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Frozen Chicken

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I went out as per usual to make sure that my chickens had thawed water.  I changed out the water and gave them their feed took the slice of bread out of my pocket(They love bread and I love having them eat out of my hand) and noticed that my bantam mixed breed chicken(Nerp is her name) didn't come running for some bread.  So I got up and started looking for her, we have a pretty large coop with a run, I found her on the top shelf and she wasn't moving.

Her eyes were wide open and she was all fluffed out so I put my hand near her to see if she would move and she didn't.   I nudged her a couple times and thought she was dead but then she let out the most pathetic and heart wrenching, "rrrrrr", that you've ever heard.  So I rushed her inside, put her in the dry tub and got her some food and water and started rubbing her.  After about 5 minutes her head was moving and she was blinking again.  I moved the water and food closer to her and she started drinking water.

To make a long story short, she recovered.  We've decided to keep her in the house until it gets warmer(we live in Maine) and it's the strangest thing.  She started following me around the house.  Then she started roosting on my shoulder.  We built her a makeshift roost and gave her a box with straw so that she'd have something to do but she still chooses to sleep with me.  

She was the most skittish hen and now she is seemingly content.  She's asleep by my feet as I type this.  We can tell that she is happy because she has been clicking her beak and purring.

The point of all of this is; could the cold have brain damaged her?  She doesn't go looking for food or water.  I have to "peck" with my fingers to get her to eat.  She preens herself as usual and even took a fake dust bath on our couch blanket.

The cold didn't bother the other chicken or our duck.  We have plenty of bedding and heat lamp area in the coop.  Is this normal herd behavior for her to follow me around?

Thanks in advance for your answers!

 

p.s.  Nerp is very special to us we incubated her and "number 2" from egg to chicken, we did have to give their brother away he gigantic and vicious.  He went to a good home.  The lady who gave us the fertilized eggs has a free range chicken farm.  It was our first time incubating an 3 out of 5 eggs made it successfully.  I'm babbling.

Thanks,
Jaime


*EDIT*  Danielle pointed out that I didn't mention that it drops way below freezing temp here.  I'm a Californian beach boy I consider anything below 60 degrees freezing.  haha


Edited by Jaimerox - 1/27/13 at 3:08pm

Cows have hooves because they lactose. 

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Cows have hooves because they lactose. 

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post #2 of 10

Jaime-what a cute story! And I have no idea what could cause this but will be following this forum to see if others have any ideas! What a great chicken parent!

Barred Rock, Black sex-linked, Dorking/Iowa Blue mix, Black, Buff, & Lavender Orpingtons, bantams (mottled and splash) & LF (blue) Cochin, BLR, SL & GL Wyandottes, Lt Brahma, Salmon Faverolles, Easter Egger's, Speckled Sussex, Silver Laced Maran, and Polish mix 

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Barred Rock, Black sex-linked, Dorking/Iowa Blue mix, Black, Buff, & Lavender Orpingtons, bantams (mottled and splash) & LF (blue) Cochin, BLR, SL & GL Wyandottes, Lt Brahma, Salmon Faverolles, Easter Egger's, Speckled Sussex, Silver Laced Maran, and Polish mix 

Ovations: ("Thumbs up" icon on bottom left of post) Let someone know they have been a help!

BYC Awards: https://spreadsheets.goo...

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post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 

So we've kept Nerp, our hen, indoors since the incident and we've had some strange developments.  Not only does she follow me around the house but it seems like she gets separation anxiety when I have to go out.  She starts squacking like crazy slowly gaining volume.  Not only that but she will only sleep with me.  Doesn't matter where I go, there she is.  I've got a bad back and have to spend some nights on the couch, last night was one of those nights and i fell asleep with Nerp on my head.  I wore a hoodie because she occasionally tries to update my hairdoo and sometimes It's like she's making sure I'm alive.  We've got a chicken diaper on her and for the life of me, I don't think I could bear putting her back in the coop.  I've really bonded with her.  Oh yeah, she does that beak clicking all the time and purrs.  I looked it up and it said that is a rare thing that chickens do when they are happy(can I get that confirmed?).  We've provided her with a scratch box, nesting area, roosting area, food/water and she seems perfectly content.  She even tries to protect me from my very jealous kitten, Luna. Kitteh says, "Dat's MY head to sleeps on!!!"

Still I am very interested to the answer to my original question and also would like to understand how our most skittish hen came to be a house holdpet who enjoys chest petting and behind the "ear" petting.

Cows have hooves because they lactose. 

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Cows have hooves because they lactose. 

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post #4 of 10

I'm sure her near death experience with sub-zero temps changed her thought processes.  The lack of oxygen does affect personality in humans and I'm sure something changed in your hen.  Who knows if she's grateful, but since chickens are flock animals she wants to stay with you.  You are now her rooster-you protect her and provide food.  And it sounds like the bond goes both ways!  Awesome!

Married to the old dude, 0 human kids, 2 horses, 4 cockatiels, 2 parakeets,  1 Blue Front Amazon, 1 Yellow Head Amazon, 4 cockatiels, two parakeets, 1 eccentric peacock, 1 gsd, 1 pet terrapin, 1 Blue Copper Marans rooster, and 10 world famous Jersey Giants! New to the group is 3 Black Marans  chicks and one unidentified chick who turned out to be Lying Larry the Black Copper Marans Rooster.

