Need advise on cold weather and missing feathers!

Discussion in 'Guinea Fowl' started by daylily27, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. daylily27

    daylily27 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 16, 2012
    Hey guys, it has been a while since I have been on here. However My bulldog pup, 7 months old, got one of my guineas. Didn't kill her but she sure lose huge clumps of feathers all around her neck, her chest and one side of her rear. So lots of skin is exposed! Poor baby! [​IMG] My question is that with the super cold winds and temps coming down out of Canada this week. Should I add a heat lamp to the coop for this period? She seems to be doing fine. It has been snowing steady since the day it happened so they are in for this period. No Blood, or puncture marks on her, the other two guineas are not hurting her. She is eating and drinking fine. I have been giving them lots of alfalfa to help build warmth in the coop and it seems fine up to this point. But without so much of her feathers, I am a bit concerned. I used a heat lamp last winter as they were still young. But that seemed to make them nuerotic with so much "daytime", this year I haven't needed to as the temps have been fairly mild for this area.

    The temps should be above the 0 (F) mark during the day and below for the nights. Then a nice warm up after that for the next week. Above 32 (F). Also when should I let her come out again. I have the flu, so hubbie is taking care of them so what do we look for if she is not doing well with the temp. changes. Or any of them? Anything else we can do? I feel so bad for her and need to check her out more thoroughly when I can.Not sure how her wings are or if she can fly. Any help will be warmly received![​IMG]
     
  2. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Daylily! Where have you been?? Nice to hear from you again! Sorry to hear about your guinea, and sorry you have the flu - - bummer.

    I can't answer your question, but I'm sure Peeps will be able to help you later today. I'd continue to keep her in the coop to stay dry and out of the wind until you hear from her though.
     
  3. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Hi Daylily, sorry to read about your Hen. Glad she survived, but yikes, bet that was a major puppy mouth mauling [​IMG]

    I would just watch her for any sign of fluffing up/hunching up and acting cold or depressed, (day or night), and in the mean time while her feathers are growing back I'd give her some extra protein to help with the regrowth (meal worms, bard boiled eggs etc). If she is acting colder than the others or depressed at all, or roosting all by herself then that would be my deciding factor on whether to provide a heat source out in the coop or not.

    Since she seems fine and is eating and drinking normally the next time the sun is out and it's a fairly warm day you could let them out (if she wants to/they want to come out) and see how she does with flying, if she's keeping up with the others and if she's acting normal while she's out free ranging etc... then decide if she should be kept in while her feathers grow back. I'd definitely wait until it's a decently nice day because if she gets wet she may get way more water logged than the rest of the flock (and then she will definitely be cold), and lose all ability to fly which makes her easy predator prey, or more prone to going through another round of being a puppy chew toy! If you do decide to keep her in then I'd keep them all in, or it will cause her extra stress, and create the possibility for the others to start picking on her.

    And just to warn you, if you don't already have experience with your Guineas and snow... some Guineas do not like the snow at all and will take to the trees to avoid it, and then not want to come down/back to the coop for days. Some can be so stubborn about it that they will freeze to death or die of starvation/dehydration rather than come down. If this might be the case with your birds then keeping them in until the snow is mostly melted won't hurt them, and that way you know your Hen will be sheltered and dry, not up in the trees feather-bare and braving the elements. Her feathers should start growing back in and covering her bare skin areas within a couple weeks.

    Good luck, hope she recovers fine, and hope you feel better too
     
  4. daylily27

    daylily27 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 16, 2012
    Oh thanks Peeps! No they have learned the hard way last year and this that being in the trees is no fun![​IMG] I still am so upset over this whole incident! I really didn't think she could get way and was gone! The pup was not supposed to be out with out her leash when the guineas were out. Live and learn, the hard way! HUH? For us and especially her![​IMG] No they hate the snow! But we had our January thaw this past week so out they came as there was dirt visible. They stayed near the house and went often in and out of the coop, they found some sand and were so happy to get a partial dirt bath! and it gave me a chance to clean the coop.

    My husband informs me that she is in the middle between the other two on the perch at night. They are eating Game Bird Crumble Twice a day with oyster shells and Alfalpa. Have to get more of that today. The bottom of the coop is about 4 inches thick with pine shavings. And fresh water twice a day or more depending how cold it is. The week before she was pulling Blood feathers on her back but luckily the other two did't attack her. She was a bloody mess from that![​IMG]Paul is calling her Phyllis Diller now as she looks so bedraggled!

    We'll keep a close eye on her tonight and see how she does. and I can make up some hard boiled eggs. It is forecast to go lower than we first thought and more snow on the way!But I will only let them out on nice sunny days when they can come out and flap around for an hour or two then put them back in. Probably in two weeks it looks like now. Maybe we will have tiny feathers starting in by then!

    Thank ever so much for the advise, and Jleigh, it is good to be back! I got to catch up on what is happening now. I'll let you know how it goes with ms Diller.
     
  5. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    LOL @ your hubby callin' her Phyllis Diller, too funny!
    Keep us updated on how she's doin'.
     
  6. daylily27

    daylily27 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 16, 2012
    Well last night didn't get as cold as predicted , thank goodness! Snow to night so the temps wont drop as low. Pavi is doing fine. She is looking a bit strange feather wise but seems okay, Even walking with neck skin exposed not hunched down so it must be warm enough.Got the extra protein in her and the others and heat lamp set up. Another night and day okay is great in our books![​IMG]
     
  7. PeepsCA

    PeepsCA Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Good to read. The longer she goes post-puppy attack without having a cold/rough night, the better for her [​IMG]
    Guineas are pretty resilient, even when they lose a bunch of their stuffing, lol.
     
  8. daylily27

    daylily27 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 16, 2012
    [​IMG]Good one Peeps! At least her outside stuffing! She is looking better each day and is active in the coop and eating well. The skin doesn't look so pale anymore or sore A few small down feathers are still there in odd places she still looks like she has been through the tumble dry cycle with remaining feathers everywhich a way but she is fine! LOL
    I was feeling better so was able to go check her out better and I am satisfied no infections or pecking going on. So she should do fine till all these feathers regrow. They all look comfortable as peas in a pod!

    Thanks for the incouragement.
     
  9. daylily27

    daylily27 Out Of The Brooder

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    Jul 16, 2012
    Okay, I think we have passed the coldness test with flying colors! or at least with Pearl Gray ones and white![​IMG] The temps were down to -7 (F) with a windchill of -35!!! The winds were ferocious last night! I worried that the glass would somehow get dislodged off of the door laike the last big wind we had. But it held and they were in fine kettle this morning![​IMG]From here we warm up a bit. Cleaned as much poop out as possible from their extended indoor stay and had them grumbling at me letting in all the cold air this morning. But Pavi was up on the roost and not shaking or trying to dodge the breezes coming in.[​IMG] She's looking better and they are all quite comfortable. The days are getting longer and the sun warmer through the glass so it is keeping the water less frozen. Even though I make several trips a day out to change it. So no extra heat needed in my coop here in the middle of New Hampshire! Now if only I could warm up we'd be just fine!
     
  10. JLeigh

    JLeigh Chillin' With My Peeps

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    That's great news, daylily. Ha. I thought we were suffering here in GA. It's about 26 degrees out and we're FREEZING and I'll be fretting about my birds staying warm enough (they will). Tomorrow it's predicted to be 60 degrees. We have a saying down here: "If you don't like the weather in GA, wait 45 minutes - it will change". Stay warm!
     

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