Re-introducing sick hen to the outside

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by jasmine5904, Jan 5, 2015.

  1. jasmine5904

    jasmine5904 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2014
    SW Missouri
    Ok, chicken experts, I need your advice! I recently acquired two new hens, and I had to bring one inside to treat her for a severe lice infestation (she's a crossbeak, so she wasn't grooming herself like the others - I discovered the lice when I brought her in to give her a bath). Now that she's back to normal and the lice are dead, I need to get her back outside with the other girls. She's currently in a large dog crate in a spare bedroom, which is probably 60-something degrees (it's a little cooler than the rest of the house). I know chickens need to be acclimated to the cold, so I'm wondering - how cold is too cold to bring her back outside? Right now, we're having highs in the 20s-30s and lows in the teens and single digits. How warm should it be before I let her out? My girls free range my backyard all day, so I feel bad that she's trapped inside! :(
     
  2. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    How long did you keep her inside? If just a day or two, go ahead and put her outside. A dry, healthy adult bird can thrive in huge temperature swings such as 60-70 degrees. As long as they have adequate protection from the wind.

    I would be more worried about reintroducing her to the flock then the temperatures. The longer you kept her away from the flock, the bigger both problems will be. Even if she got along well with the other birds, they are not going to remember her and could very well attack. She may be in for a tough time of it. A single bird reintroduction is the hardest kind. Even with the best of intentions, separating a bird from the flock is generally not a good thing.

    Make sure there are plenty of hideouts, extra waterers and extra feeders. I don't think you need to worry about 30-50 degree temperature difference as much as the other birds.

    You probably examine your other birds for lice, as if one has it, the others can too.

    Mrs K
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2015
  3. jasmine5904

    jasmine5904 Out Of The Brooder

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    May 26, 2014
    SW Missouri

    Thanks, Mrs K! She's been inside for about a week - she was in pretty rough shape when I brought her in. She was wet, standing around by herself, and not eating much. She's doing a lot better now, and I've treated the rest of my girls for lice as well.

    As far as reintroduction goes, it was pretty painless the first time they were introduced - my old flock is made up of all buff orps, and they were more curious than anything else. There are plenty of places for her to hide if she needs to, and I do have a dog pen that I used as a "look but don't touch" pen when I first introduced them, so I can use that if needed.

    Thank you so much for the advice! I feel a lot better now about bringing her back outside.
     

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