Tiny "hen" probably a very bullied-to-illness & kept-from-eating rooster. Help!!!

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by yawningreyhound, Jul 7, 2016.

  1. The sick Feb-borne chicken from a neighbor has rallied and now is out and about here with me. Ruled out egg bound early on. I'm pretty sure he's a rooster. There's been NO nesting behavior and I've offered a place up until a few days ago. Then I tried integrating him into my flock again by just having him sit in one yard with my 4 hens in another yard and they were sitting quietly together for a few days. I let the hens out and another one of my big black hens went for him all abiting and that chest bumping behavior until I intervened. He's SOOOOO little 2.5 lbs. Maybe a little more now that he's feeling better and eating .....And I know introducing at night is the preferred method, but I'm afraid they'll kill him at first light. They see him without a fence between them and they just go straight for him.

    DO I just allow that to happen and try to wait it out....without intervening? I've got two more hens that need to get it out of their systems, if so; and this little guy is just so little. And he doesn't back down....he kinda tries to run but they just overtake him. I know he's feeling better because I'm having a harder time catching him, but I still can. Today's his last day of his antibiotic, he's been wormed, and I didn't know what else to do for him besides what I did (antibiotics (I used oral chewable Baytril), forcefeeding, probiotics, coconut oil, a System Detox the avian vet put my bird on, and worming (saw teensy tiny worms that looked like big spirochetes in his diarrhea one day as I stooped to pick it up immed after he did it, so Panacur'd him for 4 days)).

    Anyway, I put him out in a side yard with food and water and all he does is peck the ground looking for whatever bugs chickens look for...and he doesn't eat any of the chicken food I've put out in a bowl, on the ground, in a wide low container, I even counted how many pellets I put out one day to prove to myself he wasn't eating chicken feed (Feather Fixer pellet, crumble feed from his home coop, and my layer feed pellet--separately and together). Then since I got a clear fecal on him, i put him in my coop with mine locked in another yard and tho' he walked up to the feeder and pecked at it once or twice, he just went to looking for something in their litter in the coop. I will check the height now after researching on here!

    He doesn't like mealworms. Or chicken crack. Or BOSS. I did get him to eat a bit of my dogs' raw chicken wing meat, the hens are wild over raw meat and I throw bits that stick on the cutting board at them.

    Jim, my SO, came up with a theory.....I was watching the neighbor's coop for 2 weeks. I started on a saturday and this kid was noticed to be sick on a Tuesday. The chickens are used to free-ranging outside their enclosure which is pretty huge but barren. And right next to the forest. So they have to be supervised. So they were confined in their area for 4 days straight and that's when this bird was noticed to be sick. We're wondering if maybe the 11 hens had not only beaten him up (his tail looks like it's been through a ringer and his feathers are just not thick anywhere), but maybe they had succeeded in also keeping him from feeding in the feeder and he was surviving by the free ranging and I prevented any free ranging so he got thin, then he got infested with worms or they manifested in his weakened system, and then I got him out.

    I don't think he's ever eaten from a feeder the way he wouldn't eat from anything I offered him food in. Maybe I should put some crumble in my chickens' feeder and see if he'll eat that way...hadn't thought of that. But he won't eat crumble anywhere else I've offered it to him.

    We're calling a rooster rescue here in Colorado to see if they'll take him, but in the meantime, should I try to teach him how to eat from a chicken feeder? I can isolate him in a yard but I can't isolate him in a barren area other than my bathroom. And I don't know how else to force him to eat other than to withdraw his range and allow him to eat chicken feed unharrassed by mean hens. I mean I guess I could lock him in the bathroom for 24 hours with a light on for 12 of those hours and a feeder on the floor with a bowl of water. Would that do it? Is he too weak still to do that to and I should wait until he's robust to "tough love" him?

    Any ideas?

    I would so totally keep him, he's just a tiny little sweet-tempered bug, but not as a house chicken, which is what he is at night, he's outside all day now, but he still roosts in the bathroom on a limb visegripped to a litterbox. That can't go on.

    Thank you, you guys. I tried searching for teaching a chicken to eat but couldn't find anything that fit.

    Or do you even think that's the issue here???? It's so weird to have a bird who won't eat anything but bugs he finds. My birds kill for food. Any food. I mean they will eat anything that doesn't eat them first. Especially the two big black ones. The old "flood chickens" are kinda picky.

    Goodchicken! This got long. As usual....well, if you made it to here, thank you again!

    The man of the couple who own this bird said "If you have to teach an animal to eat, I think that animal's about done."

    marcia in colorado (this picture is about 5 days into illness, June 14 it started, I was trying to see if he could jump up to a perch or back down yet)

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