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rescued guinea hen - OMG! please help!

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by technodoll, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quebec, Canada
    Last night at 9pm our local SPCA got a call to go rescue a guinea hen that someone had dumped inside one of those metal government post boxes we put the mail in (for mailing). They'd never seen such a stupid act of cruelty - a guinea hen? in the city? really?

    Anyways they kept her overnight in a metal dog crate, I went to pick her up this afternoon and saw no water or food in the crate, the bird was terrified and frantic but i managed to get her out of there and into a small plastic dog carrier, she was very quiet all the way home.

    She's safe now, in our barn which doubles as a chicken coop, in a large "condo" with a 60W bulb for heat, chick crumbles, water, clean shavings. She seems calm and curious but if you get too close she will put her head down and puff up, and don't even think about trying to touch her - she goes spastic. I can't blame her after all she's been through :(

    We know NOTHING about her (or even if it's a girl!). She's made a few noises but not much. No idea how old, if kept in captivity or if wild, free-ranged or crated, human contact or not, nothing.

    She is extremely pale, looks anemic. She shakes slightly but I don't know if from stress or cold. she's thin - no chance yet to treat for parasites and deworm, that will be for tomorrow as she's been through enough today. Her left wing hangs down with some feathers out of place - is her wing broken?

    She has not touched her food or water since she's here, not even tried to peck the black sunflower seeds i tossed in the shavings. She seems alert and curious, clean and healthy.

    I'm worried that she's so pale and that she's dehydrated - can a guinea hen let themselves die of thirst or hunger after such stressful events? I don't know what more I can do :(

    Here's the sweetie...


    [​IMG]

    , Thank you so much for any advice you can give!

    i love her already....
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2012
  2. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Do you have another bird that you could put where she can see it? If she hasn't eaten by the morning I would dip her beak in the water ( like you do to hatchlings) and scatter the food on the floor. Its a good thing you got there to get her. If her wing appears broken, you might want to put it where it should be and wrap vet wrap not too tightly around her body and wing for a couple of days.It will probably take 2 people to do it. Good luck with your first guinea.
     
  3. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quebec, Canada
    thank you for replying, i appreciate it - i may have been owned by a lot of chooks the past 3 years but a guinea hen is a whole other matter, specially a frightened one that was abused by humans :(

    in the photo she is looking at two silkie hens in another pen, she seem curious about them - that's a good sign, yes?

    she's in quarantine for a while, i want to give her a dose of eprinex tomorrow to cover possible internal and external parasites but if she's not eaten or drunk anything in two days, i'm afraid to give her any meds at all.

    i did scatter some small sunflower seeds in her bedding and added bright finch food to her crumbles, in the hopes of something catching her eye. also gave her fortified water in two different containers, one on the floor of the coop and one attached to the wall.

    are guinea hen droppings similar to chicken droppings?

    she tries to attack when you bring your hands near her, it's understandable, so if we have to dunk her beak in the water we'll wear thick gloves and be ever so gentle...
     
  4. Trefoil

    Trefoil Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The only problem with the seeds is that you must give grit as well. Being able to see the silkies will help her.
     
  5. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I will give her grit tomorrow in a little container.

    i just hope she eats and drinks and gets her strength back.

    i've always wanted a guinea hen but they are hard to find around here... a few days ago i lost my best and oldest hen, she died in my arms after battling cancer for six months, one of the saddest days ever - her name was Rosie. and now bam, like a gift from heaven - a guinea hen in need and i'm available.

    makes you wonder about coincidences...
     
  6. KrisH

    KrisH Chillin' With My Peeps

    what are the silkies eating? other than game bird food, whatever the silkies are eating might be your best bet.

    when he/she starts making sounds, a 2 syllable sound "buck wheat" sound indicates female, all other sounds could be either boy or girl.

    not sure I would stress her tomorrow by trying to catch it unless absolutely needed. I wonder how they managed to catch it to put in the box to start with

    I would also offer plain water also, as the fortified water may have an odd taste, might even use some bottled water if you have city water.

