Rescuing a hen. Questions.

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by MLPChick, Aug 11, 2013.

  1. MLPChick

    MLPChick Out Of The Brooder

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    I have a small backyard flock (all hens), 4 months old: 5 Rhode Island Reds, 2 Goldstars(red sexlink), 1 Silver Laced Cochin, a 5 month old Buff Orpington, and 2 12 month old Buff Orpingtons... My sister in law has a chicken that is about 2 years old and is severley bullied by her other hens, to the point of bleeding and spending all her time hiding. She even stopped laying. She has asked me to take in her chicken in the hopes that I can nurse her to health and integrate her into my flock. I told her I would try (she just doesn't have the time or energy with a newborn in the house). I have set up a cage in the coop with separate water and food and have meds (essential oil home remedies actually) to help heal her injuries... just wondering if there is any advice for the process from other who have rescued abused chickens (in this case abused by hens not people)... Is it just a lost cause? The chicken started out healthy and was laying up until the last month.
     
  2. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    No, not a lost cause. Being that your birds are young she may eventually fit in. Be aware though that integrating a single new bird into a small flock can be very difficult. All the attention is fixated on the one new bird and sometimes it just doesn't work. It requires a lot of extra work and attention and it's often pretty stressful for the new bird. I will no longer integrate a single bird, it's just to much of a headache for me. But, all you can do is try. Take it slow, give them plenty of time to get used to seeing her around before attempting to have them share space.

    The other thing to consider, and it's a big one, is that this hen could possibly be ill. If she is acting off or different that could be why she's being bullied. May not be the reason at all but it is certainly something to think about because if she is carrying something contagious you will be introducing it to your flock.
     
  3. MLPChick

    MLPChick Out Of The Brooder

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    Thanks for replying so quickly, I understand the time commitment. I spend a lot of time with my chickens, they're fun to watch and really are just as much pets as my parrot, with the added benefit of being household contributers (eggs not meat) :) One of the reasons my SIS asked me in the first place. Some days I am out with the chickens for several hours, they free range frequently in our yard, and I don't leave them unsupervised for too long when they're out. IO know I won't be able to let the injured hen out at the same time as the others for awhile... The Orpingtons were actually a recent addition, and they took about 4 days before they mixed in with the other hens, I was actually surprised because I was expecting it to take at LEAST 2 weeks. They're all getting along well now, but as you mentioned, there were 3 of them and they were also older than my original hens... this one is alone :/ I guess I will just take it day by day.
     
  4. IrishAcreFarm

    IrishAcreFarm Chillin' With My Peeps

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    What a wonderful thing for you to do!! It sounds like you have all the right ideas!! Hope she does well!
     
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Overrun With Chickens

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    Because of the difficulty of introducing a single hen, what you might do, is pick a medium hen, not the bottom hen of the current flock, and put these two off by themselves for a couple of days, or maybe a week, then introduce the pair to the flock.

    Mrs K
     
  6. MLPChick

    MLPChick Out Of The Brooder

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    That sounds like a great idea... I'll need to let the hen heal first before I do this, but will definitely be using this idea. Thanks!
     
  7. MLPChick

    MLPChick Out Of The Brooder

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    She's actually looking better, it's been about a week.. She was raw and bloody when I got her (I didn't think to take pics at the time) and her right eye was swollen shut, you can see from these pics that many of her feathers are missing or the fluff has been stripped from them.. The new feathers on her head have started popping out, but wondering if the stripped ones will be replaced?

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    She's been eating and drinking which is great, her previous owner said she wasn't eating, but she still had her in the same coop as the chickens that were bullying her. Other than her injuries she seems healthy.
     
  8. Poor hen, I wonder why they picked on her thats so sad! glad she's doing better! I hope she can be with the other chickens soon!
    Good Luck!
     
  9. madonna

    madonna New Egg

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    My husband treated a farmer and he told him we wanted to add a new chicken the farmer said to add the new chicken at night after they r sleeping. When they wake up in the morning the chickens think the new one is part of the flock. It worked for us. I would get her feathers grown back first and any wounds healed uo first....good luck. This does work.
     
  10. MLPChick

    MLPChick Out Of The Brooder

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    thanks :) She really is very sweet. I think my sister in law just had some mean hens. They had purchased 4 hens from a lady several months ago, they all got sick right away and I think the change in environment shook them up too. My sister in law was always protecting this hen and chasing the other hens away from her, she went on vacation recently and came home to this. She has 3 kids 5 and under and really has no time for babying a hen, she knew my kids and I would take care of her so now she's ours. She was laying before this last incident, and she's about 2 years old, she seems perfectly healthy other than her injuries, she's fattening back up and is walking around her cage, eating and drinking, and even ventures out of it when I open the door for her... she's just a bit skittish now (understandably).

    Anyone know how long it'll take the feathers to fill back in?
     

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