Making quarantine bearable

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by melslp13, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. melslp13

    melslp13 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2014
    Acquired 2 new beautiful LF birds to add to my flock a couple days ago. One, an ameraucana, is about 7 months, another, an EE is a year old. I put them in my "chicken hospital/quarantine" pen which is a 5x4 nook in my garage caged off with pine shavings, a wood ash pit, and sand on the floor. They have a perch in there and a nest box for the EE to lay in.
    So far, they are both utterly terrified, and the EE, who was already beginning to molt, is now molting even harder. I'm giving them small amounts of treats and toys (buried raisins in the bedding for them to find, a jar with holes poked in in wheat berries to fish out of the holes) to try to help them keep busy since it's a small enclosure and I don't have a chicken tractor to let them out into the yard away from my other flockers' enclosure (I'm afraid to let them free range for fear I will NEVER get them back into the pen in the garage at night and we've had recent haw attacks outside the enclosure). The EE, though is being a really nasty bully to the younger Ameraucana, and I'm wondering if anyone has any other suggestions for how to make quarantine more bearable for both of them. I don't have the space or $$ to build another pen to separate them, but I will try something if I have to. It hasn't come to blood or anything, just really hard nasty pecking and growling behaviors. They are utterly terrified of me and when I come in it seems the EE's bullying worsens (I watch them from behind a window sometimes and they aren't aware of it- I'm a chicken stalker, lol). It seems like it's going to be a LONG month in quarantine if this keeps up.
     
  2. aart

    aart Chicken Juggler! Premium Member

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    Go sit near them a few times a day, or more if possible, also just move thru the area frequently without paying them any attention. Move quietly and calmly, talk softly, doling out a few treats, don't try to touch or pick them up...just be the food giver.

    They'll get used to you being there and learn you have good thing to eat, but it takes time and patience.

    As long as the 'bullying' isn't drawing any blood or is unceasing, leave them to it.
    Did they growing up together or are they new to each other?

    The EE will not lay while molting and the molting may have accelerated because of stress.
    If removing the nest makes more room in the enclosure, take it out....or it might be a place for one to spend some alone time/hide out from the other.
     
  3. melslp13

    melslp13 Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 16, 2014
    They are not new to each other, according to the previous owner. I think the aggressiveness is just due to the recent stress of moving and only having each other to see in there. Thanks for the suggestions. I think the nest is allowing the Ameraucana a place to retreat/a barrier to slow the aggressive hen down at least. I'm giving a scrambled egg to help her through the molt... hoping the extra protein helps her. The black feathers are just everywhere, lol.
     

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