Chicken frozen to death--or not?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by eggspletive!, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. eggspletive!

    eggspletive! Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 9, 2009
    I'm sitting here with my beautiful Welsummer hen on my lap. My husband just found her seemingly frozen to death this morning. It was 1 degree out last night, but the coop is insulated, ventilated, and has a heat lamp in it, and he found her halfway under the heat lamp, so maybe there was something wrong with her and the cold just pushed her over the edge. But her feet are still flexible and and she doesn't feel frozen. How long does it take rigor mortis to set in? Is there a chance she might come back to life? What should I do with her? I remember reading several reports on here of chickens that seemed frozen to death but came back to life once they warmed up, and I"m hoping that might happen here.
     
  2. HollyKMS

    HollyKMS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 7, 2009
    Felida WA
    I'm so sorry. I woke this morning to find that our languishing Wyandotte had finally given up her fight, so I'm having the same morning you are... Keeping ours in the warm garage run with the chicks this week hadn't helped. No idea why she started declining, but it seems she just stopped eating and starved herself. I'm sitting here looking at a passed-away pet, so I'm completely feeling your heartbreak. [​IMG] I guess sometimes, a bird just...declines...unexpectedly..? I'm at a loss, really (in more ways than one).

    Have you checked for a heartbeat by pressing your hand to her chest? Unfortunately, the thing about rigor mortis- once it sets in, the only thing that can make the body pliable again is to be taken from freezing temperatures into warm temperatures, so it's very possible that she was already in rigor mortis when you found her (not just frozen) and when you got her inside and her body warmed up, it became soft again (which will be temporary). That can happen, I'm sorry to say.

    I sincerely hope I'm wrong and she's still alive.

    Please keep us informed and good luck.

    Holly
     
  3. shay20

    shay20 Shay's Flock of Fun

    Jul 31, 2008
    in the wild, Mass
    I have had that issue with baby chicks.
    we just did that last night with one, one fell from the mommy, we held her under a heat lamp till she got really warm, and she started to make noises again.
    and right now she is doing ok.

    The same happend to another chick and i held it up to me holding it closed in my hand and breathed on it and it finally came through, that one was not moveing and legs were cold, and it came back just from me breathing on it.
     
  4. eggspletive!

    eggspletive! Out Of The Brooder

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    Jun 9, 2009
    I'm sorry about your Wyandotte, Holly. This girl had been kind of languishing, too. The morning before last my husband brought her into the kitchen because he thought she was miserable in the cold, and I held her in my lap for about 20 minutes until she warmed up. She was eating and drinking, but she just didn't seem very perky. She was my most beautiful chicken. I only had three, and I'm pretty sure one is a rooster, so now I'm going to be down to one once the rooster starts crowing.
     
  5. HollyKMS

    HollyKMS Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Oct 7, 2009
    Felida WA
    I'm so sorry to hear that. We went from 4 to 3 last night, outside. I have 3 (standard) leghorn chicks in the garage but it will be a while before I can introduce them to the 3 bantam ladies. We also don't know yet if any of those are roos (any or all of them could be; they wouldn't guarantee sex). Roos will be re-homed. I can't have a crowing bird either.

    I'm really sorry to hear you couldn't revive her. My Welsummer is my favorite (don't tell my other girls!). They're such wonderful birds.

    Can you find someone nearby and get a couple more pullets, get them acclimated to your remaining 2 birds, before the rooster starts crowing?.. Just a thought. [​IMG] I'm so sorry! That's a very sad predicament...
     
  6. shay20

    shay20 Shay's Flock of Fun

    Jul 31, 2008
    in the wild, Mass
    [​IMG] I am sorry you guys lost your birds. [​IMG]
    It is sad to lose them, i fall in love with all of mine.
    It is harder when you ry to save one it does not make it. But remember they know you tried. [​IMG]
     

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