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Special help for rescued battery farm hens?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by chickens102403, Dec 23, 2015.

  1. chickens102403

    chickens102403 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi! I am adopting two white leghorns from an organization called Animal Place. They are battery farm survivors that were rescued from slaughter recently. As chicks they are "debeaked". Basically some horrible people cut their beaks off so they are easier to shove into a tiny cage[​IMG]. They are left with nubs after 17 months (yes, they slaughter them at 17-18 months). I was wondering if they would need any help eating? Do you think that they need softer food? Also what can I do to help them mentally? I would imagine that they will be pretty messed up (up to the rescue November 7th they had never seen sunlight and never felt anything but wire), how should I deal with that? I don't think that TLC will be enough... Will sweaters give them comfort? They will have each other, but still. They were rescued with 200 of their sisters, will they have separation anxiety? I have had depressed chickens previously after the death of a companion, but these hens will be particularly unstable.

    This is what the beaks will look like:
    [​IMG]
    *Note that 50% or more of the beak is removed; that means that part of the tongue is taken off too

    Any input is appreciated. Thank you for your help and advice!

    -G
     
  2. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    They will be confused, but not mentally unstable. They are certainly able to eat or they wouldn't still be alive. Just make sure the feed container they are eating out of has atleast an inch of feed in it at all times. But most of all, take a deep breath and calm yourself down. You are way over thinking this situation. It may take a while, but they will adjust to their new life with you. Just let them explore their new life slowly at their own pace. They will be just fine.
     
    2 people like this.
  3. enola

    enola Overrun With Chickens

    And they will not need sweaters.
     
  4. chickens102403

    chickens102403 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you!
     
  5. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    I kept around 40 ex-battery hens a few years ago and from my experience they will take a few days to feel comfortably enough to go outside and will be easily spooked once they are out there, but after a few weeks they will be fine. They might go broody, in spite of what is said about that. I had 3 ex-bats go broody and hatch chicks. They are so-so mothers.

    Feed-wise, I found mine ate easier when I dampened the layer pallets for them, so it was more crumbly, but I had one or two that had very little beak left. As enola said above, make sure the food is deep enough for them as well.

    I found mine were way more susceptible to disease and parasites and much weaker than my free range raised birds, so care should be taken to ensure they are dewormed, dusted for mites etc.

    Good luck with your two!
     
  6. chickens102403

    chickens102403 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you Sumi, that helps a lot! They were rescued 1 1/2 months ago, do you think that their strength and health will be good enough to go straight into the flock or will they need some more recovery time by themselves? I am afraid that the other chickens will bully them... They have never had to do pecking order before, are they too weak? Thank you for your help!

    -G
     
  7. sumi

    sumi Égalité Staff Member

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    You're welcome.

    You should never add chicken directly to your flock, no matter where they came from, quarantine them for awhile first to make sure they are 100% healthy and pest free. There are some articles here on adding, quarantine, etc, that is full of good info and advice:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/adding-to-your-flock
    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/...often-underestimated-part-of-raising-chickens

    And a nice one on rescuing chickens:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/a/so-you-want-to-rescue-a-chicken-now-what

    Your existing flock members will probably bully the newcomers for awhile, so it's important to keep an eye on them, make sure they settle, eat enough, etc. My ex-bats integrated well with the rest of the flock over time, but they were always on the lower rungs on the pecking order.
     
  8. chickens102403

    chickens102403 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you, I knew about quarantine and it's importance, I just did't know if I would have to have an extended quarantine time for mental reasons.
     
  9. cafarmgirl

    cafarmgirl Overrun With Chickens

    What you need to do, after normal quarantine, is fence off an area for them where they can be alongside your existing flock but separated by a fence. Chickens hate newcomers and they can be seriously brutal. Your new birds don't need to getting beaten up by the others while they are also trying to adjust to a completely different life. I'd keep them alongside for a good long time, let them get used to life and let the others settle down. If it were me, I'd give it a month, maybe even more, but I like to do these things slow. Please no sweaters, that will only add to their stress.

    As Sumi said, these birds are likely to be very susceptible to disease and parasites, and especially coccidiosis. Once they get on the ground it might be wise to treat preventatively to protect them from a case of coccidiosis while they develop their own resistance to what is in their environment.
     
  10. chickens102403

    chickens102403 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thank you! That helps a lot. How should I preventatively treat for coccidiosis? Won't they be exposed already at the rescue farm? They are allowed outside on the dirt once the are in good enough health. I will talk to the people about if the treated for mites and dewormed already. Just for future reference: what is the egg wait time on Revolution mite treatment and on Wazine (I have had chickens for almost 4 years, I just forgot)? Also, can I treat with both at the same time?

    Thank you for your help!

    -G
     

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