Newbie

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cliodhna

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Newbie
« on: May 04, 2013, 21:58 »
Hi

I am a complete novice to chicken keeping. My 6 girls, ex-batts, came to live with me yesterday and I thought were settling quite well yesterday. They are all eating and drinking fine, but they all seemed tired today and one in particular took herself off to the nesting box and slept pretty much all day (she did eat and drink though). She didnt lay anything but spent the whole day on her own.

The other thing i am unsure whether I am being neurotic about is that they are snoring, I've done countless searches and some suggest this might be a respiratory infection. They do not have runny eyes or any other symptoms other than the snoring.

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Kuikentje

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Re: Newbie
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2013, 00:03 »
Hi there Cliodhna, me too, but I haven't even got mine yet!

I'm tempted to take on a couple of rescue hens but I thought I'd wait till I had a little experience because I know they are a bit more of a challenge - they should be reasonably healthy (according to what I've read - because it's uneconomic for egg-laying machines to be unhealthy) - but they might take a while to settle and might even be a bit traumatised to start with.  Did you get them through a rescue organisation?  Wouldn't  an organisation like that take them through some kind of transitional period first?  I don't know...if they are eating and drinking I wouldn't worry too much; I did read today that it will be a few days before they start laying, which makes sense.  Stress plays havoc with our female hormones!

The other thing is that of course it's a bank holiday weekend and in common with all other animals, if they are going to have a problem, it will be a weekend, a bank holiday, or both, when they have it.  They are more intelligent than we think.

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cliodhna

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Re: Newbie
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2013, 08:35 »
I was told it would be a few weeks before they started laying, but had an egg in the box when I got them home lol.

Yes I got them through a rescue organisation.

She has already been back in the coop to sleep in the nest box this morning, so I picked her up and had a feel and cant feel anything obviously wrong. No hard areas, no smell from anywhere, so I think she is probably just unsettled. They have been having fun with the children this morning who have been digging for worms for them and all of them (including the one I am concerned about) have been alert and scrambling for the worms.

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ANHBUC

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Re: Newbie
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2013, 09:53 »
Hello and welcome to the site cliodhna.   :D

You are probably right about her being unsettled, it is very stressful for them to be moved even to a better life.  Are you feeding them the same as they were on at the rescue centre?  I would only give them a small amount of treats, including worms as they will not be used to it.  Any treats are best given late afternoon so they get enough of their balanced diet from their food.

Do you know if they have been wormed before you got them and if so when?  If you don't know it is best to worm them with flubenvet asap.  You can get it in powder form to add to their food or pellets that already have it added.  Now they are free in your garden and eating worms, slugs and snails (all of which can carry different worm eggs) it is best to treat them.

Keep doing the checks that you are doing and this will help you to notice any differences between them.  Check they have a full crop on a night and that it is empty on a morning so that you know everything is working properly.   ;)
Ain't Nobody Here But Us Chickens!
Bagpuss RIP 1992 - June 2012, 1 huge grass carp (RIP "Jaws" July 2001 - December 2011), 4 golden orfe, 1 goldfish and 1 fantail fish (also huge)! plus 4 Italian quail, 1 Japanese quail, 1 Rosetta quail.

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cliodhna

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Re: Newbie
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2013, 11:44 »
I got everything from the rescue centre, so they have the same bedding, food, grit, mite powder etc. (I would rather the money went back into the rescue centre than buying it else where)

They were wormed a week ago and I have the stuff to do them again in 3 months time.

I have just been out to see her and I think she laid an egg (if she didnt she was sitting on someone else's) and now she is out with the others.

Should I prevent them from sleeping in the nestboxes at night? None of them are using the perches, they are all either squashed into the nest boxes or on the floor.

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ANHBUC

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Re: Newbie
« Reply #5 on: May 05, 2013, 11:58 »
It is better for them to perch so you can just lift them on once it is dark.  It might take a while for them to get the hang of it but they usually get the message.  It saves on having poo in the nest box and it soiling their lovely eggs.   ;)



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