We rescued about 70 birds last week; we didn't know quite the # we would be getting or the state of neglect they were in but, for the most part, they seem okay so far, mostly underwatered, overcrowded, and underfed (and what they were fed definitely wasn't good quality). We culled their numbers the 2nd day and have a much more manageable number that we will be able to care for effectively. No foraging with the record snows here in Maine this year (for a while longer, I feel sure) but we've been feeding them decent-quality grain and mashes of lard from our pigs, lentils, oats, DE (and misc. others) as well as some fresh veggies (don't think the pigs are too pleased to be sharing their limited produce...).
I'm wondering -- from any of you who might have an opinion -- how long do you think they need for recovery before any eggs they lay will be healthy for our consumption? We've seen a few eggs in the week we've had them but with their state of health, the stress, their malnourishment, and the time of year, I wouldn't expect them to be putting much toward egg-laying, of course, the poor birds, and I wouldn't feel they were in good enough health for us to eat their meat or eggs until they've gotten significantly healthier either.
What do any of you think? How fast does solid, foundational health turn around for chickens? Once you change a chicken's diet, how long does it take their body to utilize nutrients and for their system to integrate that health?
You can make a chicken fat or poor in two weeks given the right circumstances. If they were malnourished and overcrowded I'd worm them now and the eggs should be good in ten days to two weeks depending on the wormer you use.
posted 5 years ago
Thanks so much, Tracy. We have used DE a couple of times since we got them, all over both them and the coop and they are definitely interested in it, at will, too. Good to have some idea about the timeframe on the eggs.