Worried about my Ex battery Hen

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by GemmaDobson, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. GemmaDobson

    GemmaDobson New Egg

    Dec 12, 2012
    hi i just created my account because i really would like some advice on my ex battery hen, this is my first time keeping chickens.

    We adopted 2 ex battery hens from happychicks.com in August and everything was going well apart from the bigger hen not laying but that never bothered me as i was just glad she was happy and in a better home. As winter came we noticed the hen who didn't lay was eating less and less and just huddled in a corner in the garden, then sadly on saturday afternoon she passed away at 1:00 pm.

    Our other chicken recently startted to pull out her feathers in ther night, I've looked at her body and there aren't any signs of injury and shes already growing her feathers back (pin featherrs). Could this be a sign shes missing her friend, even if theres no blood or sores? we're trying hard to get another chicken but we're struggling to find anyone in the wigan area who is currently selling ex battery hens (if you know any adresses please PM me!!!)

    Anoither problem we've noticed was yesterday when we let her out of her new chicken coop we bought for them both (before one sadly died) she was stumbling and falling onto one side when walking, shes still eating and drinking as normal but when she walks more than 3 steps she falls onto her side or over balances. We think this may be the way she is sleeping, as she is pearching right at the edge of the nesting box in a 'crouching' postion. Can chickens get a muscle cramp through sleeping like this? As the day progress she does walk ebtter but she was falling over again this mornign and we've put some wood down which seperated the nest box over the area she pearchs to try and encorge her to uses the pearchs in the hutch or to just lie down in the now bigger nest box area.

    if someone could help explain these behaviours to me I'd be really glad!! thanks
  2. ChickenCanoe

    ChickenCanoe True BYC Addict

    Nov 23, 2010
    St. Louis, MO
    What are you feeding them?
    Eating feathers is often a sign of insufficient protein.
    Chickens need a good balanced diet for optimum health.
    Ex-bat hens are a special problem. They've been through a lot and with time and good nutrition can recover but many don't.
    Battery birds get a lot of meds in their feed so I would give some plain whole fat yogurt or bene-bac powder in water to replenish their good intestinal bacteria. This will also add to their protein.
    If she's not laying, I'd switch to a 18 or 20% protein non-medicated grower. Limit the scratch grains as they're not high in protein or vitamins.
    Black Oil Sunflower seeds are high in protein and vitamins and work as scratch.
    Chickens are social animals and need to be in a flock. If you can't find another bat hen I'd get any chicken. It's always best to start with a minimum of 3 in case one dies.
    Good luck and keep us informed.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2012
  3. GemmaDobson

    GemmaDobson New Egg

    Dec 12, 2012
    thankyou for your feedback!

    from what what i've seen she doesn't seem to be eating her own feathers, just pruning herself during the night and sometimes in the day. She is currently feeding on layers pellets ( http://www.wilkinsonplus.com/content/ebiz/wilkinsonplus/invt/0303771/0303771_l.jpg this is brand we feed her on) as well a few dried mealworm and bread tidbits and layers corn. we have another chicken coming soon, we havent been given an essimated date on the chickens arrival but i'm guessing around the 21st

    over the last few days since this post she is just very off balance when walking, she eats and drinks well and doesn't seem to be indistress or in pain, her feathers are growing back very fast to. I shall buy her some yogurts tomorrow

BackYard Chickens is proudly sponsored by