 

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Married to the old dude, 0 human kids, 2 horses, 4 cockatiels, 2 parakeets,  1 Blue Front Amazon, 1 Yellow Head Amazon, 4 cockatiels, two parakeets, 1 eccentric peacock, 1 gsd, 1 pet terrapin, 1 Blue Copper Marans rooster, and 10 world famous Jersey Giants! New to the group is 3 Black Marans  chicks and one unidentified chick who turned out to be Lying Larry the Black Copper Marans Rooster.

 

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post #5 of 10

My name is also Jaime (same spelling) and im from Maine lol. The cold has been harsh up here...this warm snap will be a nice break but we're going right back down to the single digits next week :( ...im fortunate to have the opportunity to add a heat lamp to my stall and I stuff extra hay in the corner where they sleep, if it wasnt for that im not sure how my hens would cope with the cold *shrugs shoulders*  ...


Edited by littlechick1005 - 1/28/13 at 3:08pm
post #6 of 10

I'm glad you found her!  I'm in Maine as well and was just told a story about someone nearby who lost his whole flock to the cold we've been having.  Uninsulated building, drafty and eaves open.  He went out in the morning and found some of his birds on the floor under the roost and some still perched, all gone. 

 

Another reason Nerp is following you is she hatched there.  Was it your face she saw after hatching?  They do remember, in my experiences.  Plus as Theoldchick said, you are her flock now.  She had given up and you changed that.  Smile, it's a good thing for you and her.

A Haunter run a'fowl

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A Haunter run a'fowl

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post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 

Huh... Mine was the first face she saw.  Our chicks had a super hardtime hatching because as first time incubators we didn't know how important the humidity was.  We'd built our own incubator, turned the eggs 3 times a day but had no hydrometer.  So after waiting about a day and a half after the chicks made their first hole in the eggs I could hear them peeping but their peeps were getting weaker and weaker.  I looked up online how to help and although I saw a lot of negativity towards helping the chicks get out at all, I decided to go with my instinct.  Using tweezers I carefully broke a line in the shell all the way around making sure that I didn't puncture the membrane.  It was just enough for them to kick their way out and wallah!  There I was... mommy apparently.  Out of the 6 eggs we incubated, four were hatched, one egg never even formed veins and the other egg stopped growing after a week.  Out of the four chicks 3 of them were perfectly healthy and one had brain damage, it hadn't faced the air pocket.  I had to put that one down that was pretty hard for me to do but It was the kindest thing I could do for the chick since the other ones were pecking at it.

Wow, I tend to ramble don't I?

I'm very happy with our hens and the duck we are babysitting over the winter(man those things are messy).  Thanks for all the insight.  I didn't wan't the chickens in the first place but after watching them grow from egg to the beautiful hens they are now... I am an enthusiast and Danielle and I are already looking into which breeds will do well here in the cold and the heat.  I had no idea there were so many kinds of chickens.  So beautiful and varied.  It's like we've stumbled into this underground subculture(haha).

Anyway, Thanks everyone for your thoughts and advice.  This is a wonderful community and I am happy to be part of it. 

Cows have hooves because they lactose. 

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Cows have hooves because they lactose. 

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post #8 of 10
Thread Starter 

I've posted an album of pics mostly starring Nerp.  Pretty sure I made it public.  Enjoy!

Cows have hooves because they lactose. 

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Cows have hooves because they lactose. 

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post #9 of 10

Here is a thread I think you will find very helpfull in the future.  It may say geese but it can be used for any bird.

http://www.backyardchickens.com/t/491013/goose-incubation-hatching-guide-completed

 

One other thing I could suggest to you...We have CMP for power down here and seriously, we lose it way too much.  I know you built your incubator but having the Hova-Bator 1588 might be a very good idea as a back up.  This will run off of a car battery, with the adapter, so if the power goes out, you don't have to worry about losing your hatch.  I saved my pennies and finally got one and my hatch rates have increased amazingly over a still air and I've used the car battery option a few times.  Just something to think about.

A Haunter run a'fowl

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A Haunter run a'fowl

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post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

Danielle and I were talking chickens and we decided that we're definitely going with a real incubator next time.  We threw ours together using a night light and a laptop cooler fan.  It was a 24/7 job for 21 days to make sure that the temperature was perfect(using a meat thermometer at egg level).  We had no Idea about the humidity though we did leave a container of water in there and sprayed them down with warm water when we turned them.  Still, we were way off on the humidity and frazzled by the end.  Still it was totally worth it to hear them peeping in their shells and a total victory when they made their first beak hole.

That guide you linked is super helpful and D and I are "window shopping" for our next incubator.  We are completely fascinated with chickens by this point.  Bringing in Nerp was probably the best thing that could have happened to us.  She's got so much personality and is so loving.  It's so weird to me.  Still hasn't sunk in I guess.  From the most skittish chicken to my shoulder buddy  in one day.

Thanks for the response and the insight!  


Edited by Jaimerox - 1/29/13 at 6:42am

Cows have hooves because they lactose. 

Reply

Cows have hooves because they lactose. 

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