The Sickly Hen Project

Darkwings

In the Brooder
7 Years
Aug 9, 2012
74
7
31
Atascadero, CA
Back in the Spring I raised a bunch of lovely little chicks for family and friends. On Mother's Day I proudly presented my Grandmother with 4 beautiful pullets. Two Cuckoo Marans, one Buckeye and a California Grey. Since Grandma had her stroke, the chicken keeping has fallen to Grandpa, who is the old farmer type. I didn't look in on these chickens for a couple months. When I finally got around to seeing them, they seemed undersized. I had birds that were 10 weeks younger than them that were bigger. I suggested to Grandpa that he change their feed. He said he would and life went on. Well I just got home and I will be getting at least 5 hens from him this week. They are very thin, combs are pale but still upright. They had leg mites, but no feather mites that I could see. He said he was going to get rid of them because they won't lay. Well I'm not surprised they're not laying! They've been fed nothing but hen scratch for months and are in a 10x10 coop. I refuse to let those hens go to any home other than myself. I know with proper feed and care they will be healthy again. I will be bringing home the four original hens plus an EE hen. I wish I could bring the rooster too, but that's just not possible. I will post some pictures when I get them and try to update this thread. Wish me luck!
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
691
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
You might consider worms as a possibility also as they are anemic and thin. Scaly leg mite treatment: dip each leg in mineral oil or veg oil daily for two weeks to smother the mites. You can also rub it into the comb and wattles as the scaly leg mite can attack the face too.

Some vets will do a fecal float for worms for a small fee, and false negatives are possible.
 

Darkwings

In the Brooder
7 Years
Aug 9, 2012
74
7
31
Atascadero, CA
I had considered worms. I think I'm going to try some natural remedies first since they are in molt and the only wormer I have on hand is SafeGuard. I honestly think their biggest problem is a lack of proper nutrition. The Buckeye hen I examined didn't weigh more than 3 pounds when she should be weighing closer to 6. Hoping to get a run up for them tomorrow morning so I can pick them up in the evening after work.
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
691
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
I had considered worms. I think I'm going to try some natural remedies first since they are in molt and the only wormer I have on hand is SafeGuard. I honestly think their biggest problem is a lack of proper nutrition. The Buckeye hen I examined didn't weigh more than 3 pounds when she should be weighing closer to 6. Hoping to get a run up for them tomorrow morning so I can pick them up in the evening after work.
I have read dawg53 telling folks never to use safeguard during a molt since that medication specifically affects the feather regrowth I think???

Yep- found it!
post #3
https://www.backyardchickens.com/t/597723/worming-while-molting
 
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Darkwings

In the Brooder
7 Years
Aug 9, 2012
74
7
31
Atascadero, CA
Thanks, I had read that post as well. I will probably use Ivermectin if I decide to use a wormer. My plan is to get them home and settle them in for a few days before adding any more stress to their systems. The first week I will probably just be treating external parasites and seeing what some good food will do for them. I got all the posts put in for the run this morning. I will have to pick up some chicken wire today and will probably go get them tomorrow.
smile.png
 

ChickensAreSweet

Heavenly Grains for Hens
9 Years
Jun 8, 2010
15,100
691
398
Pacific NW- where the Douglas Firs grow
Thanks, I had read that post as well. I will probably use Ivermectin if I decide to use a wormer. My plan is to get them home and settle them in for a few days before adding any more stress to their systems. The first week I will probably just be treating external parasites and seeing what some good food will do for them. I got all the posts put in for the run this morning. I will have to pick up some chicken wire today and will probably go get them tomorrow.
smile.png
1/2 inch hardware cloth will keep out rats and weasels.

2 x 4 inch welded wire is better than chicken wire, but hardware cloth beats them both. Raccoons and dogs can rip through chicken wire as if it isn't there.

I do have a run that has some chicken wire. I have switched over to buying welded wire fencing though for my newer sections.

You probably know all this too LOL.
 

Darkwings

In the Brooder
7 Years
Aug 9, 2012
74
7
31
Atascadero, CA
This is a temporary enclosure. More of a quarantine area than anything. I had planned on using some welded wire that I had but it was all beat up.
sad.png
So chicken wire it is!
 

casportpony

🦚🦆🦃🐔
BYC Staff
Project Manager
Premium Feather Member
9 Years
Jun 24, 2012
111,695
303,023
2,132
The Golden State
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Smoochie

Songster
7 Years
Sep 18, 2012
865
34
124
CANADA
Hen scratch is only suppose to be a treat so I can see why they are in such poor condition. I would grab the rooster and try to rehome him yourself if it's possible.
 

Darkwings

In the Brooder
7 Years
Aug 9, 2012
74
7
31
Atascadero, CA
Hen scratch is only suppose to be a treat so I can see why they are in such poor condition. I would grab the rooster and try to rehome him yourself if it's possible.
Unfortunately I can't have a rooster where I'm at. I'm going to worm him when I go out tonight and leave some proper feed for him. He didn't look as poor as the hens.
 

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