Picked up new hens today

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by davekrista, Jul 12, 2010.

  1. davekrista

    davekrista Songster

    510
    1
    129
    Jun 9, 2010
    Uxbridge, MA
    Ok so we picked up new hens today. 6 RIR. We got them off craigslist, and the lady we got them from said she didn't know the age, but thought they were a year or 2 old..... I'm new to chickens and have 6 younger ones about 3 months old. But to me, it looks like all 6 of the RIR, have weird looking beaks, almost like they were all clipped. Is this something that people do for some reason or another? Will the beaks grow back? They even eat a differently than the ones that I already have, so I'm not sure how much they are actually getting in their mouth because it goes everywhere. I kind of feel bad like they aren't eating all they should... When we put them in the coop, all 6 went straight for the food and ate for a long time. They were starving, but I never did see them drink, so tomorrow I will have to see how that works for them..... Is there anything I can do to help them with their beaks? Or is this normal for RI Reds? I'm just so confused as to why their beaks would like like they were all clipped....

    Any help and advice would be appreciated.... Sorry if this is posted in the wrong section, I wasn't sure where to put it...
    Krista
     
  2. The beaks probably were clipped. People do this if they have problems with pecking. Pecking is usually a sign of boredom such as being in too close of quarters. Many battery houses will do this to the hens because they are crammed into cages where they cannot hardly move. There is not a lot you can do to help them. If they seem to be having trouble eating then the beaks were probably trimmed too far back to be able to help them. The beak does grow to some extent but if they used an electric catarizing debeaker then they will not grow back.
    You will want to keep these girls in quarantine for up to 30 days to make sure they are not carriers of some disease that could be passed to your younger birds.
     
  3. davekrista

    davekrista Songster

    510
    1
    129
    Jun 9, 2010
    Uxbridge, MA
    Thank you. Would they be able to eat the pellets better or is it better to give them the mash stuff? Would one be easier than the other for them? We have pellets that we got from the lady we got them from, but I had put the mash stuff in the feeder for them before they got here so that is what is in there now. Would one be better over the other?
     
  4. Depending on how far back their beaks are cut it might be easier for them to eat mash. You might want to try making it a wet mash if they still seem to have trouble eating it. But if you do a wet mash then you will have to really watch it so that it doesn't spoil. You can also feed them cooked scrambled eggs, yogurt and pasta. You might also want to try putting their food in a straight sided dish to help them and also to save the feed from going everywhere. If the birds are quite skinny then you will want to get them on a higher protien diet which the scrambled eggs are good for that along with some wet cat food. The birds will probably need to be wormed which I would start with a treatment of Wazine and then 2 weeks later use Ivermectin. If they are laying, don't eat the eggs while worming and for 10 days after the final worming. Check them for external parasites such as lice and mites.
     
  5. davekrista

    davekrista Songster

    510
    1
    129
    Jun 9, 2010
    Uxbridge, MA
    Thank you. You are so helpful. I love this site. Where can I get the Wazin and Ivermectin? Are they available at the feed store? Also we have 1 egg layed this morning and some others in and out of the nesting box, so I think there may be more, are those eggs good to eat or no? I was planning on maybe scrambling them up and feeding it back to them when some crushed up egg shells, but my husband wants to eat them so now I'm not sure..
     
  6. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    If the former owner hasn't wormed them in the past 2, 3 weeks (and I bet you suspect she didn't), then those eggs are fine to eat.
     
  7. davekrista

    davekrista Songster

    510
    1
    129
    Jun 9, 2010
    Uxbridge, MA
    I'm not sure about anything from the old owners. I don't think she did much. My husband said they were kept in a very small coop. He brought 2 good size boxed to take them home in. And he said the boxes he had for the 6 of them were bigger then the coop and run they were in. So I'm suspecting that might be why the beaks are clipped, and why they may have feathers missing. They seem to be settling in quite nicely but I do need to get some more nesting boxes for them. To me they seem kind of on the skinnier side. They are a good size, but seem maybe very lean to me... Should I also put the poly visol drops in the water or will that not help them?
     
  8. You can put the Poly-Vi-Sol in their water. Just make sure it is the version WITHOUT iron. As for Wazine and Ivermectin you can usually get it at your local feed store. If you have problems finding it we do sell both through our website or you can PM me. You will probably be able to get away with just one or maybe 2 nest boxes. They all seem to like to use the same box. We have about 40 hens using 3 boxes yet they have 28 to choose from.
     
  9. davekrista

    davekrista Songster

    510
    1
    129
    Jun 9, 2010
    Uxbridge, MA
    Thanks so much for the info. I will have my husband stop on his way home from work at the feeds store...Will the bare spots where the feathers are missing, will that fill back in? or should I do something to help it?
     
  10. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Give them BOSS (Black Oil Sunflower Seeds) as treats. That will help promote feather growth.
     

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by