Hypothermic Hen?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by mseely, Jan 1, 2018.

  1. mseely

    mseely Chirping

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    Today has been in the -20s and the rest of the week will continue to be this cold. I noticed one of my hens today in the coop was acting very lethargic and when I touched her she couldn't move and was cold. She had poop frozen to her behind also. I brought her inside where she's been for about 3 hours now. She's drank some water and been eating but still cannot stand, walk, or hold her head up. She has pooped which I know is a good sign, I've been giving her greek yogurt, water, and some watered down feed. I'm assuming she has hypothermia but I'm wondering what else I can do for her? And how often I should be feeding her/giving her water? And also what temperature I should keep her at? Will my other 8 hens be okay tonight/why is this hen the only one cold? Anything helps, as always thanks for any advice.
     
  2. Welshies

    Welshies Crowing

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    Treat her for shock. Good luck.
    Maybe place a heat lamp over them, although birds should be fine up to -20°C, even -30°C. Mine are. Are there drafts in your coop? Is your ventilation above your roosts?
     
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  3. Lolacan

    Lolacan Chirping

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    Poor baby. -20 is not cold, its Deadly cold. I would make sure they are all well fed, mine like the wet mash, and make sure they get water available all the time. I hope your sick one makes it. She may be more run down than the others or not as hardy genetically. If she gets better, she may have to be a house mate for some time.
     
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  4. Welshies

    Welshies Crowing

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    Caution with warm foods. Anything steaming can create moisture on the comb and wattles and cause frostbite so just be aware, guys!
     
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  5. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    keep feed and water in front of her at all times. A dog crate in a COOLER area of the house is best. going from -20 to 80 is a shock. An area of the house that is 40 to 60 would be better than 80.

    Check her well for any parasites. (chicken mites and lice are VERY tiny, you need to look closely to see them. egg cases at the base of feathers or freckles on the skin from bites are signs )

    Also check her keel bone/breast bone and see how fleshed it is. If it feels like a knife, she has been going down hill for awhile now. If she is well fleshed, then you know the problem is a sudden something.
     
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  6. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    Also, do a close inspection of the rest of the flock. They need full crops at night, empty crops in the morning, well fleshed keel bones, healthy feet, etc. And always check for external parasites.
     
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  7. Alaskan

    Alaskan The Frosted Flake

    sorry, I keep remembering other stuff...

    Especially in cold temps, birds need high protein feed, at least 16%, 20 is better. They need as much as they will eat, and they need at least 8 hours, 10 is much better, or daylight to eat that feed. If it is not light for that long, then they need a light.

    They need fresh water for at least a few hours a day, twice a day. Liquid water all day long is best.
     
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  8. mseely

    mseely Chirping

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    Update: no mites, I believe the keel bone is okay- not sure too sure about the keel bone but she seems to be gaining more energy. She has shakily stood up a couple of times, is eating more and more each time I feed her. (greek yogurt mixed with high protein feed) and still drinking some water. She still has her head down and doesn't have much energy to hold it up. But does scrap her beak occasionally. I'm really hoping she will pull through, I'm planning on staying up with her to make sure she gets constant food and water.

    Now that she is a little stronger she pulls back from the food and water occasionally. Anyone know how often I should be feeding/watering her? We had some baby bunnies and I nursed them every 4 hours, any idea for this

    As for the rest of the flock I've check on them. They all seem to be doing alright, I plan on going back out every 2 hours so if something like this happens I'll catch it sooner. I think the real problem is my flock free ranges and barely eats any feed. They were free ranging just a couple of weeks ago and along the sudden change in temperature they are all in shock and do not like feed. I give them scratch, oyster shells, and cat food (high in protein and they realllllllyyyy like it) because I notice them not eating their feed. I also think the new heat lamps have confused them. I put up heat lamps because I had a couple of hens with frostbite that I brought inside because this is my first winter with chickens and I was freaking out. So to help acclimate them I put a heat lamp out there, which I suspect is confusing them.
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
  9. mseely

    mseely Chirping

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    We go by fahrenheit here so it's about 30 below and dropping (I haven't seen a winter this cold in ages) , I am using the heat lamps, they seem to like them and sit under them. My flock is a little divided so the 5 normally cuddle up and the other 2 or 3 don't which is why I think this one got so cold and lethargic.
     
  10. Lolacan

    Lolacan Chirping

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    mseely, hunger may finally get them to eat. Make sure they have ventilation. I live in Florida but I cringe at what you all are going thru with the deadly cold.
     
    mseely likes this.

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