Neighbors gave us chickens..multiple questions!

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by sixsprings, Jul 8, 2007.

  1. sixsprings

    sixsprings Hatching

    Jul 8, 2007
    Our neighbors just gave us 4 chickens...1 rooster, 3 hens. We went ahead and rigged something up in one of the barns to keep theirs separate from ours. They had been kept in a rabbit sized cage and only fed scratch. These are full size, laying hens and a very big rooster.

    Now for the questions!

    1. All 4 are missing their tail feathers, with the rooster looking the worst. Could this be because of the close confinement they had? Right now they are in a very large spot, half grass, half dirt, lots of room up and around. What should we do? We do not currently have any pine tar. Is there anything else we can use until we pick some up? Vasoline?

    2. They are eating their eggs. Aside from standing out there all day long to grab the eggs right away, is there anything we can do to prevent this?

    3. Will going from only scratch to free ranging with supplement feed be bad on their systems? Or will only good things happen?

    4. At what point can we start introducing them to our flock?

    5. Coming from such close quarters in an area shared with peafowl and pheasants, should we be on the safe side and dust for fleas and mites?

    6. If the rooster proves to be too mean to our children, can we eat him? I have heard that full grown roosters are not good for eating.

  2. sara

    sara Title Needed Here

    I've never had any of my chickens eat their eggs, but I have heard that it can be nearly impossible to stop them once they start. Correct me if I am wrong...
  3. fowlweatherfriends

    fowlweatherfriends Songster

    Mar 14, 2007
    The Sunny South
    1. Yes, close contact. Give them time to refeather.
    2. Try making nestboxes that have a "roll away" feature so the eggs roll away and out a hatch door thing.
    3. Freeranging will help thm immensely!
    4. Generally 30 days. I know it's tough, but best to be safe so no disease is spread (I quarentined mine for 30 days-it was hard).
    5. Dust with food grade DE (search this site if you need info).
    6. You can eat 'em, just make sure they are disease free. Roosters are for making fried chicken-hens for baking,.
  4. chickiebird

    chickiebird In the Brooder

    Jun 16, 2007
    Annapolis Valley
    I'm sure I read on here somewhere about how to stop egg-eating chickens - something like blowing out a few eggs and filling them with mustard and placing them back in the nests - I'm a newbie myself so I don't want to give wrong advice, but I'm sure I saw it here, just can't direct you to where!
  5. sixsprings

    sixsprings Hatching

    Jul 8, 2007
    Thank you! We will free range them as soon as we can integrate them into our flock. Until then, they do have a lot more room than before, and grass and plants.

    We will be buying some DE to dust with. We will probably end up dusting our flock, too, as a precaution.
  6. bayouchica

    bayouchica Songster

    Jan 23, 2007
    N.E. Louisiana
    HI & welcome to BYC, you may want to give them some dried cat food,they could be also picking feathers because of lack of protein. That may explain the egg eating since they have only been fed scratch. Do try to get them on some layer pellets.
    Congrats on your new chickens & if ya have anymore questions ask away!
  7. Buckguy20

    Buckguy20 OKIE MOSES

    Apr 13, 2007
    Choctaw Oklahoma
    I second the more protein plan, mine won't eat cat food but I use high protein laying pellets and that will help bring them around.
    Also some oyster shell and grit. IF they are free ranging now, they won't need the grit, they will find their own. You might also try putting apple cider vinegar in their water.
    As for the rooster when you put him with another rooster, there will some kind of altercation. A short fight, a long fight, something, until a pecking order is established. Decide which rooster you want to keep and then get rid of the other.
    As for the egg eating, I think they will stop once their nutrition needs are being met. If they have just been eating scratch then they are in need of nutrition. Being out to eat greens things will help, but you might also ry giving them fruit or vegetable scraps.
    Hope this helps and welcome aboard.
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2007

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