"Teenager" chicken cold and wet

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by wookieelocks, Dec 5, 2016.

  1. wookieelocks

    wookieelocks New Egg

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    I live in Oregon and our coop sits on top of a fenced in run. We have been having a LOT of rain the past little while and today the temperatures dropped. We have seven chickens right now, three of which are "teenager" chickens. They're big and try and act bossy but really they're not quite fully grown, they're about 12-14 weeks old. Well, scratch that, 12-14 weeks from when we bought them. No idea what the average age is when they're in store.

    So our littler ones and our full grown hens have been semi-harmoniously living in the coop together. The big girls roost at night and the little girls haven't started yet (maybe because of bullying) and they huddle together in the two unused nesting boxes.

    Yesterday my two oldest children went outside to feed and water the chickens, they were all fine wandering around in the run, etc. Today my oldest daughter went out to feed them and found one of the little girls, Kung Pao, was in a little huddled up, nesting position, in a deep puddle of water. She was barely moving and any time she did move our bossiest hen, Tia, would peck at her. She clearly was bullied into the corner at some point and just never left. When my daughter ran to get me she was very upset (she just lost her chicken, Yui, last week due to a neighbor's cat) and thought she was dead. I went out and she was clearly alive but NOT doing well. All the chickens were muddy and the big girls were super moody. We scooped two of the younger girls into a separate tote in the shed with fresh shavings and a towel to sleep for the night and then went to help Kung Pao.

    During all the commotion the bullied chicken, Kung Pao, started to flail and push out her legs to get out of the puddle but couldn't keep her balance. My daughter climbed in the coop and lifted her out. She set her down to try and safely climb the rest of the way out of the coop and when she set Kung Pao on her feet she immediately fell over. [​IMG] We wrapped her in a towel and brought her inside. But now I'm worried this is too warm? Would she be better off with her sisters in the tote in the shed for now?

    She sitting in a cardboard box now with some towels and a heat lamp and she occasionally opens her eyes and chirps but doesn't move other than a rare stretch of her wings. My son is watching her in case she miraculously warms up and decides to explore the house.

    To be honest, I'm not sure she's going to make it, she's not balancing well, isn't making noise, just opens her eyes and stretches every once in a while. Has anyone had something like this happen? Do we just keep her comfy and hope for the best? We're new at this, obviously, and while we had great success with our first flock, introducing these smaller girls has been terrible. [​IMG] I'm almost wondering if if would be better to find the little ones a new home because of the bullying going on. We'd all be devastated to see them go but I just don't know what's best anymore. [​IMG]

    Any support or advice is welcomed. [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2016
  2. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Not normal behavior at all. Sounds more like a sick chicken rather than a cold one. If they get too cold or wet, they just find shelter. How long have the younger ones been living out in the coop?
    Secondly, in regards to the bullying, how big is the coop and run exactly? And how many birds are living in that space?
     
  3. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    Mareks comes to mind with the age and loss of balance. Any odd acting bird will sometimes get attacked. I think it's to drive out a sick acting member.

    I would see how the young one does and spend some time observing the flock to see if there's a problem.

    You didn't mention the size of your set up. There should always be multiple roosts in a coop, dominant members don't allow submissive to sleep on the same roost with them. The more room the better.
     
  4. wookieelocks

    wookieelocks New Egg

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    The coop is 32 square feet and sits on top of the run which is the same size. We had 4 chickens in the coop and bought four chicks. They were separate until the chicks feathered and we slowly introduced them to each other outside (they usually roam the yard for a few hours each day, depending on the weather). The little girls have been in with the big ones for about maybe a few weeks now? To be honest, I don't remember the exact time. My husband was really pushing for them to all be together in the big coop because they were trashing his shed when they escaped from their big box/makeshift coop. Now I'm worried that's too small... [​IMG]
     
  5. junebuggena

    junebuggena Chicken Obsessed

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    Get them started on coccidia treatment. And the coop is just big enough for an established flock. Integrating birds requires more space than the usual minimums. And it goes more smoothly if the new birds get to live next door to the established flock, 24/7, for at least 2 weeks before you allow them to mingle.
     
  6. oldhenlikesdogs

    oldhenlikesdogs Sits With Chickens Premium Member

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    It is a bit tight. I don't usually leave my young ones with the adults at night for about a month or so after I begin integration. They get penned separately at night for their own protection, and watched during the day. You might have rushed things a bit. Usually for me integration is a slow process that take a few months before I feel the young ones can take care of themselves.
     
  7. azygous

    azygous Chicken Obsessed

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    You have a sick chicken, not just a bullied one. She was in the puddle because she is sick, and she was being pecked because she's sick. It's what chickens do.)

    Marek's isn't the only disease that causes the symptoms you describe. Moldy feed, and that's a big possibility in your soggy climate, will develop the kind of toxins that can affect neural functions. You need to make sure the feed isn't getting soaked and is in a molding condition.

    I'm sorry about your little hen, but she probably isn't going to make it.

    Your other chickens are acting "moody" because they are probably sick, too. If you can, it might be a good idea to treat the flock with an antibiotic. Take a good look at your feed, please. It may very well be the cause of these problems.

    It might also behoove you to correct the flooding problem in your run. Erect some protection on the windward side of the coop and improve drainage with some ditches around the perimeter.
     
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