Issues with young caged chickens

Discussion in 'Raising Baby Chicks' started by srodems, Aug 28, 2011.

  1. srodems

    srodems Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 1, 2009
    Ben Lomond, CA
    We just bought a White Plymouth Rock from a feed store. The store says she is 4 months old, but she looks more like 2-3 months to us. She has very little crown and still sounds like a chick with an occasional almost-bock when she is scared. As far as we know she has spent her entire time in a cage. She seems to be affraid of heights and uneven surfaces and really cannot fly at all. She is very friendly but lacks balance and is a littly shy of exploring. The food we saw them feeding her at the store looked like it was just cracked corn. Her claw strength is good but her balance is bad.

    We are wondering....will she grow out of this? Is it due to being in the cage? What about her limited diet?

    Currently she is getting chick crumble and allowed to free range with our other big girls in the backyard, but she stays very close to us. Any information appreciated.

    BTW, her name is Ice Cream and we think she is very sweet.
     
    Last edited: Aug 28, 2011
  2. peepblessed

    peepblessed Chillin' With My Peeps

    So glad you are giving this girl a good home! I'm guessing she will continue to improve almost daily with the good feed a care you are giving her. Make sure she has access to free choice oyster shell in case she is older than you think as chick feed doesn't have enough calcium for egg shell production. We once bought a year old husky that had been in a kennel her whole life. When we turned her lose in our yard she started running around and ran straight into a tree. She was not hurt but it broke our hearts that a dog that age did not know how to run. I'll be interested to hear how your girl does. [​IMG]
     
  3. hennyannie

    hennyannie Chillin' With My Peeps

    Mar 12, 2011
    North Carolina
    I adopted a RIR hen a couple years ago that had been in a small cage till she was about ready to lay. Her brother died and they gave her to me.She also had some issues with the big run when I first got her. She did real well once she had been here awhile, now she doing all the regular chicken things
     
  4. srodems

    srodems Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 1, 2009
    Ben Lomond, CA
    Thank you all for your input. I am just surprised at her lack of balance on uneven surfaces and her inability to fly. We have some 5 week old chicks that are in the same section of the run as her, and they fly all around her...I hope she figures it out and starts to copy them. She steps on a leaf and it makes noise and it scares her. I am really annoyed that the feed store was only giving her corn....shame on them!
     
  5. elmo

    elmo Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 23, 2009
    DFW
    Sorry if you already know this, but I'm not sure whether you're just new to this forum or new to chickens generally. When you add a single chicken to an existing flock, there can be integration issues, so be careful and proceed cautiously. In the case of your particular chicken, she may not even know how to behave in a flock if she was kept isolated in a cage all of her life. There are many good threads here about integration strategies here, just do a search if you want more information. When I had to reintegrate a low ranking broody into my small flock, I approached it this way: I took one of the other low ranking chickens and put her in a pen with the former broody. The next day, I added another of the low ranking chickens, and so forth. This spared the former broody from being picked on by all the other chickens in a single day.

    The other thing to consider when you add a new chicken to the flock is whether you're going to quarantine for 30 days or so to see if the new chicken has any diseases that could be transmitted to your existing flock. It's a good idea to do this, I think.
     
  6. srodems

    srodems Out Of The Brooder

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    Jan 1, 2009
    Ben Lomond, CA
    Thanks Elmo. I have 13 girls. 9 adults, Ice Cream who is about 3-4 months, and three 5 week old chicks. Currently Ice Cream is in a separate part of the rund with the three little chicks and is learning from them. They will all be brought into the main run and house together as a group.

    We do let Ice Cream out to free range with the adults but she sleeps with the little girls at night. It is very cute!

    She is learning how to fly from the little girls and has put on some weight and gotten some balance in one short week! She is very sweet!
     

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