Should they look so pitiful...

Discussion in 'Meat Birds ETC' started by geeky_farmer, May 15, 2011.

  1. geeky_farmer

    geeky_farmer Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 3, 2011
    I have 8 Cornish Xs who are a little more then 4 weeks old. Yesterday I finished their chicken tractor and moved them into it from a brooder which was getting much to small.

    This part of the country is pretty wet, rain, rain, everyday it seems and yesterday was no exception.

    The tractor is 12 foot by 3 foot six. The last 4 foot is tarped (including the end) and their food is under there. But they are sitting on grass, and the grass is wet. Overnight they turned the tarped area into a bit of mud, which I expected, so I will move them today, but when I went to check them this morning they looked pretty miserable. Muddy, a little wet, and pretty annoyed... But I know people keep them on pasture in tractors all weather.

    I just feel sorry for the muddy wet chickens, if the sun comes out maybe it will be better... IF...

    Do chickens on pasture just look pitiful in the rain?
  2. drdoolittle

    drdoolittle Chillin' With My Peeps

    Jul 30, 2010
    NE Indiana
    Yes, they do look very pitiful when they are wet/damp. If they are only 4 weeks old, I'm not sure they should be out when it is raining so much. Maybe keep them in a barn or garage during the night----it would be terrible for them to become sick.

    It's very, very wet/damp/muddy here too. [​IMG] I guess for me it's going to be another week of nothing but rain and mud----yuck!!
  3. walls0stone3

    walls0stone3 Out Of The Brooder

    May 14, 2011
    at that stage they just look UGLY! I move my pen every day... even twice a day to keep them out of the poo and dry. I'd also say that getting that tarp off when the sun comes out is a big thing. Sure, they need some shade, but if you can't move the pen to 8 diff' spots each week.... you'll need to get that swamp dry.
  4. Erica

    Erica Chillin' With My Peeps

    Dec 5, 2010
    I had exactly that situation -- I didn't realise it was going to rain and put my 4 week olds in the tractor (which is only half tarped). It was a bit of a mistake as exactly 5 days later they showed signs of cecal coccidiosis. But that was largely my fault for putting them on ground that had had chicks on it fairly recently and not moving the pen for 5 days...).

    Sometimes even on medicated starter the sudden influx of cocci from damp soil can overcome the defenses... Just keep an eye on them. But it may also just be the damp and a bit of chill that's making them look under par.

    It's worth putting down something for a warm floor for them to sleep on — I found a large piece of foam mat worked perfectly and was easily hosed and dried in the sun afterward. It's also easy to move when shifting the tractor (unlike a roost or nestbox).

  5. geeky_farmer

    geeky_farmer Out Of The Brooder

    Mar 3, 2011
    Thanks all.

    It started getting colder and I saw one shivering. So we put new shavings into the brooder and plopped them back in there. It is only 30inches by 8 feet, but there are only 9 so I don't think they are crowded, compared with commercial breeders...

    The rain stops, or at least slows and we will try again, maybe with something down under the tarped area...

    I am worried about two of them, the smaller hens, but I plopped them under the brooder lamp, and when I checked them they were looking around (when I put them in they were acting very lethargic (even for a Cornish X).)

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