Questions about reintroducing Lady

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Katz5617, Dec 21, 2014.

  1. Katz5617

    Katz5617 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Lady was a very sick little lady, but I think I can safely say that she has made a wonderful comeback. I still believe that her left wing is paralyzed but she has pretty much learned to deal with it. I have been keeping her isolated during her illness, but as of now, I can see no reason not to reintroduce her into the run. I currently have her in a large dog kennel and five to six times a day I am allowing her out in the front yard to forage and exercise. The first few days she could barely stand, had absolutely no balance and would list to the left. Her toes were curling under - I thought she was a goner. I have been trying every remedy that was suggested here and have been very diligent in her care. While she still can't move her left wing and somehow I think this may be a permanent thing - she is walking completely normal. She forages for bugs and worms and is eating like a champ. She seems to have no vision problems, etc. I know that when she first became ill, once the other chickens realized it, they began to jump on her and peck at her feathers. I know that reintroducing her is not going to be easy and I will have to be with her to make sure she is safe. I have a couple of questions about how to safely place her back into the fold. As I said I know that when she is out among the other girls I will have to be with her, but I cannot stand guard 24/7. We do not have a separated run so it's not as if I can place her adjacent to them as they get used to her again - but I do have the large dog kennel that has the wire gate on the front. When I can't be with her would it be okay to place the kennel into the run with the door closed and do as I am doing now and go out five or six times a day to allow her with them as I stand guard. The kennel is a special order, "giant" size for a dog over 160 pounds - so she can stand and actually walk around in it while she is confined. Would that be sufficient to let the other girls get used to her - seeing her through the gate. How long does a reintroduction process typically take and approximately how long would it be before I can ascertain if they are ever going to accept her. If they aren't going to let her back into the fold, we are going to need to make plans to build and adjacent run and small house for her. I don't want to rush it, but I can't see any real point in not trying.
     
  2. Katz5617

    Katz5617 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Made the first attempt and all I can say is chickens are vicious creatures. I went holding her and put her down. They began circling her like vultures. The BR was the first to attack and I will have to say even though Lady was smaller she was holding her own but I pushed the BR off her and then the Cochin set in and Precious - the most docile of all the BO - she launched her own attack. Three pounced at once and I had to enter the melee and pick Lady up. The Buff who is so gentle was jumping up and pecking at my legs in a frenzy to get to Lady. My husband said I needed to let her take up for herself - but she is already weaker and smaller - no way. I put the kennel in the run and closed the door and they are at the front pecking at the grating and she seems just as anxious to get to them as they are her. I'm going to leave the kennel in there for a couple of hours and try to release her once more. I'm going to leave it under their covered portion of the run tonight and cover with blankets when the others go into the coop and see if the more they see her the more they will get used to her being back in the flock. I'll keep at it for a couple of days and see if it is going to work - otherwise off to Lowes for more building materials. If I hadn't read on here about keeping chickens separated and introducing them slowly I would never have expected anything like this.
     
  3. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    It's great that she is doing well enough to start going out with the rest of the flock. Reintroduction takes time--probably 2 weeks, by gradually letting her out with them. The dog kennel is a good idea, but the ones with wire all around can help them see her better. I use a temporary take apart pen from Lowes with netting on top to keep the others from flying in, to introduce chickens. A roost can be added easily. I can undo it and put it away till I need it again, or make it bigger or smaller. (see below.) I have also used the orange plastic fencing to make a divider in my coop by stapling it to walls, and cutting a slit to get through to change water and feed. Velcro ties will close it back up. When you eventually put them together, there will be some bullying, but just plan to be there for the day.[​IMG]
     
  4. Katz5617

    Katz5617 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks Eggcessive. That is a wonderful idea. I'll have to give that a try. I can leave the kennel in for her own private coop and leave the door open for her roosting and get the temporary fencing to fence it off. I was not quite prepared for the viciousness of the chickens she has been raised with since we got them at 3 weeks old. It was scary to witness.
     
  5. Eggcessive

    Eggcessive Chicken Obsessed Premium Member

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    Yes, it is scary when they forget their friend, and start attacking them like they are enemies. If I remove a broody hen for 4-5 days from the group, they will still sometimes give them a peck or two, but for longer periods of separation, it is just like adding a new chicken to the flock. I hope it goes well. If you have a persistent bully, just remove them from the flock for a few days, and it should work out.
     
  6. Katz5617

    Katz5617 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Well my husband came up with a solution - it just has to be finished. We have the supplies and when he is off tomorrow he is going to begin the build and it can be used when we get new chicks as well as for Lady. At the far end of the run he is attaching a slot on each side of the run. We purchased some of the plastic fencing so it would be light weight. We bought several 1x2's and they are the width of the run. He is building a picture box frame that is the width of the run and attaching the fencing to the frame. He will insert the frame into the slots on each side. The fencing is 4 feet high and we already have fencing over the top of the entire coop so if we clip the wings to the chickens they shouldn't be able to fly over and we won't have to roof the divider. We won't have to build a gate into the divided area because of the slots - because we used small pieces of lightweight wood and the plastic fencing it will be lightweight enough we can just raise it like a window to reach under and change the water and add food. We had just cleared a lot of junk from the attic and had several of the rubbermaid bins. We have turned them on their side, left the lid attached and he cut a square out for a door and has added small hinges to reattach the square and make a door. He drilled a couple of holes toward the bottom for ventilation in winter - but the door can remain open during the summer. It will be filled with straw and provide a temporary home and will be very portable when not needed. When there are not chicks being separated we can simply remove the panel from the slots and store under the playhouse along with the bins. I love the idea. That way it can be inserted when we need the divider and removed when there is no need and we can use it over and over. The materials cost us less than $25 so hubbie was happy. It's also a simple build - nothing difficult so he is happy about the simplicity and I am happy that all I will have to do is raise it up to get into the divided area.
     
  7. Katz5617

    Katz5617 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will be glad when the weather lets us today and hubbie can begin the partition. I took a minute to go out between the break in the rain and lightning and let Lady out for a few minutes, staying to keep a watch. For a few minutes I was hopeful. About ten minutes elapsed before the pecking began. I put out some fresh straw - with all the rain it was so wet and it gave them something to scratch through. For a few minutes they were so obsessed with the scratching that they paid Lady no mind. After about ten minutes the novelty of the dry straw wore off and Molly the BR was the first to jump on Lady - then the other three quickly circled and began to follow suit. I got her up and back in the kennel. I know it will take time - but for those first ten minutes I thought maybe it would work out sooner than planned - only to have those hopes dashed. The good news is she was able to get out and walk about for a while. With all this rain and lightning I didn't really hold out much hope I would even be able to let her out of the kennel today. There is a covered portion in the run where the other chickens can at least get out of the coop and walk around, but Lady has only the kennel until we get the partition in place.
     

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