Shadrach's Ex Battery and Rescued chickens thread.

MaryJanet

Vets know best.
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Dec 24, 2018
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Adelaide, South Australia
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Oh my! What is that beautiful pencilled hen in the back, and what color is she?
That's Ivy. I bought her from a fodder store when she was a pullet, so I only know what they told me. She's part silkie, part GLW and part Brahma. She's two and a half (ish) and she likes to pose for the camera. She's at the bottom of the pecking order (which is more like a pecking circle at my place). She's the tamest of the hens and is comfortable hopping up on the arm of the chair and sometimes my lap if there's a bite of apple to be had. She likes to be broody but hasn't yet felt the urge this season, although it's been a mild summer so far.

Here she is a couple of days ago when it was a bit warm.

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Geckolady

Counting Chickens B4 They're Hatched
Sep 12, 2020
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east central Arizona
It gets below freezing here on some nights in the winter. In the summer, triple digits (Fahrenheit) are the norm, and mine did pretty well with the heat. I gave them cold cucumbers and watermelon to feast on in the afternoons and that may have upset their balanced diet, but it kept them cool and alive. And my rooster loves to dance in the watermelon before eating it, silly guy.
 
Last edited:
Jul 22, 2020
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Minnesota, USA
I have some errands to run so I will come back and answer this in more depth later but here is my short response. Regarding pain from frostbite, yes they both exhibited signs of pain from their toes. I will explain them when I come back later but they exhibited signs of pain when they sustained the injury and later when the healing started. My comment about the cold was directed towards the the hen Sylvia. The battery hens react the same as most of the flock to the cold. I will also explain this later.
Starting off, frostbite is a very painful injury. Having had frostbite myself, I know. All of the cases of frostbite that I have seen in my flock have resulted in birds showing pain. The two hens that I mentioned before that had frostbitten toes were, to me, very obviously in pain. I found their injuries because of it. The big giveaway was reluctance to put pressure on the injured toes. Other pain reactions were picking up the feet higher (related to not wanting to touch them to the ground) than usual while walking and a vocalization that I find rather hard to describe. It is a very soft vocalization that as far as I have seen doesn't serve any other purpose than the swearing one would do in the situation. There was also a slight change in breathing pattern much like a person would do while in pain (breath catching in the throat and a sigh as it is released). These two vocalizations would occur for the first few steps after a long period of rest and would go away as the hen walked around. The hens would also spend more time laying down and would not scratch the ground. All of these symptoms lasted for about a day and a half after they appeared. They then went away for about a week. After this they came back again, in much milder form, for 3 days. They have not come back since. Now to Shadrach's point, there is no way to ask these hens if they are still in pain from these injuries. They have not shown any pain reaction in their daily movements or in a hands on inspection. Although chickens may be very good at hiding their injuries, I do believe that poking and prodding at a spot that is painful would bring a reaction.

All comb injuries caused by frostbite seem to be very painful when touched. The symptoms of these injuries are very well hidden by the birds but the injury itself is very visible. From what I have seen, these injuries seem to be painful until all of the dead material is atrophied or, if the frostbite is minor, the damaged skin is shed off like a scab would be.

Now in regards to the cold and snow, most of my chickens have a pretty similar attitude that is something along the lines of, "I can't wait for spring." Although they don't like the cold, they are still acting like chickens and are roaming their usual territory until we get down to temperatures around 15 degrees Fahrenheit. If we still don't have snow at this point, the chickens will head to the tree lines or the goat barn and spend the day digging through the dirt and hay for any spilled feed. The chickens always enjoy roosting on the goats but it becomes especially attractive in the cold weather. If we have gotten snow at this point, most of the chickens will confine themselves to whatever area they have that is snow free. Once it does snow I will clear a path to the barn for them so that they don't all stay in the coop all day. I do have a couple hens that love to eat anything that is white and snow does not escape that habit of theirs. Once we do get below about 15 degrees F, there is not a lot of activity outside the coop. Most days are spent dustbathing in the coop and walking along a wooden fence that runs by the coop to be able to get to the tree line without stepping in the snow (as long as the wind isn't blowing). Last winter we had 3 weeks that they mostly confined themselves to the coop with sparse trips to the barn or tree lines. There were about 10 weeks, with those 3 weeks included, that they limited their time mostly to the barn, tree lines, and coop but were still active. During these colder times the chickens will significantly puff up their feathers. The colder that it gets, the more time they will spend either roosted on the goats or laying together. When we get into really cold temperatures (below 0 degrees F) they will roost together during the day. These really cold temps usually only last for a week or two during January or February but it is usually during this time that we will have a storm that drops us down in the -15 to -20 degree range for a couple days. If frostbite is going to occur, it will be here. After the really cold temps, the chickens seem to get cabin fever and they become pretty active once the temperatures get above about 10 degrees F. Temperatures typically rise above freezing pretty soon after this cold weather and the chickens are digging holes in the mud puddles that we get from the melting snow.

