A Very Sad Day :(


12 Years
Jan 24, 2011
Bristol, VT
My Coop
My Coop
Today was a very sad day. My 60 broilers were doing amazing and had finally feathered out enough to go outside into their larger pen. This pen had a large outdoor run and a stall area with rocks for drainage and a horse stall mat on top. They were in the stall area on Wednesday night and we got the mother of all thunder storms with lightning thunder hail winds and driving rain. The whole barn flooded with water through the walkways and in the stalls. When we went out to check the meaties only 19 were alive. The rest had been so frightened of the thunder and lightning they had piled on top of each other. Not sure what we could do differently but I am very sad. I was so happy that they had a large space and they were loving it up until Wednesday night. Now I feel like a murderer because I moved them out of the more protected brooder last week because I felt they were too large and confined in there.

Sorry just had to vent. Hopefully someday the weather will become normal again.
Wow, LilyD, I'm so sorry to hear about your terrible loss.

Today we had a MAJOR thunderstorm with torrential rains, and lots of cracking lightning right on top of our house. Our pullets are now about 8 or 9 weeks old and have been staying out in the tractor pen I built for them. I was really worried about them so I ran home from work and there they were all huddled under the plywood shelter at one end of the tractor--out of the rain. So I decided to lay another piece of plywood over the top of the pen for added rain protection. As soon as I did that they all panicked and came tearing out of the protected area and ran to the TOTALLY exposed end and were piling on top of each other in one corner. Nothing I could do would shoo them back to the shelter so I just laid another piece of plywood over them and hoped they would be okay.

When my wife got home a few hours later she said they were all six pecking and hunting for bugs in the grass. WHEW!! We were very lucky.

I'm sure I would have felt horribly guilty if any of our birds had perished due to my innocent attempt to make them safer.

What really freaked me out was how the birds were just stampeding over top of each other to get into the corner--for whatever reason.

I hope you won't blame yourself for this awful mishap.

Maybe someone else will share some ideas with us about how to avoid this type of situation. Being new to raising chickens, I am ignorant of SO MUCH that it's scary.
I think that's what happened to mine. They got so scared because of the lightning and thunder and hail that they tried to huddle together and actually squished one another. The ones we found alive were all huddled together and shaking. Even though they were indoors the storm was just too much for them. I think it literally scared them to death. Now I am not sure I even want to process the few I have left. If they can live though something so horrible how can I? Before Wednesday we had not lost any they were doing so well.

We plan on ordering more but right now frankly I'm afraid to. Our weather has been so wonky and even the indoor shelters are getting rain on them. How is everyone else dealing with this any suggestions?
I'm so sorry for your loss. It has been crazy weather this year for sure. I've been very worried for my meaties these past few nights of storms too. It seems like even when we do things to protect/shelter them the best we can, they get so scared and just pile up in the worst possible areas. Just instinct, I guess. We've covered our tractor with extra tarps and put straw down to try to keep them dry. It sounds like you did everything you could so don't blame yourself. I hope the weather will settle down for all of us very soon.
SO SORRY for your loss! This spring has been SO weird and freaky for so many! We've had quite a few storms here in Kansas lately....I turn up the music louder in their coop...don't know if it makes any difference! I play my massage therapy music...soothing.
That's a good idea I might try that with the rest of the broilers. Right now if I sneeze they freeze and shake until I whisper to them and then they will start talking and eating again. I think they are really traumatized over everything. But then again we all are. It was very hard to see so many had died this morning never expected it in a million years.
We often have strong winds around here, we haven't seen a thunderstorm in I don't know how long, but when the wind blows it sure does. During the spring melt, my whole barn flooded, I thought I was going to lose my chickens for sure. so my husband went in there in the middle of the night and with a hand shovel dug a whole on the ground and place da sump pump in the whole with a hose leading to the ditch to pump out the water.

I condition my animals to tons of noise, that includes the chickens, my big dogs are always barking at something so that helps and from day one I always played music of some sort in the barn, the noisy kids help too.

this winter though we got a real bad storm and we had a loose piece of tin making a ton of noise and they were a bit scared, we went to see them because we could hear them from the house, and we ended up just turning the radio on softly for them and gave them a red bulb, a cabbage and some more BOSS to keep their minds off the noises.

I m really sorry for your loss, I hope this does not happen again.

Me too we are going to try sound proofing the stall a bit and adding a drop ceiling over the tin roof. They can be really loud. We are also going to raise the barn floor another 3 inches with crushed gravel so that none of the animals get their feet wet. It was disgusting to go in there and see puddles in the middle of the tack room and down in the hay room. Quite a few of the stalls were wet too. We are toying with the idea of putting in a wood floor in the meat chicken area because I know in my egg laying coop it cut the sound a lot just adding a floor to it. I am going to hold off on our next order until I am sure that they will be safer and we will start noise training from the first day. Gosh I hope it's enough.

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