Rescue chickens, What diseases to watch for?


In the Brooder
7 Years
Mar 14, 2012
I rescued these chickens from a place that raises chickens for meat. These were the "runts" and were just going to be killed. :( My in laws took all 40 runts and are going to raise them up bigger for butchering. But when I saw how sad and dirty they were (they were clearly in close quarters) I decided to try and give two of them a chance to be laying hens. We have the space. Right now they are in a smaller coop clear across the yard from our other chickens. What kinds of diseases do I need to look for? Can I bathe them? What symptoms do I need to worry about? I am still a newbie chicken owner (2 months). Thanks!
i'm very ignorant about chicken diseases in particular. i'm becoming more aware of bio-security. to date my understanding is that chickens need to be quarantined for a month to 6 wks from your flock before introducing to give any diseases time to crop up. so i guess you may be looking at that time frame to ascertain if they're sick or not. mereks & cocci are the two main diseases i read on these posts, but i can't give any educated opinions about either.
coming from a "meat" production & judging by their general appearance - they may be cornish x chickens which are not egg layers. they reportedly tend to have a very short life span with major health issues kicking in pretty quickly.
beekissed has a thread on meat chickens about fermented feeds. she has cornish. she free ranges them & feeds them fermented feeds. she is finding them to be much more active, healthy, better poop, and less smelly than typical for the breed.

as far as bathing them is concerned, i bet they will naturally clean up just by being in a clean environment - i bet a bath will not be necessary. even dust bathing will probably clean them pretty well.

if you're not interested in using them for meat, perhaps you can just take pride in giving these animals a quality of life for the time they have.
The original owner said that some of them were already laying eggs....two per day, even! So we will see.

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