Now I'm sure that I owe tax for writing a novel and derailing the thread so I will go dig up some pictures.
 

MaryJanet

Vets know best.
Premium Feather Member
Dec 24, 2018
13,087
125,925
1,387
Adelaide, South Australia
My Coop
My Coop
Starting off, frostbite is a very painful injury. Having had frostbite myself, I know. All of the cases of frostbite that I have seen in my flock have resulted in birds showing pain. The two hens that I mentioned before that had frostbitten toes were, to me, very obviously in pain. I found their injuries because of it. The big giveaway was reluctance to put pressure on the injured toes. Other pain reactions were picking up the feet higher (related to not wanting to touch them to the ground) than usual while walking and a vocalization that I find rather hard to describe. It is a very soft vocalization that as far as I have seen doesn't serve any other purpose than the swearing one would do in the situation. There was also a slight change in breathing pattern much like a person would do while in pain (breath catching in the throat and a sigh as it is released). These two vocalizations would occur for the first few steps after a long period of rest and would go away as the hen walked around. The hens would also spend more time laying down and would not scratch the ground. All of these symptoms lasted for about a day and a half after they appeared. They then went away for about a week. After this they came back again, in much milder form, for 3 days. They have not come back since. Now to Shadrach's point, there is no way to ask these hens if they are still in pain from these injuries. They have not shown any pain reaction in their daily movements or in a hands on inspection. Although chickens may be very good at hiding their injuries, I do believe that poking and prodding at a spot that is painful would bring a reaction.

All comb injuries caused by frostbite seem to be very painful when touched. The symptoms of these injuries are very well hidden by the birds but the injury itself is very visible. From what I have seen, these injuries seem to be painful until all of the dead material is atrophied or, if the frostbite is minor, the damaged skin is shed off like a scab would be.

Now in regards to the cold and snow, most of my chickens have a pretty similar attitude that is something along the lines of, "I can't wait for spring." Although they don't like the cold, they are still acting like chickens and are roaming their usual territory until we get down to temperatures around 15 degrees Fahrenheit. If we still don't have snow at this point, the chickens will head to the tree lines or the goat barn and spend the day digging through the dirt and hay for any spilled feed. The chickens always enjoy roosting on the goats but it becomes especially attractive in the cold weather. If we have gotten snow at this point, most of the chickens will confine themselves to whatever area they have that is snow free. Once it does snow I will clear a path to the barn for them so that they don't all stay in the coop all day. I do have a couple hens that love to eat anything that is white and snow does not escape that habit of theirs. Once we do get below about 15 degrees F, there is not a lot of activity outside the coop. Most days are spent dustbathing in the coop and walking along a wooden fence that runs by the coop to be able to get to the tree line without stepping in the snow (as long as the wind isn't blowing). Last winter we had 3 weeks that they mostly confined themselves to the coop with sparse trips to the barn or tree lines. There were about 10 weeks, with those 3 weeks included, that they limited their time mostly to the barn, tree lines, and coop but were still active. During these colder times the chickens will significantly puff up their feathers. The colder that it gets, the more time they will spend either roosted on the goats or laying together. When we get into really cold temperatures (below 0 degrees F) they will roost together during the day. These really cold temps usually only last for a week or two during January or February but it is usually during this time that we will have a storm that drops us down in the -15 to -20 degree range for a couple days. If frostbite is going to occur, it will be here. After the really cold temps, the chickens seem to get cabin fever and they become pretty active once the temperatures get above about 10 degrees F. Temperatures typically rise above freezing pretty soon after this cold weather and the chickens are digging holes in the mud puddles that we get from the melting snow.

Now I'm sure that I owe tax for writing a novel and derailing the thread so I will go dig up some pictures.
That was a fascinating read.
 
Jul 22, 2020
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Minnesota, USA
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
It really is interesting the difference it is for people and for the animals. Here, when it hits 100 degrees (I believe that's around 38 Celsius) animals and people start having heat strokes. When we get up to 105 degrees (I believe about 40 Celsius) there is serious concern over losing chickens to the heat.

