EMERGENCY: wet, bedraggled chickens

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by Curlita, Jun 14, 2008.

  1. Curlita

    Curlita Songster

    May 22, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    I have four chickens, two are about 6-8 weeks and the other two are about 3 months. They have been in a dog crate while we get the run and the coop finished, and I was planning to move them into the coop tonight. I've had problems with them spilling their water and had switched to a larger, heavier waterer in hopes that they wouldn't be able to spill it.

    I was in a hurry this morning and didn't look in on them on the way to work, and when I came home I found them in a big puddle. They had spilled all of their water into the bottom of the crate and all over their food. They were all wet, but one of them (the smallest, a 6 week Australorp named PingPong) was soaked and sitting on the floor looking listless.

    I got the coop fixed up with food, water, and the heat lamp as quickly as I could and toweled PingPong off as much as I could before putting her into the coop. I showed her where the water was but she didn't seem interested in drinking. I put her up on the perch, right under the heat lamp. She seemed shaky, but able to sit there and rest.

    They were without water and food, and wet, for an indeterminate period of time. [​IMG] What are the health risks for them?

    What else should I be doing for them?

    Will PingPong be okay in the coop with the heat lamp over night, or should I bring her inside? I'm in Seattle and it's not supposed to get much below 50 degrees tonight.

    Please no flames, I feel horrible. Thanks in advance for your help!
  2. tiki244

    tiki244 Flock Mistress

    Jan 1, 2008
    there should be a place at 65-70* under the heat lamp on the floor of the brooder or coop for them to go to. And a place where they can go to get away from the heat. I wouldnt rely on them perching to get heat, especially if they are listless.(or one at least).

    Chicks can survive at that age without feed for a while. could there be another reason for their listlessness? How is their poop?
  3. Curlita

    Curlita Songster

    May 22, 2008
    Seattle, WA
    It's only the one who is listless, and she's the one who was soaked instead of just wet. She pooped as soon as I put her in the coop, and it was the usual consistency, maybe a little more watery than usual.

    The heat lamp is on one side of the coop and they have a lot of space to get away from it. There is a perch directly under (about 6") the lamp, and also floor space about 20" below the lamp. I thought that putting her closer to the lamp would help her get warm quicker.

    They were without water as well as food -- at least, without clean water, since they had spilled it all out onto the floor where it made a food-poop-shaving soup.

    (ETA info about heat lamp placement)
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2008
  4. happyhen

    happyhen Songster

    May 8, 2008
    Northeastern Ohio
    I wish I had more knowledge to impart, but I have to trust that the little ones are hardier than we give them credit for. Mine are 7 wks old and love to play in the rain....go figure!

    Try not to beat yourself up, you did everything you could when you found them. [​IMG]

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