Stray Chicken needs help

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by lovemychicks3, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. lovemychicks3

    lovemychicks3 New Egg

    Feb 13, 2012
    I am new to chicken raising. We got our first chicks a year ago. Our neighbors are very close by and since we didn't want to be thought poor neighbors we recently gave up a noisy chicken and roo. I was afraid to get new chicks in case I got another roo. Instead, I bought a young chicken, what looks to be an Orpington, from a young boy in the parking lot of my local feed store, as a companion to my Australorp chicken and Bantam roo.

    The new chicken was not in great shape. She had a rounded scissor beak, a sour crop, and a wheezing in her chest. She kept looking like she wanted to fall asleep for the first couple of days we had her. From the conversation I had with the young boy, I am pretty sure she was a stray chicken, one of many the family had caught to sell in an attempt to make a little extra money.

    We kept her seperate from the other chickens of course. I gave her a good scrub and checked for worms and mites. I didn't find any obvious signs. We got her sour crop cleaned out, and cleared up her wheezing completely. She is now very alert and active. I have let her out a few times and of course the very first time out she took a good dust bath and ruined my good scrub.

    Underneath her new coating of dirt, her feathers are still dull and not shiny or full like my other chickens. She is still small and thin, although much healthier looking than when I brought her home. However, she is social and is already making a nice pet. I have been feeding her chicken feed for laying chickens, and as treats lots of scambled eggs, sunflower seeds, and rice, and some omega 3 oil in bread, yogurt (when "cleaning her crop out"), and chopped salad greens and berries. She is eating very well. She is so small I thought she was a pullet until she started laying eggs a few days ago. Surprisingly, they are as large as the eggs of my Australorp. Her poop is more watery than I am used to with my other chickens, but not in the category of abnormal.

    In another week her month will be up and it will be time to introduce her to my other chickens. How can I be sure she is healthy? This is my first time introducing a chicken I didn't raise myself from a chick.

    My concerns: She has several feathers close to her skin that look rolled up and matted. What is this? Her feathers seem sparse. I can easily see her skin when lifting her feathers, whereas with my other chickens you really have to "dig" to see skin under all the feathers. Is there a reason for that? Will her feathers improve with better nurtition? It is a sign that she is sick or just malnourished? Is there anything extra I can feed her to help her get healthier?

    We don't have a chicken vet in our county, so that is not an option.

    Her scissor beak seems to cause her some problems. Sometimes food gets caught in it. Will she be OK as long as I give her extra attention? I read somewhere that gently pushing it back into the proper position a few seconds every day would help. Will it?

    Any one have any extra advice for me? Our animals are our pets and we want to take the best care of them we can.
  2. SteveBaz

    SteveBaz Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 6, 2011
    Pacific North West
    Welcome to the BYC [​IMG]

    You are doing great!! Keep it up. Lots of proteins and good foods will do a lot. Proteins will do wonders like eggs, ground up or small pieces of chicken, nuts like flax seed, linseed, BOSS and other things like cottage cheese, string cheese and rice will put weight back on her. Keep her separate and keep watching for new stuff. It sounds like she has a bit of respiratory issues so keep her separated for sure, Respiratory Disease - Very common in Connecticut. Infectious Bronchitis - Sneezing, decrease in egg production and egg shell quality. Newcastle Disease - Sneezing, decrease in egg production and internal egg quality. Infectious - Sneezing, coughing, choking, high losses. Pox - Cause respiratory signs if pox lesions in mouth, throat, and windpipe; skin lesions on comb and face. until that is over. Apple cider vinegar organic - Improve the digestive health of your chickens you may add to the water. Enfamil the kind you give to kids vitamins and minerals that has A, C and D Better yet and easy just put sugar in the water with some soluble vitamin like Vita Sol
    Last edited: Feb 13, 2012
  3. lovemychicks3

    lovemychicks3 New Egg

    Feb 13, 2012
    Her breathing issues are completely cleared up so I am not concerned about that. Once she started laying eggs, she has only missed a day in a week (her breed is supposed to be prolific). She feels heavier but I can still feel her breast bone very easily. Her feathers are what concern me - they are so dull. And there are some that look rolled up which I think is a sign she is still dirty. It isn't mites. It is OK to give a chicken a bath just because? I live in Florida so I am not concerned about her catching cold (it was 85 degrees today). I am concerned that the dirt is feces from her living conditions before moving in with us.

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