Totally foreign enviroment

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by lineapayne, Feb 6, 2018.

  1. lineapayne

    lineapayne In the Brooder

    7
    20
    21
    Feb 6, 2018
    Last night I brought home 3 older black silkies. These birds have never seen fresh air sunlight or any food other than from a bag. I felt horrible seeing the conditions the have lived in for 2 yrs.
    So on the one hand I'm happy to get them out of there, but on the other they have no clue about the new enviroment.
    I have them in a good sized tractor on the dirt where there is abundant bugs, grass, plants, air sun, rain etc. I am also prepped for a variety of homemade food.
    I wish I had a bird to show them the ropes but I dont.

    Do you think instinct will take over as they adjust?
    I dangled a huge worm right infront of them and nothing. They still havent come out of the box I brought them home in so I am gently tipping the box a bit each time i check on them.
    So has anyone out there experienced this? How did ot go?
     
    Chickencountryuk and Christii like this.
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    25,401
    9,088
    707
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    Instinct will eventually take over so be happy.
    But the food they had out of the bag was probably nutritionally complete as long as it was fresh. Home made food is extremely difficult to make with the correct balance of nutrients.
    I've always free ranged my flocks and they take to it quickly.
    For years, I used to encourage birds to eat worms, beetles, etc. till I discovered they were secondary carriers of parasitic worms.
     
  3. lineapayne

    lineapayne In the Brooder

    7
    20
    21
    Feb 6, 2018
    Thank you for the help.
    Food grade DE in thier diet will take care of any parasites, and help with heavy metals etc.
    I have been making dog n cat food for long time as well as my own. Holist nutrtion is a passion of mine, so once the birds take to the new diet they will be healthier for it.
    I have the box they came home in out of the coop now so no more excuses for them. They will just have to feel the fear and do it anyway.
    They really pay attention to me when i sing to them. At least someone appreciates my singing.
    I'm happy to see they are perching ok on the ladder to the 2nd floor. We had to clip their nails before we left the old place all curled and narly. No perches and no scratching. Here they have both.
    I'm sure I'm just being and old worrywart and they will be fine, but I sure appreciate any advise from 'out there'.


     
    Chickencountryuk and Christii like this.
  4. happyhens1972

    happyhens1972 Songster

    1,003
    968
    216
    Jul 24, 2013
    Worcester, UK
    I had this with ex battery hens...they just don't know what to do with greens or bugs or perches or whatever but they do adapt very quickly. Just remember not to over-face them with new stuff. It may seem like a wonderful thing to us but it is very stressful to them. Imagine being incarcerated for a third of your life, then chucked out into DisneyLand!! Major sensory overload!!! Give them time to adjust and make changes slowly. Keep a close eye on them as the stress can bring them down.

    It took my ex batts a couple of weeks to get used to things but once they did, they were flock leaders through and through xxx
     
    Christii and Chickencountryuk like this.
  5. Mrs. K

    Mrs. K Crowing

    5,984
    3,786
    436
    Nov 12, 2009
    western South Dakota
    Mixing a bit old with new helps too. Feed a little feed they are used to, and add a bit of the new to it. They will accidentally eat some. Usually that is all it takes.

    I agree that you may have to force them out of the box... but I would let them get back in their comfort zone after half an hour... for a while. Try some very low roosts, just a bit off the ground, then adjust the height later on. Little changes will work best.

    Mrs K
     
    Chickencountryuk and Christii like this.
  6. Chickens hate change, this is especially true when the change involves their diet.
     
    Wyorp Rock and Christii like this.
  7. lineapayne

    lineapayne In the Brooder

    7
    20
    21
    Feb 6, 2018
    So heres an update:
    Thanks everyone for all the great advise.
    They took to the perches as soon as they were out of the box. 2 for sure are eating and drinking. They even took dandelion leaves from my hand. They love the mash ferment. 1 is still stressed. 2 wont leave the perch. No one has gone 'down stairs' to the ground yet. Its a beautiful 'summer ' we are having this winter here. Sorry all you Easters and Southeasters but your hogging all the weather. still the girls should appreciate a nice 63 degree day. Even my l teeny woosy dog came outside. I am confident the 2 will be fine. I hope the 3rd girl will come out of her shell ok.
     
    Chickencountryuk likes this.
  8. lineapayne

    lineapayne In the Brooder

    7
    20
    21
    Feb 6, 2018

    Love your analogy! Really helped me to see thru their eyes. Whats a battery bird?
     
    Chickencountryuk likes this.
  9. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    25,401
    9,088
    707
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    I moved 17 chicks out to the coop a couple weeks ago. They were raised indoors because it was below zero F back then. They are 2 months old now and the door has been open for 4 days and they have yet to venture out. Likely, if I had raised them in the building, they would have ventured out by now.
    [/QUOTE]
    I hate to be the bearer of bad news to explain that DE has no effect on intestinal parasites nor does it possess any qualities that affect heavy metals in the system.
    If you believe that, could you cite some scientific studies to support the claim?

    I applaud your passion for holistic nutrition. I'm a fan too. But to provide a healthier diet than what comes out of a bag with a guaranteed analysis tag on it would be extremely expensive and you'd need to have the ability to assay the nutrients in the resulting feed at home. That bag contains the result of over a century of nutritional research into what the needs of chickens are and in precisely the ratios they need.
    https://extension2.missouri.edu/G8352[/QUOTE]
     
    aart, Wyorp Rock and Chickencountryuk like this.
  10. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe Free Ranging

    25,401
    9,088
    707
    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    A battery hen is one that spent its entire life in a building and its life since the age of 16 weeks in a cage with 4 or 5 other hens and in a building with about 20,000 other layers.
     
    Chickencountryuk likes this.

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by: