My poor Freedom Rangers.... we've had nothing but cold weather, rain, thunderstorms, and tornado warnings here in NE Ohio since I got the meat birds. Last week, it finally seemed warm enough to let them out of the brooder and into the tractor (at 4+ stinky weeks old!)... Moved our layer chicks into the big brooder they had been in. Last night, we got the worst storm I think we've ever had here. We were out there frantically trying to get tarps on the tractor (the sides are just hardware cloth) because the rain was coming down so hard and fast and sideways that i knew they were going to get drenched. Went to bed and prayed for the best. Those poor birds look so pitiful this morning...muddy, wet, and overall just looking bad. I moved the tractor but the ground is just saturated and there is no drier place to move them. More storms expected tonight too... Hoping they will be okay and feeling like a very bad chicken keeper. Already placed the order for our next batch to come in June, but I have to admit I'm wondering if that's such a great idea. For the sake of the birds, I hope we get some real spring and summer weather very soon!
You may try putting some straw down in the tractor after you make your next move. It will at least give them some dry ground. I think all us Ohio people are feeling bad for our pastured birds this Spring(if that's what you want to call it). Surprisingly, all the CX I've put out to pasture so far have done well. Even the ones that went out in early April when we where still having cold weather. I think both FR and CX are hardier than we think.
I'm in the Detroit area, it's certainly been an awful spring, nothing but cold rain.
Next week, they are calling for mid to upper 80s here and less rain. Maybe the pattern is finally going to shift -- probably will stop raining and by the middle of July everything will be drought stressed.
Straw, as mentioned in an earlier post, is a good idea. If it's real wet put down a piece of board and throw the straw on it
They should be fine, but you don't want them being soaking wet 24/7. Main thing if they are soaking wet and cold is to look for labored breathing, purple comb, etc or other signs their heart is giving out. I doubt that it is going to be cold enough this time of year to give you any problems.
Don't worry, give them a once over and if they look OK then they most likely are OK.
Thanks for the encouragement and tips! I did get some straw to put down and it helped a lot. They were so funny yesterday sticking their wings and legs out to dry...they looked like they were sunbathing. We had more rain last night, but they were dry this morning thanks to the straw. My grass underneath the tractor looks a whole lot better than the spot from the night before too. Sunny hot weather is in the forecast for this next week and it can't come fast enough for me!!
I live in Michigan as well. I'm still holding out for another snow storm!
Wouldn't surprise me. On August 27, 1993, which was a Friday afternoon and the Friday of Labor Day weekend, IIRC, it spit a little bit of snow at my place, just a few flakes, in the morning, and the afternoon high was 42. My sister had just moved to NW lower Michigan, and they actually had a dusting. I've also seen a hard frost on the morning of the summer solstice.
Thank you for all who have written in this thread, esp. the original poster. I'm in California and we HAD to move our stinky month-old meaties out. (They could fly out of the 3 ft. tall brooder.) We have a tarp covering 2/3 of our tractor, but each morning the grass is drenched with dew, sometimes rain, and the water the grass transpires. The straw trick will help us. Thanks!