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How to help abandoned flock

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Murphyslaw123, Nov 18, 2012.

  1. Murphyslaw123

    Murphyslaw123 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 18, 2012
    A friend's mother moved into a house about a mile from me. The house next door has been trashed and abandoned. She noticed 5 hens and a roo wandering around. They've just been left behind. I took them some food today, but I'm not sure what else to do. I tried to get close to them and the roo attacked me.

    I've got my own flock (but I'm new to this - only had mine about 7 months). I would consider rescuing them, but I really can't have an aggressive roo here. I have little kids and other pets. And that roo won't let me get anywhere near the hens. They look to be RIRs. The roo doesn't look in too bad of shape, but the hens have a lot of feathers missing (molt? neglect?) I can't see any type of coop or shelter. Amidst the trash, they can get under the deck for shelter, but that's all I could see. My friend's mom is getting nowhere with animal control or the board of health. The house has a realty sign on it currently, but I don't know how long it's been there.

    I'm in the corner of MA where CT meets RI if anyone wants to help me! I can't spend a ton of time over there as I have my own family and farm to take care of. But I feel so sad for them. It's so cold out at night!

    Friend's mom is going to feed/water once daily until we can (hopefully!) get someone to help. Any advice on what else I can do to help these poor things?
  2. Get a net.
    And a dog carrier.
    Catch the rooster, hten as many hens as you can.
    Repeat until you have them.
    Keep the rooster and his flock isolated from your flock for about 2 weeks (if possible, but preferable)
    If rooster continue's to be aggreassive after you
    Kick him (if he flogs you)
    Shove to the ground
    And / or chase him,
    Butcher him and enjoy the taste of fresh chicken.
    If the hens are friendly or skiddish (just not aggressive) then keep 'em with the rest of your flock (once deemed healthy) , and watch them get into healthier shape and enjoy the eggs they give you.

    Best of luck, thats what I'd do, and if you can't catch them with a net maybe try and get a live animal trap and bait it
  3. Murphyslaw123

    Murphyslaw123 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 18, 2012
    Thanks for the reply. Since I've never done this before, perhaps you'll be able to answer a few questions (that may seem silly to you, but I truly don't have any idea).

    Is one layer of hardware cloth enough of a quarantine barrier? If it's not, I'm going to have to lock these birds into an empty stall in the barn for 2 weeks, without going outside. I only have 1 pen.

    Is 2 weeks enough time for developing disease? Would I know within that time frame if they were safe to incorporate? My birds have been so healthy and wonderful I don't want to take any chances.

    Is there any way to determine how old these birds might be just by looking at them?

    I really didn't want any more chickens, and especially not an aggressive roo! But in good conscience, I can not let them stay in their current condition throughout the winter. We are still making calls and trying to figure out if someone is going to come for them. If nothing gets done soon, I'll have to try your netting method and it looks like I may be getting 6 new pets. [​IMG]
  4. otis7

    otis7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2012
    Think of it from the roo's perspective, he sees you as a threat to his hens. With time this perspective can change. A box stall quarantine would give you some time to form a relationship with these chickens. I wouldn't consider hardware cloth appropriate quarantine, put them in the box stall. Being inside for awhile won't hurt them and will give you some time for close observation. Once the roo sees you as a food provider and not a threat he may not be so aggressive. Like the above said, if he comes at you, kick him. Birds are tough and stubborn but not completely unreasonable. A bond can be established with time, don't let him run you over. If you have an extra large dog crate, put food in it daily. Once the chickens get used to going into the crate for food, tie a string to the door and hide, when they all go in pull the string and shut the door. Presto crate full'o chickens.
  5. otis7

    otis7 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Feb 27, 2012
    It also may be easier to rehome the chickens pre caught then asking someone to come get them. Animal control is most likely preoccupied, and depending on where you live the chickens fate may he unsure. Determining ownership takes time, and appears obvious their owners aren't too interested. New pets are a big under taking, maybe consider yourself a helpful foster parent for these kiddos if you have the temporary space?
  6. Murphyslaw123

    Murphyslaw123 Out Of The Brooder

    Nov 18, 2012
    Thanks so much, everyone. I appreciate the help.

    One more question . . . any advice on how to convince my husband that this is the right thing to do? He thinks it's someone else's responsibility and that we can't fix so much about the world, that he's content to leave them alone. Out of sight, out of mind, I guess. I feel differently. I know about them now and I feel I owe it to them to at least try to improve their situation.

    Oh, and I've never been flogged before. Today I got it twice in one day! I'll remember to use my shoe next time. ;)
  7. XavCas

    XavCas Out Of The Brooder

    Oct 18, 2012
    Just catch them and put them in the stall without telling your husband. He will never notice.
  8. dawg53

    dawg53 Humble

    Nov 27, 2008
    Jacksonville, Florida
    Remember biosecurity. Diseases/parasites can be carried/transmitted on shoes, clothing , hands etc.....to your healthy flock unknowingly.
  9. Kaitie09

    Kaitie09 Chillin' With My Peeps

    May 28, 2009
    South Central, PA
    My roo went after me once when I picked up one of the hens and she freaked. I really did not mean to, but he was going after me and I did not kick him, but took both my hand and pushed/flung him when he was in mid air after me. He ended up smacking against the coop and I then went and backed him up all the way to the end of the run. I ended up with a fairly nasty bruise on my leg, but he has not even looked at me the wrong way since.
  10. I'd put them in the stall, I'm not too familiar with hardware cloth [​IMG]

    Yes that would be a good amount of time.

    Yes - If they are laying and breeding, they are full grown, LOL. No you can't really tell other then 'Young', ',Middle aged' and 'older' or 'Old'

    As for a Hubby - Tell him, that you already have chickens, and 6 new ones isn't going to matter, so suck it up.LOL. You might need to paraphrase [​IMG] Or you could just say "Well c'mon, we should just give them a CHANCE... If they turn out to bad then we'll just sell them, and that way you made money!" (or butcher, up to you)

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