Advice please for new rescues

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TwicksChicks
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Advice please for new rescues

Post by TwicksChicks » Mon Jul 22, 2019 4:19 pm

Hello. I’m completely new to chicken keeping and got 3 lovely rescues at the weekend. I’ve read so much I’m a bit overwhelmed and would really appreciate advice on our specific situation.
As I’ve not had chickens before, I don’t have a good idea of what normal pecking order behaviour is, or if what we have is more. One chicken came with substantially fewer feathers than the other two (all bit bald in places) and she is the one getting pecked. I think they left her alone last night and tbh they don’t seem to be fighting (possibly because victim just stays very still and takes it) but worried if they continue will break skin as obviously she has no feathers to protect her. I’ve bought Net tex anti feather pecking spray and an antiseptic purple spray just in case. However we were advised to de-louse and worm them and I’m wondering whether using the mite-stop spray on top of the anti peck might be a bit much.
So wondering what I should do? What is the priority?
Also I got the Antiforte Mite-stop. Should that get rid of whatever they are likely to have? (Rescues for commercial egg laying farm).
Plus I have Flubenvet as was advised they likely had worms but ditto not sure if doing it all at same time a bit much (plus how to make sure they’re all getting it when don’t seem to eat the same amount).
My main concern was for the bullied hen this morning as she just stood with her face in the feeder (but not eating) completely still for about 2 hours- but she’s now in the nesting box so hopefully a bit happier. Any advice much appreciated! Thank you
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LadyA
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Re: Advice please for new rescues

Post by LadyA » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:23 pm

You need to put out extra feeders and drinkers, so that the bullied one can be sure of getting her share. The others won't be able to patrol all of the feeders! Also, put something in so that she can escape their attentions. Large flower pots, square hay bales, anything that she can just hide behind for a bit.
I'd certainly go ahead with the worming. You mix the flubenvet into the feed with the dose according to the weight of feed you're mixing it in to. The hens get the correct dose, because they are eating the amount of feed for their own size/weight, if you follow me? So, a large, heavy breed like a Brahma would automatically take in more feed (and therefore more wormer) than one of your rescues, even if they were all eating from the same feeder.
You could give her a squirt or two of the anti pecking spray, and see if it discourages the others from pecking her. And keep an eye for any blood drawn, because if they go for blood, they won't stop until they've killed her. I'm not familiar with the Antiforte.

Hopefully, as she feathers up and they all get used to each other, things will settle down. I had a hen once who, when moulting, literally woke up starkers, with every feather she had had in a pile under the perch! The others I think didn't recognise her without her clothes on! They bullied her unmercifully, and I had to hide her in a spare house, and feed/water her separately until her feathers came through, at which point she was able to rejoin the flock without any issues.
Lead me not into temptation. I can find the way myself!
TwicksChicks
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Re: Advice please for new rescues

Post by TwicksChicks » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:30 pm

Thank you :) I’ve got extra feeders and water in there but she’s not really using them (even when had her head stuck in one for 2 hours!) She really comes into her own when free ranging in the garden which I can let them do for last couple of hours of the day- she’s far more adventurous and pecks at/ eats lots - but obviously no good in terms of taking in the wormer. She hates going back end of the day but fingers crossed no blood so hopefully they’re not going at her too hard and she will get her feathers back and just be bottom of pecking order.
Is there anything else you would recommend for de-lousing? I haven’t done it yet as anti peck spray seemed enough for one day and tbh although the rescue guys said to do it, I haven’t noticed any signs of them having particular louse/ mite problem. I’ve put them out a dust bath but at the moment they are just eating it.
TwicksChicks
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Re: Advice please for new rescues

Post by TwicksChicks » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:31 pm

And thank you I’ve put a bucket on its side in for now but she generally tries to keep out of their way by being in coop when they are in run or vice versa.
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Marigold
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Re: Advice please for new rescues

Post by Marigold » Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:45 pm

I've often found that chickens take a while to eat properly in a new place, especially if they've gone through a traumatic upheaval like your new girls will have. I would make up a plate of lovely nourishing treats, some damp pellets and also a mashed-up hard-boiled egg, some hulled sunflower seeds, some mixed corn, a sardine or other bit of fish, maybe some porridge - anything you've got that is fairly high in protein and low in fat and salt, grapes, sweetcorn, bits of strawberries, that you think she may like. Of course, if some of it is totally new to her she may ignore it.
Take her away from the others, perhaps when free roaming, and give her some time for rest and recovery in an area where she can relax and feel safe. Try feeding her from your hand. If you can get her to eat something she will be more able to stand up for herself when back with the others. Space is key to success, as well as places to hide, as others have said, so it's good you can let them out in the garden if its safe. I would leave the worming until all of them are eating well, else they won't take in enough to do them good. Also, unless you can see they're crawling, I'd avoid handling them and puffing on powder, which will be another worrying experience. just aim to give them a quiet life with the minimum of fuss for the first week or two, and let them come to you when they realise how lucky they are to have arrived in such a lovely home.
TwicksChicks
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Re: Advice please for new rescues

