When can my chicken go back outside after an injury?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Henrietta and friends, Nov 10, 2018.

  1. Hi everyone! I'm very new to chickens and mine was injured pretty bad. Her wound is healing wonderfully and we have been keeping her inside while she heals. It will be a week tomorrow since she was hurt and her wound is scabbed over now. She is only an only chicken, explanation down below, and I'm wondering when she can go back outside and move back into her coop? She is antsy to get back outside and we would love to let her return to the yard again!

    Thank you,
    Ashley


    Why she is an only chicken:
    Henrietta grew up in a chicken barn being raised for meat, when the truck came she escaped and found her way to my friends house. She called me and we caught her. The farmer was fine with me taking her so she joined our family. We have never had chickens before so before adding more chickens to our family, we wanted to have a proper coop built. The second day after her coop was built, she got injured. Since then she has been healing. The moment we can, we will be adding more chickens we just want her to be healed first.
     
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  2. alexa009

    alexa009 Free Ranging

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    How did she get injured? If it was a predator attack, I wouldn't put her back outside until a new plan is designed.
     
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  3. Sorry, I should have been more specific. She did get injured by a predator and we have spent the last week fixing the problem and making her area more safe. I'm confident we have done what is needed to make her space safe. I'm just wondering when an injured chicken can go back outside, she is welcome to stay inside as long as she needs but I don't want to keep her caged up if she could go back out.
     
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  4. rebrascora

    rebrascora Crowing

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    I would start by putting her out during the day and bringing her in at night. She may benefit from having a mirror in her run, so she doesn't feel so alone. You do not specify your location and if it has turned cold she may take some transitioning back to outdoor living if she has been in the house for a week. Meat birds do not have the best plumage for keeping warm and she will not have flock mates to snuggle up to, so she will probably benefit from some transitioning. Of course, if you live somewhere like Florida or California it may not be a problem.

    I'm not sure if you have considered this but Henrietta may be a Henry. If that is a photo as your avatar, the comb is pretty large and red for a female.... they tend to go for slaughter at 6-8 weeks, so if you have just had her a week and a few days then it's likely she is a he. Also, meat birds are bred to grow fast and be slaughtered. Their bodies often give out when they are kept much beyond butchering age. You need to restrict food, place water at the opposite end of the run to encourage them to walk as much as possible and free range when you are there to supervise, to encourage them to exercise and strengthen their legs. They do not usually live much past a year and diet will be important. What are you currently feeding him/her?
     
    tripletfeb likes this.
  5. This was so helpful, thank you!! We live in Georgia but are having a cold snap so it's in the 40's outside right now getting down in the 20s at night.

    That is her as my avatar and we originally thought Henrietta was a Henry but then Henrietta surprised us with an egg and has laid one every day since. Our estimate was that she was only 6 weeks old as the truck comes every 6 weeks and that is what the farmer said but I know 6 weeks is very young for chickens to lay eggs, although her breed is made to grow rapidly so maybe that's why she lays eggs so young? She is thankfully very active and when she is outside she runs all over. I really appreciate all of your knowledge, it's hard to find people who know about keeping these types of birds as pets! How much food would you feed her? We were talked into getting her a feather fixer food because she was missing feathers when we got her, it is NatureWise Feather Fixer then when she started laying eggs we also started giving her Dumor Poultry Oyster Shells. We know she may not live long and are prepared for that but we would like to do everything we can to prolong her life so I appreciate any help!
     
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  6. rebrascora

    rebrascora Crowing

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    Laying eggs at under 10 weeks is unlikely in the extreme although I have no direct experience of meat birds I have never heard of such a thing happening.
    Can you post a better photo of her? I would suspect that either she has been living wild until she turned up at your friend's house and she is much older than you think or she is not a meat bird and is still older than you think, or someone in your family is kidding you and placing an egg in the nest box each day..... surprisingly it would not be the first time that has happened.....
    If meat birds started laying at 10 weeks and laid every day, they would probably be kept for egg production as it is a long wait for laying breeds to reach the 16-25 weeks that most pullets take to start producing.

    It sounds like you have done your research on diet. How much does the bird weigh? That will impact on how much feed she needs, especially if she is producing eggs.
     
  7. She did just showed up one day at my friend's bird feeder. The farmer who owns the barns said she was his and that if you can catch her, you can have her. He only raises meat chickens though, nothing else. It is possible she escaped from an earlier truck and had been hiding out but my friend said she saw the truck arrive and Henrietta turned up later that day which is why we assumed she was meant for that pick up. The only eggs in the house are hers so I'm certain no one is kidding me. In the chicken barns they wouldn't know who was laying eggs so no way for them to switch her over but we all do find it impossible that she is only 6 weeks old and laying eggs.
     

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  8. rebrascora

    rebrascora Crowing

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    Well that is an odd one! She looks to be a meat bird but she is certainly not a size that I would expect of one that was ready to be butchered and combined with her laying eggs, my gut feeling is that she has been fending for herself for quite a while and perhaps living mostly off her body stores before she turned up at your friend's place and was captured. What a very lucky bird! I hope you are able to find her a couple of companions.
     
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  9. Thank you for all of your help! By the end of next week she won't be the only chicken we have so friends will be arriving very soon!
     
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  10. Farm life101

    Farm life101 Chirping

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    For factory meat birds they usually are injected and/or fed a lot of crap that makes them grow faster and/or mature faster (just a heads up). she looks to be 12-14 weeks old. what was her injury? for her feed her NatureWise layer crumbles, and some NatureWise feather fixer in a 5lb hanging feed (hanging feeders are important especially if you get ants) then in a small feeder put some chick grit in there and have it available 24/7 as it will help with her digestion and she knows how much she needs :). I say NatureWise because we have silkies and those dang things feathers are so hard to keep in line and so they constantly have feather fixer and we found best results in NatureWise than in any other brand. What was her injury and can i get pics of the injured spot now? depending on how much room you have i would recommend getting 3 more hens for her and make sure they are chicks because if you get chickens the same age or size as her they will fight were as chicks, when you them and they are old enough to go outside, wont fight with her and will immediately see her as top dog.

    best of luck!
     
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