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how long does shock last? no eggs

omiwanomiwan Junior Member
edited November 2006 in Poultry Health and Welfare
Hi all,
My history is that a dog broke into our coop through the front door and flushed the chickens out, killing some and breaking one. Long story short - the chickens we have left seem fine and healthy now, except that they hadn't laid any eggs in 3 and 1/2 weeks now.

They are not molting. We just got a rooster a day ago to see if this will jumpstart them because they had a rooster before the attack. We are in Northwest Florida, so the weather is balmy. I know they were scared to death and I expect them not to lay, but HOW LONG will we have to wait? Any ballpark figures?

Oh, and they have had about 16 hours of light for three days because I wanted to be sure it wasn't for a lack of light.

Their coop is 10 x 4, on the ground and gets moved from time to time - a roof and a door, dark area for the nests on the second floor, and chicken wire walls.

They eat commercial layer pellets, and forage on good days that I'm working outside, and have oyster shells available each day. I gave them a dose of liquid vitamins in their water one day after the attack to give them an advantage through their shock.

The Chickens:
Their combs were a little paler after the attack, and some have what I assumed were points of injury on their comb, from fangs grabbing at their heads, a black spot that looks like a scab - in different places on five of the hens but some don't have a mark. Funny, the hens that don't have a scab or two on their combs are missing quite a few tail feathers.

I just remembered that I noticed one or two of them have the squirts, watery poop, almost clear last week- but then today I remember seeing a puddle of chocolate brown. This is along with the normal kind of poop, a ball with white on it.

Anyways, thanks for reading....

Omi

Comments

  • SandySandy Senior Member
    edited October 2006
    omiwan wrote:
    Hi all,
    My history is that a dog broke into our coop through the front door and flushed the chickens out, killing some and breaking one. Long story short - the chickens we have left seem fine and healthy now, except that they hadn't laid any eggs in 3 and 1/2 weeks now.

    If your leaving the light on for the full 16 hours a day for them all the time then this shouldn't be the problem.. but if you only have had it on for a short time then they may not be used to it

    The shock of the attack has done more damage than you think
    The birds probably stopped eating as much as they normally do, and they may all be going into a molt due to the stress of the attack

    You need to add extra protein to their diet to help them get over the shock and build their systems back up.. it could be several more weeks.. and then if your living in the US.. winter coming on it could be several more months before they get back into production properly.. a few may start to lay again but not all until next Spring
    They are not molting. We just got a rooster a day ago to see if this will jumpstart them because they had a rooster before the attack. We are in Northwest Florida, so the weather is balmy. I know they were scared to death and I expect them not to lay, but HOW LONG will we have to wait? Any ballpark figures?

    Its never a good idea to introduce new birds to ailing birds.. you don't know what he has had or what he may bring into your flock.. making things 100 times worse than they already are

    But no point in removing him .. the cross infection is done if he does have anything

    And any new stock to old stock causes even more stress on the birds.. so what you actually did was put your laying flock back several weeks instead of adding to their comfort

    Hens don't need a rooster to lay eggs.. actually they lay a heck of a lot better with out them.. you only need a rooster if you intend to hatch chicks

    No ball park figure... the shock of the attack.. the introduction of a new bird... all add to the stress factors.. so it may be quite some time before they are back to normal

    Oh, and they have had about 16 hours of light for three days because I wanted to be sure it wasn't for a lack of light.

    If you only left it on for 3 days.. thats not going to help them either

    They need it every day not just for 3 days.. if you intend to give them the lighting
    Their coop is 10 x 4, on the ground and gets moved from time to time - a roof and a door, dark area for the nests on the second floor, and chicken wire walls.

    Does the dog still have access to the coop area.. and walk around the coop.. this will be stressing the birds out also.. and if the dog barks and they can hear him barking .. this will be stressing them out also.. dogs and chickens don't mix well
    They eat commercial layer pellets, and forage on good days that I'm working outside, and have oyster shells available each day. I gave them a dose of liquid vitamins in their water one day after the attack to give them an advantage through their shock.

    They actually needed Electroloytes in their drinking water for 3 weeks after the attack.. not multi vitamins

    If you can afford to get some now .. it would probably really help them .. read the directions carefully .. a little goes a long long way
    The Chickens:
    Their combs were a little paler after the attack, and some have what I assumed were points of injury on their comb, from fangs grabbing at their heads, a black spot that looks like a scab - in different places on five of the hens but some don't have a mark. Funny, the hens that don't have a scab or two on their combs are missing quite a few tail feathers.

    Sounds like their immune systems were so affected they got POX... it may take them several weeks to get over it .. unless it was the new rooster that brought it into your flock ... with the stress of the attack.. your going to just have to feed them well and give them extra protein in their diet and wait .. sorry
    I just remembered that I noticed one or two of them have the squirts, watery poop, almost clear last week- but then today I remember seeing a puddle of chocolate brown. This is along with the normal kind of poop, a ball with white on it.

    Some may have been injured internally.. they may survive.. they may not .. some may look ok.. but with any internal injury it may take time for it to actually kill the bird...