Post by TwicksChicks » Mon Jul 22, 2019 10:26 pm

Great thank you so much :) I’ll do that- make sure they’re all settled before worrying about the other worming/ lousing (no def not crawling- I’ve not seen any of either)
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rick
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Re: Advice please for new rescues

Post by rick » Mon Jul 22, 2019 11:06 pm

Fantastic! Time to adjust and get to know each other as above (although they are from the same place it was so big its almost certainly like meeting for the first time.) I find small temporary screens, open at both ends, with feeders and water on opposite sides very useful - a small screen sort of doubles the space around it. Of course it wont be long before they realise that they can perch on top of it and watch both sides! Welcome to the world of chickens!
Shadrach
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Re: Advice please for new rescues

Post by Shadrach » Tue Jul 23, 2019 10:05 pm

Good for you for taking in rescue hens.
There are a few things you need to know.
Most battery hens will have been inoculated for various diseases. However, you should be aware that coccidia in particular comes in a number of strains and your hens may have no resistance to the strain in your garden. Buy a coccidia treatment such as coccivex and research the symptoms and treat at the first signs.
If you know what these hens got fed at the place they came from then try to feed them the same or similar making any diet changes gradually. While it's lovely to think you are going to be feeding them better than the battery, it's unlikely. One thing battery hens do get usually is quality feed because it impacts on egg production.
Another easy mistake to make is to let them free range immediately. It's very natural to want to see them enjoying life. The problem is they often eat things that they have never has to digest before and in quantities that give rise to crop problems; impacted crop being the most common. Monitor what they eat for a while and check their crops are empty each morning.
They will have some inbuilt predator awareness but they won't be wise to others.
TwicksChicks
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Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2019 9:21 am

Re: Advice please for new rescues

Post by TwicksChicks » Fri Jul 26, 2019 10:28 am

Thank you all. They seem to have settled down and happily come out for a couple of hours free range before bed. The problem I’m still having is during the day when the pecked chicken stays in coop all day. She’s not broody on near box- is standing by back of coop waiting to come in harden! She would stay in garden all night if we let he and tries to bed down in the bushes. If we get her out of coop and put her in run she just runs back into coop again. I don’t want to shut her out of coop as she does lay during the day (as does one of the other hens). I’ve sprayed her with anti peck and although she’s definitely bottom of the pecking order, there’s no injuries and I don’t think is beyond the normal. She just really doesn’t want to be with the other 2- and wants to be in garden. We have been putting a food bowl down for her when she comes out in pm as I’m worried she won’t have ventured out to eat or drink during the day. We don’t have space for her to have a separate run (and like I said I don’t think the other hens are actually bullying her- she just seems to be quite a funny little hen (she jumps on our laps/ backs when the other hens come near her in the garden as think sees us as her protectors). They’re not bullying her at night though- is all quiet in there. They do have a bit of a peck when she’s making a fuss about wanting to go out in the morning- but to be fair it must be really annoying for them! Apologies a bit of a ramble but heading out today and so far not seen her come out of coop :(
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rick
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Re: Advice please for new rescues

Post by rick » Sun Jul 28, 2019 7:05 pm

I think you just have to keep putting her where she needs to be and very likely it will just get easier as the weeks go by. Often there is a bit of an odd one out to some degree or the other. Anti-peck spray has to be used with some caution and best used just where it is needed i.e. in the area of an injury. It can stop them preening if it gets on their preen gland and if it gets on the food then it will stop them eating it. When my feather footed bantam is growing new feathers he often breaks one and a regular little quirt just on that spot puts the others off pecking it until it heals. It doesn't sound like she is having a really bad time with the other two. Scabs on a comb is usually a good indicator that one is having more than the usual amount of trouble.
If she is easy to pick up and handle I would be very tempted to pop her on the kitchen scales and keep an eye on her weight (a little section of wood as a perch keeps them standing on their for long enough.) If she is staying at a good/reasonably constant weight then then you know she must be eating/drinking and doing OK even if you don't see it happening.
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