Helping rescued chickens adjust

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Bikergrl, Aug 1, 2010.

  1. Bikergrl

    Bikergrl Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2010
    I rescued 5 hens from a very bad situation a couple of days ago. There were at least 40 of them crammed into a coop big enough for 5 or 6 max. Needless to say they were all pecked and beaten. The ones I took have almost no feathers left. When we got them home they were thirsty and starving - they ate and ate and wouldn't stop drinking.

    The hens seem happier already in their spacious new digs, however they are still quite competitive for food and whenever they get a chance to mingle with my other birds they are quite aggressive. How can I help them become more social? Should I just keep them segregated for the time being? I am considering putting them into solitary confinement one at a time and then introducing them to my other flock after a few days. Is this a good idea? Suggestions are welcome - I really want to rehabilitate these poor neglected hens.

    Thanks!
     
  2. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    I am thinking you should keep them in quarantine for 30 days before letting them near your flock. There is no telling what they could have if they have been so neglected. There are horror stories on here constantly about integrating new into an established flock without waiting to see if they are sick. This would also give them time to hopefully figure out that they are in the land of plenty!
     
  3. sheaviance1

    sheaviance1 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 7, 2010
    Tennessee
    I asked a friend, she said "I would segregate your old birds from your new birds while the new birds recover from their ordeal. Free-feed the new ones, let them have a little while to realize that they are safe, the food will keep coming, there is a continuous flow of water and that you aren't an evil monster. Once you see them start to relax with each other, then I would integrate them. Do you have any idea how old they are?"

    My two cents: I would make sure that they can see and hear each other in order to get accustomed to each other without having any physical interaction. I have used this method to integrate older and younger birds with pretty good success. I have done it once, and am using the same method a second time.
     
  4. gaillardia

    gaillardia Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 20, 2010
    Larkspur, CO
    I just want to say thank you, for going to the rescue of animals in need. Good luck with the socializing.
     
  5. Bikergrl

    Bikergrl Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2010
    Thanks for those suggestions, I definitely appreciate the help. They seem to be adjusting very well - they are very tame with me despite everything they've been through and they've more or less stopped picking on each other, as well. I am led to believe they're about 1 year old, although I don't know how much the previous owner actually knew about them.

    Now for another question. I think these birds are leghorns - they certainly look an awful lot like leghorns. I'm confused, however, because today one of them laid an egg and it was brown. I believe leghorns lay white only, don't they? I'm attaching a picture and maybe someone can help me identify the breed. It might be easier if they weren't so horribly featherless, but I'm sure one of you sage chicken people out there can answer my question. I suppose it's a good sign that they're starting to lay - perhaps the trauma of their previous life is wearing off.

    [​IMG]
     
  6. tuesdays chicks

    tuesdays chicks Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 26, 2010
    stuart florida
    they might be white orps, gl to you, remember to keep your own flock safe from anything they might be carrying.
    oh oh is that a white earlobe i see in the pic? remember the old tell red earlobe brown egg white lobe white egg.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2010
  7. Bikergrl

    Bikergrl Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2010
    i made sure to dust their new coop well before I put them in so hopefully that will at least take care of any external parasites (although thankfully I haven't seen any and I suspect they'd be easy to spot with the number of missing feathers!)

    I don't think they're Orps - they all have extremely high combs (so high that some of them are flopped over) and very long wattles. I wonder if it's possible that they're an Orp/Leghorn cross.
     
  8. Matt A NC

    Matt A NC Overrun With Chickens

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    They look like white rocks. Leghorns have very distinctive white ear ear lobes. White rocks are fairly common, so that would be the most likely choice.

    There is also the chance of white Orpingtons or giants. Better pictures when they have filled out will help.

    Matt
     
  9. Bikergrl

    Bikergrl Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2010
    Matt, I think you're right, they look very much like White Rocks. Thanks!
     
  10. Bikergrl

    Bikergrl Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 1, 2010
    Here are some better pics - 2 more brown eggs today.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     

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