5 month old silkie, wet, cold and acting very sick....

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by festivefeet, Oct 23, 2009.

  1. festivefeet

    festivefeet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2009
    I have a five month old silkie rooster. All the others are different types of hens in our coop. They have normal feathers that are waterproof, however the silkie does not. We were gone all day and it was raining all day and the temp was about 55 degrees.

    When I came home the it was dark. I went to close up the coop for the night and found the silkie at the bottom of the coop ramp, just sitting there. Soaking wet. I brought him in to look at him better. His face (which is normally dark greyish blue) is now red. He does not seem to be very energetic (granted it's night) but at the moment he is just sitting in my lap in a towel.

    What should I do? I am somewhat new to this and am afraid he is ill from being wet and cold. Do you think it's okay for me to put him in the coop tonight? We don't have a heat lamp set up yet.

    Please help.
    Jessica
     
  2. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    If he is cold and wet, and you put him back in the coop he will likely die.

    Use a hair dryer to dry him off and warm him up. Then keep him inside overnight under a heat lamp (any sort of lamp with a regular bulb that generates heat (not fluorescent or led) will do. Of you could put him on a heating pad set on low. Either way, make sure he has enough room to move away from the heat.
     
  3. festivefeet

    festivefeet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 2, 2009
    Okay, I blow dried him as much as I could. He is fluffier than I have seen him in a long time lol. I am wondering if it was a mistake for us to get a Silkie. He does not seem to fair very well in a normal farm type conditions. And personally I think our hens have it pretty well. We clean the coop often. They are in a movable run. They get lots of fresh veggies and fruits. But he just not seem smart enough to go in when it's cold and wet. I am worried what will happen when winter gets here.

    I put him in a rubbermaid tub in our front porch. I put the space heater on low. He ate some and is now tucked into the normal ball that he is in when he goes to sleep.

    I hope he will be okay.

    Any thoughts.

    Jessica
     
  4. Sonoran Silkies

    Sonoran Silkies Flock Mistress

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    Lots of silkies do quite well in a farm setting. One question I would ask is how full his crest is--or more specifically, how well can he see?

    You may want to trim his crest so that his vision is unimpaired. Hold him so his face is at your eye level and look for his eyes. Using baby nail scissors (ideally, as they are blunt tipped) trim as many feathers as you need to so that his eyes are fully exposed. Often it is the feathers from his muffs more than from his crest that will block his sight. You will probably notice a dramatic change in behavior once he can see his surroundings. As an alternative you could tie up his crest with tape, but that usually only lasts about a week. Or you can pluck feathers, but they will immediately start regrowing, and it's more work to pluck than to trim.

    Silkies do quite well in cold weather as long as they stay dry. So the next rainstorm you may want to watch and see if with improved vision he goes inside or not. If not, you may want to keep him more closely cooped than your other birds.

    I don't generally have rain issues (other than coops that flood during flash floods), but then I live in the desert where our annual rainfall is 7".
     
  5. fourfeathers

    fourfeathers Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I agree, a feather trim to improve vision can be very helpful and make them much more alert and comfortable. Go to www.browneggblue.com and scroll down and there is an article on how to do it. Mine got wet today, and I had to dry him off with a towel. He has a non-drafty coop to go into and was sandwiched between 2 hens when I left him. Make sure they have deep litter/shavings to cuddle in if they are bed down on the ground.
     
  6. festivefeet

    festivefeet Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Thanks for the advice.

    Strange thing is, I did trim his "Puff Ball" feathers. He can see very well. Just as well as the others. So I am not sure why he does not go in when it rains. Maybe he's not the brightest. I don't know. [​IMG]
     
  7. Fox

    Fox Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Quote:It is possible that since it is the only Silkie, he is picked on. Even laying hens can pick on Silkie roosters. Our laying hens pick on all the Silkies, so I started a new pen for the Silkies. If he is picked on, he would not want to go into the coop where it is harder to get away from getting pecked on. Just a thought as to the why... on the other hand, my Silkies almost always stay out in the rain. Drives me crazy! I turn on the heat lamp and try to lock them in the coop to dry before the temperatures drop later at night. Having more than one chicken is also helpful as they snuggle together. Without any other Silkie that likes to cuddle up on the ground/hay/nest, there is no other body heat to stay warm with. Maybe a little Silkie friend would be in order! [​IMG]
     

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