Rehoming Four Hens ... But they don't look so good :(

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lynnseym, Aug 22, 2019.

  1. lynnseym

    lynnseym In the Brooder

    Aug 22, 2019
    Hi there, I'm hoping I can get some help asap :)

    We have a neighbor who has four rhode island hens and she is done with them and wants to get rid of them. They are about 2 years old and all but one has missing back butt feathers. One she said is brooding and does nothing but lay on fake eggs all day in her nesting box (she put them out there) and she said in the entire time she's been an adult her feathers on her butt are gone completely with just skin and it hasn't grown back. They are not free range, they are living in an enclosure about 10x10 feet wide with their house in it as well. She has never treated them for worms, etc. and they get hen scratch everyday twice a day and that's all, no pellets, etc. Could their feather loss be because of stress and lack of space? Or do you think it might be that they have mites, etc. I am worried about bringing these chickens into our backyard in a brand new coop, etc. if they are infested with stuff but she seemed to just think they are pecking at each other and I'm wondering if that isn't the truth because they are bored but then why is just one perfectly fine looking? Sorry for all the questions, these will be my first chickens and I really want to make sure that we are successful with them from day one.
  2. jane s chickens

    jane s chickens Free Ranging

    Nov 10, 2014
    Mites probably.
    ValerieJ and slordaz like this.
  3. sealer39

    sealer39 Crowing

    Aug 3, 2013
    Pineville, Louisiana
    Check them over VERY well for mites and lice and the coop also. Start them on chicken feed, I like Flock Raiser by Purina but there are other good options, oyster shell and grit on the side. Sounds like they could be very malnourished. Are the other hens that aren’t broody producing eggs? Post pics of the coop and chickens so others can weigh in on suggestions to improve the coop and get a idea of what could be wrong with the chickens. I’d consider adding a large secure run to the coop so they will have more space.
  4. Fur-N-Fowl

    Fur-N-Fowl Songster

    May 25, 2019
    Could be a variety of things such as mites/lice, stress or diet or a mix of all.

    If you are going to take them on, I'd ask to take a look at them beforehand.

    Before I take any bird in I always make sure to get a hold and physically examine them for such things.
  5. lynnseym

    lynnseym In the Brooder

    Aug 22, 2019
    I did go and see them and her and her girls hold them all the time so I doubt it is lice. But now you all have me FREAKING out about lice, that's literally my worst fear is to get it. :( However, I wouldn't be surprised if it were mites, which I've been told isn't that big of a deal and can be easily remedied? Please give me suggestions if you have any. I couldn't get a photo because I felt like that would have been weird to ask since I don't know her personally and stuff. I talked to someone local and they said they definitely think it's mites, lack of space for all four of them and of course that they aren't being fed properly for laying 2/3 eggs a day, there is no protein hardly at all in their diet. They would be transferred to a brand new coop and 1/2 acre of open range land with grass (where I live) so if we do take them on it's a MUCH bigger and much better situation for them. I guess now I just don't want lice. Hahahah. Does it look the same as mites?! All of them lay eggs except the broody one. And one has no butt feathers, the broody one, and two of them have sad looking tails and one has no issues at all. All same age and all raised as chicks.

    Thanks everyone!
  6. slordaz

    slordaz hatchaholic

    Apr 15, 2015
    Sevin dust usually takes care of mites, when bringing them in though you are going to want to keep them in probably until you dust the second time and by then they will be accustomed to this is now home. I would go with a flock raiser and oyster shell along with vitamins and electrolytes from sound of things, get em fixed up and on right track back to health
  7. TinaMarieofFL

    TinaMarieofFL Songster

    Apr 29, 2018
    Hilliard, FL
    Most likely poor nutrition. Scratch isn't enough, particularly when they are not allowed to free range. Lack a source of protein. You could take them are try to isolate them and/or start treatment for mites immediately. Their poor nutrition isn't contagious to your other birds.
    Shame on your neighbor for neglecting her birds! If you can't or won't care for animals properly, DON'T GET ANIMALS!
  8. lynnseym

    lynnseym In the Brooder

    Aug 22, 2019
    Sorry! Did you mean to keep them separate from their new home first? Just wondering because it seems there was a typo! thank you so much!
    ValerieJ likes this.
  9. 21hens-incharge

    21hens-incharge Addict

    Mar 9, 2014
    Northern Colorado
    I would be very reluctant to take the on for the following reasons.

    They are past the prime productive time.
    They are in poor condition from largely unknown issues.
    They have not been fed properly and are likely to have long term health issues from it.
    I would not trust that the bird sitting in the nest day in and day out for such a long time is broody and not gravely ill.
    I certainly would not want to bring potential parasites into my brand new coop.

    I really always want people to have a happy chickening experience.
    Taking on someone else's issues rarely results in a happy experience.
    biophiliac and ValerieJ like this.
  10. TinaMarieofFL

    TinaMarieofFL Songster

    Apr 29, 2018
    Hilliard, FL
    sorry typing quickly while trying to keep up with the other replies. I was meaning to keep them separate from YOUR flock until you knew what was wrong with them. Now that I see it really is just lousy nutrition and probably mites, it won't be necessary UNLESS there is a big size difference. Someone's gonna get bullied in that case but best to let them work it out among themselves.
    PS. Bless you for saving them. I hate to see an animal suffer.

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