" Lazy " hen

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Jonathan in Sligo

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" Lazy " hen
« on: September 28, 2021, 21:30 »
A little guidance / insight would be greatly appreciated on this.

Quick history : 18 days ago we got 13 rescue hens. 2 have passed. 1 stopped eating altogether, and despite going to 'animal hospital' (inside our house) and being hand fed and watered, did not last 2 days. The other, I really do not know if the others killed her or not, but was covered in blood about her face and comb. The coop is predator proof.
Now to the nitty gritty.
This hen is reasonably well feathered (not completely but getting there). She does not want to walk about anywhere. When given food, she does eat well (especially the wheat and corn) and has a really good drink when taken to water. I am sure she does drink during the day, and I know she eats the grass. She  DOES  walk about sometimes, very slowly and not really steady. She does put herself to bed every night with the others. 
She is not egg-bound.
Eyes look exactly the same as the other hens.
Her crop is not watery during the day, but will check first thing in the morning.
Can not see any evidence of Bumblefoot.
I could not see any lice.
The coop was only completed 3 days before the hens arrived, so I seriously doubt I got mites already.
We do not  have a rooster yet.
She has has been like this for a week now.

Another note: only 4 will roost, will the others learn ?
The run is 13m X 10m, so they are not pressed for space, wire is mink-proof weld mesh, so I am not getting any animal threats.

Any ideas are most welcome. Thank you for reading all this.

Jonathan

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New shoot

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Re: " Lazy " hen
« Reply #1 on: September 29, 2021, 10:58 »
Hi Jonathan and welcome to the forum  :)

I've never taken on rescue hens, but from posts on here it seems quite common that some arrive in better shape than others and it is not unusual to lose a couple quite quickly.

The dead hen with the bloodied face may have been the victim of bullying or she might have got her head stuck in somewhere.  They are used to life in a purpose built cage, so they would not be used to roosting or be that aware of potential dangers in an outside run.  Give them time on that one.  They also don't need a rooster and while they are adjusting, I would hold off on that anyway. 

The wobbly one sounds like she is maybe run into the ground by the intensive cage system she has come from, but I would give her a chance.  Eating and drinking are a good sign, as is the fact she is re-feathering and putting herself to bed at night.  A couple of weeks of a less stressful life and some TLC and she might bounce back.  If not, you have done your best for her.

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Jonathan in Sligo

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Re: " Lazy " hen
« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2021, 12:53 »
Thank you. Although this is not the first time keeping chickens, it is in this country, and the first for rescue hens. I was expecting a loss or 2, but I am surprised at the differences between here and warmer places, and a little less sure of myself.  :)

Checked crop this am, and defiantly not watery or a bad smell, so I am ruling out sour crop.

Best regards
Jonathan




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grinling

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Re: " Lazy " hen
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2021, 17:56 »
Caged hens are normally 3 per cage, so putting a large number together has increased stress and competition. Having more than1 house would help to relieve this as well as multiple feed and water stations.
weld mesh will keep out big prey, but mice will still get in, , if you can have compacted sand around the outside of the run, you will see if anything is walking up to it.

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Jonathan in Sligo

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Re: " Lazy " hen
« Reply #4 on: October 06, 2021, 12:34 »
Did not think about another house, as the one they have is large enough for quite a few more birds.
Although she is doing much much better now (wants to be King too), I have given them another feeding station.

Mice I am not really worried about in the run. I do not think they will be able to get into the coop, but will keep an eye on things. If I see any mouse droppings, I will put a fine mesh on all ventilation ports.

Thank you.

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New shoot

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Re: " Lazy " hen
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2021, 20:05 »
Although she is doing much much better now (wants to be King too)

 :lol:  Good to hear she is feeling better. Typical chicken - goes from moping around worrying you that they are deaths door to coop domination dreams.  Sounds like she just needed a few good feeds and a chance to get her strength back up.  A lovely change of pace and environment for her and all the rest you rescued.  I bet they cant believe their luck  :)



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