Tax:
IMG_20211130_131027099.jpg
 

MaryJanet

Vets know best.
Premium Feather Member
Dec 24, 2018
13,087
125,925
1,387
Adelaide, South Australia
My Coop
My Coop
It really is interesting the difference it is for people and for the animals. Here, when it hits 100 degrees (I believe that's around 38 Celsius) animals and people start having heat strokes. When we get up to 105 degrees (I believe about 40 Celsius) there is serious concern over losing chickens to the heat.

Tax:
View attachment 2917936
Where I live, most summers the temps go above 40° at least 2 or 3 times and stay high for a week. A few years back, it went up to 44-46 for a week and people's hens were dying even in deep shade. This is why I'm so focussed on keeping the hens cool through summer.

On the other hand, frost bite and getting them through winter is completely off the radar.
 
Jul 22, 2020
183
1,137
136
Minnesota, USA
Starting off, frostbite is a very painful injury. Having had frostbite myself, I know. All of the cases of frostbite that I have seen in my flock have resulted in birds showing pain. The two hens that I mentioned before that had frostbitten toes were, to me, very obviously in pain. I found their injuries because of it. The big giveaway was reluctance to put pressure on the injured toes. Other pain reactions were picking up the feet higher (related to not wanting to touch them to the ground) than usual while walking and a vocalization that I find rather hard to describe. It is a very soft vocalization that as far as I have seen doesn't serve any other purpose than the swearing one would do in the situation. There was also a slight change in breathing pattern much like a person would do while in pain (breath catching in the throat and a sigh as it is released). These two vocalizations would occur for the first few steps after a long period of rest and would go away as the hen walked around. The hens would also spend more time laying down and would not scratch the ground. All of these symptoms lasted for about a day and a half after they appeared. They then went away for about a week. After this they came back again, in much milder form, for 3 days. They have not come back since. Now to Shadrach's point, there is no way to ask these hens if they are still in pain from these injuries. They have not shown any pain reaction in their daily movements or in a hands on inspection. Although chickens may be very good at hiding their injuries, I do believe that poking and prodding at a spot that is painful would bring a reaction.

All comb injuries caused by frostbite seem to be very painful when touched. The symptoms of these injuries are very well hidden by the birds but the injury itself is very visible. From what I have seen, these injuries seem to be painful until all of the dead material is atrophied or, if the frostbite is minor, the damaged skin is shed off like a scab would be.

Now in regards to the cold and snow, most of my chickens have a pretty similar attitude that is something along the lines of, "I can't wait for spring." Although they don't like the cold, they are still acting like chickens and are roaming their usual territory until we get down to temperatures around 15 degrees Fahrenheit. If we still don't have snow at this point, the chickens will head to the tree lines or the goat barn and spend the day digging through the dirt and hay for any spilled feed. The chickens always enjoy roosting on the goats but it becomes especially attractive in the cold weather. If we have gotten snow at this point, most of the chickens will confine themselves to whatever area they have that is snow free. Once it does snow I will clear a path to the barn for them so that they don't all stay in the coop all day. I do have a couple hens that love to eat anything that is white and snow does not escape that habit of theirs. Once we do get below about 15 degrees F, there is not a lot of activity outside the coop. Most days are spent dustbathing in the coop and walking along a wooden fence that runs by the coop to be able to get to the tree line without stepping in the snow (as long as the wind isn't blowing). Last winter we had 3 weeks that they mostly confined themselves to the coop with sparse trips to the barn or tree lines. There were about 10 weeks, with those 3 weeks included, that they limited their time mostly to the barn, tree lines, and coop but were still active. During these colder times the chickens will significantly puff up their feathers. The colder that it gets, the more time they will spend either roosted on the goats or laying together. When we get into really cold temperatures (below 0 degrees F) they will roost together during the day. These really cold temps usually only last for a week or two during January or February but it is usually during this time that we will have a storm that drops us down in the -15 to -20 degree range for a couple days. If frostbite is going to occur, it will be here. After the really cold temps, the chickens seem to get cabin fever and they become pretty active once the temperatures get above about 10 degrees F. Temperatures typically rise above freezing pretty soon after this cold weather and the chickens are digging holes in the mud puddles that we get from the melting snow.

Now I'm sure that I owe tax for writing a novel and derailing the thread so I will go dig up some pictures.
Tax:
A bit of a timeline of a boy from the past
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