    They may be drinking a lot more water due to the stress situation.. this would account for the watery droppings.. it may also indicate that they are having problems digesting thier food and not getting enough

    Hope this helps you Omi
  • omiwanomiwan Junior Member
    edited October 2006
    Wow, I am so sorry that I caused more stress by giving them another rooster. I thought it would make them feel safer like before the attack.

    The POX you mention was there before I introduced the new rooster.

    I just lost the broken hen. She wasn't able to walk, and had been flopping around in my screen room, getting her food placed in front of her.

    One plus is that I no longer have that dog for a neighbor. His owner gave him away, so that stress is no longer there. He was tied down, but escaped too many times. We don't have dogs.

    About the electrolytes; I'm thinking Gatorade but then you mentioned to read the instructions. Will the local feed store have electrolytes with instructions on them?

    You said to also increase their protein. Is it okay to give them starter crumbles, which have 21% protein? Or should they have more than 21%?Also, will it add more stress to keep them in their coop for the three days that I want the rooster to acclimate to his new home? Or, should I let them out and keep him in?

    Thank you so much, Sandy!!!
    Omi
  • SandySandy Senior Member
    edited October 2006
    omiwan wrote:
    Wow, I am so sorry that I caused more stress by giving them another rooster. I thought it would make them feel safer like before the attack.

    You weren't to know... and this is all part of the learning process.. don't get angry with yourself ok...
    The POX you mention was there before I introduced the new rooster.

    So if this was there before the attack.. then they were more than likely going to be dropping in production anyway ... increase protein levels to help them re build.. it really does help them
    I just lost the broken hen. She wasn't able to walk, and had been flopping around in my screen room, getting her food placed in front of her.

    She may had internal injuries.. or broken bones that you couldn't see.. so sad when you lose one I know.. but take heart .. you still have the others and they are ok.. a little shaken .. but ok
    One plus is that I no longer have that dog for a neighbor. His owner gave him away, so that stress is no longer there. He was tied down, but escaped too many times. We don't have dogs.

    As much as I love dogs.. and would dearly love to own one... I wouldn't because of owning chickens

    Sounds like you have a good relationship with your neighbor... must have been hard for them to give the dog away.. but good for you and your girls
    About the electrolytes; I'm thinking Gatorade but then you mentioned to read the instructions. Will the local feed store have electrolytes with instructions on them?

    NEVER give Gatorade to chickens.. never

    Your local feed store should have Electrolytes ... they have them for pigeons.. that is the one I use for my birds... if the feed store doesn't have them... see about your local bird fanciers.. ask around.. I'm sure somebobyd will be able to put you onto them.. they aren't that expensive..and they last for long long time

    When stress hits birds... they tend to lose body salts.. special body salts..not the ordinary table variety... this replaces it
    You said to also increase their protein. Is it okay to give them starter crumbles, which have 21% protein? Or should they have more than 21%?

    As long as they don't have medication mixed through
    And only give half of this and half of what they are already being fed.. Changing over feed is also a HUGE stress factor for birds

    To make life a bit easier for them for a week.. with the change .. can you get a couple of tins of tin cat food.. beef... and give them 2 tablespoons mixed through thier feed each day .. once a day .. and this will help them to change over to the new food and old food .. the tin food is a treat for them .. and it will help them to increase their intake ..

    If you can get hold of a product called.... Food Grade Kelp.... add this at 2% of dry feed... it is magic... it helps to restore the birds condition.. also helps with re feathering... also helps to hatch better chicks.. really good all rounder.. but if you can't get it .. don't stress over it ok.. just give the extra protein to the birds
    Also, will it add more stress to keep them in their coop for the three days that I want the rooster to acclimate to his new home? Or, should I let them out and keep him in?

    they need to have fresh air.. and their routine has been turned upside down already .. so you don't want to be adding more stress to them by locking them up

    Can you put up some temporary mesh around a smaller area than they normally have to roam about in.. but still allowing them to be outside and get some fresh air and sun light .. but allowing the rooster to be kept in a confined smaller area ... and this will help him to become accustomed to his new surroundings

    He will automatically go into the hen house to roost.. its where the girls are ... :D
    Thank you so much, Sandy!!!
    Omi

    My pleasure Omi.. take care
  • omiwanomiwan Junior Member
    edited November 2006
    Hi Sandy, and anyone else reading this!
    I am soooo happy. I took Sandy's advice and increased the protein of my traumatized chickens using cat food. I also gave the chickens the powdered electrolytes I got at the feed store.
    Three of my nine hens are laying again! After four weeks -a whole month not laying out of fear and possibly internal injuries. A dog had broke into their coop and killed 5 injured 3, (of which only one survived of the injured).
    After the attack, they came down with pox, and that seems to have cleared up this week. They had the pox two weeks.
    Thanks Sandy for helping me get the girls through this!
    Mayra
  • SandySandy Senior Member
    edited November 2006
    Hi Mayra

    Fantastic news... good to get postivie feed back

    Hope all goes well for you in the future

    If you need any more help or just want to chat .. call back soon ya hear...
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