Sudden cold weather deaths? HELP!

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by SilkieLover01, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. SilkieLover01

    SilkieLover01 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 18, 2014
    I started November with 6 birds. They have access to a coop, stuffed with pine shavings. I use automatic waterers that are refilled daily when we're experiencing freezing temps. We had a severe cold snap (if anyone else is in Ohio you know what I'm talking about) week before last, and on the first day--before it even got cold, I lost my Wyandotte hen. Fine one day, no drooping wings nothing, dead the next. The same day, my 5 month old EE started looking really scroungy. Puffed up head, dropped wings. She's my favorite so I dragged her inside in a cat crate, and started her on gatorade. And then brought the others inside and they all spent a wonderful week indoors, making a nice mess and being warm. Once it warmed up to above freezing, I put them back outside. I left for thanksgiving and they were loaded with food and water and nice temperatures. I came back and all was fine. They were fine last night.

    Just came home from class this morning and found the EE just about dead. The silkies and the buckeye look fine. They're wandering around clucking and don't even seem bothered by the temps. It's 35 out. It's not even that bad. When I picked her up this morning, she weighed nothing (and I know the other birds weren't forcing her off the food...--she's like the apex predator of he flock), is suddenly pasted up.[​IMG]

    Are some individual birds just weaker/not cold tolerant?
    I grew up Arizona--where temps would dip into the single digits all winter, it often didn't even make it above freezing during the days, and nights in the negatives happen. My birds would go in their dog house, and I never remember experiencing two sudden deaths like this (and most of my coops growing up had open water pans, and they NEVER had heaters, just insulated dog houses or straw stuffed in there to huddle in). I've had poultry since I was 11 years old. And let's just say 12 year old me wasn't exactly the most knowledgeable or diligent poultry attendant and I still have never seen anything like this.
    Any ideas about if the weak birds die first in the cold or what causes this? I'm heartbroken. The EE was my favorite. It's 35 outside, she's completely dry. We're in southern Ohio and we've had a fairly mild week (and by that I mean it was almost 60 sunday evening) so far.
     
  2. SilkieLover01

    SilkieLover01 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 18, 2014
    Only thing I CAN think of..I haven't dewormed them. All 6 of them came--as adults or semi-adults--the EE was about 3 months old and the youngest when I got her--from different places. Could internal parasites be the causation here? And if so, how come she was fine all of September and October and didn't get iffy until the cold weather hit? I feel like a really bad chicken keeper this morning.
     

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