Shadrach's Ex Battery and Rescued chickens thread.

RoyalChick

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I tend to feel if chickens are used to an environment it will affect them less. In NY we have long, cold winters, but it isn’t a shock to them because they are exposed gradually. I feel like it would be harder on a bird where it was hot for a long time & there was a drastic, unexpected drop in temp. Especially since owners would be less likely to be ready. We have tarps, headed waterers, and wind blocks set up. Even an emergency heater in case it gets to negative temps for an extended time. Does that make sense or am I completely off base?
That is also why heating the coop except in dire circumstances is probably a bad idea because if it fails the chickens will be plunged into cold suddenly.

And for my tax here is Maggie hell bent on losing her down insulation just as we start to get really cold weather. It is like someone is pulling the stuffing out of her.

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MaryJanet

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...but it is actually really warm still. We are still getting above freezing during the day.
For me, that's really cold.

When I say it's actually quite warm still, the temperature is 28-35°C (82-95°F).

For me 35+ is a bit hot. 40+ is hot and 44+ is scorching.

It's so interesting what other people cope with.

Tax!
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MaryJanet

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Begs a few questions does this.
I would imagine that it would be very painful for a chicken to lose toes and sustain wattle damage. Should that have been through amputation of some sort we (humans) would accept that this was painful for the chicken. Losing by frostbite is a relatively slow process and I would imagine painful over a long period ot time.
You don't mention whether the chicken concerend exhibited any demonstration of being in pain but I'm going to assume not.
The same can be said for the majority of chickens I've treated for various injuries, some, should they have been inflicted on a human, would have that human screaming in agony. Having a chunk of flesh ripped off ones back say 20cm wide and down to the bone to make a comparison with what happened to this hen for example.
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What are we to assume then? Chickens don't feel pain or humans are pathetic wimps?
I think they feel pain but like many other creatures they hide the fact that they are in pain. Unfortunately some humans take this to mean that the chicken isn't in that much pain because they judge the response by human reaction.:(
You mention that you found the EX Batts showed little distress at the low temperatures but given the above that doesn't mean they are comfortable.
The Ex Batts here behave much the same as you report; not much seems to disuade them from getting out in the allotment run at every opportunity. Does this mean they don't feel the cold, or does it mean they don't tend to show discomfort until they are about to drop dead. I'm going for the later. This is what many people who keep chickens say, but unfortunately they don't progress with the knowledge to the point where they accept they don't know when a chicken is in pain. This, unfortunately again, means they will ignore what should be obvious through logic and reason and only be concerend when a sickness becomes obvious to them.
My view in part with the Ex Batts is that they have endured so much pain and discomfort a bit of cold is a small price to pay for the feeling of earth under their feet, regular feed, feeling sunshine on their bodies and all the other emotive things I could write.
This is my view of chickens in general. They don't provide messages we can understand regarding their state of health and comfort level. It is up to us to try and understand what type of creatures they actually are and not pay much attention to the "my chickens are just fine at minus 20 centigrade, or living on scraps, or having bits cut off them etc etc.
My view; chickens are jungle creatures and that is the type of climate and environment the thrive in.
Just look at where they have established feral populations should give us a clue.
Good point about feral populations. The only time I've ever seen a feral chicken was in Malaysia. It was a gorgeous small rooster and he ran so fast into the jungle.
 

MaryJanet

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My BJG (which I have since lost to a coyote 😢), had an enormous comb and majestic wattles. He lost much of both to frostbite his first winter, which was brutal (2020/21, which was when a lot of TX also got shut down due to ice and cold). He was definitely in pain. He could not eat from the feeder, which has 3" PVC openings, without scraping both comb and wattles on the PVC. We fed him separately from a flat dish. Not much we could do about the water. His wattles dangled in the water and got wet, the temps were brutal and never let up. He became very much a pet, knowing that his food came from us and not a feeder. I do miss him. No bird should be considered "cold hardy" if it has large comb and wattles, IMO. I love BJGs but will never have another in this climate. Our winters are not long but they can be severe.
Awwww poor fella.

Seems like a good time to ask about pain relief for chickens.
 

JacinLarkwell

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A bit late to the frostbite party, what I've noticed with my males (half the reason I've debated dubbing them all before their first winter) is that toes, combs and wattles, in that order, seem to hurt the most. Mine rarely lose parts from the cold (-20F or colder) alone, but they're awful about stepping in water and dunking their heads in their bowls

Here's Crispy Critter again and Cheese for tax.
 

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BigBlueHen53

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I tend to feel if chickens are used to an environment it will affect them less. In NY we have long, cold winters, but it isn’t a shock to them because they are exposed gradually. I feel like it would be harder on a bird where it was hot for a long time & there was a drastic, unexpected drop in temp. Especially since owners would be less likely to be ready. We have tarps, headed waterers, and wind blocks set up. Even an emergency heater in case it gets to negative temps for an extended time. Does that make sense or am I completely off base?
We had heated waterers, so their water did not freeze. But George's wattles would wet and then he'd be walking around with them wet in below-zero weather, and that's when they would freeze.
 

BigBlueHen53

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For me, that's really cold.

When I say it's actually quite warm still, the temperature is 28-35°C (82-95°F).

For me 35+ is a bit hot. 40+ is hot and 44+ is scorching.

It's so interesting what other people cope with.

Tax!
View attachment 2917486
Oh my! What is that beautiful pencilled hen in the back, and what color is she?
 

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