Cold weather affecting pullets

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by GranolaGirl, Dec 8, 2010.

  1. GranolaGirl

    GranolaGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2010
    Creedmoor
    I have 5 12-week old pullets who are being affected by this sudden cold weather (it has been getting down into the teens and 20's at night). Three of the pullets are showing signs of a "cold" i.e. teary eyes, one eye stuck shut. I am thinking we should add a heat lamp, but I want to be sure to that it won't be an injury hazard for them. Any advice?
     
  2. Olive Hill

    Olive Hill Overrun With Chickens

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    Apr 19, 2009
    Has anything else changed recently other than the weather? Have you been leaving them cooped up longer because of the cold? Are they fed free choice? If not have you increased feed to meet their increased energy needs? Do they have water available despite the freezing temperatures? Have you been to the feed store, auction, or other livestock-related high-traffic area recently? Has anyone with chickens been to your home recently?

    Cold weather does not in and of itself make chickens ill. And chickens don't, per se, get a "cold" like humans do. Answers to some of the above may help us help you though.
     
  3. lostroger

    lostroger Out Of The Brooder

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    Apr 26, 2010
    Louisville Ky
    my young chickens love the red heat lamp when it's cold .
    i turn off during the day.
    i really think they feather out faster the colder it gets...
     
  4. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    I do think the 2nd winter is much easier on chickens. I know my girls are doing much better this year with the cold than they did last year, when they were 4 months old. However, there could be other factors causing the things you mentioned as well, as Olive Hill suggested, especially with the eye issues. So more info. would be helpful.
    The fact is, heatlamps can be dangerous. Safe and proper use of them is critical. If possible, try to rule out other health factors/causes first.
     
  5. GranolaGirl

    GranolaGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2010
    Creedmoor
    They are fed free choice. They have water in the morning. I usually open the coop about 8am. There haven't been any new people around either. They are the youngest in a flock of 15. Could that be it?
    I brought them inside tonight because it is going to be in the teens again.

    Please advise. Thank you!!
     
  6. teach1rusl

    teach1rusl Love My Chickens

    Are the youngest being allowed up on the roosts at night? Does the coop appear super dusty, with dust visably floating about? Every coop will have dust, but other than cleaning day, you shouldn't see it floating about. The older hens are allowing the youngers to eat and drink freely? Just because there is food/water out doesn't mean the youngers have access to it if there is a bully in the older group who is keeping them from it. I'm not saying the cold isn't affecting your youngsters, because I don't think young ones take it as well, but I think there are other factors involved based on your description of they eye issues.

    If your coop has ample space, you could try a heating device to see whether it makes a difference; just take every precaution you can. Never just clamp a lamp; hang it securely from a small chain or heavy wire to two different points (one as a back-up). Be sure to get a lamp with a guard and a ceramic base. Make sure your base is rated for your bulb. If your base is rated at 150w, use a smaller bulb, maybe 100w. Turn the lamp off each morning. Make sure there is plenty of clearance between your lamp and anything that could burn (including your chickens' feathers). If you're running an extension cord, make sure it's rated for outdoor use.
     
  7. GranolaGirl

    GranolaGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2010
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    THanks Teach for your reply. Actually, I have noticed that they don't always sleep on the roost. Sometimes I find them huddled together in a nest box. I thought they might be just cold, because sometimes they DO roost on the bar. I added extra food and water, just in case your suspicion was correct. I appreciate all the help I am getting! As you can tell, I am a newbie, but I love those little girls!
     
  8. Mrs MIA

    Mrs MIA Chick Magnet

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    If there's any signs of runny noses, or gurgling sounds like they're congested, it may be something respiratory. Our 12-16 week olds have been outside to -11F without heat so far and with a big pile of hay and fresh food/water, they've done fine. It could be a physical irritant, like dust, but keep an eye on them. [​IMG]
     
  9. theblackridge16

    theblackridge16 Out Of The Brooder

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    Dec 9, 2010
    Pintura, Utah
    Its been in the 20s and low 30s here in texas and i keep 2 heat lamps on from 5:30 pm to 8 am for warmth and light for egg production! I am new at this as well but mine love the warmth and light at night!
     
  10. GranolaGirl

    GranolaGirl Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 25, 2010
    Creedmoor
    So tonight I went out to the coop and put the young birds on the roosting bar. I noticed one with a "runny nose". Should i try VetRx again? or quarantine the young ones? [​IMG]
     

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