Need help ASAP!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by SouthernHoney, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. SouthernHoney

    SouthernHoney Out Of The Brooder

    Jul 19, 2012
    Ok, while this may not seem like an emergency to everyone, it is to me. We've had some nasty storms come through last night/ today and our coop door was somehow broken during all of this. Long story short, before we figured out what had happened, our dog got into our chickens and killed almost all of them. We have 1 hen left and two missing...I assume they're dead too... or will be when the coyotes get to them.

    I don't know what to do now.

    My poor hen is all alone. part of me wants to go buy maybe 2 more so she wont be alone. I also worry about buying new hens because of the pecking order. if i get young ones, i dont want her to hurt them. If i get older ones, I risk them not being friendly- or outright mean. I've had to "deal" with a mean/aggressive chicken before and I didn't enjoy doing it. I want my chickens to be friendly because you never know when you'll need to be able to handle them.(hurt, sick, etc..) I know that being friendly is part of what made mine an easy target.

    What do I do now? How do I rebuild my flock. Any tips? Experiences? Words of advise?

  2. 15shenyl

    15shenyl Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 14, 2012
    Yakima Washington
    You may want to look around to see if you can buy new hens. In the Buy Sell Trade section you could find some very nice chickens who would fit in with your other hen. You don't really need to worry about the pecking order unless you see pulling feathers or bad things happening you may need to remove them. If your also really worried about nice chickens, you could get new chicks and hand raise them and show your hen the new chicks every day, that worked for me. One thing you might be more worried about bringing new things to the chicken you have which could get to her if she's not immune to it. Good luck with this, hope you can get some new chickens soon.
  3. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

    Jun 28, 2011
    Rep of Ireland
    I'm so sorry to hear about your loss [​IMG] Getting new chickens would be a good idea and I think POL pullets or mature hens would restore things back to normal for your hen quicker. But... you will have to quarantine the newcomers for a month, regardless of where you got them from, to make sure they don't carry any pests or disease. Put them somewhere your hen can see and hear them, so she'll know they are there and she'll have company, in a way, without being able to physically get to them. By the time the month is over she should be used to them and they should get along. Try the BST section and see if there's hens for sale in your area and also try CL. Good luck!
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  4. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2008
    I agree that getting new hens is your best bet, and older hens that are laying or at POL will be the easiest to introduce. I think it will go find, since the new hens won't be on their home turf, and you only have one hen, so she will have a lot of targets and that will spread all the pecking around.

    I do disagree about the quarantine. Quarantine is meant to protect whole flocks from a group of newcomers, and it's very difficult to do well. Unless you can set up a second chicken pen, well away from your coop and not in a place where the wind will blow dander from the new birds to the old, and you always go to your chickens first, and then feed the newcomers, and then have a shower and completely change your clothes and sanitize your shoes before you go back to your chickens, and nothing from the new chickens touches anything that will get near your old chickens...etc. etc. then quarantine isn't very effective. And it certainly isn't effective if they are in sight of each other, since some of the worst diseases are caused by dander or droplets that can blow in the wind.

    Since you just have one hen, you would be putting just one hen at risk, and that's a very different thing than introducing new birds to a flock, or to a group of very expensive show chickens. If it were me, I'd check the new birds out carefully, and pay attention to the place they are living to see if that person is a good flock manager--and if they have coughing or sneezing chickens, or any with discharge or facial swelling, I'd be out of there pretty fast AND I'd sanitize my shoes AND run my car through a car wash before I came home. If the place looks OK and the hens look healthy, I'd dust them and my old bird for mites the first day, and I'd watch them.

    I know it's a heck of a drive from TN to OH, but if you want, I'll give you two RSL that are laying eggs too big for my cartons right now... I'm sorry this happened to you. <hugs>
    1 person likes this.
  5. Ridgerunner

    Ridgerunner True BYC Addict

    Feb 2, 2009
    Northwest Arkansas
    I agree. Quarantine is a good tool when used right but doesn’t work very well when used wrong. It is a great time to worm and treat new chickens for mites and lice. Another thing to consider is that some chickens have diseases or parasites and have developed immunity to them. No matter how long you quarantine them, that will never show up until they are mingled with your chickens. Coccidiosis is a great example. It is also possible that your chicken is the one that is infected and immune. To me, the proper way to do quarantine is to take a potentially sacrificial chicken from your flock and put it with the totally isolated newcomers and see if any of them get sick. Since you only have one chicken left, I would not worry about quarantine. Find a few grown or practically grown chickens and put them together. You still have to go through an integration. If you have a fair amount of space, I’d just turn them loose and let them mingle. If space is really tight housing them side by side a few days could really help out. Chickens have developed ways to live together that often involve the weaker running from the stronger until they get used to each other. As long as you have room for them to run away, they usually work things out.
  6. WalkingOnSunshine

    WalkingOnSunshine Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 8, 2008
    This is true. It's possible that your flock will infect the newcomers, not the other way around. We are lucky enough to have a true avian specialist near us, and he always wants a blood sample from one of the new birds AND a sample from our current flock when he's doing a blood screen for potential disease in new birds. That way he can tell me what's coming into the flock and what I've got in my current birds. Avian diseases are easily spread from wild birds, so a flock that was ordered as chicks and has never had a new bird introduced and isn't showing any symptoms may still be disease carriers, unfortunately.

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