Rescue Chicken Not Eating

Discussion in 'Feeding & Watering Your Flock' started by borkboing, Jan 31, 2012.

  1. borkboing

    borkboing Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 30, 2012
    Hi Everyone!

    We found an 'escapee' from the local Tyson plant, and now have a pet chicken. She's pretty traumatized, and is little more than a giant chick, still making the peeping sounds. Who knows what she has gone through!

    I have her as comfortable as I can, but I notice she is not eating.

    What do these birds eat from in their 'factory'? If I can find that out, perhaps I can present her with kind of container she will recognize as "This contains food, you should eat".

    Or perhaps there is something else wrong, Having bred and raised parrots, all I know is that there could be alot that is wrong and that the consequences of failure are pretty harsh.

    What do you do with a bird that won't eat?
  2. Gargoyle

    Gargoyle Overrun With Chickens

    Apr 13, 2011
    Fox Valley, IL
    My Coop
    Is she drinking? You can give her water with electrolytes through an eyedropper. You hold down her waddle gently to open her mouth, make sure the eye dropper is far enough back that the water doesn't do down her windpipe or she could aspirate.

    I think some people have mentioned things like scrambled eggs or yogurt as easy starter foods.
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2012
  3. borkboing

    borkboing Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 30, 2012
    She is not drinking. I have a birdbath in front of the cardboard box she's in, but she has not yet left the box. I had thought she would at least have left the box by now.

    Thanks for the scrambled egg idea, that sounds like a winner. I will try and get some in her later today.

    I am intimidated by the idea of giving water with an eye dropper. I have raised parrots and have given gruel through an eye dropper, but never water.
  4. florida lee

    florida lee Chillin' With My Peeps

    Apr 6, 2011
    When I have a hen that's not eating I use a syringe without the needle, draw in a bit of Gatorade with or without added vitamins , pull down on her waddles and squirt it in her mouth, she will swallow it. Never had to put it way back in her mouth. I have always put it toward the front so as not to get it in her windpipe. I also give hens that are not eating mackerel, I put a small piece in their mouth by pulling down on the waddles and placing it in the mouth. cooked egg will also work well.

    good luck with her
  5. welasharon

    welasharon Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 28, 2010
    North Florida
    You can also take the dropper and put a drop where her beaks meet at the side and they will usually swallow it. It's just a tiny drop but lets them know the liquid is there. If she has to come out of the box to get the food and water that may be the problem there. The box probably feels safe. CAn you put something smaller in the box with her?
  6. PtldChick

    PtldChick Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jun 15, 2011
    Portland, OR
    If she really is a broiler, the chances of keeping her as a pet long-term are low. They are genetically programmed to put on a lot weight fast which is very hard on them.

    If she starts eating, you'll want to keep the protein relatively low and limit amount so that she doesn't get too big too fast. Unfortunately, a factory chicken doesn't stand a great chance at living a long, normal life even though she escaped and was rescued. Then again, maybe you want to raise her as a meat chicken that has a happy life for her 6-8 weeks.

    She may be too traumatized to eat right or drink now, I'd put her in a dark and quiet place with food and water and let her adjust. Factory chickens are not handled and don't have much if any human contact.
  7. borkboing

    borkboing Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 30, 2012
    She's eating and drinking now. We will be keeping her as a pet more than anything.

    If she escaped from that place, she deserves a life.
    1 person likes this.
  8. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 7, 2011
    Thanks for what you're doing. It sounds like you've got the first phase licked. You may want to worm her sometime not to long and encourage her to exercise. Also if she's a meat bird then she probably is going to put weight on at the least provocation so if you can get her to eat "treats" such as veggies it may help to give her a more healthy weight. Good luck
  9. judyki2004

    judyki2004 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jan 6, 2012
    Puerto Rico
    My Coop
    I dont know much about chickens ( i'm new in this, check out my page) but my best bet is that if you want to give her a happiest healthier life you can (after all i read here about chikens that are 'programed" to get big soon for meat) the besty you can do is feed her with veggies/fruits/seed... natural things... she still a baby chick and traumatized, but I know love make miracles and she was blessed to find you guys.... my friend that knows more about chickens; may suggest you to feed her yogurt w boiled eggs & garlic, from time to time... Blessings
  10. borkboing

    borkboing Out Of The Brooder

    Jan 30, 2012
    Thank you, everyone!

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