Rescued chicken not coming out of a coop and barely eating

LaFleche

Free Ranging
Sep 22, 2012
3,109
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Germany
I am sorry you lost her. :hugs

But all in all, I suppose there is only so much you can do for birds kept in such horrible conditions since birth up to the point when they are depleted of their energy and that's when those poultry houses are giving them away.
Sadly that is just how it ends for most of the rescued commercial layers despite all the best intentions and efforts.
 

One Lucky Momma

Chicken Kisser
Premium Feather Member
Apr 25, 2020
496
1,525
196
Madison Co, NC
I’m sorry for your loss. By your careful observations and clear communication you’ve enabled many of us less experienced keepers learn a great deal, simply by following along.

You are a Chicken Champ!🎖❤
 

VlkStinu

Chirping
Aug 6, 2020
162
225
96
Czech Republic
I am sorry you lost her. :hugs


Sadly that is just how it ends for most of the rescued commercial layers despite all the best intentions and efforts.
Thank you, I was really sad... I have a soft spot for all the submissive hens in the flock and having her close and caring for her these last couple of days made me bond to her even more.

Sadly, it's a risk one must be willing to undertake when rescuing those hens I suppose. :( But it's definitely always worth a try!
 

Wickedchicken6

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
Nov 7, 2015
10,924
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Central Canada
Thank you very much for this detailed and informative response... Sadly, the hen died this morning. I could've made an appointment with the vet in the afternoon, but it was too late. Now I know I have to deal with the issue immediately without any postponing and ideally go straight to vet if I see any change in behaviour and other symptoms.

I will start a prevention diet for the rest of the hens starting tomorrow, so they are ready for the cold season ahead - I ordered a lot of vitamins and substances that should boost their immunity, relieve any stress, fight bacteria, help with their feather growth and prevent things like coccidiosis and so on.

I know all these changes are taxing as you wrote and I think I did my best to make it as easy for them to acclimatize as possible... I kept them closed in the coop the first day until they were restless and obviously wanted out and I fed them only with a pre-mixed feed for layers, that was probably similar to what they were used to (they were eating it very eagerly, which would prove this - they are extremely cautious about novelties and I rarely gave them something else). I also provided them with heat when the temperatures were dropping, but fortunately, the first two weeks were still nicely warm, so in the first crucial days, the temperatures weren't an issue.

But all in all, I suppose there is only so much you can do for birds kept in such horrible conditions since birth up to the point when they are depleted of their energy and that's when those poultry houses are giving them away.

Lesson learned for me is that I have to be cautious and any potential symptoms must be dealt with immediately and ideally with a help of a professional.

Thank you all for your kind and helpful messages, I really appreciate it! ❤
I am very sorry to hear about your hen. It's hard when one has gotten close, caring for a bird. :hugs

In regards to acclimatizing, our ideas differ. In my experience, it takes longer than this with the birds I've dealt with. I generally don't bring in live birds, but for the ones that have been brought in, they're in quarantine for 1-month minimum at a different location in an enclosed space before eventually being exposed to the litter from our flock for an extended time before they set foot on this property. This sweetie required 2 months to change from the first picture to the second picture and before I felt confident she was in the condition and health to be gently exposed to our flock. She was integrated while in her kennel for additional time before she was allowed to be fully released into the flock.

20180514_111533.jpg 20180617_175123.jpg

She was sent home with me when I delivered guineas. She had been purchased in a trio at a poultry sale but had not integrated well into their flock and they thought she'd do better in my flock since I have small and medium-sized birds. She was wild, stressed, pale and lacked comb development for a year old plus bird. She has never integrated into this flock; she won't associate with other birds and won't go outside unless I take her out of the coop. She associates me with food, water and protection and runs to me to be held when I enter the coop. The only time she lays eggs is when she's in a cage in the house over winter where she feels secure and comfortable. I included this to give context; she was acclimatized and not in moult when I got her.

I do not share the opinion that intensive livestock facilities are horrible and cruel because I've had the experience of working in one. It is different; every method of caring for animals has its pros and cons. However, hens don't lay well if they don't receive a high level of care. If these hens had not been healthy or laying well, they would've been culled. Chickens moult and reduce or stop laying eggs at this time of the year. For a farm in the business of selling eggs, they replace hens in moult with young hens that will lay consistently so they have product to sell.

We are experiencing similar temperatures to yours and the majority of my free-range flock has been staying inside their coop. I have birds in mid moult that are experiencing a lack of feathers and look rough. Most of my flock has stopped laying as expected. The young hens hatched earlier this year will begin laying soon. Free-range or intensive livestock, it's much the same. I wish you the best with your remaining hens.
 
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VlkStinu

Chirping
Aug 6, 2020
162
225
96
Czech Republic
I am very sorry to hear about your hen. It's hard when one has gotten close, caring for a bird. :hugs

In regards to acclimatizing, our ideas differ. In my experience, it takes longer than this with the birds I've dealt with. I generally don't bring in live birds, but for the ones that have been brought in, they're in quarantine for 1-month minimum at a different location in an enclosed space before eventually being exposed to the litter from our flock for an extended time before they set foot on this property. This sweetie required 2 months to change from the first picture to the second picture and before I felt confident she was in the condition and health to be gently exposed to our flock. She was integrated while in her kennel for additional time before she was allowed to be fully released into the flock.

View attachment 2371396 View attachment 2371394

She was sent home with me when I delivered guineas. She had been purchased in a trio at a poultry sale but had not integrated well into their flock and they thought she'd do better in my flock since I have small and medium-sized birds. She was wild, stressed, pale and lacked comb development for a year old plus bird. She has never integrated into this flock; she won't associate with other birds and won't go outside unless I take her out of the coop. She associates me with food, water and protection and runs to me to be held when I enter the coop. The only time she lays eggs is when she's in a cage in the house over winter where she feels secure and comfortable. I included this to give context; she was acclimatized and not in moult when I got her.

I do not share the opinion that intensive livestock facilities are horrible and cruel because I've had the experience of working in one. It is different; every method of caring for animals has its pros and cons. However, hens don't lay well if they don't receive a high level of care. If these hens had not been healthy or laying well, they would've been culled. Chickens moult and reduce or stop laying eggs at this time of the year. For a farm in the business of selling eggs, they replace hens in moult with young hens that will lay consistently so they have product to sell.

We are experiencing similar temperatures to yours and the majority of my free-range flock has been staying inside their coop. I have birds in mid moult that are experiencing a lack of feathers and look rough. Most of my flock has stopped laying as expected. The young hens hatched earlier this year will begin laying soon. Free-range or intensive livestock, it's much the same. I wish you the best with your remaining hens.
Thank you very much for your inspirational and very informative post! It's truly valuable to read about other's experiences and lessons learned. And I feel like this is the only forum I've been in so far where people share their opinions with empathy and respect towards each other, regardless of their experience and that is something I truly admire and appreciate. :)
 

Wickedchicken6

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
Nov 7, 2015
10,924
63,647
1,287
Central Canada
Thank you very much for your inspirational and very informative post! It's truly valuable to read about other's experiences and lessons learned. And I feel like this is the only forum I've been in so far where people share their opinions with empathy and respect towards each other, regardless of their experience and that is something I truly admire and appreciate. :)
Thank you, I was hoping that my post would be taken in the light that you took it.
From the diversity of members sharing support to the dedicated people working behind the scenes to keep everything running smoothly, BYC is a very special place. I feel very fortunate to be a part of it.

Your comments are appreciated. It's fantastic to hear that your experience here has been positive. :)
 

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