Jersey Giants acting very lethargic/can't fly - is this normal?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by partysummer07, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. partysummer07

    partysummer07 In the Brooder

    Feb 15, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    So today I bought two Jersey Black Giants who are probably about 4-6 months old. Maybe.

    That's question number one, I have no idea how old they are. They already seem like the size of a regular chicken but still don't have their combs yet. The guy I got them from said they were about two months from laying eggs, but I didn't think to ask exactly how old they were.

    My real question though is that they seem extremely lethargic. When I put them in their coop they just sat down and stayed there for about an hour. I wanted to make sure they understood that they could go outside into the run, so I picked one of them up and put her through the hole in the floor into the run. After some more sitting she finally walked around and searched for bugs for a bit, but after maybe 20 minutes of that they both basically just sat around for the rest of the day, and would only get up if the dog (a completely harmless well meaning pooch) came near the run/coop and scared them. Anyway I was just wondering if this is normal? Are they just tired from the big day?

    The other thing that worries me is that they can't seem to find their way around the coop! There is a ramp with footholds that connects the coop to the run but they won't even try standing on the lowest foothold about 2 inches from the ground, let alone climbing up it! The one of them is sleeping in the run under the coop because she didn't know the way in and I couldnt catch her before it got dark. I'm not too worried because its warm here in florida tonight, but I would like them to use the coop and roost! The one inside the coop is roosting on the edge of the nestbox even though there is a platform only 18 inches off the floor and the roost is only a foot higher than that. I though for sure a bird that size could make it up there, no problem.

    Anyway, sorry this post is so long-winded. I thought from reading this site and forum so much I knew a bit about chickens but I guess I'm stilla total newb!

    EDIT: OK! So I read some other posts and decided to pick the one in the coop up and place her on the roost. She was NOT HAPPY to be picked up at first, but seems much happier up there.
    P.S. Their names are Enya and Winnifred
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2009
  2. Southerngirl

    Southerngirl Songster

    Mar 25, 2008
    Central Arkansas
    Were they raised in a cage only ? I rescued some laying hens and they laid around on the ground until they realized they could actually walk around. You may want to keep giving them some electrolyte water for a few days. Good luck.
  3. Omran

    Omran Songster

    Jul 26, 2008
    Bagdad KY
    Just give them few days to let them realize that's thier new home now, and if you have any other poultry please make sure hat they don't get in any kind of contact with the new one till you know tat they are healthy and don't carry any desease.
    when I got my first pullets, they stayed in thier coop for at least 4 days before they got out.

    good luck.

  4. I got some NJG roos a few weeks ago. Apparently they were in a run and their wings have been clipped.

    The one found his way outside in a few days and started cruising the property in search of love and a good fight.

    The other one took darn near two weeks and finally in the last few days has ventured out. He is much more docile and stays a good distance from the other roos.

    I would give em up to a few weeks to get their "sea legs".
  5. jhm47

    jhm47 Songster

    Sep 7, 2008
    Your new hens need at least 2-3 weeks to acclimate themselves to their new surroundings. They could have been raised in a place where they had no opportunity to roost, and you will need to teach them to roost. As to their not knowing how to use their ramp, it is a similar situation for them. Chickens that have been raised in a sheltered environment need a lot of time to learn to do many of the things that others learned while they were chicks. Just give them time, and they will come around.
  6. partysummer07

    partysummer07 In the Brooder

    Feb 15, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    Thanks you guys! You're all totally right I think. Winnifred finally used the ramp today and is back up in the coop. Theyre just chillin' and standing there, but at least I think theyre starting to figure out that they can go into the run if they want to. I'm sure theyre just getting settled in like you all said. I guess I was just surprised (since these are my first chickens) that instead of getting settled into their new home by exploring it theyre doing it by just sitting there!
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2009

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