New to Chickens

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Flying Carpet, Aug 27, 2014.

  1. Flying Carpet

    Flying Carpet Hatching

    Aug 27, 2014
    Hello there everyone,

    Just thought I'd introduce myself as I've been spending quite a few hours trawling through these forum pages searching for advice and laughing at the photos.

    My wife and I rescued 4 ex-battery hens around 3 months ago and have enjoyed every minute of having them since. We live in sunny Suffolk in the East of England and our girls seem to have taken to their new found freedom with easy.

    We've never had chickens before but we have a nice large garden that we thought would be perfect to give some hens a new life in. Although i used to be very proud of my lawn, I've sacrificed it for the jly of watching the girls scratching around looking for their next snack.

    Each of our girls has a very distinct personality and we totally adore them all. Its been the best thing we've done for ages (since getting married)!

    Recently Daisy, who occupies the lowest rung on the pecking order has started with a few new traits which worry me slightly. She's started to lift her feet high in front of her, goose stepping as though in the Chinese Army marching. So she's walking funny but she's also keeping her neck retracted and pulled into her shoulders. Any suggestions?

    We were getting three or four eggs a day but this month we've only been getting 2 eggs a day but I'm not sure this is related, more likely just because the girls are growing feather ready for winter and its been a bit cooler recently.

    As an aside, they're no longer laying in the nesting boxes instead, they now lay in a 'secret nest' in the now defunct compost heap.

    So keeping chickens, all in all seems to be brilliant fun and a real adventure but it's another four girls for me to worry about and I love them dearly already!

    So that's my intro.

    Flying Carpet.
  2. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    [​IMG] Glad you joined us!

    Feel free to ask lots of questions! We're all here to help. [​IMG]

    Does Daisy always walk the way you described, or are there times when she acts normally? I would check her crop early in the morning, when it should be pretty flat/empty. I'd also look at her legs and feet for any swelling, scabs, or other signs of injury. Some of my chickens do the same "high walking," but only occasionally and for short periods of time.

    Good luck with her, and the rest of your flock!
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014
  3. Wyandottes7

    Wyandottes7 Crowing

    Jul 24, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]We're glad to have you.

    Good luck with your flock!
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014
  4. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Crowing

    Apr 5, 2013
    Welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I have never heard of a marching chicken. Is it all the time or just steps here and there?
  5. Flying Carpet

    Flying Carpet Hatching

    Aug 27, 2014
    Thanks for the warm welcome!

    Daisy has only been marching for the last few days. She does it all day and has put herself in bed a few hours early today. She doesn't look sad with droopy wings or anything but you can tell there's something not right with her. She's been a bit pensive all day.

    I'll check her crop in the morning. Not sure what that is but I'll look it up!

    Thanks again and I'll let you know how we get on.

  6. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Crowing

    Apr 5, 2013
    This may help you locate the crop. I'm going to do some looking and see if I can find something that could explain her march.
  7. BayBay Peepers

    BayBay Peepers Crowing

    Apr 5, 2013

    Just checking quickly it could be an illness OR it could be a vitamin deficiency. Which would make sense considering her background. I'm not sure what kind of products/supplements are available in your area, but I attached a starting point of threads that could help.
  8. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Bird is the Word

    Mar 21, 2011
    New Mexico, USA
    My Coop
    Hello there and welcome to BYC! [​IMG]

    I chicken with a crop issue can look as if she is itching her crop with her foot. Yes, they can lift their feet high as they are moving around. Even if they are contemplating moving, they will move the foot as if to itch the crop. As BantamLover has said, you need to feel her crop first thing in the morning to see if it is empty. Chickens should go to bed with a full crop, and be completely empty in the morning.

    If her crop is soft and squishy first thing in the morning before she has eaten or drank anything, she could have a slow or sour crop, If it is a hard ball, then she has an impacted crop.

    If it is soft, she will need a vomiting first thing to get the gunk out of there. That stuff is rotting and can make them sick. You would not let her out to free range or eat anything but some damp layer feed for a few days. Probiotics in the water.

    If it is hard, you will need to confine her with no food for 24 hours. Water only. If you can get water down into her without aspirating her, do it. Water water and more water. NO oil! Just water for 24 hours. Usually this gets an impaction moving.

    As for them laying in other spots, make sure your nest boxes are squeaky clean and put some fake eggs in the boxes to entice them to lay there. You can confine them for a the morning hours to help them to lay in the boxes instead of outside.
  9. Mountain Peeps

    Mountain Peeps Change is inevitable, like the seasons

    Apr 23, 2014
    My Coop
    Welcome to BYC! Please make yourself at home and we are here to help.

    X2 you should check their crops each night and morning. At night they should feel hard and full. In the morning you shouldn't even be able to feel it.

    Like Two Crows said if it is hard and squishy it could be a sign of sour crop.

    It's funny, earlier this year I had a pullet named Daisy with a crop issue too. She's all better now.[​IMG]

    Try and get your chicken to vomit by massaging the crop while holding the bird upside down. Also, keep her off all foods for at least a day. No oil no matter what you read. Get her to drink as much as possible.

    And x2 on putting fake eggs in the assigned area to lay eggs.

    Good luck!
  10. Kelsie2290

    Kelsie2290 Free Ranging

    Feb 18, 2011
    Hello :frow and Welcome To BYC! You've gotten some good suggestions / advice above, good luck with Daisy.

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