Rescued abandoned chickens. HELP!!

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by WillisRanch, Jan 27, 2014.

  1. WillisRanch

    WillisRanch Out Of The Brooder

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    I rescued two Hens this weekend from an abandoned house. I'm not exactly sure what kind of chicken they are, but I believe they are bantams. I'm also not sure how old they are but because of the size they look like they are two maybe three months old. After I brought them home, I noticed their legs look funny. The legs actually look like maybe there scales are a little raised. But the most questionable thing about them is their nails. Their toes look straight for the most part, however, their nails are about an inch long in length. And they are not straight. They are curled and look like they're off to the side as if they are laying flat on the ground. I've never seen anything like this. I wanted to know if you have heard any such thing in the past? I've spoken to a lot of people that have chickens in town but none of them have seen or heard anything like this before. It would be much appreciated if you could give some advice. Thanks.
     
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  2. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

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    With nails that badly overgrown, I doubt that they are young birds. You can trim the nails with a dog nail clipper - just make sure that you do not cut into the quick. Trim back in little increments. Funny legs with raised scales may indicate scaly leg mites. Do a forum search on 'scaly leg mites' and a number of threads about diagnosing and treating will come up. Good luck with your new birds.
     
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  3. liz9910

    liz9910 Overrun With Chickens

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    Welcome to BYC! Sourland has given you some great advice, good luck to you.
     
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  5. WillisRanch

    WillisRanch Out Of The Brooder

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    Thank you for the advice. I just went and checked them again. The legs aren't as bad as I remembered from yesterday. But still a bit rougher than my flocks legs that are pretty smooth. But the nails are way too long on one of the birds, about an inch curled. The second bird is not as bad. They both won't let me get too close to them yet. I'm sure it's just a matter of getting used to me and their new surroundings. I know they must be scared. Apparently they were part of a flock that had about 20-25 birds.... But these were left behind after the other birds were rescued by someone else. I just wish I knew their age. Because of their size, I assumed they were young... But then again, they may just be malnourished. I went ahead and bought some starter/grower feed just in case for them. And I'll keep monitoring them. I also checked about the scaly leg mites. I really hope they don't have those. I don't want my healthy flock to get sick. I'm gonna try to catch them and wash their legs with the ivory soap and then coat the legs with Vaseline as suggested in the other forums. Thanks again for all your help. I've only had chickens for about two years... But I still consider myself a newbie. :) this is the first time I ever rescued any without any background on the chicks.
     
  6. gander007

    gander007 Chicken Obsessed

    Alright [​IMG] great to have you here with us [​IMG]



    Your chickens are older then you think but try using a file to shorten them [​IMG]
     
  7. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    Yes, you can use the guillotine type dog nail trimmers on the claws. I have a hen that every 6 weeks I need to trim her claws, they just don't wear down. And by doing like Sourland suggested, if you cut off tiny amounts at first, and every week or two, trim off another tiny amount, eventually the blood vein, or quick, recedes. Eventually you should be able to get the claws back to a normal length.

    As for the leg scale mites...the easiest thing to do is dip the birds feet into a small tub of olive oil. Let the feet set there for second so the oil gets up into the scales. This will smoother the mites. You can lightly wipe off the excess. Do this every day for about 2 weeks and they mites will die. Easy peasy! The scales will lay back down on their own.

    Great to have you aboard and enjoy your new found birds!
     
  8. TwoCrows

    TwoCrows Show me the way old friend Staff Member

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    Oh....and if the claw bleeds while cutting, no problem. Have some corn starch on hand and pack the bleed for a moment. This will stop the bleeding. Wait until the claw stops bleeding before releasing the bird. :)
     
  9. BantamLover21

    BantamLover21 Overrun With Chickens

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    [​IMG] Glad you joined us! Raised scales are probably a sign of scaly leg mites, though they could also be because the birds are old. Coating the legs in vaseline or oil should smother the mites, and in time, the scales will return to normal. As for the toenails, they're so long and curved because they haven't been trimmed for a while, and/or the birds haven't been scratching them and keeping them blunt on their own. Just take a dog or cat nail trimmer and clip off the ends of the nails, a little at a time. If bleeding begins, apply pressure to the tip of the bleeding nail or apply cornstarch, flour, or styptic powder to the bleeding. Either method should stop the bleeding quickly, and the chicken will be no worse off. It will probably take several trimmings, going a little further each time, to get the nails back in shape.

    If you want to figure out the breed of the rescued chickens, I'd post some photos of them on the What Breed or Gender is This? section of the BYC forum. Or post some here--I'd be happy to help.
     
  10. drumstick diva

    drumstick diva Still crazy after all these years. Premium Member

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    The best time to get a hold of your rescued birds are when it is dark and they are on the roost. Maybe you could put a towel over their head and bring them to a lighter place so you can see their nails and snip a small bit off each time.
     

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