ashes and dust. Try as I can, I can't make them get in there. They rushed to eat gravel with all their might, and they just ate the shells from about ten eggs in seconds and wouldn't let anyone else eat any. They don't know what black oil sunflower seed is, and don't peck where I throw feed.

    The first day I was quite horrified at their appearance and feared mites or lice. I have stared until I am crosseyed almost at their bums and the breast there and I can't see anything moving or dark dots. They all love to crowd into the roosting boxes. They hid and ate hay that way in there instead of coming out and scratching.

    One does have a black spot on her comb. Then it seemed like she had three black spots. I can't see what it is but it isn't moving.

    I called our local vet and he suggested perhaps they did not have enough room, feed etc at their last home. They are almost 18 months old, and he said they might be moulting. I am not sure of that. But I have looked and looked and I can't see bugs. I don't have a flashlight and perhaps that will help.

    I think they had little food and little space.

    After three days with us, one is out wandering. Two of the reddest bums are pink now, vs. flaming red. The red breast is still red but the other three are getting a bit of a sheen coming out of some feathers. They are red sussex. They are starting to wander about, a bit, and peck, and I have seen them grooming and preening. This is quite a change from just standing about cooing and standing looking scared. One is looking ok but is content to just stand and huddle.

    I have noticed our flock going into the stalls and preening with all their might. I wonder if I am missing lice and should I worry? They have access to everything a healthy flock needs, except being able to go outside. I live in SK and it is freezing. On a "nice" day, say less than -15, I open all doors and they can go out if they wish but there is so much snow that there isn't anything for them to find. If my girls (and my roos) are preening and seem healthy, should I worry about an epidemic? the vet said it didn't seem like lice but that was me telling him about them. I can try get pictures today.

    So my question is should I worry about lice spreading, if it is there. I assume it is good signs the bums are pink instead of red now, and watch should I watch for, and am I missing anything to help them be healthy? I do not need eggs every day, I want them to be happy and content to live a good life. I feel terrible they were not treated with respect.
     
  2. Suzie

    Suzie Overrun With Chickens

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    Jul 9, 2009
    Auvergne
    It seems evident from your post that you did not quarantine these new chickens when you got them - so - chances are that if they do have lice/mites then ALL of your chickens will need to be treated - it is not always possible to see the pests on the body of the chickens.... sorry to say but you will also need to treat their coop too.... mites will live in cracks and crevices during the day and come out at night to feed on the blood of the chickens.

    I rescued 21 chickens and isolated them from my main flock - they too were in dreadful condition and sadly despite loving care only 8 survived - they are now healthy,,,I commend you for taking these chickens on and you will no doubt give them a wonderful life - you may want to read Beekissed thread " The road less traveled" it is a wonderful testimony to all that she achieved and she had so many illness issues to deal with.

    I wish you and your chickens all the best!

    Suzie
     
  3. 4Kids

    4Kids Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 1, 2012
    I thought I would reply as I didn't. You were right I didn't quarantine them, I didn't even think of it! *headslap*

    So I got them ashes and put those in and I did noticed my birds preening quite a lot in the time after we got them. However, they have lots of space although our climate doesn't allow much outside--we have been at -30 and -40 a lot this past month so as you can imagine, it's an indoor life. We give them hay stacks to play through.

    It took a couple weeks but the new Red girls stopped picking and attacking each other and the other chickens. Instead of just sitting there and hiding behind alfalfa in nesting boxes, they come when we go in the barn and have learned to forage and a lot of Black Oil Sunflower Seed, high quality scratch, feed and hay as well as produce, fruit, fat like lard or tallow and quite often some meat.

    We got them a calcium supplement as they were hurting and starting to eat the eggshells.

    Only one has a red vent now. That one is not feeling well as her eggs are wobbly still, I feed them to the dogs. I am not sure. When she came she was pooping clear with some white in it. Not worms, just whitish. I have fed them pumpkin and pumpkin seeds a few times. The rest have feathers coming in to cover all the bare spots on them. My MIL said they were molting. They have those lovely downy feathers. They no longer produce humungous eggs every day but more like a rather large egg every 2 days. I keep the lights on for about 12 hours a day. I figure they aren't machines and they need rest and that is all we get out for.

    The rest of my birds are still lovely and healthy so I am glad we got them, and really hope that one finally feels good instead of just getting better. Diaomacheous (sp?) earth is on it's way for them to continue to bathe in, we are out of ashes.

    So that is my update.
     
  4. Suzie

    Suzie Overrun With Chickens

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    Jul 9, 2009
    Auvergne
    That is such wonderful news!

    You have achieved such amazing results with your loving care... no headslap...give yourself one pat on the back!

    They have certainly come to live a great, happy and healthy life with you...

    Best wishes to you and your flock

    Suzie
     

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