Can chickens be traumatized? Seriously? Or, do Chickens Eat Snow?

Discussion in 'Chicken Behaviors and Egglaying' started by stephhassler, Dec 16, 2009.

  1. stephhassler

    stephhassler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 30, 2009
    Eastern Iowa
    I had a hen get killed by a hawk right next to the water can. Now no one else will drink any water. I know this because the water can is outside and the snow surrounding the water can is pristine white. Not a drop of poo to be seen. It has been like this for several days - since the hen got killed which I think was Saturday or Sunday. Are they seriously not drinking because of that? I hate to move the water can inside the coop because they spill water all over and the bedding gets wet. I like to keep it nice and dry in there - especially in winter. My husband says don't worry, they are eating/drinking snow. I don't think chickens eat snow - do they?
     
  2. proudmama88

    proudmama88 Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 9, 2009
    Central Kentucky
    Well, if there is enough of it, my chickens will get a taste of snow now and then and seem to like it. It helps when it's dead winter and their water bucket is frozen over, but I still thaw out their frozen water and check it daily.

    I'd say you should see if there is any other spot you could move their water to... maybe not IN the coop but much closer to it, right by the door way perhaps?

    I don't know if they can actually be traumatized or not, but I would be very uneasy knowing they're going without water. You can't count on them eating snow for enough fluids.
     
  3. fldiver97

    fldiver97 Chillin' With My Peeps

    Aug 5, 2009
    Middleton, WI
    They may be traumatized....they may think this is not a safe place to be. Move the waterer, hopefully that will fix it. Chickens can eat snow but it should not be their source of water. They will likely not get enough fluid, some chickens may not even eat snow. Also, eating enough cold snow to meet their water requirements may also chill them quite a bit. They should have liquid water available. I keep my waterer in the coop, hate to have spills so I put a big plastic pan under it. If any water spills, I can just throw out the shavings tht were kicked in the pan.
     
  4. jwchicklady

    jwchicklady Chillin' With My Peeps

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    May 29, 2009
    Howell, MI
    yes, they can be traumatized. a raccoon got in the coop this past spring and killed 2 chickens--the other 10 chickens couldn't wait to get out of the coop that morning and then for days I couldn't get them to willingly go in the coop--I had to pick up each one and toss them in each night. It took awhile for them to feel safe again in the coop.
     
  5. stephhassler

    stephhassler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 30, 2009
    Eastern Iowa
    Yes, I think you guys are correct. They must have been traumatized. I moved the water can inside the coop this afternoon and they all went crazy drinking water. I was getting pretty worried after about the 3rd day with no activity at the water can. I have a heated base underneath the water can, so I'm not sure about putting a plastic tub or something under it - might melt the plastic. Earlier in the day -before I moved the water inside the coop - I picked up a chicken and put her right next to the water can. She kept looking around like she was frightened and refused to drink any water. Definitely traumatized.
     
  6. 95yj

    95yj Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 25, 2009
    Central Vermont
    yeah, birds can get post traumatic stress disorder, i had a homing pigeon kill a dove, none of the other doves would go near thee perch where it happened for a month after. you shouldn't let the chickens drink snow, it'll lower their body temperature and is not good for them. i'd suggest just moving the water bowl around, maybe switching the style if you have an extra waterer lying around.
     
  7. LeghornLisa

    LeghornLisa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2009
    Ok, so you don't have water in the coop? Why not?? They are afraid! Help them out and put water in the run for them!! I cut back and only have water in the coop during the winter but I also have them completely enclosed.
     
  8. stephhassler

    stephhassler Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Jan 30, 2009
    Eastern Iowa
    Quote:No run - they free range - hence the kill by the hawk. I don't typically keep water inside the coop because they make a complete mess. I don't clean the coop over the winter because it is seriously cold here. I don't want frozen bedding/ice in the coop because that makes it colder in there. However, because of their fear I have moved the water inside the coop for now. I may slowly move it towards the door and back outside. I'll see.
     
  9. LeghornLisa

    LeghornLisa Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Apr 9, 2009
    Please keep me posted, I am a huge animal person and my chickens are my pets. I am so glad you brought the water in!
     

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