lonely chicken in quarantine, advise?

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by socks, Jan 11, 2010.

  1. socks

    socks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    o.k. our mistake, we went to get a couple of Araucana type chickens for our friends who took our extra rooster and oops! we ended up getting one for ourselves. stupid, we should have gotten two because she is very lonely and freaked out(but there were really only 3 available).
    We transformed a chicken tractor into the new quarantine pen and put it facing the other run so everyone can get acquainted by sight but she doesn't seem to be eating much and when I go down she is doing a lot of pacing. I think we need to stick to our guns about the quarantine but is there anything I can do to make her a little happier (she is utterly terrified of me and I'd have to sneak up on her in the dark to pick her up). She came from a situation where there were big open pens and coops with no doors so this is probably adding to her fright.
    I have planned on letting her out to free range with the others at some point hoping that might be a good introduction but expect I shouldn't think about doing that for quite awhile. Right now is day 5.

    I will be contacting the former owners to see what kind of treats she might be used to but other than that can't think of anything to make her happier. Any advice????

    as always, thanks.
     
  2. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    When you quarantine a chicken, you are checking to see if they are carrying parasites (mies, lice, worms) or if they have picked up any diseases in the last few days that they could give to your chickens. It is a good idea, especially if the chicken came from a chicken swap or somewhere it has been exposed to other chickens from different sources. What quarantine does not check for is if the flock the chicken came from has a disease that the other flock has built up an immunity to. Sometimes chicks can develop immunities from something which will kill older chickens or maybe you have a chicken that survived the disease but still carries it. I'm specifically thinking cocci but it could also happen with some other diseases. You will never know until this chicken has a chance to infect your flock.

    I'm not arguing against quarantine. It is a valuable tool. It just does not check for everything. What I would strongly consider in your situation is to put one of your chickens in with the new bird, both for company and to see if your chicken comes down with anything. In my opinion, it is better to risk one bird rather than your entire flock.
     
  3. isabrownmom

    isabrownmom Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I have a bird in chicken hospital in my garage. I know she is miserable lonely but if I put her back into the coop/run with the other 5 that were pecking her to death she'd be dead by now! I seriously do not know what to do next! I can't have a chicken in my garage forever but I'm sure they would start in on her again if I returned her to the coop. She was underweight so she is been getting quite spoiled of late with treats, mealworms and such. I don't think it's fair that I cull her just 'cause the others are meanies! I could use advice, too! What do you do for a lonely chicken?
     
  4. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner Chicken Obsessed

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    First, I suggest you read Buff's article on integrating chickens. It may not specifically address your situation but I think it will give you good information so you understand better what is going on. I consider it a good article.

    Buff HooliganÂ’s Adding to your flock
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/web/viewblog.php?id=2593-adding-to-your-flock

    What I would do is build a wire cage where the hen can be housed with the other chickens without them being able to get to her. I would throw feed on the ground next to her where they all eat next to each other. I'd make the cage big enough so that, when she is healed, I could put one other chicken in with her, one of the less-aggressive hens. After they show they can get along, I'd turn them loose with the flock when I can watch them. Then I would isolate the aggressive hen(s) that start the pecking in the cage for a couple of days if I need to. IfI had one overly aggressive hen, I'd consider culling her instead of the new one. I'd make sure the others accepted the new one first though.

    I imagine you will get other good suggestions. Good luck. Sometimes these things can be fixed and sometimes they can be hard.
     
  5. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

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    I agree about considering putting one of your other chickens in with her. It may sound mean, but do you have any others who you are a bit less attached to? Just in case? It might keep her company........this is all assuming she appears healthy. If so, and you have 1 you could "stand to lose", I would put her in with the newbie. If they get along, not only are you making sure the newcomer is not carrying anything that will hurt your flock, you are also helping the integration as your new chicken will have an instant friend and comrade, so to speak, once they are with the "big flock".

    It would be breaking quarantine, but may be your best option, other than just keeping the new chicken alone.
     
  6. socks

    socks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Whew! that was a lot of reading (sobering advice) and thanks for that link and the replies and um ...yikies!!! It sounds like I should stick to my guns and keep her quarantined. I only have 3 other hens who are dear to me so don't want to risk them. The only other option and I can't imagine it being a good one is my rooster.
    Henry, a calm buff orpington who seems more 'chicken' than the girls sometimes (he's always the last one out of the coop, what's up with that, (these guys are only 6 months old though) has been in his own quarantine due to a strange problem with his crow....strangled sounding.
    He has been kept in a pen that surrounds but is separate from the coop. He sees his girls and sleeps just below their window (romantic but maybe not the most thorough of quarantine, you say?). Anyway, after about 7 days his crowing got almost back to normal so I am close to bringing him back to them but...... I would rather risk the new hen to catching something from him than the others (still trying to track down Oxine and will administer it when I get it as my best bet is that it is something respiratory).

    So, like I say, probably a bad idea putting a roo in with a new chicken (she is supposed to be at point of lay so I'm thinking about 5 months old)?? Seriously, I am a newbie so rather clueless. your thoughts????
     
  7. socks

    socks Chillin' With My Peeps

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    and isabrownmom, I did that with a bird that had been injured, put him (well I thought he was a she then [​IMG] ) with my mildest little bird as company while he convalesced. Interestingly enough she ended up being his main squeeze it would seem and started bullying the rest when they got back together.

    Still have no evidence that my rooster is um...getting sexual favours from the girls, maybe he's too young at 6 months??
     

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