Rescue chicken behavior?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by Nancyjane, Oct 8, 2009.

  1. Nancyjane

    Nancyjane Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 9, 2008
    I have one thread going about my rescue chickens that started eating their eggs. We're working on that one.
    My next question is about behaviors that they have never learned, being raised in tiny cages.
    They will NOT go up to the nests or roosting areas. I gave them nesting boxes on the ground at first cause their wings and tails had been so severely cropped, but they still haven't figured it out after almost a year! I have always had a ladder going up to the nesting boxes, but have never seen them go up there. Actually, I have never seen them relax at ALL! They are SOOOOO hyper and skittish! They're leghorns. My RIR is miss coolness! Very calm!
    If I go out to the coop at almost dark, the RIR is settling in and the LHs are buzzing around squaukin away and running from me like I have a hatchet in my hand!
    I'm trying to get a smaller, better built house from my neighbor, so they might roost and nest where they are supposed to, or have my newly unemployed DH build one.
    Does anyone have plans for a nesting box that the eggs roll away from the nest? That would help with the egg eating, I hope.
    Happy chickens! Nancy
     
  2. Chook-A-Holic

    Chook-A-Holic Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 5, 2009
    Central, N.C.
    Me and the wife got 600 (yes 600) rescue ex-batts back in 94. These birds were in pitiful shape. Most of them only had 10% of their feathers, sores all over them, and they had all been de-beaked. We and some friends of ours were bound and determined to try to rehabilitate them the best we could and find good homes for them. Little did we know that that would be a 3yr endeavor.

    After a few months of high protein feed and proper medical treatment they started coming around physically. Mentally they were a mess. After months and months of frustration trying to get them somewhat socialized, we stumbled upon something. We got every chicken in the area that we could find that was cheap or free and put with them.

    Believe it or not they started coming around and figured out that humans were not going to harm them. It still took almost 2yrs. before the first one would eat out of my hand. What a day of celebration. Everyday got better and better after that, before long more and more were going to homes and farms to live out their lives.

    These birds were also egg eaters, however we weren't concerned with that really. We did however notice once they felt secure and calmed down the egg eating stopped. I believe and will always believe that stress can be contributing factor to egg eating.

    I would suggest getting the birds acclimated to the good life, then work on the egg eating.
     
  3. Nancyjane

    Nancyjane Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 9, 2008
    Actually, their egg laying was consistant all through the winter. They layed on the ground at first and I gave them nesting boxes on the ground with golf balls in them. They started laying in the nests just fine!
    It has only been the last few weeks that the egg eating has started and now, I think the RIR has taken it up also.
    I've tried the cayenne and hot sauce on the eggs. Apparently, they don't taste HOT. I put some cat food and crushed up egg shells in the laying mash. They get veges from the garden almost every day.
    I will try the soap in the eggs for a couple of days, then, I'm afraid I will have to give them away as pets. I just can't afford to keep them if I also have to buy eggs! (layoff situation)
    Nancy
     
  4. JENx

    JENx Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 14, 2009
    Leicester, England
    We have 3 ex-battery chickens and we have been very lucky! They are very healthy, happy to be handled, not bother by other animals and no strange behaviours!!

    Good luck with your girls!
     
  5. Nancyjane

    Nancyjane Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 9, 2008
    Got one egg today around noon. I told DH to check again about the same time tomorrow.
    I'm going to blow out some eggs tonight and fill them with soap.
    Any more suggestions would be great. Nancy
     
  6. Nancyjane

    Nancyjane Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 9, 2008
    Well, 4 days of putting out the soap filled eggs has not helped!
    They peck the soapy egg a couple of times, then lay an egg and eat it anyway!
    I guess they go on freecycle tonight to go out as pets.
    I just can't afford to keep them just as pets anymore.[​IMG]
    Nancy
     
  7. Nancyjane

    Nancyjane Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 9, 2008
    One more try. The lady at the feed store said they are lacking vitamin K and to feed them chopped up boiled egg.
    I'll give that a shot for a few days before they go to freecycle.
     
  8. Nancyjane

    Nancyjane Out Of The Brooder

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    Nov 9, 2008
    Well, 4 days of the boiled eggs have not produced any uneaten eggs, so I guess they'll be out of here in the next few days!
    I'll try again in the spring with some new chicks.
    I hope I can get them a new home at a petting zoo or something. I would just let them free range with a little supplimental feed, but we have some pretty aggressive hawks around that have gotten 5 of my neighbor's hens! Also Fox, coyote, badgers, and stray dogs etc!!! Pretty much a death sentence!
     

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