The Power of Observation Saved Their Lives

Keeperoflock

Songster
Mar 10, 2018
161
158
126
Central Indiana
I have 15 eight month old pullets. Great egg layers, all healthy etc. Cold weather is here where I live so during our winter preps we purchased a metal double wall waterer and the warmer to go underneath it. We were using the red bottom plastic 3 gallon waterer before that. I put the metal one out along with the plastic one just to get them used to this "suspicious looking foreign thing" in their run for about a week. Temps were dropping into the mid 20's so I took out the plastic one figuring they were used to it by now. I even observed them drinking out of it.
Around 5 days later one of the hens starting acting strange. Standing still, not eating or drinking. Watched her closely for about a day when the other ones started acting kind of not themselves. II also noticed their pans that I put their wet mash in was clean as a whistle and tipped over. That never happens. I couldn't put my finger on it till I let them out tonight for their daily free-ranging. They made a B-Line for the garden where this bucket was at with a lid that had a small amount of water in it. They were attacking it like ravenous wolves. That's when it dawned on me..... yep, they were quite literally dying of thirst. And the mash pans.... they were trying to get to any amount of wetness they could get to.
I rushed inside the house, mixed up some water with electrolytes, put it in their red-bottomed waterer, brought it out and when they saw it, here they come running. They drank and drank and drank. I had also made up more wet mash and mixed corn in it. They went for that, then kept going back to the water. Over and Over they did this.

BE OBSERVANT, BE VERY OBSERVANT when making changes. When something "seems" off observe.
 

rosemarythyme

Scarborough Fair
Premium Feather Member
Jul 3, 2016
15,882
30,500
1,052
WA, Pac NW
My Coop
My Coop
Did you check to make sure the new waterer was working properly (in addition to the chickens knowing and willingly using it)? In the winter I check the waterer every morning - making sure it's still full, still liquid, making sure the nipple works and isn't frozen, the heater is working and not off (important for me as the off switch for the socket is inside the house for some reason).
 

Keeperoflock

Songster
Mar 10, 2018
161
158
126
Central Indiana
Did you check to make sure the new waterer was working properly (in addition to the chickens knowing and willingly using it)? In the winter I check the waterer every morning - making sure it's still full, still liquid, making sure the nipple works and isn't frozen, the heater is working and not off (important for me as the off switch for the socket is inside the house for some reason).

Oh yes, I check it every single morning. They get fresh water every morning.
 

Cyprus

Master of the 'never give up' attitude
Jan 19, 2018
16,113
55,585
1,207
My Coop
My Coop
Sameish thing happened here just these past 3 days.
My banties are inside the barn, sealed in. My standards have a door to their coop that connects with the outdoors.
When we getting down to 25 at night, the standard's water would freeze but the bantams didn't. At 20, the standard's water was frozen solid and bantam's had a 1/4" surface of ice to it.
Put a heater on the standard's water, not the bantams. Figured the bantams would be okay if I broke the ice for now.
Forgot to break the ice... for 3 days. Temps dipped into the teens and their water froze solid. I noticed this morning that my banty hen was acting very off. I gave her water in a dish and she went CRAZY for it! The roo, too.

I need to be more observant. I could have killed them with one more day without water.
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom