The girls freaked out (help needed please)

Discussion in 'Managing Your Flock' started by Pregreen, Jul 23, 2010.

  1. Pregreen

    Pregreen Hatching

    May 6, 2010
    Hi Everyone,
    First time chicken owner, first time poster. I live in PA and we are expecting our heat index to hit 110 degrees tomorrow. We love the girls (3 months old) and decided for their comfort to move them into the barn for the weekend in order to beat the heat. My husband really out did himself building them a super deluxe area complete with post and rail roosts, a fan for a nice breeze etc... We got the girls into the new area and they freaked out. One of the girls actually flew over a 7' chicken wire wall and almost killed herself in the process. We then pulled their covered PVC/hardware cloth run into the barn (no small task) thinking that they were used to it and that they would settle down. They spent the next 1/2 hour trying to trample each other in the corners and ramming their bodies against the sides in panic mode. I couldn't take it anymore, someone was going to die from stress or injury so I was able to transport them one by one back to their outside coop. As soon as they were back in their coop they settled down and went to their roosts. All were fine this morning. I've seen alot of posts about chickens staying in the basement and garage during heat waves, what did I do wrong to have them so freaked out? Has anyone ever experienced anything like this? I don't want the girls to suffer in the heat but then again I don't want to scare them to death. Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. Yay Chicks!

    Yay Chicks! Songster

    Apr 15, 2010
    Forest Grove, OR
    They don't call them 'chicken' for nothing! Seriously, tho, they do freak out if they can't get "home." So, if they are safe in the barn, they may get used to it after a couple of days. Otherwise, if they are outside in the heat, you can run a fan out, put frozen water bottles around their area and in the coop, give them ice water, mist them with the hose, make sure they have some shade, etc. You can also give some frozen food. People give watermelon. I gave frozen bananas. You can also create a "cooling box" by placing a large PLASTIC trash can on it's side with ice bags, or frozen water bottles in the back. I also gave mine a place of ice cubes once in a while and they would peck at them and stand on them. Hope these ideas help a little.
  3. HeatherLynn

    HeatherLynn Songster

    May 11, 2009
    Kentucky, Cecilia
    Also if you try to move them again do it at night. They seem to settle down faster because they can't see all the things they should be afraid of. They might still be a bit unhappy but might not freak so much.
  4. elmo

    elmo Songster

    May 23, 2009
    I wonder if it was the fan. I know my chickens are very nervous about anything unusual (to them) coming from above. I have to be very careful when I'm adding or moving a shade tarp on their tractor when they're in it.
  5. It isn't uncommon for them to panic in unfamiliar places. I totally sympathize! When Igot mine Iwas renting and was using the old garden shed and goat pen as coop and run. The landlady decided to kick us out to remodel and sell the place, so we had to move. We had to put them in cages and drive them 15 miles to a totally unfamiliar coop and run (incidentally, it was much nicer!) And then move them again (coop and all!) when we bought our house. They freaked for a bit, but they had nowhere to go. Eventually they settled down, and now they love the coop.
    No one freaked out more than our little roo, who had been our lone chick out of the incubator. He was raised in the house, and we had to put him with the real chickens when we moved. He used to panic any time we put him outside... but they all adapted.

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