    Guineas tend to be spastic. usually don't accept a lot of human contact. they are typically not very tame. if you wish for her to stay around you will probably need to keep her penned 6 weeks or so.

    Read everything Peepsca writes. find her posts and read the guinea sticky pages too.

    Best of luck

    RobertH
     
  7. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    thank you very much Robert, I appreciate the info!

    just went out to check on her and she had emptied the water container that was on the floor of her coop, i'm very relieved.

    she also dug through the chick crumbles and seeds, not sure she ate much but it's a start.

    i plan to keep her penned in with the silkies for the winter, next summer they have a little coop outside with a large fully penned-in and covered run - should be perfect for a guinea!

    as long as she doesn't attack me and that we can catch her with a fishing net/pole when we need to handle her for treatments and such, it's all fine with me.

    poor girl has been through enough, she deserves to just "be" now.

    most of all, she will be safe and loved here. :)
     
  8. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    The bird looks young but mature, judging by the pearling on the feathers and the size of it's casque (bony growth on the top of the head), and the defensive/aggressive disposition is normal for any Guinea, but especially for a distressed/scared or abused bird. That behavior may never change, they are more like wild birds by nature than they are like domestic poultry/pet chickens. Unless the bird makes the 2 syllable "buck-wheat call" it's not a Hen, and to confirm it's sex you might try blocking it's view of the Silkies and see if it calls to them once it can't see them any longer. Personally, as pale as it is I would wait until the bird is eating and drinking well before you treat it for parasites, de-wormers can be pretty harsh on even a healthy bird. A 16% layer feed is fine to feed mature Guineas as a staple diet... the chick starter crumbles (for now) are ok, but not if they are medicated. You can scramble or boil an egg and crumble it up and give it to the bird on a paper towel, egg is really good protein and the bird should happily eat that if it's hungry. Poultry electrolytes with vitamins in the water are also a good idea. If you need to handle the bird to inspect or bandage the wing then covering it's head with a towel will help calm the bird and contain the beak, and having a spare pair of hands is always helpful. Watch out for the toenails, they use those just as effectively as the beak. Congrats on your rescue. Keep us updated.
     
  9. technodoll

    technodoll Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good news - she is definitely a girl (made the buck-wheat buck-wheat call this morning), she is eating and drinking and started pooping again, even though it's a bit mushy and black.

    I left her fortified water and a mix of laying crumbles, chick starter (non-medicated) and some finch food for color and she pecked through the bowl, not sure how much she actually ate but it's a start. This morning she seems stronger and in a bigger "defence" mode, crouching down and puffing up and "growling" every time I get near her condo.

    Better this than lethargy, I guess - LOL!

    The one big issue I see is the noise... it doesn't bother me but it sends my chooks into a tailspin: my rooster starts sounding the alarm when he hears the guinea hen and then the flock all joins in calling and screeching and running around stressed. This does not bode well. My rooster is an idiot, what can I say - and the two others aren't even in the barn for the winter yet. oh dear.

    One of my friends wants her, she has experience with guinea fowl and lots of chickens, for everyone's peace of mind I might just hand her over in a couple of days.

    Better to be a successful foster home than a bad adopter...

    I have to think of the mental health and safety of my 45 chickens first.
     
  10. Lupa Duende

    Lupa Duende Chillin' With My Peeps

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    How is your rescue going?
    (I am the "Farmer" for the SPCA in Montreal. So far we have picked up ducks only from the shelter as I refused the pigs. Are you the person taking the pigs?)
    We have one guinea fowl. it is the only animal that I have bought. Snape cost eight dollars from a local breeder. He wanders round the woods with the goats usually but also hangs out with the ducks and turkey. We have chickens, but they are Chicken Mafia. The girls, two in particular, cruise the trails and clobber the ducks, Snape, and even the turkey if they are in the girls' path.
     

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