Crushing during thunderstorm

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Bandera Grassland, Jun 4, 2017.

  1. Bandera Grassland

    Bandera Grassland Chirping

    Oct 19, 2010
    I searched "thunderstorm" and didn't find any forum discussion about this problem. My flock numbers around 30, 2-month-old mostly pullets in a large (500 sq. ft.) stationery house. The house is divided into four rooms with multiple perches and feeding/watering stations. Even though the weather is warm, I still leave one heat lamp on in case any of the birds feel chilled.

    Last week thunderstorms rolled through our area. The morning after a big storm I found four dead pullets piled in one corner of the house. The one on bottom was pretty flattened. I theorized the entire flock had huddled together out of fear and those in the corner were crushed. I was puzzled about their choice of location. Instead of being along the most protected back wall of the house, these birds were in the outermost corner least sheltered from the elements in the part of the house I refer to as the ‘sunporch’.

    Two days went by without incident then along came another thunderstorm. The next morning, another flat chicken in that same corner. I hear rumbling off in the distance. What can I do to prevent this from happening again?
  2. RoosterCogburn7

    RoosterCogburn7 Chicken Atlas Farm NPIP 74-4231

    Dec 5, 2014
    I would suggest getting anything electrical out of there unless it is grounded. They may be being electrocuted.
  3. sourland

    sourland Broody Magician Premium Member

    May 3, 2009
    New Jersey
    Try 'rounding' the corner off with wire or cardboard so that birds can not be squished into the right angle corner.
  4. Bandera Grassland

    Bandera Grassland Chirping

    Oct 19, 2010
    This actually helped. Thank you! I lost a couple more in other areas of the coop where one could be smothered under others. I'm not sure why they are compelled to bunch up like that in corners when there are ample perches all over the coop. I've raised several groups of chickens previously in this same coop and never experienced this problem before. Seems now the worst is behind them.
  5. chicklets81

    chicklets81 Chirping

    Mar 10, 2017
    wow, your story sounds so bizarre! I didn't know a bird could crush another. I'm sorry you've had this problem. (well, its possible this happened in my brooder, I found a chick dead on the floor of brooder a day after hatch...with no signs of foul play...)

    Your hen house sounds like my dream coop! I have a large flock too (10 laying/18 growing out) in 11x8 plywood structure in need of repair and only dream of having a large house with multiple rooms with perches.

    Good luck and I hope you figured out how to stop them from piling together.

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