Rescued Chicken troubles


6 Years
Mar 26, 2013
Sophia, NC
I recently went to the Thomasville, NC flea market with my boyfriend looking for house supplies and we decided to walk through the livestock area. I was horrified...

All the animals were in terrible, cruel conditions. Almost all the chickens had picked bare backs or butts, they were all crammed in tiny cages many cages holding up to at least 10-15 chickens or ducks. Several chickens had large hole-like wounds where I'm assuming they had been cannibalized, a few were dead. I did not see any food or water provided in the cages, probably because there was no room for anything like that. I felt terrible for all of them, and decided I would take one and try to give it a better life. I found a dominique hen around the same age as my flock and decided she was the one. Once purchased she was undignifiedly grabbed by her wings and thrust into a box.
I got home with her and finally was able to take her out and give her a good look over, she is extremely emaciated, her breast bone juts out and there is very little to no meat on either side of it, it seems she hasn't been fed properly in a long time. Her face is very pale, her waddles and comb are red and plump but her earlobes and face are almost white, I can see the veins running under her skin it's so pale. She had several cuts on her face but those are healing, and the bottoms of her feet were very hard and scaly I think because she's probably been in a little cage most her life. I have quarantined her for about 1 1/2 weeks in my garage and she has been eating heavily and drinking, she talks a lot and scratches around and was dewormed and dusted so I put her in the coop last night. This morning they seemed fine she roosted a little distance from the others in the run where they had been let out early, but when I opened the run door all the others scattered into the yard and she stayed put. I picked her up and placed her in the grass outside the run door and she really seems to enjoy eating grass, but the rooster saw her and chased her back into the run
I looked her over again and noticed she now has a runny nose there are no breathing problems though and she acts ok for the most part. Every now and then she will stop and close her eyes for a minute then start doing chicken stuff again. I'm hoping it's merely a cold and she will power through it but I will watch her. My main problem is the flock won't let her free range with them, the rooster or one of my bossier hens will chase after her, I would really feel better if she would stay with the flock. I am willing to take any advice on how to get her in better shape, and I was wondering if maybe her paleness is because she's not had enough sunlight? Also has anyone else rescued a chicken and what troubles have you encountered?
so first of all if the chicken hasn't been slowly introduced to the flock it will take a while for her to get integrated. rule of thumb is to quarantine, then have them within flocks view but not with flock and THEN put them together. so I would suggest just let them work things out. when I got two new chicks it took a month or sofir them to be "allowed" by flock to be with everyone else. and that is after the exercise of in view but out of reach
Sounds like you might want to quarantine her again--that runny nostril might be trouble. Poor girl. Once she's REALLY healthy, strong, and active, she might fight for a ranking in the flock. If not, she'll always be low girl on the pole. Hmmm; the rooster? I have no experience here, but maybe caging them side, SEPARATELY for her protection, close but not within pecking range so that he can see her day in and day out would lessen his perception of her as an outsider. For now, though, I'd concentrate on getting her really healthy. A couple of weeks won't undo a lifetime of neglect and abuse.

Please call your local animal welfare officials, as well as the Humane Society AND PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals.) Take photos if you go back, and document the dates and times. Get the humans involved in the photos if possible. Turn these in to the above groups. Make people AWARE of the cruelty, or it goes on forever. Sadly, buying one to rescue (I'd probably do it too...) puts MONEY in the hands of the abuser, and makes it worth doing again. Write your local papers--give the flea market as much bad publicity as possible for allowing this.

We have a Mount Hope Auction in Ohio that is continuously documented by animal welfare groups for severe abuse/neglect of farm animals, and dogs. Mostly by the Amish, it looks like, sad to say. But, MONEY will attract people of any ethnic or religious group...and without champions, the abuse gets really horrific.

PLEASE report them, and send photos. You might be their only lifeline.
I will try to contact someone about the animals if I go again, it was very heartbreaking. I will watch her and make a choice on whether or not to cage her again, I hate to pin her up since she seems to enjoy being out so much but I will if she doesn't improve in the next day or two. I'm thinking it may just be an allergy to the pine shavings or the DE that I put in the coop, I'm thinking she's never been exposed to either of those things.
A quarantine should run for 4 weeks. That allows anything they were exposed to, incubate and have the symptoms show. The week and half was just long enough for that to happen. I hope it really is a reaction to something envormental, but I doubt it, that would have shown in the first couple days. The rooster may well be doing his job protecting his flock, by driving away a sick chicken away from his flock.
I'm with Den, if that hen isn't healthy the flock will (and should) reject her. The job of the rooster and the head hen is to keep the flock healthy and safe. Injured or ill birds invite predators and parasites. She'll need to be as healthy as you can make her before they'll even think about accepting her.

Color of comb/face isn't related to sun exposure, it's a general health/fertility thing.
Ugh I thought i had kept her separated long enough, I caged her again yesterday and today I noticed her eyes are watery and one side is very swollen I looked it up and she may have Coryza. Now I think I unknowingly exposed my whole flock to this. I'm going to treat her with Tylan, should I go ahead and inject my whole flock or wait and see if they come down with symptoms as well?

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