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Llightening killed our meat chickens! (??)

Discussion in 'Coop & Run - Design, Construction, & Maintenance' started by cackle, Jul 22, 2010.

  1. cackle

    cackle Songster

    Jul 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    On Tuesday my husband went out around 3:00 pm to water and feed the Cornish. Between 3 and 5 there had been a thunderstorm ( I was not home) that my DH said sounded like a machine gun with lightening hitting the field all around. Around 6 when I got home we went out to let the layers out to free range and refill their water and feed. When I looked over at the meat pen there was a dead bird next to the metal fence. When I went to pick it up I saw more against the fence at the back and one on the other side all touch the fence or a bird next to the fence. My husband right away said it was lightening. The tarp over the oen was not burnt but he said that it could have traveled and conducted through the metal fence.

    SO what do you think? I know it has been so hot I would have died out there just from the heat.
  2. gryeyes

    gryeyes Covered in Pet Hair & Feathers

    Whoa. That's awful. Let's hope, at least, that it was quick for them.
  3. Cindiloohoo

    Cindiloohoo Quiet as a Church Mouse

    Dec 19, 2009
    Southwest TN
    Sounds to me like your DH is right. Lightening is weird sometimes. My pastor had it strike his NEW house the second week it was being lived in, burned down the wall into the wall socket, blew the wall socket apart and just simply unplugged the antique lamp from the socket with the force. Didn't even scrathc the old lamp that was plugged into the destroyed socket, just kicked the plug out and blackened the very ends of the plug.
  4. cackle

    cackle Songster

    Jul 8, 2008
    North Carolina
    Sorry this got posted under coops. Guess I was not paying attention. Sorry about your pastor's new house. I hope it did not do damage that they find later.
  5. CityChook

    CityChook Songster

    Apr 9, 2008
    Minneapolis, MN
    My Coop
    We had a large tree in our backyard get hit by lightening a few years ago. It was behind the garage. The lightening didn't hit the garage, but every single wired device inside the garage was blown out - light sockets, outlets, garage door openers, etc. And then there was a hole in our asphalt driveway like 50 ft. away. Weird.

    So your DH's theory seems plausible.

    Sorry for your loss.
  6. patandchickens

    patandchickens Flock Mistress

    Apr 20, 2007
    Ontario, Canada
    Since that's exactly what lightning would do and you know you had lotsa lightning, I agree it's a very likely explanation. At least it would have been essentially instantaneous for the poor things.

    Only other possibility to consider is that if they got real frightened they could have piled up against that wall of the pen and the underneath-most ones got smothered. This certainly does happen. Don't think there's any way of telling, beyond guesses based on circumstantial evidence, whether it happened in this case or whether it was the lightning.


  7. chicmom

    chicmom Dances with Chickens

    Feb 24, 2009
    Strasburg Ohio
    I'll betcha hubby's right! Wow........So sorry about your losses.....[​IMG]
  8. rrgrassi

    rrgrassi Chirping

    Jun 19, 2010
    Royse City
    Sorry for your loss! Electricity, like water, takes the path of least resistance. if you watch some high speed cameras that were slowed down, they show that ground strikes actually leave the ground and go to the clouds. I have not seem pictures of house strikes though.
    Last edited: Jul 23, 2010
  9. greenfamilyfarms

    greenfamilyfarms Big Pippin'

    Feb 27, 2008
    Elizabethtown, NC
    They may not have been struck by the lightning, but it could have literally scared them to death. Meat chickens seem to more sensitive to stress due to their rapid growth.
  10. NellaBean

    NellaBean Graceland Farms

    Mar 4, 2009
    Broodyland, TN
    My Coop
    I heard on the news about 13 mini horses and a donkey who died this week from a lightning strike.They were standing under a tree that was struck and it traveled through the roots and killed them all. So very plausible.

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