How to make rescue hens more friendly?

shmccarthy

Songster
6 Years
Mar 27, 2013
1,384
127
173
Michigan
I went to a swap and "rescued" 4, 10 month old easter egger hens. I say rescue instead of buy because these ones along with the other chickens for sale by this particular person were in horrendous condition.
All had been debeaked, and some had scissor beaks and other deformaties from it seemingly not being professionally done. There were 30 hens cramped in one cage and 8 in another. All were missing feathers, some had dried blood on them and most looked ill. I couldn't leave without saving some of them, so I bought what I had room and money for and took them home. The individual was extremely rough with them and picked them up and handed them to me by their tail!

They're currently in a separate quarantine coop, in the opposite side of the yard as my existing flock. They were biting and flaring their hackles when I picked them up to carefully look them over and put them in their new coop. I don't blame them :( I put them on a wormer (just in case) and am feeding them a high protein food to help their feathers grow back.

Ive been getting 3 eggs a day from them :) and theyre really pretty!

The big problem is they are absolutely horrified of everything. Not just humans, but leaves rustling, rain, the wind blowing, wild bird noises, anything and everything. Its not the normal chicken "getting out of the way when something is coming towards them" its full out, flight or fight panic. Ive been leaving them alone so they can still get situated, because its so different and new to them. If someone walks by the coop or comes within 50 feet of it, they scramble to get in the coop, usually trampling over eachother and running into the walls. :(
Is there anything I can do to help win them over and at least make them feel like I'm not going to hurt them? I was a bit worried because its easy to train young chicks to be comfortable around humans, but these ones are almost a year old. Any help/tips/advice?

Here's the best pictures I could get of them, they dont like the camera much yet.

This is when I brought them home. The orange one is pumpkin, the ashy silver one is Ethyl, the two silver girls are Rose and Lily.



Closeup on Rose showing the debeak job. The bottom beak grew crooked and is slightly scissor beaked. (This is moving her from the carrier to the coop. I haven't touched any of them since)
 

Blessing

In the Brooder
6 Years
Jul 13, 2013
67
0
42
Its sound like they were very badly mistreated. All you can do really is make sure they are feed and watered. And maybe sit by the coop for an half hour or more a day. Eventually they will learn that your not a threat to them, it may take weeks even months but im sure you will be rewarded in the end:) Good Luck
 

shmccarthy

Songster
6 Years
Mar 27, 2013
1,384
127
173
Michigan
Thanks, I'm going to buy some treats for them (kale, yogurt and watermelon) and hangout with them a bit while we're building the turkey coop. Thanks again :)
 
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